I wonder what the Communist Party USA, which loves my book, would have to say about this:
Does President Barack Obama deserve credit for the fact that corporate profits have risen faster under him than during any other 18-month period since the 1920s?
“The better question is whether he wants the credit,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who was an economic adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Obama sounds a lot like he wants corporations to be less profitable.”
Profits have surged 62 percent from the start of 2009 to mid-2010, according to the Commerce Department. That is faster than any other year and a half in the Fabulous ’50s, the Go-Go ’60s or the booms under Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
Here's why that's not doing anyone other than a handful of billionaires much good right now:
Holtz-Eakin said that the profit growth has been driven not by revenue gains but by businesses cutting workers to boost productivity. He conceded, however, this was also the story during Bush’s “jobless recovery” and acknowledged that Obama probably did deserve some credit for stabilizing the chaotic financial system he inherited in 2009.
Nonetheless, noncorporate business has not thrived under Obama: Profits from those mostly smaller businesses are basically flat for the past 18 months, far worse than the gain under Bush and most other presidents just after recessions.
At the risk of sounding like David Broder, small business reform seems like the perfect area where Democrats and Republicans could find common ground -- I know there have been some small moves in that direction, but not enough. I think the Democrats miss a real opportunity by not looking at common sense regulatory reforms, while Republicans seem locked into protecting Wall Street fat cats along with Main Street. Meanwhile, we need 8 million new jobs, and the clock is ticking, people...