Another entrepreneur “unexpectedly” laments the Obama Administration

This time it’s Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot.  Marcus makes a lot of serious (and sadly, all too familiar) observations about today’s economy, but this one is just devastating:

Investors Business Daily: If you could sit down with Obama and talk to him about job creation, what would you say?

Marcus: I’m not sure Obama would understand anything that I’d say, because he’s never really worked a day outside the political or legal arena. He doesn’t know how to make a payroll, he doesn’t understand the problems businesses face. I would try to explain that the plight of the businessman is very reactive to Washington.  As Washington piles on regulations and mandates, the impact is tremendous. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I just think he has no knowledge of this.

Investors Business Daily: Why don’t more businesses speak out?

Marcus: They are frightened to death — frightened that they will have the IRS or SEC on them. In my 50 years in business, I have never seen executives of major companies who were more intimidated by an administration.

Now we know why all those orders for corporate jets were suddenly canceled last month.  There really is a culture of fear among business management.  And fear causes business managers to fall back into survival mode rather than move forward in a growth mode.

Speaking of survival mode, check out this devastating observation, published this week by The Heritage Foundation: Economic Recovery Stalled After Obamacare Passed.

In March 2010, Congress passed President Obama’s health care reform legislation. The bill had appeared in serious jeopardy, and after the upset special election victory of Senator Scott Brown (R–MA), many analysts expected the bill to fail. Instead, it became law.

The law discourages employers from hiring in several ways:

  • Businesses with fewer than 50 workers have a strong incentive to maintain this size, which allows them to avoid the mandate to provide government-approved health coverage or face a penalty;
  • Businesses with more than 50 workers will see their costs for health coverage rise—they must purchase more expensive government-approved insurance or pay a penalty; and
  • Employers face considerable uncertainty about what constitutes qualifying health coverage and what it will cost. They also do not know what the health care market or their health care costs will look like in four years. This makes planning for the future difficult.

In May 2010, the job situation stopped improving. Employers created just 48,000 net jobs, and the trend in job creation changed. Starting in that month, private-sector hiring took a new course, improving by only 6,500 jobs per month—less than one-tenth the previous rate … The fact that improvements in the job market ground to a halt after Congress passed Obamacare does not prove that the health care law caused it—correlation cannot prove causation. However, the fact does lend strong weight to the voices of businesses who say that the law is preventing hiring.

When you represent Heritage’s conclusions graphically, the evidence is sobering:

Businesses are simply trying to brace themselves for the massive health care cost increases that will kick in, starting in 2013.  Oh, and did I mention that the residential real estate market, which is currently in a double-dip pricing slump, fell again in June, and is on track to post its worst year in over a decade?

Unfortunately, none of this is going to get any better until there is real CHANGE in Washington DC.

ObamaCare killed the economy
The End of an Era
  • Anonymous

    This is what I find the most disturbing:

    Why don’t more businesses speak out?
    Marcus: They are frightened to death — frightened that they will have the IRS or SEC on them. In my 50 years in business, I have never seen executives of major companies who were more intimidated by an administration.

    • We tried to tell the American people this. We screamed it from the mountaintops of the blogosphere. Do a search for my posts here at Wizbang in 2008 and you’ll see how many times I made the exact same points Bernie Marcus did. If these brilliant CEO’s had listened to those of us who actually had their – as well as our – best interests in mind, America would not be on her knees right now. 

      Bernie Marcus, Steve Wynn, Warren Buffet, and so many other CEO’s have only *themselves* to blame.

      • They all had their noses up the crack of Obama’s ass. They thought that by brown nosing him, they would be exempt from all of the crap that he has pulled. Instead, they have been and will continue to be vilified, by the same man they supported in 2008, as long as he is in office. You know the old saying: “What goes around, comes around. Well, they are now seeing what Joe the Plumber and the rest of us sane people saw and they are not liking it one little bit.

    • jim_m

      Gee why would they be frightened? 

      It’s not like obama has singled out specific companies or industries as enemies of the state (Corporate jet manufacturers, ATM’s, BP, the oil industry, the coal industry, Las Vegas gaming industry…). 

      It’s not like obama has used the power of the government to illegally seize companies and distribute their wealth not to shareholders but to political allies (GM, Chrysler).

      It’s not like obama has demanded the termination of specific CEO’s (GM, BP). 

      It’s not like the obama administration has used regulatory power to damage industries (EPA and Texas power companies, the gulf spill and the oil industry…)

      It’s not like the obama administration is using it’s police power to illegally set up companies as targets for criminal investigation (gunwalker) and punitive regulation.

      Oh yeah.  obama has done just that.

    • You can shear a sheep many times – but you can only skin it once.  You can shear it really close, getting some of the skin – but the sheep will recover from it, you’ll get less wool for a couple of years, but eventually it’ll heal. 

      Obama’s been cutting off sections of hide.  All for the best of reasons, of course.  The question is – will there be enough left for the sheep to survive and recover?

  • Anonymous

    Barry’s recovery scam began with a spring fling then moved quickly into a summer slummer. Will a year and a half of   dark malaise make Bamses see the light?

    He don’t care! His only concern is with scheming a way to stay in office. 

  • Anonymous

    BHO and the Progressives running out of fingers to stick in the dike.  Now, that’s a good trend.

    d(^_^)b“Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  • Well.  Imagine that – government regulation getting so complex that businesses can’t operate.  Who would EVER have seen that coming?

    From that IBD interview, apparently the 2000 page Obamacare bill is going to generate about 150,000 (yeah a hundred and fifty thousand) new pages of regulations businesses must follow.

    Who will government feed off of to pay the non-producers, when they regulate the producers out of existance?

    The funny thing is (funny in a dark sense…) I believe Obama thinks he can turn things around if he can just get enough money from somewhere.   It’ll take more money, and more regulation – but he can pull it off!

    • jim_m

      I believe Obama thinks he can turn things around if he can just get enough money from somewhere.

      He plans to just print it.  You’re a fool if you think otherwise.

      • He can print all he wants.  We know where THAT particular move leads.

        It won’t get him where he wants to go, unless it’s an appointment with tar and feathers.

        • jim_m

          But it has to be the plan.  With the levels of spending that he wants to finance and with the major purchasers of our debt divesting themselves of their holdings the administration is already floating QE3.  They won’t say that they are going to do QE3 to finance their spending but that will be the bottom line for it. 

          I firmly believe that when disaster comes the he thinks that with the aid of a compliant media, he will be able to pin the blame exclusively on the GOP.  Plus any financial crisis has the benefit of being yet another crisis he can capitalize upon.  I truly believe that he sees no downside in this even if we default.

          • Anonymous

            No doubt he’ll blame the GOP and the media will gladly follow that lead.

            Even now, when reading letters to the editor in the local paper I note that his supporters continue to spout the fiction that Obama did not create this mess, that it remains the fault of Bush and the GOP.

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  • Anonymous

    Why didn’t these businessmen speak up before Obama was even elected???  We knew what these men were saying at the time of the election…why didn’t they see it and say it???

    • Pay enough money, and you can get an Indulgence from the Powers That Be. 

      They figured they paid enough.  Guess they never read any Kipling…

      “And that is called asking for Dane-geld, And the people who ask it explain That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!”

      Problem is – once you pay, you have to keep paying.

      • It is wrong to put temptation
        in the path of any nation,
            For fear they should succumb and go astray,
        So when you are requested
        to pay up or be molested,
            You will find it better policy to say:—

        “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
            No matter how trifling the cost;
        For the end of that game
        is oppression and shame,
            And the nation that plays it is lost!”

      • Heh.  Kipling was once required reading – I think I studied him in 8th or 9th grade.  Nowadays, since the federal government and the teachers’ unions have taken over public education, they’ve had to get rid of those old dead white guys to make room for Self Esteem Workshops and Gender Studies.  US History textbooks give half a page to Jefferson, but several pages each  to Sacajawea and Harriet Tubman.

        And we wonder how it is people are stupid enough to vote for Democrats?

        Obama’s reelection hopes rest entirely upon the bedrock principle that Americans really suck at math.

        • Anonymous

          Indeed, affirmative action has consequences. None of them good.

        • Adjoran,

          You are either older than I or from a less “progressive” state as Kipling was off the curriculum by the time I went through here in CA.  I came to Kipling on my own (via Heinlein), and was pleased to discover how popular both were with the senior NCO and Officer Corps of the Navy.

    • mag35, I think the answer (as Kim and Rodney have alluded) is that a lot of these power broker CEO’s thought they could schmooze Obama and become a part of his inner circle of advisers, steering policy initiatives toward beneficial outcomes for themselves.  They were sadly mistaken.

      This isn’t unusual behavior for top business leaders, and since they know how to successfully run businesses and make money, their suggestions also usually end up being beneficial to the economy at large.  Unfortunately, these same policies often stifle pet liberal causes like “green energy,” organized labor, and affirmative action.

      Obama has taken the opposite approach though, and has put pet liberal and progressive ideologies (organized labor, socialized medicine, green energy, affirmative action, gun control) in the forefront while ignoring, marginalizing, or outright targeting/attacking key business sectors.  The big CEO’s feel betrayed, but they are also genuinely scared because this is the first time the government has really placed a big target directly on top of them.

  • Jeff Blogworthy

    Businesses need to get the message. Fork over enough protection money and they can get a “waiver.”

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  • Anonymous

    America needs another 10,000 or so Herb Kellehers, who, until he handed over to current CEO, Gary Kelly, ran Southwest Airlines as if he owned it, rather than as part of one of the collectives of Peter Principle poster persons that run most of America’s corporations.

    Why, there is even a half chance Mr Kelleher is/was a Capitalist. Rather than one of the sorry corporate fascists that in return for lobbyist-purchased political patronage, seek DC’s help to limit competition by way of the direct authoritative bureaucratic regulation that defines fascism.

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