Monday, March 30, 2009
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary Bauer
GM: Government Mafia
It’s been said that dealing with Big Government is like dealing with the mafia – both operate by their own rules and there’s a high price to pay for dealing with either. In recent days, we witnessed the government arbitrarily change rules and impose confiscatory taxes on contracts it had previously approved. If you’re a business owner or a corporate CEO desperately trying to manage a struggling industry, we got another example of the cost of doing business if you turn to the Feds for help.
General Motors CEO Richard Wagoner was in Washington Friday to explain his plan to turn the company around after receiving billions of dollars in federal loans. At the meeting, he was asked to “step aside.” Now, after risking nearly $20 billion in taxpayer money, and with both Chrysler and GM asking for $20 billion more, the government is suggesting that bankruptcy may be the end result after all.
One could certainly make the argument that Wagoner should be fired. But is that really the government’s decision? Anyone who thinks the government can do a better job should consider the government’s track record with public education or the Post Office or the IRS. Regardless, GM’s CEO has been forced out, but what about the unions – what concessions are they making now?
And what else is government doing to help the struggling auto industry? Not much. In fact, it’s adding to the burden! The Transportation Department just announced a new increase in fuel efficiency standards, meaning that car manufacturers are going to have to revamp their assembly lines and retool factories in the middle of an economic downturn. The administration’s proposed carbon “cap and trade” scheme would be devastating to Detroit. In addition, liberal bureaucrats in California want to tell you what color car you can drive. Believe it or not, in order to save the planet from global warming, the California legislature may ban black paint on cars because the black paint absorbs heat and people use their air conditioners “too much” to cool down their cars.
By the way, the government mafia isn’t just muscling in on businesses – it’s doing the same thing to states. South Carolina’s conservative Governor Mark Sanford has repeatedly told Washington that he does not want the government’s “stimulus” money because of the onerous conditions and demands that come with it. Undeterred, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told USA Today, “Let me be clear. We’re going to take care of the children of South Carolina.” Shouldn’t that be left to the parents and people of South Carolina, rather than Washington bureaucrats who think they know better?
Muslim Affirmative Action?
Over the weekend, news broke that various “community groups” are urging the Obama Administration to hire more Muslims to key positions in the government. The Los Angeles Times reports that J. Saleh Williams, program coordinator for the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, “sifted through more than 300 names” and forwarded a book of 45 resumes to the White House. Evidently, the White House is eager for the vetting help. The effort was “bumped up two weeks ahead of schedule because White House officials heard about the venture.”
The Times quotes Abdul Malik Mujahid of the Muslim Democrats, saying “Muslims are not looking for handouts. We’re just looking for equal opportunity and inclusiveness.” Not to mention a little influence. A spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations didn’t mince words, saying, “We’re hoping that once [Attorney General] Eric Holder puts the [Justice] department in order and places people in different positions, we can reestablish what were very positive relations [with the FBI] in our 15-year history.” You may recall that the FBI terminated its “very positive relations” with CAIR after it was declared an unindicted co-conspirator in the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation.
I remember the hyperventilating in Washington when it was learned that the Bush Administration made an effort to hire graduates of Regent University Law School, which was founded by Pat Robertson. Leftwing groups warned that America was on the verge of a theocracy and that the “separation of church and state” was under assault. I’m not hearing much concern about the “separation of church and state” today from those groups.
I don’t know if you participated in Earth Hour this weekend, but I couldn’t help being struck by the irony as I read a news report about the event this morning. According to the Associated Press, “Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries joined the event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund to dim nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.”
Throughout recorded history, mankind has struggled to harness natural resources and human ingenuity to better our lives. From the discovery of fire to electricity, we have sought to conquer darkness. Now, so-called “progressives” are eager to turn out the lights and plunge society back into another Dark Age by capping emissions from fossil fuels and even putting a cap on human beings. Last week I reported the comments of a leading environmental guru in Great Britain who declared, “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.” His solution is to reduce England’s population by 30 million people.
Those of us who believe in common sense, and who don’t see our fellow man as some sort of virus infecting the planet that must be eradicated, need to speak up. We must help our politicians “feel the heat and see the light” before the Left paralyzes our economy with radical environmental policies.
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