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Faustian Bargains Between Obama and Businesses

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Americans witnessed a brief, but illuminating, incident last week epitomizing President Obama’s contempt for free markets, small businesses and entrepreneurs. During a Q&A session in Iowa, a farmer expressed concern that Obama's tidal wave of new, bewildering regulations and economy-killing mandates disguised as needed oversight, would someday soon require him to spend more time with paperwork compliance than with farming.

Unfortunately, President Obama dismissed the farmer's question, instead rambling on with his usual, shop-worn platitudes. Obama missed the point of the farmer's question and, thus, missed the opportunity to hear and address the unvarnished, unscripted concerns of an average American confronting Team Obama's destructive and intrusive policies.

What a pity. When confronted with real concerns about the economy and issues that are holding back U.S. economic performance, Obama didn't even realize that he was getting a rare dose of good economic advice.

Obama has no first-hand experience with business or with job creation. To compensate, Obama has surrounded himself with a group of suck-ups, crony capitalists that offer advice even they know is flawed, folks more interested in protecting their interests or expanding a narrow economic gain.

Unfortunately, many companies have learned that it is far easier to have Washington liberals and Team Obama enact policies that will tilt the playing field in their direction, freeze out their competitors, and guarantee returns, rather than be forced to compete in the free and open market with better ideas, better services and better products.

These companies, and there are many, have figured out that government regulations can be jiggered behind the scenes to give them advantages that other companies, especially smaller companies, cannot possibly enjoy.

Obama's crony capitalists have also learned the art of hijacking the Justice Department to wage war on a competitor, to tangle them in regulatory knots and bogus lawsuits, to rob competitors of a business' two most valuable resources-time and money.

Crony capitalists are nothing new, but during the Obama Administration they are entering their golden age of prosperity. Sadly, time spent on jiggering the system to their advantage in the short term is time taken away from jiggering their products to be more competitive in the long term.

Obama's suckup capitalists hover thickly around so called “green projects”. This particular group of crony capitalists understand quite clearly that their products are not viable and offer only illusionary economic benefits. These “green companies” require huge subsidies and intrusive regulations to force Americans to buy products that they do not want.

But sometimes, even the huge subsides are insufficient to sustain a set of uneconomical "green" products. When the government money runs out, even once-darling eco-project such as the Evergreen Solar plant in Massachusetts, quickly wither, declaring bankruptcy and eliminating the “green jobs” President Obama promised were the way to win the future.

Many companies are, justifiably, afraid of the stiff regulatory oversight they face. They fear Washington bureaucrats may make ill-considered decisions that might destroy their company. So these businesses compromise, making Faustian bargains with Team Obama.

Americans saw many of the drug makers make Faustian bargains, agreeing to bad deals with the Obama Administration, figuring it would be easier to go-along-and get-along. Pharmaceutical companies had to know at the time that the Obamacare legislation would cripple innovation and restrict the development of new innovative discoveries, but these companies gently rolled over.

Government contractors and big defense companies often face the same dilemma. When huge projects, such as Boeing’s SBINet, border surveillance system, start to go off track as a result of ever-conflicting and ever-changing government requirements, the government contractor usually rolls over, accepts the full blame and moves off to lick its wounds, afraid that fighting the bureaucracy might harm their remaining government business.

Other government contractors, when confronted with bogus fines and penalties, which have been conjured to help some government agency pose as a cost-conscious crusader, do the same. Instead of fighting a charge they know is false, these government contractors, instead, accept the Faustian bargain, elect to pay a fine and move along. These companies are simply afraid of an arbitrary and vindictive government regulator.

And yet in time, many of the suckup capitalists learn just how expensive and foolhardy they were in agreeing to false government assertions. Stocks of all drug makers have plummeted since Obamacare legislation passed, and the pipeline of new discoveries has diminished as it becomes increasingly difficult to gain government approval to bring new pharmaceuticals to market.

When businesses cave in to government pressure, the government is emboldened to be even more intrusive. Boeing learned this lesson the hard way. They built a new plant in South Carolina, intending to expand production and hire thousands of new workers, only to be sued by the Obama Administration who wanted the new jobs to be fully unionized as a precondition for opening the plant.

Americans can only hope that companies across the nation might now rethink the dangerous and damaging deals and special arrangements they have made with the Obama Administration. There is always a high cost to these Faustian bargains. No matter how Dems may try to sugar coat it, Obama is anti-business. And, with time, companies are going to pay dearly for the false bargains struck with Team Obama in backroom deals.

A small farmer in Iowa knows that, and tried to give the President solid advice. Unfortunately, our President did not listen.

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