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Monday, December 14, 2009

Obama Plays the Populist Card

When in doubt, it is always safe to pander to the masses. President Obama’s approval ratings have taken a severe hit; but there is no better way to try and change direction than to have sharp words for Wall Street bankers and to portray himself as siding with the little guy. However, there are many facts the President left out of his little P.R. stunt.

During his interview on 60 Minutes Sunday evening, he said “I didn’t run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.” Is that so Mr. President? If one has paid any attention to President Obama’s first 11 months in office, they would be very well aware of the fact that he has not only continued, but has expanded the Bush/Paulson bailout plan. He has also recently considered bailouts for the ailing newspaper industry.

The President may claim that he has no intention of helping Wall Street fat cats, but one is left to wonder why these fat cats were so generous in their donations to his presidential campaign. (1) Goldman Sachs was President Obama’s second largest donor contributing nearly $1 million to his campaign. The top ten list included Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Company, Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and General Electric.

These fat cats have invested heavily in this administration since they not only get rewarded for their irresponsibility; they also stand to profit immensely off of their proposed policies such as Cap and Trade. Cap and Trade would do absolutely nothing to address climate change concerns, but it would give the government tremendous power while companies like Goldman Sachs would profit off of the commissions. Goldman Sachs currently owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange. All of this would be at the CONSUMER’S expense. President Obama can spew rhetoric all day long that talks about heavy taxation and regulation, but the truth is that these taxes and regulatory costs are passed onto the consumer. It’s quite comical to think otherwise.

General Electric (GE) also made the list and is currently being repaid with the receipt of lucrative government contracts. The company also started a joint venture called Greenhouse Gas Services which will invest and manage the trading of greenhouse gas credits. During the fourth quarter of 2008, the company’s stock declined 30 percent. However, that did not stop the company from spending $4.26 million on lobbying. (2)

It’s interesting how the left widely publicized former Vice President Dick Cheney’s connection to Halliburton Corporation, yet they turn a deaf ear to amount of influence General Electric has had on public policy not only through lobbying, but through the promotion of its agenda via its ownership of NBC Universal along with Jeffery Immelt’s special connection to President Obama. Mr. Immelt sits on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. Mr. Immelt has all but run GE into the ground, yet he is being consulted for economic advice? These types of connections make the former Vice President’s look like small potatoes.

President Obama claims he will put pressure on banks to open up their purse strings and loan money to small businesses. There is the saying that “ignorance is bliss,” but this is not the case. Obama denies what really caused the crash of 2008 – the Federal Reserve’s policy of cheap money which allowed for the financing of reckless lending practices backed and regulated by the government. He’s never spoken seriously or has expressed real concern for the weakness of the dollar, the amount of debt that burdens the nation and a dangerously large federal deficit – the largest in history. Instead, he continues and expands on the Bush administration’s (the same administration he loves to blame) absurd monetary policy while encouraging banks to stray from prudent lending practice all in the name of saving the economy.

When all of the facts are examined, one can conclude just how much Obama cares about “the little guy.” He shows his concern by condoning a monetary policy that weakens the purchasing power and net worth of every American. He supports bailouts of failing companies (many that are run by those fat cats he says he doesn’t wish to help) that prevent opportunity. Propping up failure comes at the expense of growth and innovation. He does not address any of the burdensome regulation and mandates that prevent small businesses from expanding and hiring people. Larger corporations enjoy economies of scale, which allows them to spread out and pass the regulatory cost onto the consumer; but the small business owner cannot. It’s no coincidence that there has been a surge in the hiring of temporary workers over the past several months since these mandates do not apply to temporary workers. In addition, temporary workers can be let go much easier than employees, which is a wise move for employers in precarious economic times. All that the President offers is a promise that banks will give small business the option of assuming more debt – just what it needs!

The little guy doesn’t need the Obama Administration’s statist agenda and the enactment of the same failed policies that have prolonged and made recessions worse in the past. Such polices create a very volatile economic atmosphere – not the kind that puts people back to work and ensures prosperity for all.



(1) http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638

(2) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Obamas-hidden-bailout-of-General-Electric_03_04-40686707.html

5 comments:

Libertarian Advocate said...

Michelle: A truly superb post on skewering Botus's new found Populism. I've lost count on just how many Goldman Sachs alums he's got in his admin. Better than ten I think.

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