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When business meets politics…

When business meets politics…

… it’s never a smooth ride. In the US, big business is not happy with the Obama regime. Katherine Azmeh explains why in her view from the States.


July 14, 2010 1:14 by

Driving through the Midwestern United States, the sentiment is unmistakable. Between the enormous American flags – larger and more conspicuous the week after Independence Day celebrations – the dissatisfaction with the current administration is palpable. The restless discontent is expressed in hand crafted signs on the backs of pickup trucks, staked up high in the middle of corn fields, and splashed across banners announcing next week’s farmer’s market. “NObama!” they yell. Or, “OBAMA: One Big A** Mistake America.”

This is Middle America, for sure, with conservative values and a vocal distrust of big government. But it is also a democratic governor state that gave Obama a fighting chance – he didn’t lose by much here.

And while an agricultural, fiscally conservative state might seem an unfair litmus test to gauge national attitude, their grievances are not unlike those being expressed by US corporate leaders. Big business, a seemingly unlikely ally with corn farmers and cattle ranchers, seems to agree – in principle. The headlines splashed across every national newspaper this week reveal the growing corporate unease with policies and regulations they say “are obstacles to job-creating and private enterprise,” the New York Times reported Monday. “One executive gives the administration an ‘A-plus’ for reaching out and an ‘incomplete’ for policy,” the report added.

And it is policy – way too much of it – that has the president’s critics, and even some corporate supporters, worried. To address their concerns, a meeting of business leaders and legislators, including several of the president’s allies, is scheduled to convene a jobs summit Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce. They will tackle a list of grievances that business says deter economic and jobs growth, including “the unbelievable amount of new regulation that is in the pipeline,” according to Stan Anderson, executive director of the Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise. Their grievances fill 54 pages. And their concerns are the same ones that might encourage one to have voted against Obama: government controls on broadband internet, Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, increased taxes on foreign earnings, universal health care, broader governance of financial markets, restrictions on oil drilling.

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