Pete Buttigieg's tour de force of fatuousness, dishonesty, and backdoor socialism
Pete Buttigieg took questions on Sunday from George Stephanopoulos. This little man with the carefully tweezed eyebrows, sleazy 5:00 shadow, Alfred E. Neuman mien, and orator's voice hid behind fatuous, hackneyed political babble even as he discreetly revealed the hardcore totalitarianism that drives him and, indeed, drives the entire Biden administration. In many ways, Buttigieg is like a Stepford politician. There's something eerily unreal about the man as, no matter the question, he responds with administration talking points rather than substantive information.
Stephanopoulos opened by speaking about Jamie Dimon's warning that America is facing an economic "hurricane" (a word Stephanopoulos carefully avoided using), as well as Larry Summers's concerns about a recession, and then asked if Americans need to brace for an economic storm. Buttigieg answered with blather.
He boasted about the swift, red-hot, wildly fast economic growth in the first year of the Biden administration — which was in fact a weak return to work by Americans who had been locked out of their jobs for over a year — but then conceded that we won't be seeing that "growth" this year. He wants us to know, though, "that this administration takes seriously" people's fears. The Fed will do its job, and Congress will do its job, and the supply chain will be stronger. And more blah-blah and some yadda-yadda.
Image: Pete Buttigieg (edited). YouTube screen grab.
But when Buttigieg finally got to a few specifics, alarm bells should have gone off. What Buttigieg wants is what Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) proposed in a New York Times opinion piece last week. That piece is behind a paywall, but Breitbart sums up the gist, which has the government become the middle-man for products sold to consumers and for wages paid to employees:
The article suggested three big government ideas for Biden to consider: 1) The federal government should buy energy and resell it to the American people for less money, 2) Biden should assemble a task force "to lower and stabilize short-term prices of volatile goods like food and fuel," 3) Biden should "provide generous wage subsidies for American workers during the shortages."
That is not a free market, nor is it capitalism. Instead, the government uses taxpayers' money to buy products that the government then sells to non-taxpayers at a loss. It's redistribution, pure and simple. Yet that's what Buttigieg espouses:
There are a number of things that the president has proposed that we do, that Congress could do ... lowering the cost of insulin, lowering the cost of child care, lowering the cost of housing. ... Things that would make a difference no matter what's happening macroeconomically ... would make life easier for Americans who are facing these economic question marks right now.
Buttigieg also has some weird factual views. In his world, Biden didn't receive a growing economy; he received a broken one, saved it by flooding the system with cash, and now must be given the chance to repair it fully by becoming the chief retailer for all goods and services, presumably to be sold to people according to racial, sex-based, and ideological identities.
Buttigieg, as part of a party that controls the White House and Congress, laughably blames the Republicans for failing to give Biden power over goods and services. He also puts in a jab at Senator Rick Scott's planned "raising taxes on lower- and middle-income Americans," implying that Scott expects to perform economic miracles further impoverishing the poor. In fact, Scott makes an excellent point (one he's subsequently run away from in interviews):
All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount. Currently over half of Americans pay no income tax.
This is not about having poor people fund government spending; it's about everybody having a stake in the government so they'll be more inclined to control government spending, rather than greedily seeking more of it. Mitch McConnell, predictably, opposes this sensible plan.
Buttigieg's fantasies also extend to claiming that rising oil prices aren't because Biden cut off oil and gas leases on federal land on his first day in office but are, instead, because oil companies are profiteering, something they forbore to do during Trump's presidency. He also insists that the companies be forced to use permits they've obtained.
That they don't isn't because they're greedy, but because many of the leases are for land that's currently unprofitable or that could take years to develop (partly because of onerous federal regulations and permitting requirements). Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior put out a press release boasting that it's planning to use public land for windmills and solar arrays, which are dirty to produce, kill birds, have short life spans, and cannot be recycled when they're dead.
In other words, everything Buttigieg said was dishonest or dangerous. He is a perfect representative of the Biden administration.