Most business executives fumed and groused for the eight years Barack Obama was in the White House. He was a former community organizer who had never met a payroll, and those in the corporate boardrooms thought he was no friend of free enterprise.
In 2010, New York real estate and media tycoon Mortimer Zuckerman said Obama’s “demonization of business” was discouraging investment and sapping job growth. Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Technology Association, called Obama “the most anti-business president in my lifetime.” Former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch implored the president, “Stop it. You can’t go industry by industry … through intimidation, business by business by business.”
As ordeals go, though, theirs was notably mild. The stock market soared, corporate profits nearly tripled and the unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent from 7.8 percent. From the depths of the Great Recession, the economy began what is now the third-longest expansion on record. If making money was your goal, the Obama years were a good time to do it.
Now, instead of a liberal lawyer in the White House, CEOs have one of their own. And they’re finding it’s not everything they had hoped. The stock market and other economic indicators look about the same as they did before Donald Trump took office. In Obama’s final six months, the economy added an average of nearly 181,000 jobs per month. In Trump’s first six months, it added 179,000 per month. Gross domestic product growth has even slowed a bit.
More troublesome at the moment is Trump’s insistence on defending…
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