- - Friday, February 11, 2011

It’s amazing what getting “shellacked” in an election will do to a president. Instead of pandering to and embracing unions, condemning Wal-Mart and telling Joe the Plumber of the need to spread the wealth around, President Obama addressed the business community by speaking to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The truth is that had the Democrats not gotten shellacked in November, the president would rather have had a root canal with a pair of vice grips and a wood chisel than to have spoken to the Chamber of Commerce.

The president knows he doesn’t understand business. He’s never owned a business, managed a business or, from what I can tell, even worked for a private business during his entire life. He knows zippo about how the free market operates and how onerous big-government regulations and high taxes can trample the economy.

All he knows about business is what he has read or what someone has told him. Based upon his previous anti-free-market actions and statements, whatever he was told or read was as wrongheaded as sitting through a sermon by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright without vomiting, having your head spin ‘round and ‘round and requiring an exorcism.

But at least he was cagey and smart enough to speak to the chamber, an assemblage of businessmen who don’t trust the president very much and believe he’s mostly wrong on all things business. Good for Mr. Obama.


Let’s hope and pray the president sees the light and honestly reaches out to the chamber, other business organizations and other businessmen instead of lecturing and blaming them when the bold and unvarnished truth is that the policies of Fedzilla had much more to do with our economic collapse than Wall Street bandits.

Let’s hope the president is a big enough man to understand that he and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis have much more to learn from the chamber than the chamber has to learn from them about how to expand the economy and put Americans back to work.

The president is finally saying many of the right things - there is too much government regulation, business taxes are too high, it’s important to let the free market grow the economy. His problem is that he doesn’t do anything about it except talk and periodically tour a handpicked company. That dog won’t hunt.

No doubt, the president is a very busy guy, what with all this fundamental change and what not, but if expanding the economy and creating good jobs matter to him as much as he currently says they do, he should make time for business leaders to meet with him on a weekly basis so real-world business discussions with real hands-on, experienced businessmen could occur and economic goals and objectives could be created and tracked to move America forward. That would be a grand step forward from appointing Van Jones as the green jobs czar, wouldn’t you say?

The president says he is open to other ideas. In addition to speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the president ought to surf on over to the website of the Club for Growth (clubforgrowth.org) and read what these pro-business Americans suggest to get America moving again. These guys get it.

The Club for Growth has it bull’s-eye-right. The members wisely advocate reducing income tax rates, abolishing the current tax code and replacing it with a fair or flat tax, killing the death tax, limiting government spending, reforming Social Security and Medicare, expanding free trade, and other common-sense measures that would put Fedzilla on a strict diet while growing the economy.

Only a big-government, bureaucratic addict who believes Fedzilla knows how to grow the economy better than people who actually own and run businesses would disagree with Club for Growth’s economic-freedom ideas.

We are expecting a lot from a guy who has no business experience. However, what we should be able to hope and pray for is that he can swallow his partisan political pride and start doing what is right for the nation. That is a tall order for a historically left-wing ideologue like the president. Therein lies the very sticky widget.

If the president has any serious aspirations for 2012, he knows that he and his party cannot cruise to victory by campaigning on four years of a lackluster and weak economy. He also knows that many Americans do not vote for the party or candidate but rather by what is - or is not - in their wallets.

The president has two fundamental choices: Expand the economy or pander to his nutty left-wing base. Something has to give. He’s not going to be able to have it both ways.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).

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