Another outstanding submission from R.C. Blog's very own, Christian Stockel...
Thoughts from the Right Side
Obama’s War on the Private Economy
RC Blogger -- Christian Stockel
March 19, 2009
Charles Krauthammer authored an outstanding and insightful article in the Washington Post discussing the gap between President Obama's policies and his public statements on the need to get the economy out of a recession. Mr. Krauthammer clearly points out that his stated priorities - universal health care, clean energy, and universal access to college do not address our current challenges in any way shape or form. The issues impacting the banking industry and credit markets will not be addressed by any health care, energy, or education policy – as President Obama has argued. Mr. Krauthammer is correct in the effect of Obama’s current policy; however, I feel that there is a larger narrative that best describes the policies coming out of Washington; there is a deliberate effort to destroy the private economy and replace it with governmental institutions. Yes I am saying it; President Obama wants to establish the United States as the newest member of the club of socialist economies. If there were any doubts that Obama was a far left liberal – they can now be comfortably laid to rest.
If America continues on this path, its private sector economy will be murdered and buried next to Jimmy Hoffa (and yes I am betting someone in the Democrat party knows where he is). Private wealth is being devastated by the lack of a coherent economic policy addressing the real issues affecting the economy. Instead, the Administration has focused its efforts on pushing through a historic expansion of government that will increase the size and scope of government to unprecedented levels. With the economy in free fall and the American people shaken, President Obama has the perfect political environment to foist radical and alien policies on a country built upon the traditions of limited government, free enterprise, and private wealth. He can use his gifted communication skills and political slight of hand to sneak in government run healthcare, appropriate private retirement accounts, and get its hands into the banking system and credit markets with little or no resistance. Using the cover of the current recession President Obama is achieving in a few short weeks what far left radicals have only been able to dream about in coffee shops and universities. One only has to look at the proponents of President Obama's budget: Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, and any one of the traditional Democrat Party constituencies to determine the radical bona-fides of his agenda.
Contrasting his words against his actions and measuring the disconnect between the objectives of his policies and their obvious results, I cannot help but conclude that President Obama wants to damage the private economy to such an extent – through rhetoric or policy – so as to dismantle public confidence in private enterprise and engender within the body politic the sentiments of class warfare and a default reliance on government instead of private initiative. The market has looked at Obama's policy initiatives and reacted accordingly. Share prices for major industrial icons like General Electric, General Motors, and Citibank are in the single digits. The 401K and IRAs of average Americans are plummeting in value leaving them scared and unsure about the future. Obama responds to the precipitous drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average with indifference and tries to refocus the discussion towards “remaking America”. He has done very little to address the core issues impacting the economy or developing a coherent package of policies that would strengthen the private economy. Instead all of his policies, his budgets, and the actions of his Administration have only moved to strengthen the hand of the federal government.
Just in case the private sector economy starts showing signs of life, one can be confident that a Congressional hearing on executive excesses or "mismanagement" will be held to keep private industry in check or President Obama will simply take the credit using whatever twisted logic he can palm off to the press. If a company or an industry gets out of line, it can expect Congressional scrutiny, new regulations, IRS audits, or targeted taxes.
In fact, we see it now with the AIG “bonus scandal”, this very scenario. Despite the fact that the bonus payouts were contracted and announced a year ago before the bailout, Congressional Democrats knew about them, and Senator Dodd put an amendment to the bill - that enabled the government bailout of AIG - that specifically protected bonuses under contract prior to any government aid we are hearing howls out of Congress and threats about taking back “our money”. All the hue and cry is for show. These bonuses are 1/10th of 1 percent of all the TARP funds given to AIG – most of which has been paid to European banks to keep them afloat. All legitimate concerns about the actions of AIG management aside, what we should be worried about is the precedence this situation established for federal intrusion into the economy and private companies.
Let’s review some of the events of March 17, 2009:
Senator Chuck Schumer makes an ominous threat regarding legal contracted bonuses paid to AIG employees – “If Mr. Liddy does nothing we will act and we will take this money back and return it to its rightful owners, the taxpayers," Schumer warned. "So for those of you who are getting these bonuses, be forewarned -- you will not be getting to keep them." If the Senator can specify specific individuals against whom the government will confiscate assets – he can do it to others.
President Obama considers policies making veterans pay for healthcare related to battle injuries using private insurance. This is not only a spit in the eye to our Armed Forces it is also one of many back door ploys to break the private insurance system leaving a government run healthcare system as the only alternative.
Congress pushes the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act that will make every business a hostage of big labor and ensure that the government is party to every negotiation point between a private business and unions. This will go a long way towards slowing the growth of small and medium business – the backbone of the American economy.
Nancy Pelosi has urged the Department of Justice to relaxing anti-trust restrictions on news-media companies – specifically those in her area that are left leaning and supportive of her policies – so they could consolidate and stay in business. This is an obvious move to protect a constituency and support union jobs. This maneuver could also open the door for future government bailouts of media corporations which would result in the government having a hand in the operations of newspapers and media outlets in the same way they are exercising control over AIG.
These are examples from just for one day and signal the things to come. As this Administration continues to implement its policies, we will be hearing and seeing more Congressmen and federal entities getting involved in the day-to-day management decisions of major American corporations or whole industries. If you thought taxes and regulation were a pain, imagine Nancy Pelosi sitting in on your Monday morning planning meetings!
We are witnessing nothing less than an all out war on private industry and capitalism. The United States stands before a crossroad and the decisions made in Washington will determine its future course. One path leads to America’s traditional founding principles; while the other path leads towards an expansive federal government, socialism, and a subservient citizenry.
Given these circumstances, where is the Republican leadership highlighting the Trojan horses hidden in the spending plan passed by Congress? Who is sounding the warning bell about the economic and social impacts of an all encompassing welfare state? Who is pointing out the intellectual and political fraud being committed by the administration? If President Obama's agenda gets passed unchecked, we will have government rationed health care, government managed banks whose primary business will be to enact a left-wing social agenda, and industry held sway to the ever changing political winds of an activist Congress and White House. More importantly, the idea that individuals must look first and foremost to government for their needs will displace the traditional American values of initiative, self-reliance, and individual liberty. Once established, such public sentiment is hard to displace or reverse. The United States will be disfigured into a shadow of European social democracies. The economic and social sclerosis that goes hand-in-hand with EU style socialism will soon follow.
The question before conservatives is this - will we go quietly into that dark future or will we fight? Will we fight and resist every action of this administration to turn us into a failed socialist utopia? Our freedom, our lives, and our property hang in the balance.