My Latest

Friday, September 26, 2008

The new masters of the universe

My Examiner column for September 26, looks at the Great Wall Street Bailout:

Wall Street, always dependent on Washington for protective regulation and “pro-market” policies that drive capital towards housing and securities, has prostrated itself before the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury in recent days, ushering in a brave new era of a nationalized economy.

Who wins? Who always wins? The politicians, the bureaucrats, and the businesses with the best lobbyists.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

AIG feels at home in the government

My September 19, 2008, column for the Washington Examiner addresses the AIG bailout:

To judge by the rhetoric coming from Capitol Hill liberals, you would think the recently bailed-out American International Group (AIG) was some sort of free-market, government-hating, leave-me-alone-to-make-my-profits capitalist cowboy before it came begging this week for a handout from Uncle Sam. The company’s lobbying record and campaign contributions tell a different story.

AIG has built its business in conjunction with big government and, naturally, lobbied for big government programs that make some of its businesses possible. Still Democrats are using the company’s collapse, and the broader context of the financial crisis, as an indictment of the free-market and of Republicans.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rangel is Capitol Hill money man

My September 12, 2008, Washington Examiner column looks into Charlie Rangel's modus operandi:
If his acceleration in fundraising isn’t evidence enough that Rangel has turned his chair into a fundraising tool, the Baucus-Rangel Leadership Fund should be a tip-off. One month into the new Democratic majority, Rangel formed a joint fundraising committee with Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.

What do the two have in common, aside from the fact that there is a Harlem, Mont.? Baucus is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the upper chamber’s tax-writing committee. What would be the purpose of a joint fundraising committee controlled by the two lawmakers with the most control over tax law?

Sure enough, the donor list is plush with developers, financiers and wealthy businessmen with interesting tax situations.
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Living it up at the conventions--on your dime

ST PAUL, MINN.--My March 5, 2008, Washington Examiner column:
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but this week I have sure been enjoying lots of Summit India Pale Ale, fried walleye and all kinds of tasty nourishment at events surrounding the Republican National Convention, without paying for any of it.

The same was true in Denver last week. Of course, none of this was “free.” My free food and drink — which paled in comparison to wining and dining enjoyed by the politicians and policymakers here — were the wages of a government that has far outgrown the power and influence our founders intended.

The less-savory fruits are high taxes, often oppressive regulations, and a lobbying game that invites graft, corruption and abuse of power. That’s why we see corporate sponsors all over both of these conventions.
Read the whole thing here.