What do business leaders really want?

WASHINGTON — Since capitalism is the nation’s official religion, President Obama must bow before business executives, who don’t believe he has been sufficiently fawning. It wasn’t enough for Obama to expend taxpayer funds, as his predecessor did, to save capitalism.

The president has had the effrontery to point out that free markets need sensible regulations to protect consumers from poisoned food, lead-laced toys and a reckless Wall Street — a position that has angered many among the mogul class. So, even with a roaring stock market and soaring corporate profits, Obama has been obliged to launch a charm offensive to re-assure the business executives that he’s no socialist.

This may be heresy, but here it is: The interests of Big Business and the needs of regular working Americans don’t always coincide. As just one example, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, newly appointed as the White House jobs czar, heads a company which relies increasingly on foreign markets for its profits and its workforce. Since Immelt took over in 2001, GE has shed tens of thousands of jobs here while adding tens of thousands abroad.

That trend is likely to continue, not just at GE but also at thousands of other U.S. companies as their managers find they can manufacture more cheaply abroad. They can also outsource accounting, engineering and technical support services, among others.

That’s why Obama emphasized “our generation’s Sputnik moment” in his State of the Union speech. He laid out a plan to rebuild our economic foundation with targeted spending in such areas as modernizing our infrastructure — everything from ancient sewerage to dangerous bridges to aging electric grids. “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world,” he said.

His call for new spending on research, education and infrastructure ought to make him the new poster child for business-friendly politics. For years, business executives have called for better public schools and more spending on highways, bridges and rail.

But Obama’s initiative also brings the backroom politics of the business lobby under scrutiny. Newer bridges and better schools may be a priority, but those issues are not as dear as keeping taxes low and keeping government regulations off the books. Emasculating the Environmental Protection Agency is more important than beating the Chinese at high-speed rail and solar panels. That’s why the business lobby spent millions last year to elect Republicans who would fight anything Obama proposed — infrastructure spending included.

That’s a bit awkward for Georgia’s business and political leaders, who have campaigned long and hard for $105 million in federal funds to deepen Savannah’s port. Now that the House has been taken over by no-new-spending, earmark-hating Republicans, where will the money come from?

“I just think it’s about priorities,” said Georgia Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Clark. “We’re not going to Washington asking for more money, more taxes. . . The president said we’ve got to be about jobs, and this project will produce jobs all over the Southeast.”

Georgia may get the money — with help from a well-connected Democrat. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has gone to the White House to to promote the Savannah port. (The process would have been easier if Republicans had not campaigned against earmarks, which would have allowed local Congressmen or Senators to quietly tuck the money into the budget.)

But the Savannah ports expansion will have to survive a starve-the-beast attitude toward government endorsed by the very politicians who are most favored by the business lobby. Bashing the government may keep taxes low, but it doesn’t lay a foundation for longterm economic growth.

143 comments Add your comment

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
5:53 pm

Kammy

Internet tough.

Gotta love it.

LOL!!

Nothing Is Free

January 28th, 2011
5:59 pm

Kammy, Keep up

You girls have fun tonight. Be sure to stop by Jay’s music night. Hey maybe you can cyber dance reeeeal slow and close. it’s the closest either one of you will get to having another human touching you.

I’ll back to the house early so I’ll check in and make sure you are not threatening other posters like you usually do.

You girls have fun. No tongues!!!

Keep up the good fight!

January 28th, 2011
6:03 pm

Nonsense is Free, child. Reading is fundamental. I did not make any such accusation. I asked why you did not deny that you did not rape or kill as your role model Beck suggests. Still have not seen the denials but I know that parody is one of those things that takes intelligent thinkers — so its clearly been lost on you.

Now go away or I shall taunt you another time

retired early

January 28th, 2011
6:03 pm

nothing is free

Capitalism….so foreign companies shipping their goods manufactured abroad should be exempt from a ‘use tax’ because they promote ‘jobs’ in this country…actually our trade imbalance suggest just the opposite…if you want to exempt domestic companies…shipping American made goods abroad, fine. But these foreign companies should never have been given that exemption.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 28th, 2011
6:06 pm

When the socialists at the AJC don’t like the reality of the news, they don’t report, instead they spin it up into a big fat lie-

Your real headline

Neil Abercrombie Admits No obozo Birth Records In Hawaii

The Urinal alternate universe storyline

Bill proposes $100 fee for Obama birth record -Urinal

Yeah, just as soon as they “find” it.

Notice how they call it “record” and not certificate?

Keep up the good fight!

January 28th, 2011
6:10 pm

Retired early….the users of 400 pay a toll for the roadway but the users of the port do not. You are right. There are some definite issues in the underlying theories.

Kamchak

January 28th, 2011
6:16 pm

Get Real

January 28th, 2011
6:24 pm

“Since capitalism is the nation’s official religion, President Obama must bow before business executives, who don’t believe he has been sufficiently fawning”

Good Lord….what dribble.

BTW, ObamaCare waivers are now over 700 and counting…

Keep it up CT until their heads explode

January 28th, 2011
6:28 pm

markie mark@5:33 pm

It does make complete sense for companies like Caterpiller to have factories closer to their sales.
It also makes sense to tax those products in the country made/sold.

By the same token it makes sense to raise the tariffs on goods imported into the US from countries using unfair trade practices.

kayaker 71

January 28th, 2011
6:37 pm

What do business leaders want? To be left alone.

F. Sinkwich

January 28th, 2011
6:58 pm

What do business leaders want?

Cheap energy, of which we have an abundance.

No Marxists in the White House implementing job-killing regulations.

No Obamacare.

Repeal of the dumb-ass financial regulations bill.

The death of Freddie and Fannie.

A federal government that cares more about jobs than windmills.

That’s just for starters.

Soames

January 28th, 2011
7:55 pm

First I would like to point out that most States do not have ‘matching funds’ so they haven’t been able to take advantage of some of the stimulus package. Secondly, the first stimulus did not portion enough of that money to infrastructure spending. Google how much China spent on infrastructure last year…crazy huh? The President is repeating a lot of the things he said two years ago….

Regarding multinational corporations: some people are kicking around the idea of allowing multinationals to expatriate their profits back to the US tax free since it had already been taxed once. The money that comes back would go into infrastructure bonds that the government could use to repair our crumbling infrastructure. Over time the companies would be allowed to draw that money back avter the economy has recovered and the government has recouped that cash in tax revenue. This is similar to the war bonds of another era.

Our trade imbalance needs to be addressed and I’m not supporting any politician (regardless of political affiliation) that puts the interest of multinational corporations in front of the People. Just call me a special interest spectator at this point.

now back to your partisan bickering……

Soames

January 28th, 2011
7:57 pm

Currency manipulators need to be taxed accordingly. Play by the WTO rules that were agreed to…and how about some reciprocity for a change rather than a big pay-for-play scheme (China of course).

Drifter

January 28th, 2011
8:01 pm

Business leaders aren’t any different from your average citizen. They want tax cuts while feeding from the government trough at every opportunity.

midtownguy

January 28th, 2011
8:07 pm

What you need is “excessive government spending” what I need is “an essential public expenditure.”

Dick Hertz

January 28th, 2011
8:07 pm

Golly conservatives are barking at themselves in the mirror dumb, aren’t they?
Just figuring out that the GOP is crooked and butch-talking but closeted country club CCC types? Democrats work for the same boss but aren’t mean about it unless they have to be? And the Tea Party is owned by the same people who pay the GOP. Who are they ? Big business and inherited money aristocrats who can afford to buy political favors from politicians we elect. The same people who give you all your opinions.

Soames

January 28th, 2011
8:15 pm

Mr Hertz,

I believe Unions buy a lot of Democratic seats every election cycle…just saying. I believe there are some ex-Goldman employees on the staff in the White House as well.

Politics is politics and until there are public funded elections, you’re not going to see any changes to the politics as usual.

bxnyc

January 28th, 2011
8:51 pm

I read this blog as often as time allows and I’m always struck by the daily rightwing posters who always attack Ms. Tucker with innuendos plattitudes and downright bigotry. Obviously you believe that the region of the country you live in insulates you. This lady has you all wrapped into small packages, Obviously you dont get it that your small mindedness on the internet is not limited to your insular southern (Ga.) community. Not only does the rest of the country read your shallow comments but so does the rest of the world. Believing in american exceptionalisim is the same thing as saying the rest of the world doesn’t exist.You have been fooled by rightwing pundits(I wont dignify them by name)as well as politicans who only want your vote as well as your hate/dislike(pick your poison one and the same) of the current president and your fear of the changing demographics & dynamics in the country. You’re fighting a losing battle simply because the twentysomethings dont buy your BS. I fully expect vitriolic responses which will only confirm my assessment. Oh,by the way, please dont use the warmed over attempts at racial superiority, its already been overdone. Have a good night.

JKL2

January 28th, 2011
8:56 pm

SIEG HEIL OBAMA. All hail the messiah. Bow before your Savior. Sieg Heil.

Is that better CT?

Lil' Barry Bailout

January 28th, 2011
9:06 pm

How can all these problems have occurred at the same time that the government has gotten bigger, more intrusive, and more expensive?

Oops, I guess I just answered my own question.

Government is the problem.

Scout

January 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

F. Sinkwich @ 6:58

Amen !!

Scout

January 28th, 2011
9:21 pm

Ah ……………………..Obama says Egypt “should have a government that is “transparent” and doesn’t “steal from the people.”

Don’t do as I do, do as I say !

Tech Man

January 28th, 2011
9:23 pm

willie lynch

January 28th, 2011
9:33 pm

Scout, do you remember Bush and Cheney refusing to testify before the 9/11 commission seperately? I guess “do as I say” is American policy.

Mongo

January 28th, 2011
10:38 pm

Ahh the fascist/corporatists are out tonight looking for more handouts of course.
They don’t think that the businesses and the people that benefit from a deeper seaport should have to pay for it. What freeloaders.

Why should they pay for their own things when they can be handed to them like everything else in their lives? Most of these fascist trust fund babies think they should get their inheritance tax free because they worked sooo hard for it.

It’s really well past time we had another revolution. It’s fascist season.

Alatsea

January 28th, 2011
10:59 pm

The s h i t is hitting the fan for you morons. Kammy they want you to carry the flag

Scout

January 28th, 2011
11:15 pm

willie lynch :

Nope …….. and that ain’t right either. I call ‘em like I see ‘em.

But this is now ………. and just because one did before doesn’t allow the next one a free pass.

This is not like overtime in college football where each side gets a chance.

JKL2

January 28th, 2011
11:24 pm

Nothing is Free- He’s special, don’t-cha-know!!

Just don’t mention the ears because then he’ll start to cry.

JKL2

January 28th, 2011
11:39 pm

bxnyc- Believing in american exceptionalisim is the same thing as saying the rest of the world doesn’t exist

You’re right. We suck. I think we should all move back in with our parents to show what losers we really are. Mexico is going to have to build a really big fence to keep all of us from stampeding into their obviously superior country. I have a good curveball. Do you think Fidel might be able to find some room for me?

Vinny

January 29th, 2011
12:19 am

Cynthia,

As usual, you haven’t a clue as to what you are talking about.

obamalinsky

January 29th, 2011
12:40 am

The interests of government and the needs of regular working Americans don’t always coincide.

obamalinsky

January 29th, 2011
12:42 am

The interests of progressives and reality don’t always coincide.

obamalinsky

January 29th, 2011
12:46 am

mongo: What is a fascist/corporatist?

Someone with a job perhaps?

God Bless Capitalism!

Zoey

January 29th, 2011
7:22 am

Tangled, angry nonsense has become the norm for Tucker. Her favorite attacks are hateful, hypocrite racist. Do you suppose she owns a mirror?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 29th, 2011
7:32 am

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama ridiculed lingering opposition to his 10-month-old health care law Friday and vowed to oppose efforts to repeal it, underscoring his commitment to his signature legislative achievement despite the new reality of a divided Congress. -Urinal

Blah, blah, blah.

The only thing “lingering” is this lame duck Kenyan National that the dummycrats elected to the US presidency, but don’t fret, we’ll get this economic terrorist outta there soon enough.

Just sayin…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 29th, 2011
7:42 am

California state Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat from San Francisco, is leading a fight in demanding an apology from the radio talk show host for what he and others view as racist and derogatory remarks against the Chinese people. -Urinal

Blah, blah, blah.

Google this- Richard Pryor – Chinese Stutter Youtube

You whiny liberals are soooooo lame.

jconservative

January 29th, 2011
8:09 am

The Deficit.

A Republican study group came up with a plan to reduce spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

The Concord Coalition pointed out to them that those spending cuts would pay for the extension of the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts just about to the penny. Resulting in a zero change in the deficit over the next ten years.

So the study group is now working on a new plan as they want to extend the tax cuts indefinitely.

The point is everyone thinks reducing spending and reducing taxes at the same time is a piece of cake. The truth is that it is damn near impossible.

The December deal extending the tax cuts for 2 years reduces revenue $850 billion over the 2 year period. That adds about $400 billion to the deficit each year.

The FY 2009 deficit, Bush’s last, was $1.4 trillion. The FY 2010 deficit was $1.3 trillion. After the tax cut deal the projected FY 2011 deficit is up to $1.5 trillion as you learned a couple of days ago.

We will need to cut $200 billion from FY 2011 spending (and FY 2011 is already 4 months old) just to keep the deficit at the 2010 level.

Republicans were talking about a spending reduction of $100 billion for FY 2011. Now they have dropped the figure to $50 billion. A drop in the proverbial bucket.

It seems no one wants to cut spending. But maybe a challenge to congress is on the way. Rand Paul this past week introduced a bill to cut spending $500 billion in one year. Maybe this will force some action by both Democrats and Republicans.

Nunchuckka

January 29th, 2011
8:18 am

BL want cheap labor, foreign mineral rights and the US government to start more unjustified wars.

Eric

January 29th, 2011
8:18 am

You’re right, Ms. Tucker. Capitalism is the true American religion. However, I don’t with Obama that we have to outpace the rest of the world. That’s akin to the obsession with being #1 on school standardized test scores. What we need is a healthy does of protectionism for our citizens. If the constitution and role of our government is to protect American citizens, how are jobs going overseas doing that? No one anywhere has answered that question! We are expected to stay competitive. If we were, then what?

DeborahinAthens

January 29th, 2011
8:32 am

@markie mark: By your reasoning, then, all this crap we buy in our stores that comes from China (and it ALL comes from China) means that the Chinese should be building factories here in the US like crazy. You don’t know your A** from your Elbow. GE, Caterpiller, etc build factories in China because the Chinese will work for less than the equivalent of $10 a day. But their health care is paid for by the government. Their college education is paid for by the government. In this country a factory worker might make $12-14 an HOUR, and the company pays part of his or her health insurance (the rest comes out of the worker’s salary). Bottom line, baby, bottom line. To remain competitive, the salaries in China will have to come up or the salaries in the US have to come down. By the way, the corporate tax rate isn’t that big a deal. Workers’ salaries comprise the biggest piece of a corporation’s expenses.

Moronorium Personified

January 29th, 2011
8:40 am

It astounds me that people think they can summarize our leverage in terms that would only fit a lemonade stand or a Ronco QVC ad.

Then they delude themselves into thinking that anyone reads their tripe-wipe, which nobody does, because all of us are so sick of troll-wipes that I know I have gathered an army of supporters to unite against the troll-coddling nincompoop from hell: Jay Bookman.

Don’t read his stupid troll-infested blog. Just don’t. It will turn you into a moron, and then the world will suffer, (from accidentally reading your Bookman-influenced sophmoric opinion) Everything you need to keep current is right here with Tucker. She’s got the inside story and that’s why she writes with incisive insight about the outlandish outsourcing that’s ruining the American dream.

U C, the world has an American dream, and like the triad of attributes we ascribe to nature, (momentum, position, and spin) , it’s both a nightmare, a wet dream, and a heavenly vision of sheep jumping over a fence in a meadow with baby bunnies chasing butterflies through a burbling brook.

If Egypt goes full jihad and stunts our growth with exorbitant oil prices, and China puts one of it’s aircraft carriers within range of an Islamist terror strike, then the perfect storm of tragic coincidences could ignite a nookyoolar holocaust.

And then we will be both a dream and a visceral virtuality, (and a lame 3D movie).

We have to ban Bookman’s blog now.

If not, we’re finished.

DannyX

January 29th, 2011
9:15 am

How about Georgia Republicans use their own formula for the port project.

First of all, privatize the Ports Authority, contract a private company to run it, I hear Sonny Perdue is available.

Then expand the port. First you get Georgia Power to initiate a special fund, only on residential users, to fund the expansion. No use having investors waste any of their money with actual investing. The Georgia Power model is terrific.

Then when it comes time to build, they should put in 2 shipping lanes. One lane is for regular ol’ shipping. The second shipping lane will be the “Lexus Lane.” When the regular lane gets backed up with traffic all you have to do is pay extra, a lot extra, and sail on past the others using the new “Lexus Lane.”

If its a good enough business model for us regular folk here in Atlanta it should be good enough for business, right?

Georgia Republicans, why on earth would you go begging for money?

Willie

January 29th, 2011
9:48 am

Every write on the editorial website writes about serious, substantial issues except Tucker. Might her time have passed? She just does not seem to be up to the rigor of anythig more than partisan bickering and personal invective.

Jack

January 29th, 2011
9:53 am

Having made their collective bed, liberals find lying in it is uncomfortable. Maybe they should become moguls.

DannyX

January 29th, 2011
10:07 am

“Maybe they should become moguls.”

Lol. Here you are on a website owned by one of the richest liberals in the world. You are actually in a collective bed with a Cox.

Happy posting.

guy

January 29th, 2011
10:26 am

Argue all we want and nothing changes.(will get much worse) Look at what’s happening in Egypt now and be ready for what will happen here before you know it.When people get hungry and broke see what happens!!!

Kamchak

January 29th, 2011
10:34 am

We have to ban Bookman’s blog now.

Who specifically has got your goat?

Scout

January 29th, 2011
10:48 am

Headline: “U.S. Consular Worker May Face Murder Charges for Killing Pakistan Gunmen”

“Under Pakistani law one can only act in self-defense if attacked first. Merely being approached by someone wielding a gun is insufficient cause under law for the victim to pull the trigger. Also, when firing in self-defense it is only admissible to aim at non-life threatening parts of the assailant’s body, such as arms or legs.”

Well, there you go.

(Note: Islamic terrorists in Pakistan are exempted from the above provisions per the Koran.)

Moronorium Personified

January 29th, 2011
10:55 am

Bookman’s blog isn’t so much “gotcha” as it is “goatcheese”, okay? He’s a no good, self-aggrandizing, delusional sociopath who comes across as a heel, a bully, and a hillbilly. He coddles trolls, man. No, I won’t forgive and forget a troll coddler. It’s simply too much to ask.

And you know it. We all hate troll coddlers, of course, but I have a particularly tuff time with them. It keeps me up at night.

That’s why I comment so fruitfully here on the Tucker blog, so that readers will join me and abandon Bookman and his trove of invective trolls.

Aw, I don’t wanna talk about it.

Really last word

January 29th, 2011
10:55 am

CT must have stayed up a long, long time to compose this opinion as it has no cut and paste included in it.