So rest assured – the President’s control over banks, General Motors, Chrysler, and the salaries that executives are “allowed” to earn, are all quite consistent with the vision that the candidate proposed.
But for those who still embrace this “big government” vision, yet are shocked that Barack Obama has allowed corruption to creep-in, I have different questions: why are you so fatally trusting of politicians? And why did you assume that Barack Obama would be corruption-free?
Writing at the Huffington Post last weekend, noted liberal columnist Robert Kuttner expressed frustration that Obama had cut deals with insurance and healthcare companies, in order to move his healthcare proposals forward. Kuttner also lamented that Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) was fighting-off such a huge backlash in his home state over his support of Obamacare that he was running TV ads claiming that Obamacare is not a government run program. “That's one hell of a slogan” Kuttner noted, “for a party that relies on democratically elected government to offset the insecurity, inequality and insanity generated by private commercial forces. If not-run-by-government is the Democrats' credo, why bother?”
Kuttner, like many liberals, is frustrated that Obamacare represents government that isn’t “big enough.” But notice the assumptions with which he is operating: business owners (“commercial forces”) are assumed to be necessarily greedy, self-interested, and destructive, but politicians are thought to be benevolent beings that only bring us the “security,” “equality,” and “sanity” that we need.
Kuttner’s feelings are what they are. But historical facts tell us that market competition tames the bad behavior of business owners (and the healthcare industry can and should be a lot more competitive), while simplisticly handing-over increasing control of economic resources to politicians enables politicians to be corrupt.
Our nation’s fourth President James Madison, writing in “The Federalist Papers” (“Federalist 51” to be precise), said it this way: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government……”
Today, our forty-fourth President Barack Obama is making-good on his pledges to control as much of our economy as he possibly can. Will America change course and embrace the wisdom of James Madison, and of history?
Or must we do things Obama’s way?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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