The Education of Jeffrey Immelt?
March 20, 2012
RUSH: Charles Gasparino with a piece in the New York Post today. "Back when he agreed to advise the Obama [regime] 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." Yeah, there's no question that that's one of the reasons Immelt did this.
Here's a company doesn't need a federal dime and took all those Obama dollars and then turned all of those TV networks green two weeks a year and start doing green energy programs and so forth. Green energy jet engines (which don't exist), green energy dishwashers and all that stuff. It was crony capitalism. Pure and simple crony capitalism. That's a great definition of it. "But," according to Charlie Gasparino today in the New York Post, "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."
I'll read that again. "Immelt doesn't think he's had anywhere near as much luck moderating the president's fat-cat-bashing, left-leaning economic agenda..." What made him think he could? Well, he's a CEO. He's got to be a very confident individual and he's gotta have a healthy ego. But he doesn't understand liberals and he certainly doesn't understand socialists, and he doesn't understand committed liberals and socialists. No capitalist is gonna talk a liberal out of it. No capitalist is gonna talk a socialist out of it. I don't care how confident in yourself you are, it isn't going to happen. What ends up happening is the capitalist gets corrupted, and you might say that a variation of that happened.
Here's a big company that ends up going green when there's no business there. In fact, that may be one of the reasons they took the subsidies: There isn't any business there! There isn't a green business. It doesn't exist. Solyndra, all the wind, all the solar, there's no business there. It was just a pipe dream. And Immelt managed to get a whole bunch of money. He got hundreds of millions of dollars and there's no business. That's pretty smart, actually, for his company. That was probably his objective. "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."
Immelt is "dismayed" at that.
"The GE CEO," says Gasparino, "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," writes Gasparino, "'Jeff thought he could make a difference, and now realizes he couldn't.'" Now, yes, ladies and gentlemen, this kind of stuff frustrates me to no end. I know that Immelt wouldn't talk to me if his life depended on it. But if he would have, I could have predicted everything that has happened here. I could have told him that despite his brilliance, his confidence, and best efforts, there's no way.
(New Castrati impression) "How would you have done it, Mr. Limbaugh? You think Immelt couldn't talk Obama out of socialism? What makes you think you could explain it to him?" Because I would tell Immelt who Obama is. I would have told Immelt who Obama is: He's not just a Democrat; he's not just a misguided Democrat. That's what I would have told him, and I would have proved it. I would have documented it. Now, they say in this piece that Immelt is a lifelong Republican. But he's in Connecticut, which means he's gotta give to a lot of Democrats, and he did. Chris Shays, Chris Dodd, Tom Daschle, Pat Leahy, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, James Clyburn of the Congressional Black Caucasians.
But he did give smaller amounts. He did give to Bush and McCain, and even Romney. I don't know. Immelt might think that Obama's in over his ears, that he just doesn't get it (sigh) which is a mistake. "Immelt's conversion from public Obama supporter to a private detractor is important," writes Gasparino, "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."
By the way, there are parenthesis here and Gasparino writes: "(A GE spokesman insists that the reports I'm sharing here about Immelt's private criticism of Obama are 'ludicrous.')" So a GE spokesman says: Gasparino, you're wrong; this is not how Jeff Immelt feels. "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. Yet friends report that Immelt's displeasure with the [Obama] economic policies is real and palpable in private settings. ... I'm told a clue to Immelt's disenchantment with the president can be found in GE's annual letter to shareholders, in which the CEO laments, 'We live in a tough era in which the public discourse, in general, is negative ... American companies, particularly big companies, are vilified,' when 'we need to work together to find a better way.'
"Sure doesn't sound like an Obama booster to me." That's how Gasparino closes his piece. In a companion piece from the Business Insider. Headline: "The Head of Obama's Jobs Council is Voting for Romney -- General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, the head of President Obama's Jobs Board, plans to vote for Mitt Romney" if he gets the nomination. "If true, the news would represent a major embarrassment to the [regime], which had elevated Immelt in their pursuit of private sector employment growth." So chalk that one up very frustrated. All of this could have been prevent if Immelt had simply been told who Obama is.
Even that might not have stopped him because those green energy subsidies are hard for a CEO to turn down. That's one of the problems with this all-powerful federal government that can just give money away that it does not have. Here you've got General Electric. What more could Obama ask for than to have a company like that go all in for "green," clean energy and all that? And what we know is that Immelt wouldn't do it on his own. He needed Obama bucks. Obama was more than happy to spend it. "Okay, here my Obama bucks. Now you're on my team, and I'm gonna put you on some jobs committee over there just to keep the wolves at bay."