big business

It’s about time: There is an alliance emerging between the Right and the Left to defeat cronyism and end corporate welfare

 The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State

There many, many things on which Occupiers and Tea Partiers or progressives and libertarians disagree, but Ralph Nader says that there is an alliance forming between the left and the right against corporate welfare and crony capitalism.

Nader, a four-time presidential candidate, recently spoke at the Cato Institute about his most recent book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. He chatted with Caleb Brown about the premise of his book on the Cato Daily Podcast and, perhaps unintentionally, turned into a discussion about campaign finance law.

“Corporate power without government power would have to adhere to market disciplines,” said Nader. “With government power, they can overcome market disciplines. Wall Street damaging Main Street. Big Business damaging small business.”

“I’ve often said that half of what Washington does is an accounts receivable, shoveling out goodies on the backs of taxpayers to business interests,” he continued. “I think even good programs excrete waste. It’s the nature of bureaucracy. It’s, by the way, corporate bureaucracy as well as government bureaucracy.”

Big Business brings out the big guns against Justin Amash

Justin Amash

There’s no doubt the most-watched Republican primary in 2014 is in Michigan’s 3rd District, where incumbent libertarian Republican Justin Amash is facing off against Big Business-funded challenger Brian Ellis.

Eliis has self-funded his campaign to the tune of more than $400,000, and he’s relying heavily on donations and support from corporate interests and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Amash’s opposition to taxpayer-funded payouts to Big Business in the form of bailouts and tax breaks have made him the top target of Republicans who favor using tax dollars to prop up Big Business.

As reported last week in POLITICO:

[The MI-03 Republican primary] is just one example of the many battles playing out in Republican races all across the country, where an emboldened establishment wing has accused movement conservatives of straying too far from the party’s pro-business roots — and winning.

POLITICO also suggested the Michigan Chamber of Commerce would weigh in, possibly endorsing challenger Ellis over Amash, but that moderate group Main Street Partnership, headed by former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, would be unlikely to enter the race “because it is focusing on defending Republican incumbents against conservative challenges.”

Amash has been endorsed by Club for Growth, which has given him a 100% lifetime rating, FreedomWorks PAC, which has given him a 100% lifetime rating, and (as of today) by Citizens United Political Victory Fund.

Liberty movement activists sing praises of anti-establishment Republicans

In a town known for power-hungry establishment politicians and lobbyists who are constantly trying to exert their influence, there is a burgeoning group of young liberty movement activists who are working behind-the-scenes to change the status quo in the nation’s capital.

Mostly in their 20’s and early 30’s, D.C.-area liberty-minded activists hold jobs in congressional offices on Capitol Hill or in some of the town’s most well-known grassroots organizations. These young people have made their presence felt in the Washington-area political scene, and they’re doing so in an unorthodox way.

Many from this crowd meet-up at O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Arlington, Virginia for what they call “Liberty Karaoke,” a weekly tradition started a few years ago by a group of like-minded friends. It’s not unusual to find 50 or more activists hanging out and singing some of their favorite tunes on any given Tuesday night.

“D.C.-area liberty movement young people have been attending weekly karaoke for over three years,” Matthew Hurtt, a 26-year old grassroots activist, told United Liberty. “It was really organic. It’s been a weekly place to unwind and hang out.”

But the group has found another purpose for Liberty Karaoke by using it as a fundraising opportunity for certain candidates whom they support.

In early December, for example, the group hosted a fundraiser for Rep. Justin Amash, a 33-year-old Michigan Republican who has become one of the most vocal critics of the Obama Administration, domestic surveillance programs, and, at times, his own party’s leadership.

GOP, crony allies plan efforts to undermine conservatives

The Wall Street Journal ran a story on Christmas which explained in detail how Republican leaders and the United States Chamber of Commerce are looking to diminish the influence of conservatives both in and outside of Congress. This gives us a glimpse at the latest battle, if you will, in the ongoing Republican civil war.

You may remember that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) lashed out at conservative groups that opposed the budget deal brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). It turns out, though unsurprisingly, that this public admonition of conservatives was just scratched the surface. It turns out, as the Journal explained, that Republican leaders were threatening members with loss of committee assignments if they voted against the budget deal:

Mr. Boehner’s deputies took steps behind the scenes to end internal dissent, including among GOP committee chairmen who had voted against the House leadership in prior fiscal battles. In the run-up to the budget vote, Mr. Boehner’s deputies warned chairmen who were tempted to oppose the deal that doing so could jeopardize their committee posts, said people familiar with the discussions.

The goal was to reverse a trend in which chairmen, who typically earn their post by hewing to the party line, voted against priority legislation. Six chairmen had voted against an initial version of a farm bill earlier in the year, causing the legislation to collapse on the House floor, and 11 voted against the pact this fall to reopen the federal government and extend the country’s borrowing authority into 2014.

72% of Americans See Big Government as the Greatest Threat

big government

Since Barack Obama took office in 2009, more Americans say that big government is a much greater threat to the country than big business. The latest Gallup shows that the number of Americans who believe that big government is the biggest threat to the United States has been increasing in a rather steady fashion.

According to Gallup, 72% percent of Americans now believe that big government is the number one threat to the country. The poll also demonstrated that only 21% of Americans now believe that big business is the major issue. The historical high choosing big business over big government or big labor, 38%, was registered in 2002.

Corporate Welfare: Can Republicans Kick the Habit?

I periodically try to explain that there’s a big difference between being pro-market and pro-business.

Simply stated, policy makers shouldn’t try to penalize businesses with taxes, mandates, and regulations.

But neither should politicians seek to subsidize businesses. That’s why I’m against bailouts, subsidies, and other distortions that provide special favors for politically connected companies.

I have nothing against companies earning money, to be sure, but I want them to earn their profits in the marketplace rather than lining their pockets by using the coercive power of government to rig the rules of the game.

Big Business and big government cronyism is bad for taxpayers and consumers: Let the free market work

capitalism

There’s a common misconception that people in favor of free markets love corporations. That isn’t the case.

There’s nothing wrong with a business being highly successful and expanding operations. The question becomes what happens when their operations end up getting involved in government and when government tries to influence business.

This is an issue a lot of groups have struggled against. Both the original Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street protests were against the government-big business bailout of 2008/2009. The solutions were much different. The Tea Party wanted the government and businesses to be separated and not mix with each other. Occupy (outside of it’s not-top hits) wanted businesses taxed to eternity and capitalism destroyed.

The problem with Occupy’s solution is it expands the role government has in people’s lives. The idea of using higher taxes against businesses and “the rich” doesn’t work (just look at France). Burger King is also an example because of their plan to leave the U.S. if they merge with Tim Hortons. Paying taxes isn’t patriotic, despite what President Barack Obama thinks.

Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy exposed: She hates corporate welfare, except for when she doesn’t

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the darling of the political left. They can’t get enough of her. The Massachusetts Democrat’s willingness to take on corporate special interests, especially Wall Street and big banks.

But Warren’s anti-big business populism only goes so far. She recently came out in support of the reauthorization of the Export Import Bank, the controversial New Deal-era agency known for issuing taxpayer-backed loans to politically-connected big businesses. Unlike Warren, it’s conservatives that are trying to end the Bank’s brand of cronyism.

The Club for Growth released a nearly 3-minute video this week exposing Warren’s hypocrisy, pointing out that Ex-Im represents is exactly the type of corporate welfare that the Massachusetts Democrat should be against:

Flip-flopper-in-chief: Barack Obama was against the crony Ex-Im Bank before he lobbied for its reauthorization

President Barack Obama used his weekly address to make a sales pitch for the Export-Import Bank, the New Deal-era agency that has come under fire from conservatives in Congress because of its taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to large corporations. Congress will take up the reauthorization of the Bank at some point next month, which could lead to a showdown between conservatives and the Washington political establishment:

President Barack Obama urged the owners and employees of businesses that rely on Export-Import Bank financing to tell members of Congress to “quit treating your business like it’s expendable” in his Saturday morning address.
[…]
Obama took aim at that characterization of the bank on Saturday.

“Its sole mission is to create American jobs. That’s it,” Obama said. “It helps many American entrepreneurs take that next step and take their small business global.”

The bank has been reauthorized 16 times before, “always with support from both parties” and under both Republican and Democratic presidents, the president said.

“This time around shouldn’t be any different,” he said. “Because the bank works. It’s independent. It pays for itself. But if Congress fails to act, thousands of businesses, large and small, that sell their products abroad will take a completely unnecessary hit.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to back Democrat Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, claims she’s more “pro-business” than Ted Cruz

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce took a central role in the Republican civil war last year, pledging $50 million elect purportedly “pro-business” candidates in the 2014 election. The Chamber played a big part in the reelection of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) last month, pouring $1.2 million in the Magnolia State to help knock off his conservative primary challenger.

Establishment Republicans like to defend the Chamber. They say the Chamber is a crucial ally for the GOP, especially in the 2014 mid-term election. Well, good luck defending this one, guys. The Chamber is reportedly planning to endorse Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) over Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in the Louisiana Senate race:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reportedly throwing support behind Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), according to the group’s national political director, Rob Engstrom.

Engstrom told the audience at a Committee of 100 meeting that the group would support Landrieu in her fight to win re-election, according to The New York Times’ Joe Nocera.

Keep in mind that this race is key to Republicans taking control of the Senate this fall. There’s still a path to a majority without Louisiana, at least on paper, but it’s hard to see it taking shape without a win there. Now, the Chamber claims that that “no decisions have been made” on this race. But it fits a pattern:


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.