A Trump sup­porter worth lis­ten­ing to

Bernie Mar­cus knows what goes into eco­nomic suc­cess

The Washington Times Daily - - OPIN­ION - By Richard Ber­man Richard Ber­man is the pres­i­dent of Ber­man and Com­pany, a pub­lic af­fairs firm in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

When Bernie Mar­cus talks, peo­ple lis­ten. Like the old E.F. Hut­ton com­mer­cials, there are some peo­ple who, when talk­ing, are worth stop­ping what you’re do­ing and pay­ing at­ten­tion. Mr. Mar­cus, the co-founder of The Home De­pot, which rev­o­lu­tion­ized the hard­ware store in­dus­try, is one of those peo­ple. His re­cent en­dorse­ment of Pres­i­dent Trump’s achieve­ments dur­ing his first 100 days as pres­i­dent is worth con­sid­er­ing and echo­ing.

Mr. Mar­cus is not your typ­i­cal CEO who man­ages a busi­ness built by some­one else. He is one of a se­lect group of busi­ness lead­ers who have opened up new roads armed with noth­ing but their own vi­sion and judg­ment. Their opin­ions are more valu­able than those of a typ­i­cal busi­ness leader who may be a great man­ager but who could not have started what he or she is man­ag­ing.

Mr. Mar­cus points out that Mr. Trump has un­leashed the an­i­mal spir­its of Amer­i­can in­vestors, con­sumers and busi­nesses. Con­sumer con­fi­dence is at a 10-year high. The stock mar­ket is up 10 per­cent since his elec­tion. And ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies are re­spond­ing by choos­ing to in­vest at home rather than abroad. Can we say that about any re­cent presidents?

How has he achieved these suc­cesses? His dereg­u­la­tory ac­tions — ex­em­pli­fied by his ex­ec­u­tive or­der that re­quires two reg­u­la­tions to be elim­i­nated for ev­ery one cre­ated — have helped cut through some of the red tape hold­ing back busi­nesses from hir­ing and in­vest­ing. Turn­ing on the Dakota Ac­cess and Key­stone XL pipe­lines will also cre­ate hun­dreds of good jobs and help se­cure the coun­try’s en­ergy sup­ply.

But mar­ket sen­ti­ment is mostly re­act­ing to Mr. Trump’s deal-mak­ing skills. This skill set unique for a pres­i­dent has re­sulted in wide­spread op­ti­mism that ma­jor leg­is­la­tion will get passed that will fix the coun­try’s bro­ken health care sys­tem, lower its tax bur­den, and re­pair its out­dated in­fra­struc­ture. In this po­lit­i­cally po­lar­ized cli­mate,

Mr. Trump is looked to as the per­son who can bro­ker the com­pro­mises nec­es­sary to im­prove the coun­try.

His tax pro­posal could be the big­gest in the coun­try’s his­tory. While pro­gres­sives will try to de­rail any tax re­form by cry­ing it’s a

“tax cut for the rich,” the peo­ple who ben­e­fit most from such tax re­lief are reg­u­lar mid­dle-class

Amer­i­cans strug­gling with day care, hous­ing and health care costs.

The ex­tra cap­i­tal in the pri­vate sec­tor stem­ming from a tax cut will be rein­vested in com­mu­ni­ties, hir­ing and new prod­ucts, rais­ing pay­checks and in­creas­ing stan­dards of liv­ing. Most busi­ness lead­ers, in­clud­ing Mr. Trump and Mr. Mar­cus, un­der­stand that good jobs won’t be avail­able with­out busi­ness growth. Pur­su­ing pro-growth poli­cies can get the coun­try to re­turn to its his­tor­i­cal level of 3 per­cent eco­nomic growth. Keep in mind: At 3 per­cent growth, the econ­omy dou­bles ev­ery 24 years; at re­cent 2 per­cent growth, it dou­bles ev­ery 36 years. That’s the dif­fer­ence be­tween liv­ing stan­dards tripling in an av­er­age life­time or merely dou­bling.

As Mr. Mar­cus high­lights, one of Mr. Trump’s big­gest ac­com­plish­ment so far is ap­point­ing Judge Neil Gor­such to the Supreme Court. Jus­tice Gor­such has a long his­tory of rul­ings that re­flect the Con­sti­tu­tion, not the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress. He will stand athwart ju­di­cial at­tempts to rede­fine in­di­vid­ual rights as the right to more free stuff.

Mr. Trump’s ac­com­plish­ments haven’t been rec­og­nized more gen­er­ally be­cause politi­cians and the me­dia don’t know what it takes to suc­ceed in busi­ness. They have never signed the front of a pay­check and don’t un­der­stand what that act sym­bol­izes. Mr. Trump is the coun­try’s first ma­jor CEO pres­i­dent. This gives him per­spec­tive that pre­vi­ous presidents who have come from le­gal and com­mu­nity ac­tivism back­grounds don’t have.

Mr. Trump now must rise to the ex­pec­ta­tions of mar­kets and busi­ness lead­ers like Bernie Mar­cus. He must roll up his sleeves and do the work nec­es­sary to pass health care and tax leg­is­la­tion.

Then he should turn his at­ten­tion to ad­dress­ing an­other ma­jor is­sue fac­ing Amer­i­cans: em­ployee rights. The Em­ployee Rights Act will pro­tect Amer­i­can em­ploy­ees from the worst of union abuses — like be­ing fired from your job un­less you pay dues to a union with­out ever get­ting to vote on join­ing. We haven’t had a ma­jor change in these rules since Harry Tru­man was pres­i­dent.

Pres­i­dent Trump has his skep­tics. But when Amer­i­can busi­ness he­roes like Bernie Mar­cus sup­port him it sug­gests you should stop and lis­ten. He may be see­ing some­thing pos­i­tive for the coun­try that will soon be hard to ig­nore.

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