October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009 | Commentary on

Enemies of the State

"Don't create an enemies list."

Advice given years ago to President Nixon? No, a tip delivered just last week -- from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to President Barack Obama.

Alexander cited some of the announced enemies of Obama and his henchmen, including the Chamber of Commerce, Humana, Fox News, banks, investment houses, bondholders of General Motors and Chrysler, insurance companies and numerous members of Congress. Evidently if you dare to oppose the Obama administration, you risk ending up on the White House enemies list.

Because Fox dares to report news critical of the administration, President Obama has instituted a White House boycott of the network. Anita Dunn, White House communications director, made the wild claim that "Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party." Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have been specifically targeted.

Who's next? Other than free speech, that is.

stimulus Funds National Gay Center for the Elderly

Of course, the White House also has a friends list. And these friends are rewarded with your tax dollars if they support the administration.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius joyfully announced plans to use $250,000 per year of your money to create a National Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Elders. If you're over 60 and living an "alternative lifestyle," you'll be eligible to receive the special services of this new federally funded center.

Yet another example of politically correct government waste -- a "stimulus" we can certainly do without.

Labor's Back-Door Strategy

According to Gallup, a majority of Americans now disapprove of labor unions. Yet their political backers are undaunted -- advancing Big Labor's agenda behind closed doors in conference reports, executive orders and soon at the National labor Relations Board (NLRB), which wields tremendous power over our nation's labor laws.

In April, the President nominated Craig Becker, associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), for the NLRB. Becker has suggested that the NLRB shut out employer objections during organizing drives, would allow workers to choose only which union they will join, and supports "card check." Card Check, the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, which would effectively eliminate secret-ballot unionizing elections and replace them with publicly signed union cards, has become one of the most contentious issues before Congress.

Becker argues that the NLRB can implement card check through regulations without changing Congress. If Becker joins the NLRB, the courts -- not Congress -- would decide if card check becomes law. The American people would be shut out of the process.

TARP

Those big financial firms that were "too big to fail"? They're now even bigger as a result of the government's actions, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program Neil Barofsky told CNN last week. This unintended consequence of the TARP program, ironically, makes the potential for another financial meltdown even more probable. Congress should consider proposals from Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), and from Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) to end the TARP program.

Obamacare Stumbles

Liberal Democrats lost the first battle over Obamacare last week when they failed to pass a bill called Doc Fix. The bill is an effort to change the payment formula for doctors treating Medicare patients. Liberals, unwisely, attempted to railroad the bill through the Senate without making any effort to offset the $247 billion cost to the taxpayers over the next 10 years. Thirteen Democrats joined all Republicans to halt a program that would have added to the estimated $1.4 trillion in debt racked up by the Obama administration so far this year.

Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Bloomberg has reported that White House Economic Advisor Lawrence Summers said in a closed-door speech to the Financial Services Roundtable that if any financial firm that received a bailout better brace for a regulatory overhaul. "We will not be open to arguments motivated by the status quo," Summers said.

President Obama took that a step further by stating "I'm going to do everything I can to stop them from killing [reform]." One of several problems with the administration's version of reform is that it will create an unnecessary new regulatory agency that experts expect to discourage new lower-cost financial products and other innovations. It also would add a new layer of bureaucracy for financial firms.

"This is yet another attempt to micro-manage business," David John of The Heritage Foundation told Human Events. "The sad fact is that the losers will be the very consumers the agency is supposed to help."

Brian Darling is director of U.S. Senate Relations at The Heritage Foundation.

About the Author

Brian Darling Senior Fellow for Government Studies
Government Studies

First Appeared in Human Events