free markets

QOD: Chamber Of Commerce President Says It Best About DISCLOSE Act

U. S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donahue said it best about the DISCLOSE Act. Never one to shy away from the attention grabbing quote going back to his days at the American Trucking Associations (that's right, it's plural), Mr. Donahue qualifies for our first federal Quote of the Day. From The Hill's On The Money Blog, by Jay Heflin:

The fact that this assault to the First Amendment is being considered as millions are desperately looking for work is a complete outrage. Despite their best efforts, there is no back room dark enough, no partisan motive strong enough, and no cynicism profound enough to barter away Americans' freedom of speech.

As we mentioned posted yesterday, the DISCLOSE Act is a backroom deal of the most nefarious kind to limit what groups outside labor unions and selected others can do and spend on political campaigns, and Mr. Donahue nailed it in the second sentence. (Wasn't the new regime going to end backroom deals?) We do have one concern. Whether deserved or not, the Chamber itself has had a history of flirting with the forces in D.C. not necessarily enamored with free markets and free ideas, as long as it and its members got what it needed. Crony capitalism as it's called. Being "pro business" doesn't mean a politician is for free markets, liberty and constitutionally limited government.

Finally, however, some are waking up to the reality of what happens when you swim with the sharks and lay with the lions too long. At first, you get a bit of a high — untouched in the proximity of such man eaters — thinking you actually can get along with them, cut your own deals, and leave each other to pursue separate agendas. But, in the end, they still are sharks and lions and they have their own instinctive agendas — to rule the seas and jungles. When they want their dinner, they don't care who you are or what you've done together in the past. They need to be satisfied and, if you are in their way, and inevitably everyone is, you will be eaten because what they eat is all the same to them.

Obama Advisor Donald Berwick Freely Admits Socialist Agenda: "We Must, MUST Redistribute Wealth!"

The video below is making the rounds, primarily because the man speaking in it, Donald Berwick, President Barack Obama's choice to head the agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid, said to a crowd of true believers in Britain that socialized medicine is the way to go. People speak from the heart when with fellow ideologues, so there is no misunderstanding here, and when one is so infamously outspoken, it's near impossible for the president not to know this man's philosophy. So, what does that tell you? Exactly! (See David Limbaugh.) But his adamant insistence that health care "by definition" means, "we must, must redistribute wealth!" has obfuscated his three other extraordinarily extremist statements — no easy feat in a sound bite a little more than two minutes long:

1. "tough choices and planning supply" (a government planning supply = rationing); 

2. "darkness of private enterprise" (a definitive condemnation of free markets and choice, and an embrace of government control over commerce); and

3. "single route of finance" (an unapologetic plea for "single payer" or government-run health care).

Combined with the president's own words ("spread the wealth around" and "I do think at some point you've made enough money," among an inexhaustibly list), it no longer is a question of the president's philosophy, and not even of whether what to expect of him (he told us he wanted to "fundamentally transform America," while giving lip service to centrism).

Rather, it's a matter of himself and his government, admitting it clearly and plainly, and why he thinks government control of industry is preferable to the system of free commerce that created the highest standard of living and largest economy known to man. (Nancy Pelosi's lame rationalization is a symptom, not a cause, so to speak, and doesn't come close.) After all, the Soviet Union would be thriving still today if the government-run system was equal or superior to the "darkness of private enterprise" (a shameful remark that slaps at the core of American ingenuity that has given so much to the world).

Not that the president is alone in this. Even Republicans, with the rare exception of some such as Newt Gingrich, won't call it what it is (see Bobby Eberle). But, in the meantime, here is Mr. Berwick, praising socialist Britain and slamming America for the evil that it is.

Donald Berwick at home in England while hammering America the awful.

Two For Traffic Congestion Two: Hampton Roads Chamber Of Commerce Endorses McDonnell

The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce officially endorsed Bob McDonnell today giving the Republican candidate for governor the endorsements of the business communities of the two most traffic congested regions of Virginia. Jim Nolan of the Richmond Times-Dispatch has it here. Along with former Governor Doug Wilder's tax increases are "not leadership," non-endorsement of fellow Democrat Creigh Deeds, it looks as if it's advantage McDonnell in the transportation debate. Despite the stereo-type that chambers of commerce are some type of conservative monolith, as Bill Pascoe points out on CQPolitics' In The Right Blog, the Fairfax Chamber, for example, has been very friendly to Mark Warner over the years. In fact, the whole myth of "business being conservative" needs to be exploded. Business is for business, whether it gets its way via free markets or government assistance. (Who was among the most fervent property rights reform opponents? Who typically is for taxes increases for roads for their commercial developments?)

In this case, in this economic condition, they understand — confiscating wealth is no way to create it. Without people keeping their hard-earned money, there's no transportation. So, the people who know their region's problems best seem to favor McDonnell's no-tax approach to transportation problem solving.