Businesses Not Fooled by Obama's Overtures

Friday, 11 Feb 2011 10:06 AM

By Andrea Tantaros

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Imagine that you're running a company that has felt the economic pain of the last two years, but that you're finally being rewarded for your patience and planning with slightly brightening prospects. Now imagine that the president of the United States just said he's coming after you and your profits.

In a speech this week to the pro-business Chamber of Commerce, that's exactly what President Obama did, making the new narrative that Obama has found his inner Gordon Gekko more wishful Washington storytelling than reality. He may have brought on the likes of William Daley and Jeffrey Immelt, but the president himself is as averse to business as ever.

He promised the chamber that he would work to be "more neighborly" to the business community, and urged it to "get in the game." But businesses aren't going to get into a game they think they're going to lose. Although he paid lip service to investment in new programs (translation: more public spending), in the end Obama reverted to his fundamental, left-leaning beliefs: "If we're fighting to reform the tax code and increase exports, the benefits cannot just translate into greater profits and bonuses for those at the top. They have to be shared by American workers, who need to know that opening markets will lift their standard of living as well as your bottom line."

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