This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

President Obama: In No Certain Terms

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Obama administration's words are speaking louder than its actions when it comes to boosting business activity and stimulating job growth.

This week, the president scored a major political win by pushing yet another stimulus bill through a spend-weary Congress. The goal: Using $42 billion in tax and loan incentives to spur banks to lend and businesses to grow and hire.

But the bill comes at a bad time for success.

Populist rhetoric has heated up ahead of midterm elections, creating a culture where businesses must cloak their success. Meanwhile, the legislative agenda has been working against the notions of free-market capitalism that entrepreneurs tend to embrace.

Established business leaders who could most help President Obama's economic agenda are fed up with the "fat cat" soubriquets he has hurled in their direction. They're also unsure how sweeping regulatory changes - from health care to energy to the financial markets to tax policy - stand to impact their businesses and customers.

"It's clear that the range of Washington policy risks is dampening the business activity," says David Malpass, economist and president of Encima Global, who has served in senior roles at the U.S. State Department and U.S. Treasury departments. "Companies are hesitant to go to the bank because they don't want to be turned down for a loan. They are hesitant to hire a new worker because of potential health care liability. They're hesitant to put in their aging parents' money into their business because the after-tax return as tax rates go up won't be worth it."

Malpass argues that while the small-business bill is meant to help the little guys on Main Street, its passage actually stands to hurt economic growth. He thinks Obama's policy goals have cost corporate America more, restrained hiring, hampered lending and sapped confidence from the already-edgy investor community.

"It's another harmful bill because it gives the private sector the clear proof that Washington intends to control every aspect of credit flows, income flows and job flows," says Malpass. "We've got Washington controlling autos, mortgages, finance, health care and now small businesses."

Not everyone agrees with that view - there's a strong debate over the root cause of the recent economic pause.

Some lenders, economists and observers insist that activity has slowed because there's simply not enough demand. Others place the blame squarely on the uncertainty coming from Capitol Hill.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
BAC $14.56 0.00%
GS $164.11 0.00%
JPM $63.20 0.00%
MCD $126.49 0.00%
WFC $49.98 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs