Las Vegas CEO Steve Wynn drew attention for a boardroom rant denouncing the intolerable business climate fostered by the White House. He’s hardly the first. What’s happening is emblematic of a bigger problem.On a Monday conference call, the casino magnate credited with revitalizing Las Vegas slammed President Obama, declaring him “[T]he greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation in my lifetime.”Wynn’s statement was remarkable for two reasons: First, the hotelier has been a staunch supporter of the Obama administration from the beginning and still considers himself a Democrat. Even more remarkable, it’s historically out of character for CEOs such as Wynn to express their views in such blunt terms on political matters.“A lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, ‘Oh God, don’t be attacking Obama.’ Well, this is Obama’s deal, and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America,” said Wynn, “The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution, and maybe ‘we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest or (are) holding too much money.’ We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists.”
Business is being hammered, he said. “I’m telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the president of the United States.”
- The Obama-appointed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is backing Big Labor over private enterprise by leading a crusade against Boeing for opening a new plant and creating jobs in South Carolina. This is all because South Carolina is a right-to-work state where workers aren’t forced to join a union if they don’t want to.
- Similarly, the National Mediation Board (NMB) is in the middle of a pro-union vendetta against Delta Airlines. This is due to the fact that the unions have failed in their attempts to force airline workers to unionize through numerous elections. Instead of accepting the will of the workers they claim to want to represent, the unions concluded that there must have been election tampering on the part of Delta. The NMB will likely rule within in a few months against Delta and force union election after election until the unions finally get the results they want.
- The White House has proposed to set fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. at 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025. When you consider that only three 2011 model year cars on the market in the U.S. currently achieve that level of fuel efficiency, the ridiculousness of this proposal is evident.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the midst of a dramatic power grab over the Internet with network neutrality regulations. These regulations will put an additional burden all individuals and businesses whose use the Internet. Don’t forget the fact that net neutrality will undoubtedly be challenged in court.
- After the failure of cap-and-trade legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to use the Clean Air Act as a loophole to implement its own version without getting legislative approval. One of these regulations, know as the Maximum Achievable Control Technology or MACT rule, would force the shut down of many coal-fired power plants due to the high costs and burdens placed on them by the regulations. This would result in a dramatic rise in energy prices and loss in jobs. One estimate determined that these cap-and-trade regulations would reduce GDP by up to $500 billion and eliminate 2.5 million jobs.
- Further, the EPA is forcing Texas, without any public comment or input from within the state, into the national sulfur dioxide program because it is not complying with the Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR). The CATR regulations will increase electricity costs in the state while throwing thousands of people into unemployment, all in spite of the fact that Texas has been making remarkable progress toward getting cleaner in recent years. The EPA’s actions are so extreme that even the unions declared that the EPA is overreaching.
- For months following the BP oil spill, the Obama administration stopped issuing permits to drill in the Gulf Coast, and then instituted a de facto moratorium under which very few drilling permits were being issued – at a time when we as a nation were theoretically trying to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and reduce our deficit (which increased drilling could help with).
- And starting next year, new regulations will take effect which will specifically target for-profit colleges and prevent their students from getting federal loans unless the colleges amply ensure “gainful employment” for graduates. This will force some institutions to close their doors and limit the educational options that Americans deeply need as they try to compete in a global economy, particularly for those who need flexible choices to study while working or raising a family, something particularly important in a tough economy.
These examples of Obama administration policies offer a glimpse into the undue burdens they are placing on businesses who are trying to jumpstart the ailing economy by expanding and creating needed jobs. It’s clear Wynn and the other CEOs actually have something to complain about. Maybe if the President didn’t spend so much time demagoguing businesses and implementing policies that that kill jobs and instead focused his time on creating them, we might actually see the unemployment rate start dropping below nine percent.