Thursday, October 14, 2010

Window into the White House

If true this is pretty revealing:
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel isn't known for mincing words, and in a conversation with a CEO of a large company last month, he lived up to his reputation. "How come," he demanded to know, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversation, "you guys aren't hiring more?"

The CEO's answer, the person says, went something like this: "I know you're paid to do the president's bidding, but I'm paid to answer to shareholders and a board of directors and your health-care plan is costing me $1.5 billion, your tax increases another $1 billion, and regulation another half a billion. So I might have to lay off people rather than hire them."
The CEO's response was eminently predictable to anyone with any kind of grasp of business and economics. That this should be a surprise or some kind of revelation to Emanuel speaks volumes about the thinking that goes on inside the White House.

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