‘Invest Now, You Scoundrels,’ He Shouted with Populist Fervor

By September 9, 2010Economy, Taxation, Trade

From The Wall Street Journal, an editorial, “Caricature in Cleveland: You can’t restore business confidence by bashing business,” reacting to the President’s speech in Parma, Ohio, on Wednesday.

“Cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires. Cut regulations for special interests. Cut trade deals even if they didn’t benefit our workers. Cut back on investments in our people and our future—in education and clean energy; in research and technology. The idea was that if we had blind faith in the market; if we let corporations play by their own rules; if we left everyone else to fend for themselves, America would grow and prosper.”

Has Bob Shrum, John Kerry’s political wizard, joined the White House speech-writing shop? The caricature is so over-the-top that it’s hard to imagine anyone writing it without laughing. For starters, President Bush added new regulations like Topsy and spent huge new sums on education, ethanol and other energy fashions. And, by the way, Mr. Obama recently said he wants to pass more or less the same trade deals that Mr. Bush negotiated.

More important for Mr. Obama’s own hopes for the economy, how does he think entrepreneurs and CEOs react to this sort of broadside? Does he believe it makes them more likely to invest, take more risks or hire new workers? Will they assume Washington will now be less destructive?

And as the Journal concludes, “[You] can’t restore business confidence by bashing business, and you can’t revive capital investment by assaulting capitalists.”

Leave a Reply