7 Business Screw-Ups From America’s Super CEO-And-Chief Barack Obama
I have developed the 7-11 challenge: I will quit making fun of, for example, Dennis Kucinich, if he can prove he can run a 7-11 properly for 8 hours. We’ll even let him have an hour or so of preparation before we open up. Within 8 hours, the money will be gone, the store will be empty, and he’ll be explaining how three 11-year olds came in and asked for the money and he gave it to them. — Ann Coulter
One of the biggest problems with many of the politicians in D.C. is that they have come to believe that because they’ve had a little success in their lives, they’re smarter than everyone else and can run people’s businesses better than they can do it themselves.
In actuality, even if they were smarter than most other people, which isn’t true just because their sycophantic aides tell them it is, experience usually trumps brilliance. In other words, a politician like Barack Obama who has never run a business, is making and breaking companies from Washington with bail-outs, laws, and regulations, despite the fact that he has very little idea of what the real world impact of his actions will be.
Meanwhile, people are wondering why corporations are hunkering down, hoarding cash, and refusing to hire people right now. The biggest reason for it is sitting in the Oval Office. At any moment, Obamacare may have some unknown complication, a government agency may implement some incredibly costly new regulation, the White House may go after them to help a connected Democrat donor, or Obama may impose a new tax in the name of “fairness.”
Here are just a few examples that show you how little Barack Obama really knows about business.
General Motors: Democrats hail GM as a wonderful success story that shows how well the government and private industry can work hand-in-hand to save jobs! The cost of that “wonderful success story?” Roughly 13 billion dollars in taxpayer money and a 45 billion tax break. That’s supposed to be a victory? Gee, what was it that King Pyrrhus of Epirus once said after a “victory” like that over the Romans? Oh, yes, “Another such victory and I come back to Epirus alone.” But no worries, as long as we can keep borrowing more money from the Chinese for your children to pay the bills, Obama’s fatcat corporate pals will never have to go it alone.
Solyndra: Those “green jobs” Obama talks about incessantly have really worked out well, haven’t they? Just look at Solyndra. It received 535 million dollars of your money via stimulus loans and now? Solyndra just laid off 1100 workers and went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hmmm, maybe there was a REASON that it had to get that huge loan from the government instead of investors beyond, “Capitalists are big meanies!”
Health Care Follies at AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel, 3M and McDonald’s: When Obama tried — and failed — to sell health care reform to the public, he was promising everything to everybody. Among the many, many false promises that were made was that the bill would reduce health care costs and that people could keep their current health care if they wanted it. Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, Obama was either lying or had no idea what he was talking about because health care costs are going to explode under the law and numerous companies are considering dropping their coverage when the law comes into force.
On Thursday and Friday AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M announced publicly that a tax provision in the new health care law will make it far more expensive to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees.
McDonald’s Corp. has warned federal regulators that it could drop its health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 hourly restaurant workers unless regulators waive a new requirement of the U.S. health overhaul.
Thirty percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering health benefits to their employees once the main provisions of President Obama’s federal health care law go into effect in 2014, a new survey finds. The research published in the McKinsey Quarterly found that the number rises to 50 percent among employers who are highly aware of the health care law.
Is Obama a Machiavellian schemer who’s trying to create this result or an incompetent blockhead who has no idea what he’s doing? Whichever the case may be, the end result is the same: An unkept promise and people who will be forced off healthcare plans that they were already happy with because of the government.
Johnson Controls, Inc.: Under Obama massive amounts of government money have flowed to well connected or politically correct green industries with little emphasis on results. For example, 300 million dollars of your money was given to Johnson Controls, Inc. as part of a stimulus grant so it could make high-tech batteries. So, how many “jobs, jobs, jobs” were created with all of those tax dollars? Only 150 so far, which comes out to a mere 2 million dollars per job created.
Evergreen Solar, Inc.: Not only did Evergreen Solar receive stimulus cash, it received tax dollars from the state of Massachusetts. So how well was your money spent?
Last week, the Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy, after laying off 800 workers in March. Now, they are slated to dump another 65 workers by closing a plant in Michigan. This, after receiving an undisclosed amount of stimulus cash, in addition to $58 million in state aid.
Gibson Guitars: It was raided — again — for the terrible sin of supposedly buying illegally harvested wood from another country. Of course, Gibson has noted that the wood was received from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and one has to wonder if that has more to do with the fact that Gibson’s CEO contributes to Republicans while one of its biggest competitors, C.F. Martin & Company, has a CEO who contributes to Democrats. Incidentally, don’t worry too much about Gibson Guitars because the DOJ has come up with a solution: They should fire their American workers and hire people in Madagascar to do the same work.
Boeing: Unions dramatically drive up costs, make it more difficult to fire political workers, are more likely to strike and have been responsible for decimating whole industries in the United States. Naturally, no company ever WANTS to work with a union if it doesn’t have to do it. Unfortunately for Boeing, unions are too important to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign; so he’s stacked the National Labor Relations Board with union puppets who, for the first time in the history of the United States, refused to allow Boeing to open a plant in South Carolina because the plant would use non-union labor.
Deep into the recent recession, Boeing decided to invest more than $1 billion in a new factory in South Carolina. Surging global demand for our innovative, new 787 Dreamliner exceeded what we could build on one production line and we needed to open another.
…[T]he National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) believes it was a mistake and that our actions were unlawful. It claims we improperly transferred existing work, and that our decision reflected “animus” and constituted “retaliation” against union-represented employees in Washington state. Its remedy: Reverse course, Boeing, and build the assembly line where we tell you to build it.
This is the eternal dilemma of the American businessman: At any point some politician, bureaucratic toady, or left-wing judge may come up with some haywire interpretation of a law or regulation and throw sand in the gears. No amount of preparation can really fix the problem because our regulatory schemes have become such vast Byzantine tangles of red tape that everyone is essentially breaking some law or another during every waking moment of the day.
My latest Townhall column is called, The 20 Best Quotes From Jonah Goldberg. Here’s an excerpt from the column. 20)
“Those among us who are constantly rhapsodizing about ‘change’ in vague and general terms seem to have no fear that
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