Across this administration there has been an anti-business animus driving decisions. Let’s start at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which in 2011 tried to stop Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina. Boeing had invested $1 billion in South Carolina for the new plant, but had run afoul of Big Labor and for that it was singled out and punished. The NLRB also proposed and issued several rule changes encouraging secret and quick unionization.
Or take the administration’s August 2011 raid on Gibson Guitar. Federal agents hauled away hundreds of thousands of dollars of Gibson materials on the flimsy charge that the company had violated the Lacey Act — which prohibits the importation of wood that was illegally harvested. Even though no charges were ever filed, Gibson settled the case and paid a $300,000 fine. Or what about the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency? Federal courts, including a 9-0 Supreme Court, have struck down EPA rules as illegal, but the EPA keeps imposing outrageous job-killing rules.
The Obama administration does not support U.S. companies. It has attacked our world-leading companies — including Apple, AT&T, Google and Intel. It has imposed huge costs on small and large employers through the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and Obamacare.
Despite these actions, one would think that the Obama campaign would at least try to mask its hostility toward business owners on the trail. But we’ve seen the exact opposite. The president and his advisors have made a very conscious decision to pit middle-class and low-income Americans against job creators. The message to them has been: Don’t blame the president for low GDP growth and high unemployment; it’s their fault.
It’s a strategy that might work in the end, if enough Americans believe that the golden goose of business can birth new jobs while fighting a hostile government. But business owners have had enough. Whether the recent Democratic National Convention papered over the anti-business tone is doubtful. One big voting group — America’s job creators, entrepreneurs and business owners — have decided: You slammed us for almost four years; why would we support you now?
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.” Connect with him on Twitter: @GaryShapiro