- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Business leaders air growing unhappiness with Obama
Question of the Day
As the economic recovery stalls and the debt debate in Washington fuels market uncertainty, business leaders — many of whom were once close to the White House — are increasingly airing their fears that President Obama’s policies are stifling job creation.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Falk told a Senate panel this week that the administration’s proposal to raise the tax on foreign earnings of American-based firms “would put U.S. companies at a significant disadvantage.”
The move “would slow economic growth in the U.S. and impede the creation of U.S.-based jobs,” Mr. Falk, whose global company makes Kleenex, Huggies and health care products, said Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.
Leaders in the oil and gas industry say the administration could clear the way for the creation of thousands of domestic jobs if it weren’t beholden to environmentalists. As one example, they point to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a massive construction project that has been awaiting approval since Mr. Obama took office. The pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada, to Houston.
“If you’re looking for revenue and jobs, it’s on your desk, Mr. President,” said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, in a recent interview with The Washington Times.
The House on Tuesday passed legislation requiring the Obama administration to reach a decision on the pipeline by Nov. 1. The White House issued a statement saying the House-imposed deadline is “unnecessary” and “could prevent the thorough consideration of complex issues.”
The State Department is working to complete a review of the project next month; the EPA has raised concerns about oil spill risks and greenhouse gases from the use of oil sands.
Leading business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are in full-scale revolt against policies coming out of the National Labor Relations Board, now dominated by Obama appointees, in particular a clash in which the agency has sided with labor unions in seeking to prevent aerospace giant Boeing from opening a massive new, non-union manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
Even the president’s attack on tax breaks for corporate jet owners has backfired. Unionized machinists, mayors in 10 cities and small business owners have rallied in opposition to Mr. Obama’s plan to target the industry.
“These entrepreneurs would get hit with higher taxes at a time when they need such resources to survive, grow their businesses and hire more employees,” said Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.
While the business community has traditionally leaned toward the Republicans, Mr. Obama was able to make significant inroads in his 2008 presidential race, besting GOP rival Sen. John McCain in contributions from such executives in such industries as finance, communications and real estate.
Business moguls who endorsed the Democrat included billionaire investors George Soros and Warren Buffett; Microsoft founder Bill Gates; and Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google.
The president has acknowledged getting off on the wrong foot with big business in the early days of his administration, and has taken steps to thaw that relationship.
He created a Jobs and Competitiveness Council headed by GE CEO Jeff Immelt and Ken Chenault, the head of American Express. He ordered a review aimed at cutting back on unnecessary regulations. And in January he hired William Daley, an executive at J.P. MorganChase and a former Commerce secretary, as his chief of staff.
Yet many top business leaders remain largely unmoved, judging from the unemployment rate that stands at 9.2 percent. Corporate leaders are sitting on about $2 trillion in capital, and gaming magnate Steve Wynn, a self-described “Democratic businessman,” told investors two weeks ago that business leaders will be “sitting on their thumbs” until Mr. Obama leaves office.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Latest Obama claim: I don't learn anything from the news
- Journalists shut out of White House meeting with Apollo 11 astronauts, file complaint
- Putin calls for cease-fire in Ukraine
- U.S. intelligence nearly certain pro-Russian separatists downed Malaysian Airlines flight
- Obama raises funds while international crises loom
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Retailer pays a price for getting too close to Obama
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Latest Obama claim: I don't learn anything from the news
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down
- HURT: The cost of 'free' water in Detroit
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq