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August 19, 2010 / J. Shaw

HARTWELL: No, Obama is scary competent

Just look at how he’s changed the country…

Some commentators have asserted recently that President Obama and his administration are incompetent. Mort Zuckerman perceives “something amateurish and incompetent.” For Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Mr. Obama‘s reaction to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill “calls to mind Jimmy Carter‘s incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.” Indeed, they conclude that the president “is failing because he is incompetent.”

When it comes to expanding and perpetuating the power of his administration and its ideological allies and transforming the country for their benefit, Mr. Obama is anything but incompetent. His administration has pursued a razzle-dazzle offense so swift and relentless that the president and his regime have only begun to digest the spoils of their victories. To illustrate, let us consider a sampling of his legislative, administrative and judicial accomplishments.

First, the administration trampled the legal rights of creditors, nationalizing two U.S. auto manufacturers to subsidize politically loyal unions that had brought the companies to ruin in the first place. According to the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) inspector general, after the takeover, the president’s “auto team” ordered the immediate termination of one-quarter of GM and Chrysler dealerships. This was not done to cut costs, but rather on the basis of race and politics. Thus, racial preferences preserved the businesses of likely supporters, while the companies simultaneously were pressured to close rural dealerships even though they gave GM and Chrysler an advantage over import brands. Union and urban jobs were saved; tens of thousands of red-state jobs were killed.

As for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, its trillion dollars or so in “stimulus” spending was a veritable festival of pork. The bill did a great deal to reward Democratic Party constituencies and virtually nothing to boost private-sector employment. Instead, the “stimulus” spawned thousands of new government jobs, funneling federal dollars into union dues for Democrats’ campaign coffers.

Then, after excluding all but its allies from secret, dead-of-night drafting sessions, the administration resorted to an unprecedented use of the “reconciliation” process to ram through legislation that essentially nationalizes the health care industry. Rolled into that same massive bill was a takeover of the student loan business, assorted racial and union preferences, and a host of other provisions whose full implications are only now being sorted out.

Recently, another huge bill, also drafted in the dark, has given the administration sweeping control over the financial industry in the name of “reform.” No surprise – this legislation dramatically expands the power of Washington over yet another industry, creates dozens of new boards and bureaucracies, codifies racial-preference regimes and assures this president still more control over business and consumer conduct.

All of these bills foster dependence on government and strip the private sector of freedom and financial resources. To accomplish this, the president and his administration have come up with an approach that works very well for them. They meet behind closed doors with allies and favored constituents and craft massive, thousand-page bills whose sheer density effectively conceals many provisions that could not pass if exposed to the light of day. Rammed quickly through Congress on purely partisan votes, they become law before any public analysis is done of their contents. Discussion and disclosure, potentially so messy and inconvenient, are avoided almost entirely

MORE…         Article  by Ray Hartwell


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