Government Assault on Business
- 8 August 2010 by Author 0 Comments
Government Assault on Business
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 08/08/10
The more government seeks to control every aspect of our economy, the less vocal some entrepreneurs tend to be. Understandably, they have an aversion to provoking the fearsome megalithic corporate devourer that Washington has become, spreading its tentacles into every aspect of our lives.
But there are exceptions, and Steve Wynn, founder of Wynn Resorts, is one of them. In a CNBC interview recently he accurately observed, “It’s common sense that’s disappeared in Washington DC. We’re inheriting the awful results of wild, uncontrolled spending, unbelievable, unsustainable debt.”
Referring to the financial reform just passed, which does nothing to solve the problems which led to the financial markets meltdown two years ago, he said, “And yet, here we are, doing it again, $20 billion a month to the FHA. On top of what happens to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We’re doing it again today for $20 billion a month! We’re destroying the housing market, again; under the name of a stimulus, phony misrepresented names.”
Controversially, Wynn recently announced that he was moving some of his corporate offices to Macau, China. When asked by the interviewer about that move, Wynn responded, “Macau has been steady. The shocking, unexpected government is the one in Washington. That’s where we get surprises every day. That’s where taxes are changed every five minutes. That’s where you don’t know that to expect tomorrow. To compare political stability and predictability in China to Washington is like comparing Mount Everest to an anthill. Macau and China is stable, Washington is not!”
He continued, “Is there a businessman in America that isn’t frightened about the next crazy idea that is coming from Washington? The financial institutions, the cars, the businessmen, the taxes, the health care, everything is Coo Coo. And God knows what’s next!”
Wynn was next asked what the healthcare reform was going to cost him. He responded, “A lot. It’s going to produce the exact opposite of what they said. Health costs, because of that 2,700 pages, are going up not down. In the simplest possible terms, they added 32 million people, the amount of doctors is going down and the amount we’re paying them is less. When demand goes up and the supply of doctors goes down, what happened to the price? High school students out there, children? Price goes up!”
He continued, “The one thing that would’ve saved us money, the control of frivolous lawsuits, they didn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Those hypocritical SOBs and the Congress didn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Every insurance company, every businessman in America said doctors are doing testing in fear of frivolous lawsuits that are unnecessary that is jacking up the price of medicine. Please do something about that. In Texas they put a cap on punitive damages and the malpractice insurance dropped by 45% in one year. But did they do it in Washington? No.”
Explicating the obvious, that the business world is not willing to hire because of so much uncertainty in the country, he concluded, “So when you ask me today about predictability and uncertainty in China compared to Washington, I take China. Washington is unpredictable these days. Washington is… No one in the business community from one coast to the other has any idea what’s next. And what’s even worse, the people that do business with us that buy our bonds in other countries don’t even know what’s next. The uncertainty of the business climate in America is frightening, frightening to everybody. And it’s delaying the recovery.
“We’re on our way to Greece, in the hands of a confused and foolish government that is living up to the prediction of Alexis de Tocqueville who in 1909 said: ‘The American system of democracy will prevail until that moment when the politicians discover that they can bribe the electorate with their own money.’ And boy it’s in full bloom today. So extreme that it would probably have an end unto itself. The public is frightened.
This Tea Party business is all about fear. There is a sense in the land of discomfort. There is a sense of fear that the politicians are ruining us. And the people are right.
It’s got to stop. It’s got to stop!”
Only 1 in 10 of the Obama administration has worked in the private sector, and none, that I’ve been able to ascertain, ever ran a business or had to meet a payroll. It’s obvious that they know nothing about how the economy works. In all likelihood, we’re heading into a double-dip recession because of all that is emanating out of Washington. If the administration were to declare an outright war on capitalism and on the business community, it’s hard to imagine what they would do differently. Wynn is right: It’s got to stop!
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.