Some advice for corporate America from a column in today's NYT:
"(they) should remember the president’s actual record. First, Mr. Obama inherited an economy teetering on the brink of depression. Immediately upon taking office, he forged a $787 billion economic stimulus program, and is wisely trying to expand it now. Was this program perfect? Of course not. But it has been effective. Every serious economic model indicates that it contributed to recovery.
Second, at that same time, the credit markets were in tatters and simply not functioning. The administration submitted the biggest banks to confidence-building stress tests. It skillfully invested in financial institutions, kept the mortgage markets afloat and undertook other creative initiatives to solidify the financial industry. These have worked more quickly and more successfully than anyone predicted. The system is healthy again.
All this has led directly to a turnaround in corporate profits, share prices and liquidity. Profits have increased 41 percent since President Obama was elected. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 28 percent over the same period. These are strong results.
Third, the president made the courageous decision to put General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy. As a result, both survived and, today, G.M. in particular is coming back fast — along with its hundreds of suppliers. Moreover, taxpayers are likely to recover the full value of their investment in the company.
Fourth, Mr. Obama has made big progress toward restoring America’s standing around the world. Two years ago, it stood at a historically low point, and multinationals were encountering resistance in penetrating foreign markets. The president’s reframing of our global priorities and values has returned the United States to pre-eminence — and is starting to ease our way to opening new markets abroad.
A top issue for these business groups, and properly so, is education policy. That’s because a better educated work force is a more productive one. So far, this administration has an unorthodox and outstanding record on education, a notable illustration of this is its Race to the Top initiative, which rewards the most reform-minded states with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of federal grants. Perhaps leading businesses could work with the White House to match these awards at least in part."