Cox at the SEC

Jack Kemp
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Posted: Jun 07, 2005 12:00 AM

Columnists and reporters at The New York Times and Washington Post, among others, are dismayed that President Bush's appointment to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., actually believes in economic growth and free enterprise. Worst of all, as the Times headlined its story about the Cox appointment, the California congressman is "seen as friend of corporations." I suppose in the mind of the Times, corporations and individual people are natural adversaries, and therefore it's impossible to befriend one without betraying the other.

It's revelations like this into the thinking of the Times' reporters that remind one just how virulently anti-business the Times remains all these years after the New Deal-like regulation have proven to be such failure. It's no wonder the Gray Lady's circulation continues to slip as growing numbers of everyday working Americans reject her anti-free-enterprise ideology and join the ranks of a shareholder society.

What's really got these left-wing journalists all in a lather is the prospect of Cox, who has a history of resisting overreaching bureaucracies like the Financial Accounting Standards Board, siding with the other two Republican appointments to the SEC and actually restraining the aggressive permanent bureaucracy there from overregulating the securities industry:

"He has fought against accounting rules that would give less favorable treatment to corporate mergers and executive stock options. He opposes taxes on dividends and capital gains. And he helped to steer through the House a bill making investor lawsuits more difficult."

Three cheers for Cox!

Can you imagine? The left has become so accustomed to Republican judicial and regulatory appointments like outgoing SEC Chairman William H. Donaldson abandoning free-market and limited-government principles that the prospect of one bureaucracy firmly in the grip of appointees that will be guided by those principles sends a shiver down their spines.

The Post opines, "There is no question about Mr. Cox's competence or qualifications. But his reputation as a deregulator and his record on corporate governance raise doubts about the SEC's direction."

In other words, he is qualified, competent and agrees with the president who is appointing him, but he's the wrong guy for the job because he disagrees with us. The Times, too, is forthright in their complaint about Cox, namely he may not be another David Souter regularly voting contrary to the principles of the guy who appointed him.

So it's not the Cox appointment the Times and Post object to but rather the judgment of the American people in choosing George W. Bush as their president. Given Cox's excellent qualifications for the job, which even the Post acknowledges, it requires an extra dose of overheated rhetoric to set up the filibuster. So, right on cue, the Times dredges up William Lerach - the predatory plaintiffs' securities lawyer who routinely pitches a tent on the courthouse steps so he can rush to file a lawsuit the minute a company's stock declines - who characterized the California congressman as "virulently anti-investor and unrestrained in his desire to gut the securities laws," and who said, "It's hard to think of a worse choice for the SEC."

The Times' and the Post's presidential candidate lost the election last November, and they will have another opportunity to promote another leftist in three years. But in the meantime, it subverts the democratic process for these venerable institutions of the Fourth Estate to throw in their weight to help embittered Democrats overturn the election by preventing Bush from putting his chosen appointments in place to implement the policies on which he ran and won.

Cox is an outstanding choice at a critical juncture in the history of our nation, and the Senate should confirm him with unanimity.