The Democrats hostile environment for business job creation

Kimberley Strassal:

To listen to President Barack Obama, corporate America is a juggernaut, a force of calculating capitalists who ceaselessly plot against his national reforms. To listen to Ivan Seidenberg is to wish the president were even a little right.

Mr. Seidenberg, officially Verizon's CEO, moonlights as chairman of the influential Business Roundtable, the "association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies." That would be the same Business Roundtable that woke up this past month to discover the White House has been playing it for a patsy. It turns out that actively supporting a pro-tax, pro-regulation Democratic majority on issues like health care doesn't really get you anything save more taxes and more regulation.

This has clearly come as a shock to the Business Roundtable, as Mr. Seidenberg made clear this week with his newsy and newfound criticism of the White House. The chairman revealed in a speech to the Economic Club of Washington that he'd become "somewhat troubled" by a "disconnect between Washington and the business community." Here he and his fellow CEOs had "worked closely with policy makers"—they'd even pushed ObamaCare. And yet! "We see a host of laws, regulations and policies being enacted that impose a government prescription" on private actors. Truth was, Washington had created a downright "hostile environment" for job creation!

Agreed, said Roundtable President John Castellani, in an op-ed the same day. We stuck with that majority "through trying circumstances," even "alienating many of our traditional colleagues," and what did we get? They keep "vilifying" the private sector! And taxing it, and empowering unions, and ignoring trade. "The time has come for a new course," declared Mr. Castellani, a mere 18 months after Democrats announced plans to tax companies, empower unions and ignore trade.


There is more.

What is surprising is that these guys believed the Democrats were going to do something else anyway. If they thought their money and support was buying them protection, they could have gotten a more honorable deal from Tony Soprano. For business leaders to support Democrats is like giving a snake a ride across the river and expecting not to get bit. Taxing and regulating is what Democrats do. Chuck Schumer really suckered them.


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