(Howard Rich/Americans for Limited Government) – Wherever possible President Barack Obama has sought to dilute or disguise the ideological war his administration has been waging against capitalism over the past twenty-seven months. As a result, his massive bureaucratic bailout became an “economic stimulus.” His takeover of the financial markets was labeled “Wall Street Reform.” His socialized medicine plan became the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” act (which of course would magically shrink, not expand deficits). And his massive energy tax increase was cleverly billed as a “cap-and-trade” emissions marketplace.
Yet when Obama’s union goons on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) challenged aircraft manufacturer Boeing’s right to locate a new facility in the right-to-work state of South Carolina, all subtlety evaporated.
There, in a black-and-white complaint, is indisputable evidence that the Obama administration is waging war against the American free market on behalf of union thugs and entrenched government bureaucrats. It’s a costly war, too – one that’s being funded by trillions of tax dollars (and trillions more in deficit spending).
Obama’s silence on the NLRB-Boeing issue has been deafening. Rather than rebuking this unprecedented imposition on a company’s right to move new business where it sees fit – Obama has hidden behind his goon squad like a fashionable gangster unwilling to get his hands dirty.
Earlier this week, he was abruptly – and deservedly – called out for these tactics by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.
“Mr. President, do you have an enemies list?” Paul asked. “Is this decision based on the fact that South Carolina appears to be a Republican state, has two Republican senators? Is this decision based on the fact that South Carolina is a ‘right to work’ state? Are they on your enemies list?”
Paul didn’t stop there – blasting Obama for his recent threat to require government contractors to disclose donations to groups that participate in political activities.
“The president has said now that he’s going to ask contractors who do business with the government ‘Who have you contributed to?'” he said. “Mr. President, do you have en enemies list? Will you now punish contractors who have given money to Republican candidates? I’m concerned – there are two Republican Senators from Kentucky. Are we on your enemies list? Is Alabama on your enemies list? Is Texas on your enemies list?”
Paul’s invocation of a Nixonian “enemies list” provides a useful framework for examining the conduct of this administration – which is simultaneously trying to muzzle and strong-arm corporate and individual citizens.
Who else is on Obama’s enemies list?
What about shareholders in General Motors – whose assets were wiped out when Obama’s creative bankruptcy maneuvering handed control of the company to the government and the unions?
What about America’s private health care insurers, who in addition to being saddled with costly new government mandates were overtly threatened last year by Obama’s Medicaid czar Kathleen Sebelius?
More broadly, what about individual citizens who beginning in 2013 will be compelled to purchase health care insurance or face stiff fines?
What about American motorists, who face soaring gas prices due to Obama’s moratorium on offshore drilling and his refusal to support expanded domestic energy exploration?
What about the 13 million Americans who remain unemployed despite Washington’s costly efforts at economic “stimulation?”
And what about the American taxpayer – whose per capita share of the national debt now totals more than $123,000?
Perhaps the more useful question would be “who isn’t on Obama’s enemies list?” – other than bureaucrats and union leaders obviously.
In his relentless pursuit of a dependent citizenry, Obama is attempting to impose his will upon both the free market and the “marketplace of ideas.” Not only is he trying to dictate where private companies can expand their operations – but he’s simultaneously attempting to muzzle their ability to protest against such overreaching.
Sen. Paul deserves credit for standing up to both of these threats – and exposing the underlying motivations associated with each of them.
(Mr. Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.)