A Further Perspective

Why Business Supports Romney

And it's doing so unequivocably.

By 7.20.12

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The headline in the Hill said it all: "Romney's $106M Haul Stuns Dems." The fact is that Governor Romney is attracting a breadth and depth of supporters who are willing to dig deep into their personal pockets to support his candidacy. Why?

I believe this is because President Obama has been the biggest job-killing, anti-business President in my lifetime. Not long ago, I easily counted 50 ways he has hurt jobs in America.

I don't think this is just my view. Recently, I was contacted by an editor of a major trade publication who asked me to write a pro-Romney piece she hoped would be countered by another business leader writing a pro-Obama piece. Later, she confessed that the effort collapsed because she could not identify one CEO who was willing to speak out on behalf of Obama.

Another public epiphany occurred in late June when I was interviewing Randy Fry, the CEO of Fry's Electronics, a strong, regional 36-store technology chain based on the West Coast. When I asked Fry about his expansion plan to develop new stores, he said it would depend on the November election. He said that if Obama was reelected, the economy would continue to stagnate and he would not expand. But if Romney was elected, he would hope to open more stores and in turn, create more jobs.

Four years ago, as the Wall Street Journal reported, members of my trade association supported the election of President Obama. Today, our industry, and I suspect many other industries, overwhelmingly support Governor Romney. So what has happened in the past four years?

Despite absurd claims that he has reduced federal spending since his first year record pace, Obama has greatly increased the size of government. His story has changed drastically from 2008, when he initially called the deficit left from President Bush "unpatriotic." But in the past four years, he has increased that deficit by $5 trillion. Channeling funds into the public sector does not add value to the economy nor does it create anything other than government jobs.

Next, Obama has suffocated businesses further by increasing red tape. A report released on March 13 by the Heritage Foundation details how 106 Obama administration rules have added $46 billion per year in new costs for Americans – exceeding the Bush-era comparable time period by four times the number of rules at more than five times the cost. More, hundreds of new rules are being actively considered. Every one of these is a huge cost on business and a jobs killer.

Lastly, Obamacare will hurt businesses by imposing rules that affect the way businesses hire. With another poor jobs report in June, businesses have already said that they would try to hire less or only hire part-time employees to defer the costs of Obamacare. Romney getting $2 million immediately following the Supreme Court's decision upholding the law underscores businesses' dismay at Obamacare.

Business leaders around the country are feeling the effects of these policies. Most business owners I talk to are concerned that the re-election of President Obama will adversely affect the economy for the next four years. They worry about uncertainty more than they worry about higher taxes. They express concerns about the wave of choking regulatory rules they deal with now. And they are simply overwhelmed by the President's anti-business rhetoric as well as how he divides America along class lines.

Fundraising is simply a proxy for the depth of concern. More, other Americans who understand that businesses, not government, create jobs are also likely the ones who are strongly supporting Governor Romney, both financially and soon at the polls.

If the November election is about the economy and jobs, rather than about personal attacks on Mitt Romney's success and wealth, then the American people will elect a president who will create an envronment for economic improvement and job creation. 

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About the Author

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies, and author of the New York Times best-selling books, Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses and The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream. His views are his own.