The Business Roundtable appears to have been finally awakened to the realities of the Obama agenda. Recent comments from its leadership criticized the administration for decisions that “create an increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation”. It’s about time. Where have they been? Everything dear to a climate of growth and opportunity has been in reverse since this administration took office and the Roundtable has been at best missing in action and at worst complicit. Everywhere one looks, capital is under attack, from tax policy to trade policy to EPA regulations to flawed financial institution regulation to health care legislation. Capital goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well-treated and this is increasingly not the United States.
A major culprit in this attack on capital has been what Arthur C. Brooks, in his book The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, calls the Obama Narrative. This is the administration’s basic account of how we got into the financial crisis of 2008 and how President Obama said he would get us out of it. It blames Wall Street and weak regulation for getting us in and promises big government and strong regulation to get us out. Both premises are dead wrong, which should have been clear from the outset to any sophisticated observer like the Business Roundtable. But better late than never, so I welcome big business to the fight and I hope it’s not too late.