Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Home Depot Co-Founder: 'I'm Not Sure Obama Would Understand Anything That I'd Say'

In a discussion about the current moribund job climate, Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus discusses the situation today contrasted with when he first started up the retail giant in 1978. Remarkably, the darkest days of Jimmy Carter were brighter than today's despair under the failed Obama presidency.
IBD: What's the single biggest impediment to job growth today?

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.
Brutal. Yet sadly, all too true.

Marcus isn't finished hammering the hapless Obama.
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 businessman 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.
He's wrong about one thing. Obama is a bad guy. This says it all.
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.
It's only going to get worse.


Dean_L said...

Despite the feeling of intimidation, Wynn has spoken out, and now Marcus.  This may be the start of a trend - high profile business leaders lambasting the President for his worse-than-do-nothing decision-making on matters economic.

Vocal business leaders speaking out may open the floodgates.  We can only hope.

southernsue said...

interesting that the irs and sec scares these business owners.

these people are filthy rich, i wonder why they don't fight back?
i guess too many skeletons in the closet and obama and his evil ilk know where they are buried?

my question is why are they afraid of the irs and sec?

a b said...

I would wager that you have never experienced an IRS review, let alone SEC scrutiny. The government agencies have literally unlimited funds. Once they begin to examine an individual's filings, they can keep going for longer than ANYONE has the money to continue fighting. All the while, costing the business or individual unending legal and accounting fees to keep producing records and representation. Unless you have gone through even a low-level, minor review, you don't know what you are talking about.

'Jim' 'Treacher' said...

<p><span>my question is why are they afraid of the irs and sec?</span>
</p><p>My question is: Why aren't you?

amr1507 said...

<span><span>southernsue @ 7:39, 7/21; It is not that a company/CEO has done anything necessarily wrong, but a company gets bad PR when an audit is announced with the usual "what ifs" leaked and it interferes with production/operations.  Both impact the profits and thus stockholders who may take it out on the company officials.  And any government contracts could also evaporate. Unfortunately auditors need to find something or they may be dinged too.  It doesn't seem like you have been there, done that, like the President.  I have been on both sides of the sharp stick, so I know what can happen.  </span></span><span><span></span></span> <span><span>Furthermore I would suspect that the auditors, working for the Obama Administration, would be told to find problems and if they didn't, their jobs would be on the line as was told to the ATF agents who resisted Gunrunner and have testified in front of congress.  </span></span><span><span></span></span> <span><span>As a senior test engineer, I lost my job as an auditor in private industry because I refused to sign off on falsified testing I found and the test engineers admitted to in a committee review.  Had my disapproval carried, the schedule would have slipped on a multibillion dollar nuclear power plant facility and bonuses would have been impacted.  I was the only dissenter, I assume because everyone knew their jobs and careers were most likely on the line that day since we were already behind schedule.  As I found out, they were.</span></span><span><span></span></span> <span><span>So industrial leaders have much to fear, as Nixon's enemy's list showed in the past, what government can do to organizations and individuals that challenge it.</span></span>

Johnny Drama said...

  This thug in the oval office is a Chicago gangster all the way. threats and intimidation are his mainstays, he'll punish anyone who goes against his sick twisted orthodoxy, businesses AND citizens. Using the IRS, the SEC, the EPA, heck, even the DOJ against his personal enemies. Its horrific, truly horrific. and the media complicity is disgusting. 

TC Lynch said...

I'm bulletproof; my accounting consists of a shoebox and 3.5 floppy. "Here, Harvard, you figure it out."

George said...

I think a lot of businessmen thought Obama was going to be like a diversity hire at their firms--pay them a little bit of shake down money but generally inoffensive and not meddling with core operations issue.  He'd be a glorified community relations guy who would make nice speechs while adults would run the show.

Hasn't really turned out that way, has it?  The signs were all there--the Ayers connection, the lack of experience outside the faculty lounge, the "God Damn America" speechs of Rev. Wright...but the moderate Republican elite were lulled by the conventional wisdom that Obama would end up being one of the club...and a useful symbollic gesture to atone for their parent's racism.

Hasn't worked out that way.

George said...

I've been on the wrong end of a political witch hunt IG investigation...its absolutely unbelievable how they are conducted.

Anonymous said...

The next logical step for the producers and entrepreneurs after ditching Obama is to get behind a pro-growth, minimal regulation candidate like Ron Paul. The grassroots already supports Ron Paul, time to get some sensible corporate voices joinIng in support.

Lee Reynolds said...

I've begun thinking of the federal government in as a form of predatory organized crime.  That really is the only model that makes sense anymore.  It is not the job of the government to tell people how to live. 

WuzzaDem said...

SouthernSue would fit right in at the Obama White House. She's clueless about business & why onerous regulations kill jobs & wealth creation. And she likes the thought of government threatening the citizens.

rich b said...

We were told by many conservatives that Omama wasn't qualified to run a hot dog cart. They were right. Liberal idiocy, group think, and white guilt put this fool into office and we're ALL paying for it now. Sucks don't it.

Chris Pavlik said...

Sad, but true.  The president is clueless about how the real world works.  That's why I always look for a governor or a business leader as a presidential candidate.  I've also never seen a president so spineless when it comes to leadership.