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No, I'm not talking about Obama's pre-Super Bowl interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News. I'm talking about Obama's speech before the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce on monday. The liberal and publicly-financed NPR billed it as 'Obama Faces The Opposition In Speech To Chamber Of Commerce'. NPR points out that the Chamber Of Commerce spent $50 million to help Republicans win elections last november (and now you know why liberals were so upset about the Citizens United ruling, which upheld political free speech in this country. Liberals don't want groups opposed to the liberal agenda to have free speech. Liberals only support the U.S. Constitution when it helps liberals. The rest of the time they consider it an irrelevant and musty old document that only radical wingnuts embrace).
Let's stop for a minute and ask ourselves...what does it say about a U.S. President when the Chamber Of Commerce, who represents U.S. business interests, is considered the "opposition" to said President ? What would such a President be opposed to - jobs, wealth, economic growth, or what ? (Note to liberals - businesses create jobs and wealth, not the government). President Obama has learned what happens when a President is considered anti-business. Over 80% of the candidates endorsed by the Chamber Of Commerce over the last several elections have won.
Here's a short list of why this President is considered anti-business: ObamaCare's burden on businesses, Cap And Trade, excessive regulations, record debt, record deficits, exploding federal spending, Federal Reserve policies weakening the dollar, the vilification of U.S. corporations, the clampdown on oil exploration, the highest corporate tax rates in the world (not Obama's doing, but he should correct it, as every other country has), the autonomous role of the EPA to dictate policy without the approval of either Congress or the Executive branch, the absence until recently of businessmen advising the White House, capping pay for CEO's, increasing big government control over and interference into the business sector, the government picking winners and losers in business,...
Now, after an election drubbing, Obama wants to change his anti-business image, so he went to the Chamber Of Commerce and gave a speech in order that he and the business sector can kiss and make up. Here is the transcript, via the Huffington Post. Here is the "new" Obama:
I'm here today because I'm convinced we can and must work together. Whatever differences we may have, I know that all of us share a deep belief in this country, our people, and the principles that have made America's economy the envy of the world.
America's success didn't happen by accident. It happened because of the freedom that has allowed good ideas to flourish, and capitalism to thrive. It happened because of the conviction that in this country, hard work should be rewarded; that opportunity should be there for anyone willing to reach for it. And it happened because at every juncture in history, we came together as one nation and did what was necessary to win the future.
We still have, by far, the world's largest and most vibrant economy. We have the most productive workers, the finest universities and the freest markets. The men and women in this room are living testimony that American industry is still the source of the most dynamic companies, and the most ingenious entrepreneurs.
I hate to nitpick, but we actually DON'T have the freest markets these days. The United States is ranked as the 8th freest economy. The freest markets are in places like Hong Kong and Singapore. Even Canada is more free than us. We have become less free as a result of Obama's presidency.
Still, I welcome Obama's change in attitude. He sounds more like JFK or Reagan here than some braindead left-wing ideologue. Our prez even recognized the truth about globalism:
But we also know that with the march of technology over the last few decades, the competition for jobs and businesses has grown fierce. The globalization of our economy means that businesses can now open up shop, employ workers and produce their goods wherever there is internet connection...And the truth is, as countries like China and India grow and develop larger middle classes, it's profitable for global companies to aggressively pursue these markets and, at times, to set up facilities in these countries.
These forces are as unstoppable as they are powerful. But combined with a brutal and devastating recession, they have also shaken the faith of the American people - in the institutions of business and government. They see a widening chasm of wealth and opportunity in this country, and they wonder if the American Dream is slipping away.
I'm impressed. A Democrat actually understanding reality. That's new.
And then Obama went full out pro-business (another word for 'smart'):
We know what it will take for America to win the future. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors. We need an economy that's based not on what we consume and borrow from other nations, but what we make and sell around the world. We need to make America the best place on earth to do business.
And this is a job for all of us. As a government, we will help lay the foundation for you to grow and innovate. We will upgrade our transportation and communications networks so you can move goods and information more quickly and cheaply. We will invest in education so that you can hire the most skilled, talented workers in the world. And we'll knock down barriers that make it harder for you to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system.
By "upgrading our transportation network" the President means high speed rail, but again, I don't want to nitpick too much. That "invest in education" line is also a bit troubling, in that it sounds like he's saying we need to throw a ton more money at our education system, which is already the best-funded education system in the world. The problem with our education system is actually NOT money. It's attitude.
But still, I'm onboard in spirit with the above words of our President. Maybe he really has been reading old Reagan speeches, though Obama still uses that word "invest" an awful lot. The word "invest" is a euphemism for "spend", and Obama proposed a whole lot more spending that he did in spending cuts, so I'm not sure how he's really moving the ball forward. We are still on a high speed rail to national bankruptcy by embracing a borrowing mindset. The borrowing mindset leaves us living on borrowed time, and that time is running out. Obama proposed cutting spending by an almost superfluous $80 billion per year over the next five years. Big whoop. That changes nothing. He didn't even embrace his own deficit commission's report for reducing the deficit. That makes me wonder if his words carry any weight, or whether they are just the words of a tactical politician looking to position himself for re-election. Obama also talked about reducing regulations, after he spent his first two years dramatically increasing regulations. This also puts Obama in the "just words" category. He even warned against the dangers of "too little government" in his speech. Too little government ? That's like warning a 400 lb. man against the dangers of eating too little food. That's NOT the problem. We have a big government on steroids like never before in our history. THAT'S the problem.
In spite of this "new" Obama, I'm still worried that he sees the government's role as directing industry in this country. Obama calls that a "partnership", but it's really not. The government makes the rules, and is therefore not so much a partner as it is a dictator, and that leaves us with not so much of a free market as it does with a state-controlled market. That might work for China....but who wants to be China ? Not me. I'll take my chances with being free.