UPDATE: I failed to see my colleague’s post on the same subject… do check it out.
Actually, I think the man’s speeches are mediocre at best but this post isn’t about what I think, it’s about what Bernie Marcus, Home Depot’s co-founder, thinks about this President and these times:
Marcus: The U.S. government. Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are impossible to deal with. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we’d tried to start it today. Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business. And I mean every day. It’s become stifling.
If you’re a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70% of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.
IBD: President Obama has promised to streamline and eliminate regulations. What’s your take?
Marcus: His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad. As he speaks about cutting out regulations, they are now producing thousands of pages of new ones. With just ObamaCare by itself, you have a 2,000 page bill that’s probably going end up being 150,000 pages of regulations.
IBD: Washington has been consumed with debt talks. Is this the right focus now?
Marcus: They are all tied together. If we don’t lower spending and if we don’t deal with paying down the debt, we are going to have to raise taxes. Even brain-dead economists understand that when you raise taxes, you cost jobs.
IBD: If you could sit down with Obama and talk to him about job creation, what would you say?
Marcus: I’m not sure Obama would understand anything that I’d say, because he’s never really worked a day outside the political or legal area. He doesn’t know how to make a payroll, he doesn’t understand the problems businesses face. I would try to explain that the plight of the busi nessman is very reactive to Washington. As Washington piles on regulations and mandates, the impact is tremendous. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I just think he has no knowledge of this.
IBD: Why don’t more businesses speak out?
Marcus: They are frightened to death — frightened that they will have the IRS or SEC on them. In my 50 years in business, I have never seen executives of major companies who were more intimidated by an administration.
IBD: What’s your message to the business community?
Marcus: It’s time to stand up and fight. These people in Washington are out there making your life difficult, and many of you won’t survive. Why aren’t you doing something about it? The free enterprise system made this country what it is today, and we’ve got to keep it alive. We are on the edge of the abyss.
On the edge of the abyss peering over the side and if you think Obama’s about to pull us all back, think again.
Marcus is giving us all a clear warning. Who’s listening?