Conservatives vs. Big Business

George Bush was an utter failure as a fiscal conservative. Whenever there’s a criticism of Obamanomics, the President’s followers follow his lead by deflecting blame to George Bush, so let’s just do it right off the bat. Bush was a failure as a fiscal conservative, the House GOP dropped the ball by not speaking out against him, and don’t get me started on John McCain not taking a stand against TARP while he had the chance.

That said, after the financial sector donated more money to President Obama than any other candidate and while “too big to fail” has become too bigger thanks to policy started under the last President and made worse with under the current, the evil “big business” has become the boogie man everyone attacks when people are upset over the economy.

But while “big business” is usually tied to the Republicans…could it be that they should really be tied to the Democrats? Let Rep. Paul Ryan explain. No time, let me sum up…

The actions taken at the height of the financial panic last fall, with credit markets frozen, succeeded in preventing a systemic–and catastrophic–collapse. Since bringing us back from the precipice however, the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP] has morphed into crony capitalism at its worst. Abandoning its original purpose providing targeted assistance to unlock credit markets, TARP has evolved into an ad hoc, opaque slush fund for large institutions that are able to influence the Treasury Department’s investment decisions behind-the-scenes. No longer concerned with preserving overall financial market stability, Treasury’s walking around money continues to be deployed to reward the market’s Goliaths while letting its Davids suffer…

Washington is working hard to nationalize other sectors of our economy too. The House Finance Committee is pushing a massive financial “reform” bill, effectively creating banking utility companies. The Treasury Department has effectively nationalized the housing finance sector, with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac demonstrating how fast big businesses, through a federally blessed and backed oligopoly, can fall. Now, on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, health care and energy lobbyists continue to fall over themselves to cut their deals–knowing that if they aren’t at the table, they’ll be on the menu…

The problem today has escalated far beyond partisan politics. Big businesses’ frenzied political dealings are not driven by party or ideology, but rather by zero-sum thinking in which their gain must come from a competitor’s loss. Erecting barriers to competition is a key to maintaining advantage and market share. With Washington leading the way, it makes sense for the big boys to redirect their resources to their lobbying shop and government affairs office. They’re far less interested in expanding the economic pie than with making certain that they get their slice.

Give the whole article a read, a) because Paul Ryan is one of the best that we have, and b) he goes into far more detail including using examples of how General Motors and AT&T have in the past manipulated government intervention into the private sector to “game the system” in their favor.

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