Obama's 'Stimulates' His Political Buddies

President Obama says the “stimulus” package is designed to save the economy. He says the “stimulus” package contains no earmarks. He says “government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.”

He’s lying. This “stimulus” package and Tim Geithner’s associated bailout scheme aren’t aimed at helping private industry recover. They’re aimed at putting cash in his friends’ pockets and shaping a new big government majority for decades to come.

Obama’s basic economic philosophy seems to be distrust of private business. He characterizes tax cuts as “government spending,” as though allowing people to keep their own money were an act of government largesse. And according to Obama, tax cuts aren’t just “government spending” — tax cuts actually “helped lead us to the crisis we face right now.” Cutting tax rates stifles the economy, in Obama’s view. Americans can’t handle their money; once the economy stabilizes, Obama states, “we’re going to have to start thinking about how do we operate more prudently.”

Americans don’t resonate to this sort of thinking. So Obama will simply scare us. Hence Obama’s extreme rhetoric. We’re not just worried about the economy, we’re experiencing a collective “loss of confidence.” We’re not merely in a recession, we’re “sink(ing) into a crisis that … we may be unable to reverse.” We’re not simply in an economic downturn, we’re on the brink of a “catastrophe.” And Obama and government are the only ones who are “thinking about you and your lives.”

There’s only one problem: Americans don’t believe Obama. So Obama will make his threat a reality by deliberately taking measures that will hurt the economy, all the while blaming private industry and paying off his political allies.  

Recovery from this recession will require Americans to spend less and save more; Obama’s plan pushes them to spend more and save less. Banks are short on cash because not enough Americans are saving; credit card companies are cutting credit lines because people can’t pay their current bills. And yet Obama wants to spend billions on make work projects with the stated goal of “getting people spending again.” Risky loans and stupid spending caused this crisis — and Obama is pushing both.

Recovery from this recession will require antiquated businesses to fade away, and new enterprises to take their place; Obama’s plan subsidizes bad businesses and penalizes solid businesses. It pays off unions and other political allies. Obama’s 15-member Economic Recovery Advisory Board reads like a who’s who of the incompetent, the overpaid, and the Obama donors. It’s a group of money-leeching companies and union leaders who all pay political fealty to the President.

First, Obama’s campaign crew. The Board includes Penny Pritzker, the Obama campaign’s National Finance Chair, a woman who was largely responsible for the collapse of the Superior Bank of Chicago — Pritzker pushed for that bank to invest heavily in subprime mortgages. Mark Gallogly, the founder of Centerbridge Partners, a private equity firm, joins Pritzker on the board — and yes, he’s a former Obama fundraiser. Robert Wolf of UBS is another former Obama fundraiser and another board member.

Then there are the union leaders. Richard Trumka is secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, an organization largely responsible for the collapse of the manufacturing industry in this country. The AFL-CIO is the largest advocate for Obama’s “card check” legislation, which would allow unions to bully nonunionized workers into joining up. And yes, the AFL-CIO spent $53.4 million on the Obama campaign. Anna Burger, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, also sits on the board — and the SEIU spent $85 million in support of the Obama campaign.

There are also incompetent business leaders. Jim Owens of Caterpillar sits on the board. It is no coincidence that as Obama heightened his rhetoric on the economy, Caterpillar laid off 20,000 workers worldwide — and it is no coincidence that as Obama trumpets his economic plan, Owens has pledged to rehire some of those employees.

Obama was running for re-election from the moment he took the inaugural oath. He believes he can enshrine his name on our coinage by creating a cycle of government dependency: government intervention, economic downturn, further government intervention. The bigger government gets, the fuller his political allies’ pockets grow. That’s the Chicago way.