Caterpillar (CAT) Is Cozy With Obama


Maybe it’s cause they’re both from Illinois. Or maybe it’s because Caterpillar is the kind of homegrown hard-hat kind of company that Obama would like to see more of. Whatever it is, the maker of yellow earth movers is popular with the President. Remember, also, that his transportation secretary Ray LaHood comes from Peoria, where the company is based.

This week, its CEO told Obama that if the stimulus were to get passed, it would rehire “some” of the 22,000 folks it recently laid off. And today Obama is heading to its HQ little meet and greet.

So that’s great. We’d love to see a company in a rea, productivel industry thrive too, but let’s watch the coziness a little. As Russ Roberts notes, it’s great that they said they’ll hire more people, but if there’s some kind of quid-pro-quo here, that’s a problem. And new unnecessary work at the expense of long-term finances is just trading one problem for another, while benefitting a politically connected firm.