Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, was recently appointed by President Obama to chair the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. So it was no surprise when Immelt published a column in the Washington Post in which he applauded Obama for completing a free-trade agreement with South Korea – leaving completely unmentioned the fact that the agreement was actually negotiated five years ago, and was approved by Obama and Congressional Democrats only after it was changed to include costly giveaways to their union buddies.
Immelt somehow also failed to write about the thousands of American jobs lost purely because Obama and his Democratic posse have failed to affirm similar agreements with Panama and Colombia. This whole episode just illustrates how Big Business is beholden to Big Government, and why ”Crony Capitalism,” a huge tax on the vast majority of Americans, has got to be eliminated ASAP.
The left likes to attack Crony Capitalism because they only see it as the underhanded machinations of Big Business, Big Oil, or some other imagined Big. While these are indeed valid observations – even a stopped clock is right twice a day – Crony Capitalism comes in many forms and is a surefire sign of government run amok, which is why Republicans, prompted by the Tea Party, have begun to focus on the issue.
There are, regrettably, many styles of Crony Capitalism, each of which saps the federal government, states and municipal governments, as well as every taxpayer along for the ride:
Big Business – The sheer size of the federal government makes it conducive to large entities or consortiums sucking the life out of it for their own purposes. 80% of agriculture subsidies go to large agri-businesses. Big Steel was protected from competition for years. Billions were poured into the auto industry, much of which we’ll never get back. Insurance companies receive special dispensation in the tax code to enhance their profits. And, of course, there’s the AARP, whose Medi-Gap coverage was granted a waiver by Obama – conveniently placing every one of their competitors at a substantial disadvantage. These businesses are either feeding at the trough of government or manipulating regulation for their own devious purposes, and it’s why almost half of the political donations from large businesses go to liberal Democrats.