Tags: Obama | businesses | hope | change

Businesses Hope Obama Will Change

Friday, 09 Nov 2012 08:00 AM

By Michelle Smith

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President Barack Obama has commonly been painted as anti-business, and some companies unleashed loads of cash to thwart his re-election efforts. However, many business leaders have quickly adapted to the idea of a second term, but they are maintaining their positions on certain issues, hoping that it is the president who will change.

Three big business groups — the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and the Business Industry Political Action Committee — extended an olive branch to Obama on Wednesday, saying past rancor is “history” and it's time to “overcome gridlock” in Washington, CNNMoney reported.

“An election is really a reset," Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, told CNNMoney. "The American people have spoken and business community will respond to that. I think we have great opportunities to work together on a common cause."

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

According to Steve Baas, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce director of governmental affairs, a win by Mitt Romney would have raised the confidence of manufacturers in hiring and making new investments, but some businesses will go ahead with new investments in Obama’s second term, The Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

Still, many business leaders want the president to re-evaluate his positions on issues that were contentious before the election and that still are.

A case in point is tax policy. Much of the business community remains staunchly opposed to tax increases on the wealthy.

"Clearly a tax increase is not going to resolve the fiscal cliff," said Greg Casey, head of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, told CNNMoney.

John Engler, a three-term Republican governor of Michigan and president of the Business Roundtable, said Congress and Obama should extend all tax cuts and delay all spending cuts for a year.

Within the business community there also remains stiff opposition on issues such as the president's pro-regulatory stance and of course his position on healthcare.

Many argue that with the election now won, Obama has less reason to play hardball and should instead display a greater willingness to compromise, but some believe the second term could completely eliminate any motivation for the president to change course. Then, there are those who say it's a waiting game.

“The political dynamics haven’t changed,” Baas told The Journal, as Democrats retained the White House and the Senate, while Republicans maintained the House of Representatives.

“The only thing that has changed is that President Obama doesn’t have to worry about re-election. And so we will have to see how that impacts his decision making, whether that makes him more aggressive on some of the agenda items, like nationalized healthcare and conversion of our power sources, or whether in a second term he shifts more to legacy building and cost impacts on the economy.”

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

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