Apparently Obama’s insatiable appetite for all things big government hasn’t dissuaded GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt for sucking up a ton of government subsidies courtesy of Barack Obama. Supposedly a lifelong Republican, he’s perfectly content to continue raping our treasury in the advance of failed “green” technologies that have wasted countless billions already.
So if he’s so appalled by the recklessness, why not speak up?
Back when he agreed to advise the Obama administration on economics, General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt told friends that he thought it would be good for GE and good for the country. A life-long Republican, Immelt said he believed he could at the very least moderate the president’s distinctly anti-business instincts.
That was three years ago; these days Immelt is telling friends something quite different.
Sure, GE has managed to feast on federal subsidies, particularly the “green-energy” giveaways that are Obamanomics’ hallmark.
But Immelt doesn’t think he’s had anywhere near as much luck moderating the president’s fat-cat-bashing, left-leaning economic agenda of taxing businesses and entrepreneurs to pay for government bloat.
Friends describe Immelt as privately dismayed that, even after three years on the job, President Obama hasn’t moved to the center, but instead further left. The GE CEO, I’m told, is appalled by everything from the president’s class-warfare rhetoric to his continued belief that big government is the key to economic salvation.
Or, as one friend recently put it to me, “Jeff thought he could make a difference, and now realizes he couldn’t.”
Immelt’s conversion from public Obama supporter to a private detractor is important: It shows how even businessmen who feast off his subsidies worry about his overall economic agenda and its long-term impact on the economy.
Don’t expect Immelt to say anything publicly about the downside of president’s economic agenda anytime soon: He’s still serving as what is considered the top outside economic adviser to the White House. (A GE spokesman insists that the reports I’m sharing here about Immelt’s private criticism of Obama are “ludicrous.”)
GE has too much to lose for Immelt to publicly ’fess up to his disdain. The president now routinely talks up his desire to tax businesses that create jobs overseas, and GE overseas expansion is well-documented. Nor does the company want to put all its green subsidies at risk.
And of course the last thing Immelt or his shareholders need is for the president to turn his class-warfare fire on them, as he did to his erstwhile pals in the banking business.