The Obama Economy
National unemployment rates remain stubbornly near 10 percent. The federal government is 14.74 trillion dollars in debt. Barack Obama continues to tout further stimulus to the economy via the “American Jobs Act.” Many Americans are baffled as to how 2.7 million jobs have been lost during his tenure. The Census Bureau just released their findings that 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty. These are record numbers. Obama recently delivered a speech explaining how “a run of bad luck” is responsible for sending the economy back into the doldrums. The Arab Spring, the Japanese tsunami and the European debt crisis are all events that “we could not control” that have hindered our economy after “we had reversed a recession.” The good thing about this admission is that Obama is no longer holding George Bush responsible for the current economy. But it’s not Obama’s fault either? Not so fast.
There are countless examples of hostile actions that the Obama administration has taken towards business in America. In early September, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) filed seventeen lawsuits against large American banks; including JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America. Alas, the banks must spend most of their assets fighting lawsuits and instituting changes to comply with new regulations. Bank of America is now pursuing a cost-reduction strategy in which they are going to fire somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 American workers. Nice job, Obama. The hostilities are not limited to giant corporate banks. Countless average American companies have been crippled by ludicrous government intervention. Gibson Guitar Corporation has been operating since the late 1800’s. They started as a tiny company that made guitars by hand in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Over the decades, they have expanded and hired thousands of American workers. But now – well – they are in trouble. Though the CEO of Gibson has been totally transparent in his mission to satisfy the DOJ’s requests, Gibson is being sued for violating “The Lacey Act” by purchasing a certain type of wood from Madagascar.
Gibson did not violate any U.S. laws, but, according to the DOJ, they did violate Madagascan law and must be held accountable via the Lacey Act. Madagascan officials disagree. They just want to do business with Gibson. Amazingly, the U.S. government is blocking this partnership. The FBI has twice sent armed brigades into the Gibson factory to seize guitars as evidence; thus halting business and sending workers home.
Speculation exists that because Gibson donated heavily to the McCain campaign in 2008, the Obama administration is harassing the company to make a political statement. In any event, this is but one outrageous example of the Obama administration’s puerile actions towards a totally legitimate business. The Department of Justice has recently sued AT&T to block their acquisition of T-Mobile, even though the telecom giant vowed to hire thousands of workers if the DOJ allowed the merger. When Diamond Offshore Corporation’s equipment failed and an oil leak spilled into the Gulf of Mexico last summer, the DOJ sued BP for 40 billion dollars. While Obama claimed the spill would destroy the Gulf economy, the cleanup was handled rapidly and effectively, and the coastal areas have recovered fully. Unfortunately, the moratorium that Obama himself placed on offshore drilling has eradicated tens of thousands of jobs and destroyed a huge supply of oil. The price of gas at the pump is higher as a result. But it doesn’t stop there.
The Obama DOJ sued Visa, Mastercard and American Express last year as well. Obama decided he wanted to limit the amount these companies could charge for “swipe fees.” This has cost these companies millions of dollars and prevented them from hiring thousands of workers.
Obama’s DOJ sued Google Incorporated for five-hundred million dollars for advertising prescription drugs without permission.
Boeing, the world’s largest airplane manufacturer, wishes to build a new plant in South Carolina and hire tens of thousands of new workers. The Obama DOJ is suing Boeing to block them from building the plant because SC is a non-union state. It would be easy to list dozens of other casualties of the assault on American business that President Obama has launched since his inauguration.
Obamacare itself is a massive new expense for small businesses. Small business owners would like to provide healthcare for all their employees but many simply cannot afford to do so. Because of new mandates, premiums will increase. Now, these entrepreneurs will be faced with two options. They must pay the higher premiums for all their employees, or face fines for failing to do so. The choice is impossible for many small business owners. Many of these job creators will take the only feasible alternative. They will shut their doors and close their businesses. It is difficult to see the full impact of Obamacare now, as the law was created to take effect after the next Presidential election. But economists and small business owners across the country will tell you what they foresee. Millions of jobs will vanish.
Other job-killing regulatory burdens have been mandated by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Obama himself has said that “under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket… if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant; they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” The EPA is on a mission to raise the cost of energy so that the citizenry will be mobilized towards accepting alternative energy. It is no small wonder, then, that gas prices have tripled since Obama was inaugurated. The Obama EPA has also instituted outrageous MACT standards which have eradicated thousands of jobs. They have adopted new storm water total max daily load standards that are negatively impacting businesses. The EPA has even mandated the elimination of the Edison incandescent light bulb.
The Edison bulbs are made in America. By 2014, they will be illegal to use. We will be forced to use new “compact fluorescent” (CFL) bulbs. You know; the pretty swirly ones that cost $50 – but are so great for the environment?
Unbelievably, it is illegal to make CFL bulbs in the U.S. This is because they are filled with toxic levels of mercury. Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost to China – the only country crazy enough to make the dangerous and impractical bulbs. By the way; if you happen to drop the new CFL bulbs, the EPA mandates that the entire building in which the bulb burst must be evacuated and a person must use rubber gloves and a hazmat bag to collect the particles. One must not use a broom to sweep the contents do to potential cross-contamination. Instead, the EPA mandates that duct tape be used to pick up the pieces that must then be placed in the hazmat bag.
Clearly, the Obama EPA is no friend to business either. The Obama administration’s ideological zeal is squeezing the life out of American business. If, in 2012, the federal government asks Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson CEO, why his business is failing or why the American economy is flailing aimlessly, he may yet respond with a question: who is John Galt?