Wynn CEO Slams Obama, GE CEO Slams Businesses

“[Obama] is the greatest wet blanket to business…”

Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn’s quarterly address yesterday was not entirely focused on profit margins and future projections.  Wynn took some time to explain what he believes is holding back the American economy.  From Business Insider:

I believe in Las Vegas. I think its best days are ahead of it. But I’m afraid to do anything in the current political environment in the United States. You watch television and see what’s going on on this debt ceiling issue. And what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing’s going to get fixed until the President himself steps up and wrangles both parties in Congress. But everybody is so political, so focused on holding their job for the next year that the discussion in Washington is nauseating.

And I’m saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime. And I can prove it and I could spend the next 3 hours giving you examples of all of us in this market place that are frightened to death about all the new regulations, our healthcare costs escalate, regulations coming from left and right. A President that seems, that keeps using that word redistribution. Well, my customers and the companies that provide the vitality for the hospitality and restaurant industry, in the United States of America, they are frightened of this administration. And it makes you slow down and not invest your money. Everybody complains about how much money is on the side in America.

You bet and until we change the tempo and the conversation from Washington, it’s not going to change. And those of us who have business opportunities and the capital to do it are going to sit in fear of the President. And a lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, God, don’t be attacking Obama. Well, this is Obama’s deal and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America.

The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest, their holding too much money. We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody’s afraid of the government and there’s no need soft peddling it, it’s the truth. It is the truth. And that’s true of Democratic businessman and Republican businessman, and I am a Democratic businessman and I support Harry Reid. I support Democrats and Republicans. And I’m telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.

Those are some pretty harsh, but true words coming from a highly successful corporate executive.  It wasn’t Wynn’s first time to lash out at the Obama administration either.  However, it is interesting to compare his remarks with these comments from General Electric’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt:

At a conference where many of the comments were focused on government barriers to hiring, GE (GE, Fortune 500) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged there needed to be some policy changes by Congress and the Obama administration. But he said that the responsibility for hiring lay with businesses.

“The people who are part of the business sector, the people in this room, have got to stop complaining about government and get some action underway,” he told the group. “There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”

It needs to be noted that Immelt is a member of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness – whatever that is.  It is also interesting to note that GE paid zero taxes in 2010.  Both CEO’s seem to be on the same page about the economy being in the dumps and businesses afraid to invest.  But Wynn is blaming the government for suppressing the economy through regulation, taxes, and frequent policy changes while Immelt is lecturing businesses about the need to suck it up and invest anyway.  Does anyone think that Immelt’s inside track with the Obama administration had anything to do with the tone of his recent speech?