Why I don’t put much stock in the ‘Obama-is-anti-business’ line

Republicans and many of my fellow free-market types get excited whenever business executives curse Obama as being anti-business. I don’t.

The thing is, when businessmen and Republicans congressmen attack Obama for being anti-business, often they’re complaining about not getting enough corporate welfare.

Today’s example, investor Wilbur Ross, who curses Washington’s anti-business rhetoric, and then makes it clear he wants us to be more like China. Joe Weisenthal at ClusterStock has Ross’s number:

If Wilbur Ross liked capitalism — rather than merely pro-business policies — he would be appalled by Beijing’s decision to mandate a certain amount of green energy (the topic he cites) in the electrical grid. The fact that Beijing was picking winners and losers in China should, to him, be the type of regulatory uncertainty that he hates.

His line: “One of the problems in our country is that we don’t have an industrial policy.”

Clusterstock also has the video.

GE chief Jeff Immelt sings the same tune — criticizing Obama as “anti-business” because we’re not more like China and Germany, with subsidies and business-government cooperation.

And on the Hill, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner suggested Obama was abandoning his anti-business ways by approving a billion-dollar subsidy.

With this confusion, it’s hard for a free-marketeer to have much hope.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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