WASHINGTON — White Hose chief of staff William Daley on Wednesday fired back at critics of the administration’s economic policies, calling his boss a “pro-business president.”
“President Barack Obama has always believed that America succeeds when business succeeds,” Daley, a former commerce secretary respected by corporate America, wrote in an op-ed in the Financial Times.
“He has a deep, abiding commitment to doing what is necessary to strengthen our economy and make America more competitive.”
He pointed to educational reforms he said would lead to more competitive employees as well as infrastructure upgrades and research and development aid that would propel local businesses and attract foreign investment.
“Even as we lay this foundation, we are working to knock down barriers that make it harder to compete, from the tax code to the regulatory system — starting with a new government-wide review of regulations,” he wrote.
“The president has also cut taxes 40 times, including 17 times for small businesses,” he added.
He also said Obama had moved to reduce the country’s massive deficit by proposing a budget that would freeze annual domestic spending for five years and reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade.
“Two years ago our economy was in freefall. Today, it is growing, showing 11 straight months of private sector job growth, and adding more than one million jobs,” Daley wrote.
Daley’s appointment in January was widely seen as an olive branch to the business community, with which Obama has had a rocky relationship.
The president’s Republican rivals and many business leaders have accused him of hobbling the economic recovery by expanding government through his signature health care legislation and drive to reform Wall Street.
Obama has sought to close the gap since his Democratic Party’s crushing defeat in November elections, which saw Republicans retake control of the House of Representatives and expand their presence in the Senate.