Sep

27

 Super-clever administration strategists are suggesting Obama name "someone from the business community" to replace Summers, in order to overcome the perception he is anti-business, anti-capitalism and anti-markets.

To affect my perception he doesn't have to appoint anyone. All he has to do is to say something like the following:

"I want to try to correct the impression that the only businesspeople I admire are those who share the Buffet and Gates philosophy of raising taxes for ones behind them on the way up, or those of the type I praise in my photo ops, typically the owner of a new eclectric storage battery or solar panel factory in Michigan subsidized by the government who is creating green jobs and working towards our energy independence.

"That type of person may actually be less a true entrepreneur than what Rahm Emmanuel has told me is called a schmoozer, someone whose greatest skill is befriending politicians and wheedling subsidies out of the government.

"This may surprise you but let me give you an example — two random examples out of many possibilities — of some other businessmen I admire, David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries of Wichita, Kansas. Not enough people have heard of them, they are not as well-known as they should be, but the Koch brothers have taken a business inherited from their father and steadily built it, investing and reinvesting their own money without government subsidies, until it is now I believe the second largest privately-owned business in the country. In fact, some people claim they have created more jobs than my entire stimulus program. I hope that isn't true in that my stimulus program has done better, but nevertheless I admire what the Koch brothers have accomplished, for themselves and for their numerous employees, suppliers and customers. And for the billions of dollars in federal and state taxes that Koch Industries and the Koch brothers have paid.

"At the same time the Koch brothers have been majors supporters of a wide variety of charities and cultural institutions. And yes, of think tanks like the Cato Institute. Which I don't often agree with, but that's okay. The more thoughtful ideas the better, whether the ideas be liberal, libertarian or whatever.

"Now these folks have been demonized in a recent article by Jane Mayer in the New Yorker. I'm pretty busy in the White House and the New Yorker is one of the few magazines I actually subscribe to and read. But this article was really out of line. Any mammoth company like Koch Industries, especially an oil and natural resource company, will have occasional environment problems. And has the full right to lobby federal and state governments on matters of significance to them.

"And, as I said, the Koch brothers have the full right to contribute to libertarian think tanks like Cato. George Soros contributes to liberal think tanks and we don't demonize him.

"I admire the Koch brothers for what they have accomplished in the very difficult free competition of the marketplace. And I admire their philanthropic contributions whatever their political philosophy."

If he would make such a simple statement (of which the above is just one out of a million possibilities), the President could appoint anyone he pleases, could go shoot some hoops instead of wasting time vetting Ann Mulcahy, Richard Parsons and other washed-up veterans of the "business community"


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