Earlier in the month, Steven Russolillo correctly reported on weak business investment as a key reason for poor economic growth. However, it was incredibly frustrating that as an economic writer, Russolillo, could actually suggest this was a surprising phenomenon. It’s not surprising. In fact, it’s downright predictable. The Obama Administration has been steadily undermining businesses for years and this is the fallout of their policies.
Even though Russolillo should have known this, he could have also easily interviewed any number of business owners for his article; if he did, he would have found a multitude of reasons for weak business investment, including 1) anti-business attitudes; 2) threats of higher taxes; 3) actual higher taxes; and 4) increased government regulations. Instead, Russolillo made the rookie mistake of only talking to fellow economists, the ones who look at data and trends instead of actually being in the trenches of everyday business activity.
Russolillo acts as if low rates are the only key to business spending; they’re not. Businesses won’t spend if they continue to feel the threat of the government’s heavy-hand. Better to keep the company stabilized than attempt to stretch and expand and invest; you have no idea what new regulation or new tax will continue to wreak havoc on your long-term business plans and cash flow — they way this administration has done for the last seven years.
Businesses are tired of being treated as an both a source of extra government revenue and a playground for intrusive, burdensome policies that hurt, rather than help, our economy. It’s a no-brainer to anyone who is anyone in the business world why businesses are hesitant to invest; it’s a shame that more economists don’t know how to engage in critical thinking and basic journalism.