If a man is judged by the company he keeps--what does Obama's choices say about him? Consider Obama's choices for his economic advisors. There seem to be three overarching principles that guide their decision-making--all bad.
First, Obama's advisors believe that economic growth can be achieved by rewarding dubious, but favored, industries. Second, Obama seems to think that the financial assistance provided to his "favorites" can be achieved by taxing and placing additional regulatory burdens on small businesses, prudent savers and job creators. Third, Obama seems to think he can act irresponsibly with other people's money--take enormous risks--and refuse to accept any responsibility for failure as the cumulative effect of his policies expands the role and power of government.
Americans have watched, over the past three years, as the recommendations of Obama's economic advisors have crashed and burned, exacerbating rather than improving the economic situation in the U.S.. Nowhere is this flawed approach to economic growth more apparent than in the recent debacle surrounding M F Global Holdings and Jon Corzine, the President Obama's "Wall Street Guy".
What the current MF Global scandal has shown is the likelihood that Corzine has been flimflamming investors. Huge and irresponsible risks were taken, all with someone else’s money, in the blind hope that government would bail out any losses. Worse yet, according to most recent reports in the press, Corzine seems to have illegally tapped as much as $900 million dollars from individual investor accounts in a vain attempt to cover and hide his many misdeeds.
Playing fast and loose with other people’s money was a skill Corzine developed and refined as the Democratic Governor of New Jersey, but, when exposed in the real world, the inevitable result is Chapter 11. Here, too, it is important to note that Corzine’s ruinous actions will almost certainly result in the immediate termination of the jobs of 3000 employees that once worked for MF Global and were dependent upon Jon Corzine's stewardship.
As his investors and former employees now face economic ruin, Jon Corzine’s vast, personal fortune, estimated at $300 million or more remains unaffected. Small business owners that make boneheaded decisions face certain economic ruin, but Corzine is, incredibly, eligible for a $12 million severance package after plundering MF Global Holdings, ruining employees' jobs, and losing investors' private funds.
The Corzine Affair also offers insights into the Obama Administration's compendium of new rules, regulation and increased oversight designed monitor the level of risk within financial institutions. The system clearly didn't work--or at least not well enough to save the MF Global Holdings investors.
Americans should also remember that Obama believed so strongly in Jon Corzine back in July of 2009 that he campaigned aggressively for Corzine against Chris Christie. Obama even went so far as to claim that Corzine was "one of the best partners I have in the White House."
Corzine has been closely involved with the Obama Administration as far back as Obama's presidential campaign--where Corzine was often cited and photographed as being one of Obama's close economic advisors.
Obama has shown a consistent pattern of keeping bad company, bad advisors and the result has been bad for the American economy. Most of the President's early economic advisors have abandoned him.
Christina Romer, Chief of the Council of Economic Advisors, left after only one year, when neither the $787 billion dollar economic stimulus had any effect, nor did unemployment decrease, despite her promises and predictions.
Larry Summers, Director of the National Economic Council, left after a year, during which increased regulations strangled small businesses and unemployment remained at staggering highs.
Austan Goolsbee, Romer's replacement, only lasted 11 months.
Peter Orszag, Obama's Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the first to leave and move on to greener pastures, left Americans with a federal budget almost $3 trillion dollars more annually than when he first entered the job and the realizations that the economic growth promised by critical infrastructure projects that never occurred left the nation worse off than ever.
What is somewhat startling is the sheer number of Obama's economic advisors who have departed the White House. Many of the lower levels of Obama’s National Economic Council team (Sarah Cannon, Eric Lesser, Bryan Jung, Kyle Watkins, Pascal Noel) abandoned the sinking Obama ship. This mass exodus of Team Obama’s economic advisors seems a clear vote of no confidence in the President’s economic policies.
Americans are left with many questions-- but two rise to the top. First, is President Obama the only one who still believes wealth distribution schemes, favoritism, and punishing job creators is the best way to advance the American economy? Second, who has replaced Jon Corvine and the many other mountebanks who provided Obama with such poor economic advice over the past three years?
Obama gave us the answer to one of the questions. Where is he getting his economic advice now? Looks to me like Obama is now getting his economic counsel from The Occupy Wall Street crowd, who seem to be the only people left that still believe it is possible to expand government and all entitlements, reward favorite industries, despite the growing number of bankruptcies and failures, and fund the madness by punishing job creators.
If that doesn't scare Americans--then nothing will.