Yesterday, David Gregory -- ostensibly well-informed host of MSNBC's Meet the Press -- tweeted this reality-challenged comment about Larry Summer's impending departure from the White House, "After Summers does Obama tap someone from business community? Opportunity to ease the tension."
I understand that Twitter isn't the best medium for explaining something in detail, but this is a little ridiculous; there is no meaningful way in which the Obama administration is anti-business. Remember, this is an administration that implemented a $700 billion bailout of failed banks and did everything it could to avoid nationalizing said banks. It's financial regulations preserved the basic structure of Wall Street, and its signature domestic achievement -- the Affordable Care Act -- was explicitly designed to maintain and expand the private insurance market. Hell, it was only last week that President Obama proposed a series of business tax cuts, including an immediate write-off for business investment. Indeed, the Obama administration regularly receives flack from progressive activists for its willingness to bend to business interests.
That's not to say that there isn't any tension between the administration and the business community, but that you can pin the blame on an over-entitled, petulant, ungrateful business class that doesn't understand the debt it owes to the country but demands absolute deference from its elected officials. As Gabriel Sherman shows in his recent New York Magazine piece on the "wail of the 1 percent," there seems to be zero understanding among the business community that the federal government has worked hard to ensure their survival. If anything, the business community should be extending olive branches to the Obama administration, and not the other way around.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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