March 10, 2009
Welcome to ThunderdomeBy Matthias Reynolds
On March 4th, it was revealed by Rep. Aaron Schock (R. Illinois) that President Obama had "ambushed" the CEO of Caterpillar in order to secure his support for the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
A little background: in mid-February, the President held a rally at a Caterpillar manufacturing plant in his home state of Illinois, where he promised the workers that according to their boss - Jim Owens - the heavy equipment manufacturing company would rehire some of recently laid off employees if the Obama Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed.
Once the president left the plant, the CEO of Caterpillar told the media that he in fact would not be rehiring the employees that had just been laid off if the stimulus passed. He went on to say that he would most likely have to fire more people before he could start rehiring. After the rally Rep. Aaron Schock, a Republican whom the president brought to the event in hopes of eliciting support for the stimulus package, approached the CEO and asked him "are you really promoting this bill?," to which Jim Owens - who possesses a Phd. in economics - replied to the congressman "Aaron, I got ambushed."
According to Owens, President Obama had asked what it would take for Caterpillar to begin hiring again, and Owens had replied that if a "responsible stimulus bill is passed and the economy gets going again" then Caterpillar would begin rehiring.
Apparently President Obama decided to editorialize the CEO's answer a bit, interpreting the pork-laden Recovery and Reinvestment Act as "responsible stimulus". Another interpretation might be that he was being disingenuous.
The financial markets are a barometer of confidence, and the presidential policy of manufacturing CEO support where it does not exist illustrates the glaring fault in the ethos of Obamanomics. He thinks he can control capitalism. Or perhaps his actions were an attempt to place the blame on Jim Owens when the Recovery and Reinvestment Act fails. After all, we're told again and again that the CEOs (the ones who create capital and who power the economy) are the adversaries of recovery.
But whose fault is it that we have a stake in the AIGs of the country? Rather than allowing the economy to right itself by letting capitalism decide the winners and losers, the president has seized the window that crisis has offered to handcuff Americans to whomever he chooses to bailout. Americans are now being saddled with the dead weight of doomed companies like AIG who hemorrhage money at a terrifying pace. The Obama assault on capitalism has gone so far as to force those who have no stake in faltering companies to fret over their day to day operations. As I type this the Dow is down another 240 points.
Another day, another bailout, another stock plummet. Don't worry, President Obama encourages us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, after all "the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market" could not be a result of his policies.
Gyration gy-ra-tion -noun: the act of gyrating; circular or spiral motion; revolution; rotation; whirling.
Gyration implies that the market goes up and down but generally stays static. One needs only to look at the beginning of January to see that the Dow has declined 25% in two months. The Wall Street Journal says that "The market has notably plunged since Mr. Obama introduced his budget last week, and that should be no surprise. The document was a declaration of hostility toward capitalists across the economy."
Why would capitalists react favorably to the president's plans?
Why would they participate in a radical restructuring of the society that afforded them the chance to prosper?
Why would they be accessories to free-market homicide?
The president's assault on capitalism is being waged with the organization and intensity of a counter-insurgency. It is being waged in Robert Gibbs' press conferences when he publicly decries individuals, like CNBC's Rick Santelli, who advocate resistance to government subsidization of people's mortgages, an action Larry Kudlow described as Nixonesque. It is being waged in President Obama's recovery act that calls for an additional 600,000 government jobs, an unprecedented expansions of the State. The assault is taking place in the media when stories focus on golden parachutes and the inner workings of private companies in which we would have never have had a stake in had President Obama - and President Bush before him - not forced us down the path of Socialism. It is being waged when the current president passes a Recovery and Reinvestment Act that is filled to the brim with the pork he promised to eliminate. It is waged when, like a wolf in sheep's clothing, President Obama masquerades as a nuanced unifier devoid of petty ideological pretensions.
But capitalism knows better. As the markets continue to tumble, it becomes clear that the only way to defang the administration's statist desire is to count on their continued failure. The free-market system can see the cliff approaching, and it isn't blinking; it has decided to assert itself and show the president that all his charm and vacuous platitudes play no bearing on the math of the crisis we're in. Our path is simply un-maintainable. In response to the president's reckless plans, the market continues to plunge itself further into the abyss. And why should it stop? What do we have to look forward to if the president is not stopped by economic reality?
America has been successful because of capitalism, because of the actions of people like Ronald Reagan who, in the face of a recession worse than this, chose to cut taxes across the board creating 16 million jobs over the course of 7 years. The crisis we're in now was caused by excessive government intervention in the housing market to begin with - government is the problem, not the solution. But what do you expect from a community organizer who made a living promoting the culture of victimhood and decrying the flaws of capitalism. President Obama's past work experience certainly explains his cabinet and its lack of CEOs. According to Politico, "There are no former CEOs in the Obama Cabinet, and among the people who make up his daily inner circle, there is only a dollop or two of top-level private sector experience".
No one in the present administration has run a business and it's painfully obvious. How else could the president possibly think he can spend the amount he's proposed, cut taxes, and slash the budget in half by 2012? It's absurd. One thing that the Obama administration can count on is if capitalism is to be destroyed, it will take the present administration down with it.
Matthias Reynolds blogs at AmericaAdNauseam.blogspot.com and can be reached at Matthiasreynolds@verizon.net.