New Obama Administration Regulations Funnel Taxpayers’ Money into Union Bosses’ Pockets

Obama’s War on Business

Obama’s War on Business

Larrey Anderson
Kevin Hassett implies in a stunning commentary on Bloomberg today that Obama has declared a war on business.

President Johnson gave us the War on Poverty. Nixon started the War on Drugs. And, according to Hassett:

Now that we have seen President Barack Obama’s first-year legislative agenda, we know what kind of a war he intends to wage.

Namely: the War on Business.

Hassett compares Obama to a “Manchurian Candidate” especially prepared to wage war on America’s business economy:

What policies might that leader pursue?

He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action.

Another diabolical idea would be to significantly increase taxes on whatever firms are still standing. That would require subterfuge, since increasing tax rates would be too obvious. Our Manchurian Candidate would have plenty of sophisticated ideas on changing the rules to get more revenue without increasing rates, such as auctioning off “permits.”

After offering these hypothetical teasers, Hassett gets down to brass tacks:

If our Manchurian Candidate leader really wanted to knock the country down for good, he would have to provide insurance against any long-run recovery.

There are two steps to accomplish that.

Discourage Innovation

First, one way the economy might finally take off is for some entrepreneur to invent an amazing new product that launches something on the scale of the dot-com boom. If you want to destroy an economy, you have to persuade those innovators not even to try.

Second, you need to initiate entitlement programs that are difficult to change once enacted. These programs should transfer assets away from productive areas of the economy as efficiently as possible. Ideally, the government will have no choice but to increase taxes sharply in the future to pay for new entitlements.

A leader who pulled off all that might be able to finish off the country.

Hassett ends the piece with the usual “It’s clear that President Obama wants the best for our country” disclaimer. The piece is so hard hitting, it is difficult to know how seriously to take this demission from the main argument.

Read the entire article for yourself and see if you think Hassett really means Obama has declared war on the economy — or if Obama is simply in over his head.

Hat tip: NYC Lauri

Page Printed from: at March 10, 2009 – 10:48:08 AM EDT

Don’t endanger free markets, Czech president warns

Don’t endanger free markets, Czech president warns
09 Mar 2009 22:10:54 GMT

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Source: Reuters

 By Claudia Parsons 

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) – Massive government spending and tighter regulation would prolong recession, Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday, as he urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to endanger the free market economy in his response to the financial crisis. 

In a speech at Columbia University in New York, Klaus, a former Czech prime minister who championed the free market after the fall of Communism 20 years ago, said he never expected to see such extensive government intervention again in his lifetime as he now sees around the world. 

“I am therefore convinced that fighting for freedom and free markets, something we always appreciated here in this country (the United States), remains the task of the day,” Klaus said. 

One of the world’s most vocal climate change skeptics, Klaus said he looked forward to working with Obama, who will attend an EU-U.S. summit in the Czech Republic in April on his first trip to Europe as U.S. president. The Czech Republic holds the EU presidency for the first half of 2009. 

Klaus, whose position is largely ceremonial in the Czech political system, said he hoped Obama would show “an optimum mix of continuity and discontinuity” with the policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush. 

“I hope it will include not endangering the basic institutions of the market economy,” Klaus said, adding that his own country was resisting a trend towards massive government spending to stimulate growth. 

He said Czech banks were so far relatively unscathed by the financial crisis because they followed very cautious policies in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. 

He cautioned against trying to solve economic problems by more government intervention. 

“The best thing to do right now would be to temporarily weaken, if not repeal,” business regulations on labor, the environment, social issues and health, he said. 

Klaus, who has written a book expressing doubts that climate change is man-made, was in New York to attend a conference of climate-change skeptics and he reiterated his view that “global warming alarmism” is a major problem. 

About 190 nations have agreed to work out a new U.N. climate treaty in December in Copenhagen to step up a fight against warming that the U.N. Climate Panel says will bring more heat waves, droughts, floods and rising seas.

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