So corporations sense vulnerability and they’re going to ask for the moon — basically, they want to run untaxed, unregulated businesses with few (if any) legal obligations to the people who still work for them. Oh, and they want “austerity” for the working classes. (Don’t worry, Obama will fight hard to protect us!) There, that’s settled!
Now perhaps the president can convene a one-day summit of the unemployed and the working poor to ask them what they think, for a change:
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama will convene a one-day summit of corporate chief executives Wednesday as part of a renewed White House effort to build support among business leaders for his economic agenda.
Executives from Google, Cisco Systems, Inc., Facebook Inc., International Business Machines Corp., American Express Co., The Dow Chemical Co. and Pepsico Inc. have been invited to the Wednesday meeting at Blair House, adjacent to the White House, to discuss trade, tax, regulatory issues and the deficit.
The administration wants to persuade U.S. companies to unleash some of the $1.93 trillion in cash and other liquid assets they’re hoarding in their treasuries. Cash as a share of total assets is at the highest level it’s been in a half-century, the Federal Reserve said last week. Mr. Obama wants the nation’s biggest companies to invest that money in expansion and new hires in the U.S.
Ideas for overhauling the tax code and cutting the deficit will be a substantial part of the Wednesday discussion, Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett said, as would ideas for “a balanced approach to regulations—to promote economic growth and give business regulatory certainty and predictability while providing safety for the American people,” she said.
Last summer, former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel pushed for a review of rules affecting business hiring, but ran into stiff resistance from some members of the president’s political team.
“Regulations have been a fault-line with business, so compromise on them would be a very welcome change,” said Johanna Schneider, executive director of the Business Roundtable, composed of chief executives from the nation’s biggest multinationals.
Mr. Obama has met with chief executives since the start of his administration, but some who attended those meetings have complained that he didn’t take their views into account in policies that resulted. Corporate leaders have expressed dismay at Mr. Obama’s sometimes sharp criticism of multi-national corporations, and his administration’s regulatory and tax policies, such as a proposal to raise taxes on income corporations earn overseas.
Business executives say they sense a difference in the approach taken by Mr. Obama since Democrats got trounced in the November congressional elections. Recent administration compromises on trade and taxes have encouraged business leaders.