Last Updated:November 28 @ 07:44 am

Charen: The Most Business-Despising President in History

By Mona Charen

President Obama's "you didn't build it" gaffe just defined the 2012 campaign. It succinctly encapsulates the president's prejudices about the public versus the private sector. Though the president has frequently mouthed platitudes in praise of enterprise, his suspicion and contempt for business has always percolated just beneath the surface.

Of course, the president is partially correct, in a banal sort of way. Yes, roads, bridges, firefighters and teachers are essential prerequisites to establishing an environment in which business can operate. So are peace and freedom -- for which we must thank the military.

But the president doesn't understand that a critical aspect of good government -- and an essential ingredient for stimulating economic growth -- is not just roads but rules of the road. As economist John Taylor reminds us, steady, predictable and permanent rules permit business owners -- and individuals -- to plan for the future.

That is the opposite of what the Obama administration has provided. Obama touts his small business tax credits, but in his stimulus bill, the proposed 2011 jobs act and other legislation, the tax incentives are temporary, while the tax increases are permanent.

The Heritage Foundation estimates that the burden of regulation under Obama is five times what it was under George W. Bush. The yearly cost of regulatory compliance was $8.1 billion under Bush. It's $46 billion under Obama.

The regulatory drag goes beyond those compliance costs. The uncertainty about what government will require in the future is inhibiting expansion and risk-taking. The two marquee laws passed under this administration -- the ironically titled Affordable Care Act and Dodd/Frank -- are vast pools of dark matter. They vest enormous discretion in federal bureaucrats so that no one knows what to expect. Most of the rules regarding insurance costs, penalties (i.e., taxes) and minimum standards for insurance, remain to be issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. Adding to the sense of arbitrariness are the hundreds of waivers HHS has issued to politically favored businesses and unions.

Testifying before the Financial Services Committee, a small banker from Illinois noted about Dodd/Frank that "Each new regulation ... adds another layer of complexity and cost of doing business. ... (It) has stimulated an environment of uncertainty, and has added new risks that will inevitably translate into fewer loans to small businesses."

The coming fiscal cliff is a like a huge safe waiting to fall on America's head at the end of this year. Yet the president invites it in the name of raising taxes on those who earn above $200,000.

The results are obvious everywhere -- the economy scutters along at the bottom of the growth graph. Millions cannot find jobs. The ranks of food stamp, welfare and disability recipients swell. Trillion dollar deficits degrade our bond rating.

Obama would like to see all of the unemployed get government jobs. That's not an insult; it's the truth. Repeatedly, the president and Michelle Obama have counseled young people to reject the "formulas for success" that our culture "peddles" and to disdain the "brass ring" and the "corner office." Speaking to graduates at Arizona State in 2009, Obama disdained this course, declaring that for "far too long" we've been told that "through material possessions -- through a ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf -- that's how you will measure success. ... It displays a poverty of ambition."

That caricature of capitalism -- "ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf" is truly what Obama believes in. It's the sort of juvenile critique that anyone who has taken Economics 101 or read a word of Adam Smith has moved beyond. Even most liberal Democrats understand that the private sector provides the money that government then redistributes. But Obama doesn't seem ever to consider where the money comes from. He just fervently believes that everything noble, selfless and worthy trickles down to ordinary people from the beneficent hands of government. Striving to build and create on your own is "ruthless."

In 1993, former Sen. George McGovern, once considered the most liberal of Democratic candidates for president, wrote a piece about his experience attempting to run a small bed and breakfast in Connecticut. The red tape required by government severely hampered his capacity to earn a profit. He wished in retrospect that "I had known more firsthand about the concerns and problems of American businesspeople while I was a U.S. senator and later a presidential nominee. That knowledge would have made me a better legislator and a more worthy aspirant to the White House."

It took Obama to make George McGovern look like a conservative.



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  1. BadgerComment by Badger
    July 20, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Elect a man who’s never held a real job, done nothing in his life but agitate others to carry the water for his Narcissistic ambitions. Striking out at those who have succeeded as if in some way they are responsible for his own failures. Much like the bullied student who get’s a school safety badge and then takes on the traits of those who bullied him once having the power of the state (School) behind him. He plays on the basic instincts of human nature … they have, you don’t, I have the big stick, vote for me and we’ll take it from them … that’s what Barrack Hussien Obama is all about. Trouble is, once the wealthy are cleaned out, they’ll have to start getting rid of the leeches they created before they turn on them … this is a very warn out modus operandi, Russia, Germany. North Vietnam … numerous other leaders have used these tactics always ending with millions of human beings being sacrificed for the cause of these tyrants. Until we turn back toward personal responsibility and a free market approach to solving our problems the future should be pretty clear to anyone with even a lick of sense.

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  2. joelinpdxComment by joelinpdx
    July 20, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    Again Obozo tried to change the subject and again he stuck his foot in his mouth. Remember, this is the same guy who asserted that “The private sector is doing fine.” Kind of makes his comment about there being 57 US states look tame, doesn’t it?

    Romney needs to keep the subject on unemployment and the economy. These are two areas where Obozo can not compete and Obozo knows it. That’s why he keeps trying to change the subject…even when he totally muffs it with his off TelePromTer comments.

    But Romney will need the help of every correct thinking American. While GOPUSA is a fine web site to peruse, it does tend to attract right of center participants. We all need to go to web sites like Washington Post and Politico where the moderates and independents hang out and tell the truth about Mitt Romney.

    Every meaningless screed or lie posted by some lib must be answered with reasonable truth. When they make bigoted comments about Romney’s religion, call them on it. These useless idiots try to call out Republicans as racists quite often but they need to be called out for their tasteless attacks on Gov Romney’s creed.

    And don’t let the libs keep attacking Gov. Romney as a “vulture capitalist.” Point out that Bain provided investments for pension funds, charities, and universities not just “fat cat” investors. Point out that 80 percent of Bain investments resulted in additional jobs at companies like Staples, Sports Authority, Steel Dynamics, and Bright Horizons.

    Tell the story of Stage Stores, which Obozo has tried to make an example of Bain (Romney) greed:

    Under Bain ownership, Stage Stores doubled the number of employees and doubled the number of stores. Bain Capital sold its controlling interest in the company in 1997. Years later, Stage Stores filed for bankruptcy, but today it is a healthy business with 14,000 employees and hundreds of new stores.

    And don’t let the libs get away with claiming that Romney is a felon for misleading the SEC. In a world of 30 second commercials and Seven second soundbites you can’t explain Gov. Romney’s role at Bain after he gave up control of the company to take over the Sale Lake Olympics…so don’t. Just point out the lib is lying and knows full well that he’s lying. That’s the idea that moderates and independents will take away from the discussion.

    And don’t forget to make light of Obozo’s gaffs every chance you get. The goal is to get rid of this walking, talking abortion on November 6th. Let’s do it.

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  3. clarkentComment by clarkent
    July 20, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Regulations Regulations Regulations. Maybe its time for the American people to regulate our Federal Gov’t.

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  4. appraisherComment by appraisher
    July 20, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Where did the money come from to build the roads and bridges? Build schools? Pay teachers, police and firefighters? Where does the money come from to put a teleprompter in front of Jug Ears so he can say all these stupid things? Where does the money come from to pay for the lifestyle that adds more girth to Michelle’s ***? Answer: The small business people who pay the workers, who pay the taxes that pays the government’s bills. But Barry doesn’t know any better, because he “never built anything”. The government doesn’t create jobs, it only stands in the way of those that do.

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  5. thecitizenComment by thecitizen
    July 21, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    Well – gosh – Ms. Charen. For a change, your words quite likely resonate with your audience. “‘Ya done good!”

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