President Obama marks another milestone in his post-election move to the center by appointing pro-business Democrat William E. Daley to the powerful post of White House chief of staff. If there are any doubts that Obama wants to repair his business-bashing image, this should dispel them. It’s an excellent appointment.
Daley, a former Clinton Commerce secretary, is presently the head of Midwest operations for JPMorgan Chase and is the former president of the phone company SBC Communications Inc. Daley is a center-right Democrat. He opposed two of Obama’s biggest initiatives, the Dodd-Frank financial reform, which he lobbied against, and Obamacare health reform. He also is a free trader, working hard during the Clinton years to pass NAFTA.
Active in many business groups, Daley is a sure shot to promote an overhaul of the corporate tax code to slash the top marginal rate and broaden the base by eliminating unnecessary credits and deductions.
As part of the new Clinton group taking over the Obama White House, he surely will expedite the next round of across-the-board budget cutting, which, along with business tax reform, will be a key issue on the agenda. It’s even possible that he will accommodate some kind of deal to revise Obamacare as the GOP makes its important push to overturn it.
As chief of staff, Daley also will handle many of the presidential-campaign reelection priorities. Unfortunately, Mr. Daley was at one time a lobbyist with Fannie Mae. However, the left-wing blogosphere is already attacking him. That’s a positive credential.
So I continue to believe that both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue -- the new GOP House, the more influential GOP senators, and the new Obama 2.0 Clintonian White House -- will gradually move toward pro-growth policies. It won’t always be smooth. It ain’t gonna be perfect. There are some huge rough-and-tumble battles ahead. But there are new signs that the supply-side incentive-growth model is making a comeback in Washington, D.C. Trust but verify.