America’s CEOs have soured on Donald Trump. The onetime real-estate developer/reality TV star—whose enterprises have declared bankruptcy at least six times—luxuriated in a brief honeymoon with the business community after ascending to the White House. No longer.
At the annual Yale CEO Summit on Dec. 13-14, more than a hundred of the country’s top executives—running the gamut from Black & Decker to UPS—roundly panned Trump’s performance as an “embarrassment” on issues from foreign policy to trade.
Yale School of Management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who leads the event, said most chief executives felt the Trump administration had opted for saber rattling and empty populism over truly defending US interests. Tax reform, as it finally emerged in the Republican plan, was singled out as one of the biggest disappointments. “Last year, there was so much enthusiasm about prospects of tax reform,” Sonnenfeld told Quartz. “I was astounded at how disappointed they were.”
That’s not how many CEOs (or economists) see it. Of more than 100 executives in a Yale survey, 86% said their firms would not “immediately make large domestic capital investments” if the tax bill was passed. They spared few critiques of the bill: 71% said it was “wrong for this package to add so much to the nation’s debt,” 62% called its treatment of state and local taxes “an unfair attack on blue states,” and 62% were “concerned about the health care impact of the tax proposal.”
|Once this law passes, my company will immediately make large domestic capital investments||14%||86%||105|
|I think the SLT treatment is an unfair attack on blue states.||62%||38%||125|
|I am concerned about the health-care impact of the tax proposal.||61%||39%||125|
|I believe that the proposed tax-reform package should be signed into law.||55%||45%||120|
And yet a slight majority of the 120 respondents—55%—said “the proposed tax-reform package should be signed into law.” Apparently, a rich package of lower taxes and handouts for corporations was too much to refuse. . . .