Republican senator Mike Lee has an op-ed decrying cronyism. But first, he says, the Republicans must purge the unseemly activity from within its "own ranks."
"[T]o fix what’s broken in Washington and our economy," Lee writes in National Review Online, "a still-distrusted GOP first must end cronyism in our own ranks. The GOP has to close its branch of the Beltway Favor Bank and truly embrace a free-enterprise economy of, by, and for the people."
Impossible? That’s what they said about earmarks.
Too radical a change? These are principles we already espouse.
Imagine a reformed Republican party seizing the moral high ground against political corruption and economic dysfunction. Imagine its leaders, advocating populist, free-market reforms to restore jobs, growth, and fairness to the economy. Faster than you can say “TARP,” we could pin the Left between their egalitarian facade and their elitist agenda, and force them to choose between K Street and Main Street.
That Republican party could not only unify and excite conservatives, but appeal to hardworking families in the purple and blue communities that President Obama’s special-interest favoritism is leaving behind.
For three years now, Republican leaders have challenged anti-establishment conservatives to come up with a viable plan to make principled conservatism inclusive and popular — to grow our party into a national majority.
Lee says that "One test will be this summer’s expiring congressional authorization of the federal Export Import Bank. The Ex-Im Bank exists to dole out taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to help American exporters. Most of the benefits go to large corporations that are perfectly capable of securing private financing anywhere in the world."
In short, Congress allows the Ex-Im Bank to unnecessarily risk taxpayer money to subsidize well-connected private companies. President Obama himself called the program “little more than a fund for corporate welfare” back in 2008, when total taxpayer exposure to Ex-Im Bank guarantees was less than half its size today.
Whether the beneficiaries of particular Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are respected, successful companies like Boeing or crony basket cases like Solyndra is irrelevant. Twisting policy to benefit any business at the expense of others is unfair and anti-growth.
Whether congressional Republicans say so — and do something about it — during the coming Ex-Im Bank debate will tell us a lot about what, and who, the party really stands for in 2014 and beyond.
Two car companies – Toyota and GM – some of whose vehicles are having engineering problems serious enough to be a safety risk and require massive recalls. One is investigated by Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while the other is not … until very recently, that is. Toyota, the company that did face government investigation and sanctions is, of course, not even an “American” corporation. GM is. And was, for a time, a ward of the state.
President Obama attended a Democratic fund raising event in Weston, Massachusetts Wednesday night at the home of Alan and Susan Solomont. Among the 60 attendees were a number of high-profile Democrats, according to the Boston Globe:
It seems that not all outsourcing is equal ... or something like that. Take, for instance, the building of an automobile known as the Fisker. This is the car that teen-throb Justin Bieber was driving when busted for speeding not so long ago. The Fisker is a set of wheels that appeals to socially conscious one-percenters. An electric sports car that tops out at well over 100 mph, the speed at which a cop said Bieber was traveling, even though the citation read a mere 80 mph. The car retails for over $100k but buyers get a $7,500 tax rebate, which certainly must have incentivized Bieber to buy his Fisker. Also Leonardo DiCaprio, another Fisker owner.
At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that "Liberal policies don't make good jobs," before critiquing Obamacare, overbearing regulations, slow job growth, and a slew of other Obama policies. Romney also focused on crony capitalism in the Obama administration and said he's "ashamed" of this practice.
Mitt Romney's latest web ad targets President Obama's inability to create jobs, the failures of the Department of Energy's loan guarantee program, and "contracts steered to ‘friends & family.'" Watch here:
The crony capitalism represented by the failed “green energy” firm Solyndra has gotten a lot of media attention lately, but much lower on the public’s radar is a much bigger example of corporate pork over at the national space agency—and it’s bipartisan. Let’s call it Shuttlyndra.
Here’s how it works.
A little over a year ago, Congress approved a NASA authorization bill that mandated the agency to spend billions in taxpayer dollars over the next few years on a congressionally specified giant rocket with no defined mission and no budgets with which to build payloads for it.
Earlier this week it was reported that the White House considered a last-minute taxpayer bailout of Solyndra, the failed solar panel maker that received a $529 million loan guarantee. One of the more interesting aspects of that deal—which would have had taxpayers purchasing as much as 40 percent of the company—was that it was allegedly recommended by Wall Street firm Lazard Ltd. According to the Associated Press:
Well, now we know the reason for the Friday night news dump. When the Obama administration finally announced that they would be launching an independent review of Department of Energy loan guarantees, they were likely trying to get out ahead of this: