They Played, We Pay: Business Leaders Danced with Devil

Now that that the harsh reality of Obamanomics is sinking in (meaning no economic turnaround anytime soon), the Obama Administration’s business community backers seem to be running for cover.
The dust is settling on the run-up in the stock market of the past 16 months which was directly sparked by the Federal Reserve’s massive quantitative easing program, and now the truly horrible fundamentals of the business environment are becoming clear to all.
Yet, as Thursday’s and today’s Executive Bulletins detail, some of these very people facilitated the same economic atrocities that they now denounce!
Some of these high-profile business community leaders surely should have known better. But significant damage has already been done. Let me explain
CNBC’s Larry Kudlow Unwittingly Helped the Democrats’ Financial Restructuring Bill Slither Through Congress
Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) and Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) have the dirtiest hands in Congress when it comes to the sub-prime mortgage melt-down of 2007-2008. Both men were Fannie-Mae and Freddie Mac’s biggest defenders on the Hill — even as the government-backed mortgage entity helped to force most banks into making loans to millions of home buyers who could ill-afford them.
On the rare occasions some Republicans dared to call for oversight and reform of the mortgage giants, they were rebuffed by the likes of Dodd, Frank, and even President George W. Bush, who were all fixated on the goal of artificially boosting “minority” home ownership. (Since the Clinton years, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have been the crown jewels in the nation’s racial spoils system, as these two entities are run almost entirely at the behest of the black political elite.)
Enter passage of Obama’s biggest regulatory triumph to date, the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. One of this bill’s most insidious Republican apologists was CNBC’s highly-likeable Larry Kudlow. Kudlow for months kept reassuring his millions of viewers Frank’s bill looked like it would finally be putting an end to “too big to fail” corporate bailouts going forward. Kudlow’s folly helped Barney Frank to better divide and conquer formerly-unified Republican opposition to the law.
Once Frank and Dodd slid the most intrusive version of the bill past divided Republicans, Mr. Kudlow saw the light and spoke out against it. But it was too late. The legislation was on its way to the President.
Major Business Community Cheerleader for
Obama Turns in His Pom-Poms
Another key player who helped candidate Obama calm the business community is U.S. News and World Report‘s Morton Zuckerman. Zuckerman helped the Democrat nominee lull business interests into complacency by describing him as a “brilliant mind combined with practicality” that would bring “nimbleness and judgment to the Oval Office…
As the disastrous implications of Obamanomics darken America’s future, Zuckerman has become publicly embarrassed (especially after it leaked that he had helped Obama write a speech to reassure the business community). He has apparently changed his mind about Obama. He recently penned scathing articles about disastrously high private-sector unemployment under Obamanomics. Zuckerman’s change of heart came out before an elite group of business leaders at an Aspen conference in July:
We really have, I think, some of the worst public policies in place that in my judgment go directly against the long-term interests of the country.” Zuckerman also said he had detected “a hostility to the very kind of culture that I think has made America the great country that it is and was…”
Other examples abound:
  • Member companies of the powerful Business Roundtable, the association of chief executive officers of America’s top corporations, are now complaining that they are getting socked with higher taxes, excessive regulations, and abusive comments about business in general from the White House.
  • Verizon Wireless CEO Ivan Seidenberg, the head of the Business Roundtable, has publicly woken up to the fact that the Roundtable’s tight relationship with the Obama Administration has backfired. In a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, Seidenberg now says he is “somewhat troubled” that the Roundtable’s support of Obamacare has only emboldened the Democrats to become even more abusive of business. He now complains of a “disconnect between Washington and the business community” despite the fact that they’d “worked closely with policy makers” on passing the federal healthcare takeover.
  • Roundtable President John Castellani penned an editorial that same day. He said that Obama had created a downright “hostile environment” for job creation. Castellani also complained that after alienating his traditional colleagues by supporting Obama’s cap and trade, health and tax agenda, the White House is vilifying the private sector, regulating it, and over-taxing it. “The time has come for a new course,” he said.
  • A July 6 Washington Post story notes that Obama’s extreme policies have caused Democrats’ business donations to plunge by 65% from only two years ago. Jamie Dimon, the head of J.P. Morgan Chase, is known for his tight relationship with Barack Obama. In 2006 and 2008, Dimon donated $65,000 to Democrats. In this election cycle so far, he hasn’t given a penny to top Democrat Party reelection funds; and in fact gave $2,000 to Republican Mark Kirk, who is running to pick up Obama’s old Illinois Senate Seat!
  • Other top Democrat donors who are sitting on their hands this year include Leon Black, co-founder of the $53 billion New York-based Apollo Global Management. In the last election cycle, Black gave a whopping $200,000 to Democrat candidates.
There’s a lesson in this for those appeasers in the business community who are willing to learn it.
The question now is, will the public rebel this fall and force a moderation in Washington? Without question, a voter backlash will be felt, but I fear it will do nothing to divert us from the course of national bankruptcy. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.