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Obama Administration Is 'Anti-Business': Jack Welch

Thursday, 23 Sep 2010 | 9:39 AM ET

High unemployment may last for a long time because of the sluggish economy, bad politics and advances in technology, Jack Welch, author of "Straight from the Gut," told CNBC Thursday.

Jack Welch
AP
Jack Welch

President Barack Obama's administration has an "anti-business" bias which manifests itself through intimidation, trade, taxes and regulation, Welch also said.

"Our businesses across the board look like 1.5-2 percent gross domestic product (advance) businesses," he said.

"The facts are in most businesses there's 20 to 25 percent excess capacity that they can fill in without adding any new people," Welch added.

Technology, which is improving business "exponentially", is also a factor in not adding jobs.

The government should make it easier for companies to invest and expand but instead they are hampering business, according to Welch.

"I still maintain that the economy's been terrible and they have not done things to move the economy forward," he said.

"He's there a month and he vilifies Las Vegas… he kills the hotel business," Welch said.

Soon after he came into office, Obama slammed companies that benefitted from taxpayer money for taking corporate trips to Las Vegas.

Businesspeople said tourism in Nevada took a hit partly because companies decided to cancel trips to Las Vegas following his comment.

"You get all these little things that have consequences beyond 'we can't have corporate jets and fat cats going to Las Vegas,'" Welch said.

If Republicans win in the mid-term November elections it would be better for the economy because it generally is better if the president is of one political color and Congress of another, he added.

"President Bush misbehaved when he had all his boys in the House and the Senate. These guys don't know how to behave," Welch said.

Clinton "was good when he had Newt Gingrich being a pain in the neck at his side." The Obama administration has done some "nice things in education," he said, "but they weren't focused on economy and jobs."

Welch: Obama's Policies Anti-Business, Pt. 2
Insight on the Obama administration's economic policies and the state of recovery, with Jack Welch, "Straight From The Gut" author.

The recession caused many projects to be put on hold and led to a change in business habits, while policies have "stuck the gears" of business, Welch said.

To encourage the business sector, the government could "make heroes out of entrepreneurs… they can celebrate business," according to Welch.

Some countries in Europe don't celebrate their entrepreneurs, "most people don't want to be these people," he said.

"We have a culture that says 'I want to make a lot of money, I want to make good with my money'… that's a hero, not a bum," Welch explained.

Another example of Obama's anti-business stance is the fact that in the auto bailout, bondholders were "smashed to pieces" and "were called speculators," he said.

BP , which was "vilified" for the blown-up well in the Gulf of Mexico was yet another example, as is the fact that the insurance industry "gets killed" in the health reform, Welch added.

Earlier in the year, President Obama "ridiculed the Supreme Court in front of the nation" for its decision to remove limits on companies' political donations, according to Welch.

In January when the decision was issued Obama said that "the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics."

Welch also criticized Obama's policy on cancelling the foreign tax credit relief, saying that companies that reinvest their earnings abroad should not be forced to pay tax on that money because they use it to compete in the global economy.

"Stop it, you can't go industry by industry… through intimidation, business by business by business," Welch said.

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