Some years ago, Daniel Henninger wrote:
"What we will not tolerate is the Republican efforts to privatize Medicare." That was the voice of Sen. Ted Kennedy, announcing a no-compete clause for all of Medicare amid the recent debate. It is the voice of the modern Democratic Party, which when you stand back and take a long look, appears not to want to compete at much of anything these days, other than winning the presidency. But even here the people running for the Democratic presidential nomination seem mostly intent on signing up the whole country to a non-compete clause. Medicare, the public schools, trade, affirmative action, the environment, even the federal judiciary--persons of competitive or entrepreneurial instincts need not apply....
For decades, the Democrats kept their party's ideological seesaw balanced at one end with socialists and the other with Wall Street admirers of government's promise, such as Felix Rohatyn, Robert Rubin and Cyrus Vance. Of late, however, the party has increasingly sounded as if it's become psychologically alienated from the private sector.Nick Schulz recently posted a chart showing that while Henninger's point held true generally for Democratic Presidents, Obama has taken it to a remarkable extreme that perhaps even Henninger might not have anticipated:
Ed Lasky looked at the chart and opined:
Can we be surprised that Barack Obama would chose a Cabinet so unreflective of America?
After all, Barack Obama thinks that raising capital gain taxes will not harm economic growth; he taunts bankers with the prospect of pitchforks coming towards them; he condemns "greedy" doctors; who thinks imposing massive costs for each additional hire (think health care, think rules and regulations); he trumpets cap and trade as a panacea leading towards growth (well..at least in Al Gore's wallet).
He also thinks that empowering unions who engage in thuggish tactics is the way to encourage business to invest. He believes a regulatory regime will not discourage business optimism. He thinks increased taxes will stimulate a work ethic and spending by consumers - and believes all this and more (particularly hectoring and insulting rhetoric) is a way to encourage growth.
Can one wonder why the Chamber of Commerce, representing small businesses throughout the nation, has some problems with the President and his team who disfavor and disdain the world on free enteprise?
But remember-we were all told how "brilliant" he was, and how his unparalleled judgment would lead us to peace and prosperity.
The lack of private sector experience in his cabinet - the biggest dearth in history - is indicative of Obama's attitude toward free enterprise.
It's a fair cop. How can we trust a bunch of ivory tower academics, trust fund babies, and NGOers to run a capitalist economy? Soeaking as an ivory tower academic who's spent too much of his life in faculty meetings and committees, I don't want either myself or any of my colleagues (with all due deference to any reading this) running any political entity more complicated than a sewer district. I'd much rather have the economy run by people who actually make stuff for a living.