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“Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.” — from Virgil’s Aeneid, translated by John Dryden
Today, President Obama will address the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the very same organization he slandered as a foreign money-funneling operation before the midterm election shellacking just three short months ago.
Desperate to goose up his administration’s abysmal jobs numbers, President Obama is on a public relations quest to create the appearance of “mending fences” and “easing tensions” with the Beltway business lobby — a lobby that should in no way be mistaken for representing the majority of American businesses and entrepreneurs.
I remind you again:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the staunchest promoters of amnesty and joined with the AFL-CIO/ACLU to oppose immigration enforcement measures. They oppose E-verify and sued Arizona over its employer sanctions law.
The Chamber is supporting a pro-Obamacare, pro-TARP, pro-card check, pro-stimulus, pro-amnesty Democrat in Arizona over his free-market GOP challenger.
And the Chamber is now playing footsie with the AFL-CIO on a joint campaign to support increased government infrastructure spending — despite the massive Big Labor pay-offs embedded in these new pork-lined projects. (Refresher: Obama signed E.O. 13502, a union-friendly executive order in his first weeks in office, which essentially forces contractors who bid on large-scale public construction projects worth $25 million or more to submit to union representation for its employees. More here.)
While the White House pushes for a bonanza of new “public-private partnerships,” let me refresh your memories of some of the Democrats’ great ideas of “public-private partnerships”…
This isn’t about letting the best ideas and businesses thrive. It’s about picking winners and losers. It’s about “managing” competition and engineering political outcomes under the guise of stimulating the economy. As I noted last April when the command-and-controller-in-chief lectured businesses that “at some point you have made enough money,” we are dealing with a president who presumes to know when you have earned “enough,” who believes that only those who provide what he deems “good” products and services should “keep on making it,” and who has determined that the role of American entrepreneurs is not to pursue their own self-interest, but to fulfill their “core” responsibility as dutiful growers of the collective economy.
What’s in it for the statist businesses that go along for the ride with Obama and his team of corruptocrats?
Like they say in the Windy City: It’s all about the boodle.
In Chicago politics, there’s an old term for the publicly-subsidized pay-offs meted out to the corruptocrats’ friends and special interests: Boodle.
In the age of Obama, “reform” is all about the boodle. So it was with the stimulus. And the massive national service expansion. And the health care bill. And so it is with the financial “reform” bill…In front of the cameras, the Democrats will lambaste the greedy, Wall Street money. Behind the scenes, they’re pocketing Wall Street campaign donations and working out deals.
Goo-goo “reform” has always entailed wealth redistribution under the guise of public service (or “social justice” or “media justice” or “innovation” or whatever the euphemism of the day is). The goodies can take the form of exclusive union-only contracts or p.c. bailouts or waivers for favors.
When businesses get in the government handout line, it’s not a “public-private partnership.”
It’s corporate welfare — and it stinks as much under Democrat administrations as it does under Republican ones.
It goes without saying that American entrepreneurs should be beware of White House business-bashers bearing gifts.
But so, too, should taxpayers beware of Washington business-boosters wearing false free-market facades.
Update: Obama gets a warm welcome at the Chamber. Coos that he strolled over from the White House to the Chamber headquarters “in the interest of being neighborly.” Jokes: “Maybe if we’d have brought over a fruitcake, we’d have gotten off to a better start.”
This from the man who threatened: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
After some obligatory sweet talk, Obama launches into his What You Can Do For me lecture, calling on businesses to help America (translation: help Obama’s poll/jobs numbers).
After obligatory talk about reorganizing government for efficiencies, the President says “not all regulations are bad” (translation: his regulations are good) and then defends Obamacare.
After defending job-killing, innovation-strangling, tax-hiking federal health care takeover, Obama then exhorts companies to invest, invest, invest, innovate, invest, invest.
Obama gets applause: “Now is the time to invest in America.”
Translation: Now is the time to line up and lobby me for your handout, waiver, and boodle.
RCP Vid: O commands: Share the profits.