The complete "conversation" appears HERE:
Bloomberg BusinessWeek: There is a sense that the administration is perceived as anti-business. Why?I know you, like I, were wondering just how long it would take to blame Bush; exactly one paragraph.
Obama: I think that is a good question, because if you actually look at our policies, everything that we have done over the last year, and everything we intend to do over the next several years, I think is going to put American business on a stronger footing.
Look, I came in with the worst economic crisis and financial crisis we have had since the 1930s, significantly worse than what we saw in the 1980s. And the steps that we took were designed to break the back of the recession, put a floor under the economy and reduce a sense of panic that had grown. And I think we have done that very successfully. We had an economy that was contracting by 6 percent. It is now growing by 6 percent. We had a market that people had no idea where it would bottom out, and that market has now stabilized. We had a banking system that was on the verge of meltdown that now is showing significant health, at least in terms of their bottom lines. And so the steps we have taken, I think, has created an environment in which businesses can be profitable.
But it wasn't the record speed in which he attempted to shift blame that drew my ire it was the fact that he goes on to make completely socialist statements and no one bothered to call him out on it.
First: anytime I here the phrase "an even playing field my socialist radar lights up.
We are pro-growth. We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market. But we do think that there have to be some rules of the road in place in the financial sector that will create an even playing field and allow businesses to raise capital and consumers to buy products with confidence.Second: "restoring a sense of balance" is code for redistributing wealth.
Coming out of this past decade, there has been a sense on the part of a lot of middle-class families that they have been left behind, even when we were expanding. And I talked during the campaign about the need for us to restore a sense of balance to the compact between business, government, and employees all across the country.
Third: demonizing capitalism is a cornerstone of socialism/communism. Obama does this with such aplomb.
If businesses are making record profits but employees are seeing their wages flatline — and in fact, incomes decline over the course of the decade — that puts enormous strains on families. It puts, I think, a dampening effect on consumers who help drive this economy. We are going to be better off if everybody feels like they have got a stake in growth and innovation moving forward. And I think that balance got lost.
Fourth: socializing every aspect of the economy precedes the fall into tyranny. When the largest employer in the country becomes the government we are all doomed to slavery. Obama outlines where he plans to begin.
BW: If you had to distill your economic message into a single declarative sentence, what would it be?Fifth: I know its not completely related but I thought it was worth pointing out that he is on the precipice of breaking yet another campaign promise.
Obama: That having broken the back of this recession, our goal now is to build a new foundation for long-term, sustainable economic growth, and that that requires innovation. It requires a smart energy policy. It requires a health-care system that is not a drag on business. And it requires an education system that is producing the most productive workers in the world.
BW: If your deficit commission comes back and says we would recommend raising taxes on households earning less than $250,000 a year, would you accept that as part of a larger deal?
Obama: I don't want to prejudge the commission because the whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table, and let's see what folks can come up with.
What I want to do is to be completely agnostic in terms of solutions. I want everybody to sit down and work off of a common base of facts. And the fact of the matter is that we have a structural deficit that is in place that was there before the recession. The recession has compounded it.Sixth: once the government insinuates itself into something it never leaves. Allowing the government to have any say in private sector compensation plans is ludicrous, unconstitutional and socialist.
I do think that the compensation packages that we have seen over the last decade, at least, have not matched up always to performance. I think that shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay structures for CEOs.
I guess the main principle we want to promote is safe say on pay, that shareholders have a chance to actually scrutinize what CEOs are getting paid, and I think that serves as a restraint and helps align performance with pay.
The other thing we do think is the more that pay comes in the form of stock that requires proven performance over a certain period of time, as opposed to quarterly earnings, is a fairer way of measuring CEO success and, ultimately, will make the performance of American businesses better.
Seventh: the populace is to stupid to protect itself so the government must protect them. Protect the collective at the expense of the individual. Socialism?
We think it is very important to have a consolidated and streamlined regulatory approach to things like derivatives and hedge funds, not just banks. We think it is important to have a consolidated and streamlined approach to consumer financial protection, because although it is true that the immediate cause of Lehman's [bankruptcy] may not have had to do with what was going on with credit cards, what is also true is that if you have consumers who are getting predatory loans that they don't understand, credit cards or debit-card rates that they don't understand, a lot of these financial instruments that drive huge profits, but leave consumers unprotected. That is not good for the system overall.
Eight: Self explanatory.
Part of what I think we need to do is to align the interests of business, and workers, and the U.S. government, recognizing that we have got to compete with these other countries. And so the old rhetoric of business is free trade no matter what—whatever the deal is—and labor is opposed no matter what the deal is, that is what I want to break.If you don't believe those of us on the right who rail against Obama and his socialist agenda maybe you will be swayed by his own words; although if you still believe in Obama after all that's gone on I seriously doubt anything will change your mind.