American Elephants

Barking up the Wrong Tree! by The Elephant's Child
February 7, 2011, 8:26 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom | Tags: , ,

President Obama told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today that government and business “can and must work together.”

Rasmussen Reports found that 68% of likely U.S. voters believe that government and big business already work together against the interests of consumers and investors.  Their latest poll  shows that only 13^ disagree with that assessment, While 18 % are not sure.

The view that government and big business work together against the interests of others is shared across partisan, demographic and ideological lines.  Seventy percent of liberals and sixty-nine percent of conservatives share that view.

This indicates a massive chasm between Americans who seek freedom and self-governance and politicians who want to rule over them.

President Obama told the Chamber of Commerce today that “the role of government is to support the economic foundation by spending public money to improve transportation, education and communications systems.” Rasmussen’s earlier polling has found that 59% of voters believe that the primary purpose of government is to protect individual liberties and freedom.

That makes things fairly clear, doesn’t it.  Only 10% see managing the economy as government’s primary role.  24% see the government’s primary role as ensuring social justice.  And Americans consistently believe in lower taxes and lower government spending.

Obama Attempts to Make Nice With Business, by Lecturing. by The Elephant's Child

“Winning the Future”, with the embarrassing acronym, is the new program.  The President plans to help American entrepreneurs with his War on Regulation.  The president’s executive order of Jan. 18, the president says, will ensure that regulators consider the economic consequences of new rules, but with a 120-day period for a government-wide review of regulations already in place. Immediacy.

A  closer look suggests that there is less substance there than claimed.  The executive order requires agencies to submit a “preliminary plan” for reviewing regulations sometime in the future to either make regulations “more effective” or “less burdensome.” And the results of any regulatory reviews are required to be posted online “whenever possible” This is a prize collection of weasel words, not leadership.

The president spoke today to the Chamber of Commerce.  It was meant to be a peace-making gesture, but the speech was flat and the Chamber didn’t like it much.  The problem is that the president comes to business with an anti-business mindset.  He assumes that business abuses their workers, that they are underpaid by greedy bosses. He assumes that American business is not competitive with business in countries like India and China, without understanding their advantages and America’s advantages. And to top it off he lectures them.  I guess he can’t resist.

Keith Hennessey listed what the president called the responsibilities of government:

  1. to encourage American innovation;
  2. to provide our people and businesses with the fastest, most reliable way to move goods and information;
  3. to invest in the skills and education of our people;
  4. to cut the spending that we just can’t afford;
  5. to break down barriers that stand in the way of the success of American businesses — citing trade, corporate taxes, and unnecessary regulation.

But we already know what he plans. He will subsidize battery plants and solar shingle makers.  He wants to build high speed rail. Government has been investing billions in education for years, as education steadily declines.  We have not yet seen any spending that Obama thinks we cannot afford.  Our corporate taxes are still the world’s highest, he has refused to sign free trade agreements, and the regulation that needs repealing is not on his to-do list. He said that “there are some safeguards and standards that are necessary to protect the American people from harm or exploitation.”

Here is Heritage’s list of 20 burdensome regulations starting with the Health Insurance mandate, and running through the lightbulb ban, with a thorough explanation of why these regulations are burdensome.  It would be a great start, but I won’t bet on any of them being repealed or ended anytime soon or at all.

This administration simply does understand business, and it shows.

(Click to enlarge)

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