President Obama spoke the most revealing and clarifying 10 words of his control-freak administration this week: "I think at some point you have made enough money." Peddling financial regulatory reform at a rally in Quincy, Ill., Obama then ad-libbed peculiar definitions of what he called the "American way" and the profit motive: "(Y)ou can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or providing good service. We don't want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy."
Fundamental lesson of Capitalism 101: Governments and bureaucrats don't make what people want and need. They only get in the way. It is individuals, cooperating peacefully and voluntarily, working together without mandate or central design, who produce the world's goods and services. They make what people desire and demand for themselves, not what Obama and his imperial overlords ordain that the masses should have.
As usual, Obama's populist demagoguery is telling in its omissions and selectivity. While he lectures on the morality of salary caps for everyone else, his own cabinet is filled with fabulously wealthy CEOs and statist creatures who have parlayed government employment (a "good" service) into private gain as lobbyists, consultants and advisers ("core responsibilities of the financial system") and then back again to public stints. Revolving doors have always grown the Beltway economy.
To wit: Austan Goolsbee, head of Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, is the 15th wealthiest member of the Obama administration, with assets valued at between $1,146,000 to $2,715,000. He also pulled in a University of Chicago salary of $465,000 and additional wages and honoraria worth $93,000, according to the Washingtonian magazine.
What "good" did he provide? The government research fellow and Obama campaign adviser was a champion of extending credit to the un-creditworthy. In a 2007 op-ed for The New York Times, he derided those who called subprime mortgages "irresponsible." He preferred to describe them as "innovations in the mortgage market" to expand the pool of homebuyers. Now this wrong-headed academic who espoused government policies that fed the housing feeding frenzy is in charge of fixing the loose-credit mess he advocated. This is the "American way"?