Ed Driscoll

Barack Obama, 'Anti-Business?' I Just Can't See it, Myself

The Financial Times is shocked, shocked! that 3M’s CEO could declare the Obama administration as being anti-business:

The head of one of the US’s biggest industrial groups has launched a scathing attack on Barack Obama’s attempts to repair relations with companies, dubbing him “anti-business”.

Manufacturers could shift production out of the US to Canada or Mexico as a result, warned George Buckley, chief executive and chairman of 3M.

“I judge people by their feet, not their mouth,” he told the Financial Times. “We know what his instincts are – they are Robin Hood-esque. He is anti-business.”

The Obama administration has struck a more conciliatory tone towards business since the Democratic defeat in November’s midterm elections. [Perhaps “pose” would be a more accurate choice of words than tone. — Ed]

Last month, the president created a jobs and competitiveness council, chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive of GE, and including chief executives such as American Express’s Kenneth Chenault, DuPont’s Ellen Kullman, Antonio Perez of Kodak and Southwest Airlines’ Gary Kelly. Mr Obama also convened a meeting this month with technology chief executives, including Steve Jobs of Apple, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Mr Buckley, who has run the diversified manufacturer since 2005, said: “There is a sense among companies that this is a difficult place to do business. It is about regulation, taxation, seemingly anti-business policies in Washington, attitudes towards science.”

He added: “Politicians forget that business has choice. We’re not indentured servants and we will do business where it’s good and friendly. If it’s hostile, incrementally, things will slip away. We’ve got a real choice between manufacturing in Canada and Mexico – which tend to be pro-business – or America.”

Meanwhile, Investor’s Business Daily ponders, “Does Obama Want $8 Gasoline?”

I don’t know — let’s ask him.

Meanwhile, at Big Journalism, Ron Futrell writes:

The media takes great pride in how it is there to help the little guy from anything bad that might happen to him (you’ve seen the promos.) Okay, help the little guy. Tell him the truth about why oil prices are wasting away at what little cash might remain in his wallet after he tries to pay his mortgage and the increased food and clothing costs.

And then tell him that you’re totally cool with the idea of higher gas prices yourself.