Two billionaire magnates, the founds of huge successful enterprises, have dramatically spoken out against President Obama's management of the economy. They have been joined in criticizing the president by several CEOs of big companies. Normally, the heads of huge enterprises are cautious about offending presidents, but the magnitude of the disaster apparently has caused these men to speak truth to power.
Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus did not mince words speaking with Investor's Business Daily:
Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we'd tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It's become stifling.
If you're a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.
[Obama has] never really worked a day outside the political or legal area. 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 busi nessman 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.
Meanwhile, IBD tallies the magnates, including billionaire Steve Wynn and non-founder CEOs, who are blasting Obama's economy.
Wynn has been a staunch supporter of the Obama administration from the beginning and still considers himself a Democrat. But even more remarkable, it's been out of character for CEOs such as Wynn to express their views in such blunt terms on political matters.
"A lot of people don't want to say that," he said. "They'll say, 'Oh God, don't be attacking Obama.' Well, this is Obama's deal, and it's Obama that's responsible for this fear in America," said Wynn. "The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution, and maybe 'we ought to do something to businesses that don't invest or (are) holding too much money.' We haven't heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists."
Business is being hammered, he said. "And I'm telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the president of the United States."
Others speaking out include:
- 3M's George Buckley, who blasted Obama last February as anti-business. "We know what his instincts are," Buckley said. "We've got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada or Mexico - which tends to be more pro-business - and America," he told the Financial Times.
- Boeing's Jim McNerney, who in the Wall Street Journal last May called Obama's handpicked National Labor Relations Board's suit against his company a "fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America's competitiveness since it became the world's largest economy nearly 140 years ago."
- Intel's Paul Otellini, who told CNET last August that the U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business that there is likely to be "an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we're seeing today in Europe - this is the bitter truth."
There are others. read the whole thing.