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Special Report

White House Disconnected From Business?

As the Federal Reserve was about to issue that new and gloomier forecast for the economy, a researcher at the Fed bank in San Francisco produced a study covering the past half-century which found a close correlation between business confidence and increased economic activity.

If that seems an obvious conclusion, it is. But the idea seems lost on the Obama administration, whose economic councils have been notable for the absence of anyone who has actually run a business.

The economy looks different to people who see if from the remove of a college campus or the Democratic cloakrooms of Capitol Hill. Such people can think it's harmless to impose on a fragile economy a massive new health care entitlement with a sweeping new set of regulations to go with it.

Indeed, the administration, even as it issued more new regulations yesterday, also issued more waivers to companies who said the new rules would force them to drop health coverage for thousands of workers. One hundred eleven such waivers have now been granted.

How, you ask, could the president and congressional Democrats not foresee such consequences? The answer is that these are the same people who for two years have allowed a massive tax increase to loom over the economy and who now, with only weeks until the increase hits, still have not done anything to head it off.