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August 20, 2014

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Obama’s way means ‘lights out’ for Vegas, Wynn says

Steve Wynn on Fox News

Steve Wynn, Part I

Uncertain Futures, seg. 2

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  • Steve Wynn, Part I

Steve Wynn, Part II

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  • Steve Wynn, Part II

Steve Wynn continued his tough attacks on President Barack Obama in a wide-ranging Sun interview last week.

The casino mogul began those attacks in the spring and continued them during an appearance on Fox News this month. His remarks, which have been disputed by other casino executives, turned him into something of a folk hero among denizens of the Republican right.

Obama isn’t just wrong, he’s dangerous, Wynn said.

“I’m seeing things I’ve never seen before in my life,” he said. “It’s a punitive, secretive and misinformed government.”

Obama and Democrats in Congress — he said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is an exception — are anti-business and deviating from policies that create jobs and prosperity.

He specifically cited climate change legislation, the drive to reform health care, and proposed changes to labor law as punitive attacks on business that would lead to worsening economic conditions.

“They are trying to change the basic fabric of American life without preparation, homework or experience. And they’re trying to intimidate everybody.”

He called Obama’s policies “socialism light.” When it was suggested the policies Obama has pursued resemble those of European social democracies, he replied: “I wouldn’t want to see America become a European social democracy. It would stunt growth, inhibit our standard of living. And it would be lights out for Las Vegas.”

Wynn then offered an unsolicited endorsement of the Chinese government: “The environment in China is much more free than here.

“Do they feel they are being deprived of their human rights? No. My employees (at Wynn properties in Macau) are very happy with their government,” he said.

As Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented, China has stifled freedom of religion and expression, jailed dissidents and blocked the formation of labor unions, among other abuses.

Wynn then said he was outraged by current efforts to reform America’s health care system.

“I’m not overwhelmed with confidence in our legislators’ ability to deal with a complex problem, when most don’t have experience in this area.”

He continued: “To take up health care, behind closed doors, it’s the low point in government responsibility.”

Finally, Wynn said the government’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which injected capital into the financial system, and the roughly $800 billion fiscal stimulus program, have been failures.

Although there’s no unanimity on the subject, many economists believe both have been important in stabilizing the economy.

David Shulman, an economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast and a former Wall Street investment manager, said, “It was part of the process that averted the Great Depression 2.0. (TARP) put capital into the banking system when it was desperately needed and that helped restore a modicum of confidence in the economy.”

Jan Hatzius, chief U.S. economist for Goldman Sachs, told The Wall Street Journal last month that the U.S. economy will grow by 3.3 percent this quarter; without the stimulus, which has been a mix of tax cuts and spending programs, growth would be “around zero.”

Wynn said this is all conjecture.

He’ll be active in next year’s elections, hoping to reverse the course set by Obama: “Why am I active politically? Because I’m very concerned.”

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