Monday, September 19, 2011

Palin on Crony Capitalism - Daniels on the Red Menace

Two prominent Republicans who are not declared candidates for President are making their mark on the national debate. Sarah Palin has been highlighting the issue of crony capitalism of late and Mitch Daniels new book is a serious look at the mountain of debt he sees as a threat to the Republic.

Even before the recent Solyndra blow up, here was Sarah Palin diagnosing our current ills on September 4th in Iowa.
Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars. They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
Palin attacks the key issue that unites ordinary individuals left, right and center, the use of government to further enrich the already rich and powerful. It is the challenge of our time to convince those on the left that it is constant government meddling in the economy and the immense regulatory regime, not free markets, which lead to this outcome. Probably better to start with those in the center, who might be more open to this line of argument. The GOP needs to go on the offensive against crony capitalism, unfortunately they have been guilty just as have the Democrats in purchasing favors for special interests. However, the time is ripe for this message. We could start by stripping out all of the special favors in the tax code. Starting over with a lower corporate tax rate, but no special exemptions would go a long way to restoring public belief in the party who proposed that plan.

While Palin attacks the most politically compelling issue, Daniels attacks on the debt, on which he is unusually well qualified. His book, Keeping the Republic, Saving America by Trusting Americans is brilliantly titled. The tagline, Change that believes in you cleverly turns Obama's promise on its head. I am really thrilled that he has adopted my ideas on means testing social security and medicare. (OK, probably not, but I feel vindicated since few other prominent Republicans have supported my position.) He also makes the point that the whole of the federal budget should be under consideration, including defense. This issue of defense spending is going to split Republicans, but it needs to be considered, since it comes in at $700 billion plus per year.

More important than any policy prescription offered by Daniels, is his understanding of the need to limit the scope of the federal government and return to a philosophy of self governance.
The coming debate is not really about something so mundane as tax policy or health care or energy choices. It is about things more fundamental: who is in charge, the people or those who supposedly serve at their sufferance?

Answering that it is the former, requires the people to be capable of managing their own affairs. They are in fact so capable. But we should remember that it is ingrained in the language of the left that all mankind's ills: sickness, poverty, old age, sloth, and gluttony are not solved by individuals or capitalist institutions, only by government. But a government powerful enough to solve such issues would be a fearful master indeed, and we would be subjects, not citizens. It is good of Daniels to remind us.


  1. Its a real shame that the media obscures such depth of thought coming out of your end of the spectrum. I disagree with much of what you write, but will admit that your argument is quite persuasive.

  2. I stand beside Mitch and yourself on this issue. Unfortunately the current youth are completely miseducated. Current, "liberal causes" include gay marriage and global warming which put power in the Federal Government for emotional reasons.

    We are not A United State of America, we are The United States of America and the distinction will determine the fate of human freedom.

  3. B-Daddy, great post.

    I heard quite a bit of belly-aching from the left over corporatism when Bush was in office but not so much now when it has been thrown into hyper-drive with this administration.

    I think... I think where the disconnect is getting liberals to acknowledge the big government half of the big guv + big biz = crony capitalism part of the equation.