Simply put, the entire problem stems from the size of government. Limitless governments – at all levels – cause elected officials to develop a philosophy that the money is theirs to parcel out. DeHaven focuses on the federal budget, but similar studies could be done for every one of the states, most counties, and a significant number of cities. We have allowed elected officials to take our money and hand it over to whomever they want; repeat this process frequently enough and they start believing that they have God-given rights.
This attitude has gotten so bad at the local level that mayors and councilmen now believe that there are no limits on what they can do regarding commerce in their jurisdictions. Nothing demonstrates this arrogance more convincingly than the Chick-fil-A controversy, in which the CEO’s comment opposing same-sex marriage triggered statements by the Democratic mayors of San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Boston that Chick-fil-A stores were not welcome in their cities. These statements, clearly in violation of multiple legal precedents and principles, would never have been made if these cities were not completely immersed in crony capitalism. In vowing to stop construction of a store, Chicago Mayor and Obama crony, Rahm Emanuel, stated “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.” Without being emboldened by the reality of crony capitalism, he would never have uttered words so insulting and arrogant.
DeHaven has given us a report that defines how costly, on more than one level, crony capitalism has become. The Left despises handouts to corporations, and believes that conservative legislators are owned and operated by large, private companies. Conservatives believe it bloats government and destroys the concept of free enterprise by allowing government wonks to decide winners and losers. The question then remains: Who supports this practice other than the people who get to hand out other people’s money?
DeHaven does not feel hopeful that we can dismantle federal crony capitalism. Handouts are becoming more limited at state levels because of the economic reality of reduced revenues. Municipalities that face budget crunches are often forced to stop the practice. Maybe with a Vice-President like Paul Ryan, we have at least a ray of hope shining on us.
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