By Nicholas Stix
“Sometimes you can’t defend the indefensible.” That’s what White House Chief of Staff William Daley, scion of the Chicago political dynasty, said of the “Obama” Administration’s regulatory regime, at a June 16 meeting with hundreds of National Asssociation of Manufacturers (NAM) business leaders.
Business leaders were complaining about onerous regulations imposed since “Obama” assumed office, e.g., from the EPA, which require spending tens of millions of dollars to bring a factory up to the new code. Most of the new regulations were imposed by federal agencies, and do not have the force of law behind them. (Washington Post reporters Peter Wallsten and Jia Lynn Yang erroneously suggested that the new regs were entirely based in new legislation.)
White House’s Daley seeks balance in outreach meeting with manufacturers
By Peter Wallsten and and Jia Lynn Yang, June 16, 2011
One by one, exasperated executives stood to air their grievances on environmental regulations and stalled free-trade deals. And Daley, the former banker tasked with building ties with industry, found himself looking for the right balance between empathy and defending his boss.
At one point, the room erupted in applause when Massachusetts manufacturing executive Doug Starrett, his voice shaking with emotion, accused the administration of blocking construction on one of his facilities to protect fish, saying government “throws sand into the gears of progress.”
Daley said he did not have many good answers, appearing to throw up his hands in frustration at what he called “bureaucratic stuff that’s hard to defend.”
“Sometimes you can’t defend the indefensible,” he said.
The exchange suggests the limits of the elaborate courtship of corporations begun by President Obama and his top aides after Democrats’ big losses in the 2010 elections — an effort that has taken on new urgency in recent weeks.
Top aides have been reaching out to business leaders as Obama’s reelection campaign seeks to expand its network of potential new donors and fundraisers. And the White House has hoped that a closer alliance with businesses would help spur job growth.
Even as the White House pledges more receptivity to corporate concerns, business continues to spar with the administration on numerous fronts.
Wall Street is lobbying to undo many of the new regulations signed into law [sic] last year. Manufacturers say environmental policies are hindering growth. And, in a high-profile case that tests the administration’s allegiances, aerospace giant Boeing is warring with labor regulators over its decision to open a plant in South Carolina, which is hostile to unions.
In his speech and during a question-and-answer session Thursday, Daley laid out the administration’s efforts to help business, promoting Obama’s support for changing the corporate tax structure and for new free trade agreements.
He pointed to the administration’s effort, led by regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, to identify hundreds of rules that could be costing businesses money and time.
When a paper company executive said Environmental Protection Agency regulations might cost her $10 million to $15 million to upgrade a mill, Daley said the number of rules and regulations “that come out of agencies is overwhelming.”
Later, he added: “We’re trying to bring some rationality to it.”
Daley’s appearance before Thursday’s meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers was an unusual public appearance for Obama’s relatively new chief of staff. He invited the executives to offer candid views and extended the question-and-answer session, at one point joking, “I’ll probably regret saying that.”…
Over 2200 reader comments followed the Washington Post story. I read most of the 220-odd “featured” comments, the overwhelming majority of which were not only head-thumpingly stupid, but at times pretentious, as well.
Is it not amazing that companies in Europe with those ‘outrages regulations and taxes’ can still compete hefty with American companies. And when was the last time we heard any European nation that there was nuclear waste material in their drinking water. The main difference between American business people and European is that the European folks have found ways to work with the regulations and not just wine about them.
A couple of years back when all was good, it was all sustainability...See More and community standing for business, profits were soaring, and live was good. Now, we are back to what really matters, short term numbers, and if need be, at any expense. This means more outsourcing or moving plants to places where we can respect people’s rights less. Like Boeing in her statement, if you move to South Carolina because of the hostility against unions, it says a lot about the respect for people as well.
6/17/2011 2:32:32 PM EDT
Consistantly, European Cities rank the highest in Quality of life...life longevity, availbility of inexpensive health care, parks/culture...etc. Even Northern Europe with the highest tax rates and regulation are prospering...generating more private sector jobs then we do. Don't believe the lies of the Republicans. Low taxes and less regulation means a more "uncivilized" nation.
6/17/2011 4:31:39 PM EDT
And as the following sage demonstrates, the idiots were not all socialists.
OK people please read some on economics before you post. The natural progression for economies is from agriculture, to manufacturing, and then to information.
We have led the way in the world to the information/service economy.
Those saying manufacturing jobs are gone, simply need to keep up and advance with the rest of the economy.
China is bringing in farmers to the factories faster than we can keep up, so I'm sorry, our manufacturi...See Moreng days are over.
Plus, I thought environmentalists would be happy to see manufacturing jobs go away.
6/17/2011 1:39:38 PM EDT
My favorite comment follows.
The "information economy" is a pipe dream that exists only on paper. When manufacturing is gone, the only relevant information is that you have becom a third world country with no middle class.
6/17/2011 3:57:02 PM EDT
The most noteworthy media aspect of Bill Daly’s meeting with NAM is that with the exception of the Washington Post and ABC News blogger Jake Tapper, the socialist MSM refused to report on it. That doesn’t mean there were no socialist MSM reporters present, or that they failed to write dispatches on the conference, but that their editors all protected “Obama,” by spiking stories about his chief of staff ridiculing “Obama’s” regulatory policies.