In an interview with Business Week magazine that hits newsstands Friday, Barack Obama makes these jaw-dropping declarations:
He said his economic policies had helped pull the country back from financial turmoil as he entered office and "created an environment in which businesses can be profitable."
"We are pro-growth," Obama said. "We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market."
Since Business Week is happy to get this interview, there was no rebuttal (or even laughter) offered by conservatives. He wasn't finished:
"You would be hard-pressed to identify a piece of legislation that we have proposed out there that, net, is not good for businesses," he added. He predicted that legislation he will sign this year would cut corporate taxes by about $70 billion.
The shortened version that appeared in The Washington Post on Thursday didn't even contain these sentences showing business isn't buying the "fierce free market" stuff:
Obama, succeeding a Republican president who stressed reducing regulation and cutting taxes on investment income, has come in for repeated criticism from business groups.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a frequent sparring partner, joining battle over Obama’s health-care overhaul plan, climate-change legislation, support for a new consumer financial protection agency, and backing for legal changes making it easier to unionize workers.
Early in the Obama administration, bondholders objected to pressure from the White House to accept discounts on Chrysler debt. Hedge-fund manager Clifford Asness of AQR Capital Management publicly accused Obama of "bullying" creditors.
Wall Street has chafed at Obama’s targeting of bonuses given to bank executives and fought a White House plan announced last month to recover the cost of the financial industry bailout with taxes on large banks.
Perceptions that Obama is unfriendly to business are widespread in the investment community. In a Bloomberg poll in January, 77 percent of U.S. investors surveyed said they see the president as anti-business.