K Street

Big Business is freaking out about the building wave against cronyism

Big Business and the Wall Street class are still trying to figure out what to make of outgoing Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning loss to Dave Brat and what it means for the national political landscape now that it appears the Tea Party movement is experiencing a resurgence, as The New York Times explains:

His loss at the hands of David Brat, a Tea Party-inspired economics professor who campaigned on throwing corrupt Wall Street bankers in jail, railed against crony capitalism and insisted that immigration reform would only reward lawbreakers, spurred business leaders to mobilize to preserve their clout in Congress. Already uneasy over what they see as an especially hostile strain of anticorporate populism growing within the conservative movement, and threatening the traditional corporate-friendly centers of power inside the Republican Party, many businesses fear the loss of some of their strongest champions on Capitol Hill.
What has concerned many businesses with a stake in federal policy is a growing anger on the right from people who can sound more Occupy Wall Street than Tea Party.

“You could even make a case that there’s a lot in common between the Tea Party types and the Elizabeth Warren liberals,” said Gregory R. Valliere, the chief political strategist for the Potomac Research Group. “The impact of what’s happened is going to make Republicans in the House apprehensive about appearing to be too cozy to business.”

Today in Liberty: Veterans die waiting for healthcare, Rand Paul touts school choice

“The difference between government and organized crime is that organized part.”Anonymous

— Veterans die while waiting for government-run healthcare: CNN’s Anderson Cooper touched on an outrageous, very serious problem with the government-run veterans’ healthcare system. “At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list,” CNN reports. “The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.”

— Rand Paul talks up school choice: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke to a crowd of Latino parents and students in Milwaukee yesterday about Wisconsin’s school voucher program. National Review notes that Paul hailed the city at the “home of school choice” and explained that the tax dollars used for voucher problems belong to parents, not bureaucrats. “The exact ways the programs are set up is more of a state issue,” Paul told National Review, ”but I think the more school choice the better, so I would really allow everybody to have school choice regardless of income. I think for political reasons it’s been easier just to start with some. What I see is it’s a great advantage for everybody that I’ve seen participating in it.”

Today in Liberty: NAACP praises Rand Paul, GOP winning the Twitter war

“There is an ongoing national discussion about marijuana sentencing reform, and I want to make sure the Republicans are leading the charge. It’s an issue that can unite members of our community, regardless of party, race or gender.”Matthew Hurtt

— NAACP leader praises Rand Paul: The Kentucky Republican’s message on civil rights has won praise from the NAACP, a group not usually sympathetic to Republicans. “It is such a pervasive issue in our community,” NAACP President and CEO Lorraine Miller told NPR, “and, quite honestly, if we can get the ear of someone like Rand Paul, that helps us in trying to find solutions that make sense.” Paul has pushed issues like mandatory minimum reform, school choice, and restoring felon voting rights in various speeches around the country. The NAACP has contacted Paul about speaking to the organization.

Video: Meet the “Kronies”

The Kronies

In vain of 1980s and early 1990s superhero action figures, a recently released video takes aim at the collusion between government and K Street corporations to crush competition from smaller competitors.

The Kronies shows five powerful lobbyist superheroes — Kaptain Korn, Big G, Parts & Labor, Ariel Stryker, and Bankor — who use their political influence to get protectionist tariffs, bailouts, and other deals for their rent-seeking industries. Or, as the video puts it, “Mandating, Tarrify-ing, Inflating, and Boondoggling their way to profits powered by their special konnection to the G-Force.”

Though it’s unclear who is behind the video, it sums up perfectly the cronyism in Washington. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), for example,” wrote on his Facebook page, “Here’s how government ‘works’ in one short video.”

Mike Lee rolls out tax reform plan, slams cronyism

Mike Lee speaks at AEI

In a speech yesterday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) outlined the principles of a tax reform proposal that focuses on the family, equal opportunity and pursuit of happiness for all Americans.

“Today, this fundamental American ideal is hanging by a thread,” said Lee as he got into the crux of the speech. “Up and down American society – which used to be defined and driven by what Tocqueville called our ‘yearning desire to rise’ - we find a new and unnatural stagnancy.”

“We find the underprivileged trapped in poverty, sometimes for generations,” he explained. “We find the middle class caught on a treadmill, running harder every year just to maintain the economic security and social cohesion that were once taken for granted.”

Senate to Push Online Sales Tax This Week

online retailer

Not only will the budget being pushed by Senate Democrats raise taxes by nearly $1 trillion, they want to make it easier for states to go after tax dollars from online sales.

The budget proposed is in the Senate is bad enough. As noted, it’ll raise taxes by $1 trillion, it doesn’t balance the budget or set a path to pay down the national debt, and many of the savings in the proposal are double-counted. How could they possibly make it worse? By adding the Marketplace Fairness Act, which will apparently be presented as an amendment to the budget as early as this week.

While the bill has nice name, it’s protectionist in nature. It’s being pushed by traditional, brick-and-mortar retailers who have seen their business slide due to the popularity and convenience of online retailers. Many governors — including some Republicans — also like it because it would give them a new revenue stream.

FreedomWorks responds to Barack Obama

Yesterday, I wrote about President Barack Obama’s hypocrisy about political discourse due to comments he made in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. Apparently in that same interview, President Obama also took shots at FreedomWorks, one of my favorite pro-free market organizations:

There’s no doubt that the infrastructure and the financing of the Tea Party come from some very traditional, very powerful, special-interest lobbies. I don’t think this is a secret. Dick Armey and FreedomWorks, which was one of the first organizational mechanisms to bring Tea Party folks together, are financed by very conservative industries and forces that are opposed to enforcement of environmental laws, that are opposed to an energy policy that would be different than the fossil-fuel-based approach we’ve been taking, that don’t believe in regulations that protect workers from safety violations in the workplace, that want to make sure that we are not regulating the financial industries in ways that we have.

FreedomWorks fired right back:

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