Obama Names Top Crony Capitalist to Help Wreck the Economy

by Brian McGraw on January 28, 2011

in Blog

By Myron Ebell and Brian McGraw

President Barack Obama’s choice of Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, to head his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness demonstrates once again how clueless the president is about the economy. Having not caused enough damage in the past few years, Obama is doubling down on policies that are slowing the still fragile economic recovery. If the president really wanted to help the economy and create jobs, he would do the opposite of what Jeffrey Immelt has done at General Electric and has advocated for national policy.

As head of General Electric since 2001, Immelt has spent a decade driving what was once one of the greatest companies in the world into the ground. Under legendary CEO Jack Welch, General Electric’s stock rose from $5 a share in 1991 to over $40 per share when Welch retired in 2001. As Welch’s successor, Immelt has halved the value of General Electric over the last ten years, whose stock value has not exceeded $20 per share since late 2008. Despite his unsuccessful tenure at General Electric, President Obama is now giving Immelt free-rein to do the same to the American economy.

On broader issues of economic policy, Immelt is the perfect model of a crony capitalist. Instead of building his company to succeed in a competitive free-market, he has devoted most of his efforts to securing handouts, special deals, and subsidies for various General Electric businesses in Washington D.C. This is clearly what attracts President Obama to Immelt, a savvy political operator despite being a bust as the head of General Electric

Even more, Immelt, along with James Rogers of Duke Energy, has been among the biggest business promoters of cap-and-trade legislation. Cap-and-trade is now dead, but had it been enacted it would have been the biggest hit on the U.S. economy and on working Americans ever perpetrated by the U.S. government. Cap-and-trade would benefit many of General Electric’s businesses at the expense of American workers and consumers. This was no secret. As then-candidate Obama said in 2008, “electricity rates would necessarily sky rocket” under the proposed legislation supported by both Immelt and Obama.

Though cap-and-trade is dead, the Obama administration has decided to ignore Congress and pursue harmful energy-rationing policies through regulatory fiat. The EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will bring higher energy prices and less money in consumer’s pockets to spend, causing an immense strain on the fragile budgets of American families during a recession. Higher electric rates will also make American manufacturing even less competitive with its foreign rivals, leading to the mass export of America’s manufacturing jobs.

In short, Immelt has put into practice at General Electric policies that are hurting his company, his shareholders, and his workers. He has advocated national economic policies that would do the same for America. As a reward for all of this, President Obama has selected Immelt to head yet another PR effort that will do nothing to roll back any of the job-killing policies enacted by the Obama administration.

This piece will be featured in the print edition of  The Tea Party Review (teapartyreview.com).

SOYLENT GREEN January 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Thought you might like this logo…


BobRGeologist January 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

The forces of science and reason have triumphed over the very bad

pseudo science of AGW. But, the entrenched public policy of this false doctrine roars on. The everlasting discredit of the few climate scientists who have profited excessively from Gov't funded research remains a blot on the prowd history of science. Also, continued support by politicians and the Green lobby for the far out idea that climate today is ideal and can be controlled by "climate engineering." I believe this proposed reduction of Greenhouse gases will be ineffective and a drag on our economy we cannot afford. The geologic realty of today's glacial climate will persist as long as our polar areas are iced up and we remain vulnerable to another major continental ice age. I feel a temperature increase of a few deg celsius is needed to reduce the likelyhood of our slipping backwards into another 100,000 years of Ice. Life thrived through a warmer than today's climate that ended 65 million years ago with the big meteor strike ending the reign of the dinosaurs.

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