Investor’s Business Daily
November 12, 2012
Private Sector Troubled, Bailing Out After Obama Win
Free Enterprise: The left has had its fun with the hapless teenager who tweeted her desire to move to Australia after President Obama was re-elected. But the reality is, the private sector isn’t doing fine.
Sure, it was a barrel of laughs to ridicule 18-year-old Kristen Neel, who expressed her displeasure with President Obama’s re-election on her Twitter account: “I’m moving to Australia because their president is Christian and actually supports what he says.”
Technically, Neel was wrong because Australia is now led by a left-leaning female, Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It’s likely she was thinking of former Prime Minister John Howard, whose high profile in the U.S. when she was growing up fits the bill. Still, a torrent of 1,100 hateful tweets from the left were unleashed on Neel and others seeking to leave, as if they weren’t sincere.
The picture gets a lot less funny when hard data are examined. Some 8,000 U.S. citizens are expected to renounce their U.S. citizenship this year, about 154 a week. That’s double the 3,700 who bailed last year.
Businesses — which create jobs — are fleeing, too, or in many cases, just letting workers go.
Consider this Facebook posting by the CEO of a cancer treatment company last election night: “I have been delaying the decision where to launch the next network of (therapy centers). The desire to go out of the country was big before, now it is pretty much a given.”
It’s emblematic of the reality that President Obama’s fiscal spending, high regulation — at last count 6,000 proposed regulations in the last year and tax hikes are driving free citizens and free enterprise out.
In Los Angeles, some 200 U.S. businesses showed up at a ProExport Colombia conference last week, looking for partners to invest in the fast-growing Colombian economy. The number was double what it was a year earlier, Colombian officials say. “The certainty to the rules is key to attracting investment,” explained ProExport Vice President Juan Carlos Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, the U.S. stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, has tumbled more than 400 points since the election, its biggest decline of the year, as investors grow concerned about President Obama’s punitive business climate.
Business spending has fallen in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year, dropping from a 19% annual rate a year ago to a 1.3% rate, according to the Boston Globe. The logical consequence of this is layoffs.
The National Manufacturers Association forecasts 6 million layoffs and an 11% unemployment rate as a result of Obama’s pending tax hikes and regulatory siege.
Starting with Pepsi, some 4,000 layoffs have been announced in the wake of the election.
Boeing has announced it will lay off 10% of its white collar work force, costing thousands of jobs. Caterpillar is laying off 100 as it shuts a plant in Minnesota.
The coal industry is particularly hard hit and its executives have made clear they believe Obama’s war on coal is responsible. Murray Energy is laying off 54 people at American Coal in Ohio and 102 at Utah American Energy. Teco is laying off 90 in Kentucky.
Similarly, medical companies are shedding workers as ObamaCare forces them to pay new taxes. Boston Scientific is laying off 1,400 and moving manufacturing to China. Abbott Labs is laying off 700. Bristol Myers Squibb is letting 480 go. The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care is giving pink slips to 40. St. Jude Medical is laying off 300. CVPH Medical Center is cutting 17.
And what about the hipster companies thought to be in favor with the Obama administration?
- Groupon is laying off 600. New Energy is letting go of 40 in Indiana.
- Career Education is letting 900 walk and closing 23 campuses.
- Exide Technologies, a recycler, announced Thursday it will pink slip 150 in Pennsylvania.
- Research In Motion will give 200 in Texas their walking papers.
If there’s some reason to laugh at the direction the economy is heading — with people and companies and jobs moving elsewhere, we have yet to see it.
The reality is, the re-election of Obama means a punitive environment for the private sector that hasn’t been addressed. Obama’s pretty words aside, it’s no surprise that so many are just leaving — voting with their feet in more ways than one.