Barack Obama, President Obama — February 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

Get in the game


During his speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week, President Obama said this:

Now is the time to invest in America. Today, American companies have nearly $2 trillion sitting on their balance sheets. I know that many of you have told me that you are waiting for demand to rise before you get off the sidelines and expand, and that with millions of Americans out of work, demand has risen more slowly than any of us would like.

But many of your own economists and salespeople are now forecasting a healthy increase in demand. So I want to encourage you to get in the game. And part of the bipartisan tax deal we negotiated, businesses can immediately expense 100 percent of their capital investments. As you all know, it’s investments made now that will pay off as the economy rebounds. And as you hire, you know that more Americans working means more sales, greater demand, and higher profits for your companies. We can create a virtuous cycle.

And if there is a reason you don’t share my confidence, if there is a reason you don’t believe that this is the time to get off the sidelines – to hire and invest – I want to know about it. I want to fix it. That’s why I’ve asked Jeff Immelt of GE to lead a new council of business leaders and outside experts so that we’re get ting the best advice on what you’re facing out there – and we’ll be holding our first meeting two weeks from now, on the 24th. Together, I am confident that we can win the competition for new jobs and industries. And I know you share my enthusiasm; I know you love this country and want America to succeed just as badly as I do.

Yes, we’ll have disagreements; yes we will see things differently at times. But we are all Americans. And that spirit of patriotism, that sense of mutual regard and common obligation has carried us through times far harder than these.

You can define patriotism in many ways, of course. But I fully concur with the President that it’s time American corporations, particularly the large, highly-profitable companies that are now sitting on this giant pool of money, DO get in the game. It’s time they DO show some patriotism and some faith in the American people and start hiring and investing in the future. It’s all well and good to slim down during times of economic difficulties but all signs are now pointing toward a slow but steady recovery. That recovery can be accelerated by putting American workers back to work.

Some, come on, corporate America. GET IN THE GAME!

I’m just sayin’…