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Can This 'Marriage' Be Saved?

That is essentially the crux of the WaPo's lead editorial today entitled, "Troubled Marriage," subtitled, "Feeling scorned by the president, big business is turning to the GOP How fair is that?"

How fair, indeed.

The piece opens with a mention of this piece by hedge fund founder Daniel Loeb - former Obama classmate and fundraiser - accusing the Obama Administration of undermining the principles of free-market capitalism. (Among his points, Mr. Loeb cites the new credit card bill as an example, noting, "The effect is a redistribution of wealth from people who pay their debts on time to those who do not." Yeah, we knew that.) The WaPo goes on to wring its hands over uncertainty, but quickly dismissing it due to lack of mention by Ben Bernanke in Jackson Hole. To be fair, Bernanke had a lot of ground to cover in Jackson Hole, and chose to focus on other things. But there is no doubt that uncertainty continues to bedevil business. This is the twin uncertainty that US Chamber economist Marty Regalia noted in the Labor Day press event -- uncertainty about the market and uncertainty about government policy, brought to you by the Obama Administration.

The Post ends with a "Why can't we get along?" plea, but it is a little disingenuous. To the question, one might say, "Gee, I don't know - maybe it's the uncertainty, maybe it's the planned higher taxes on small business, maybe it's the increased costs of health care, maybe it's the the increased regulations, maybe it's this mind-boggling chart of looming workplace legislation from Mr. Obama's allies in the Congress."

Add it all up and there is plenty of cause for concern. If this "marriage" is troubled, it's because business has proved an all-too convenient whipping boy for this Administration, and an all-too convenient paymaster for its long wish list. If Obama wants a better relationship with business, maybe he needs to look not only at his rhetoric but at the substance of the job-killing policies that he is advancing.


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