Yet while a pro-business agenda may intersect at points with a pro-market one, they are not the same thing. Pro-market public policies make markets function fairer and more efficiently for everyone. They encourage competition and “creative destruction” and entrepreneurial capitalism. Pro-business policies often shift taxpayer money and other government goodies to favored companies, raise barriers to entry and otherwise defend the status quo.Holy crap, am I going to actually have to agree with Jim Pethokoukis?
For instance, the Chamber wants the government to cut spending by reforming the social insurance system. That sounds good — but how about also reducing the $90 billion a year in subsidies and tax breaks that the Cato Institute reckons businesses get every year? The oil and gas industries alone benefit to the tune of $4 billion annually. It would be better to eliminate such distorting political blessings...
...and then lower the corporate tax rate for everyone.Oh whew, that was close. Hey, so since Obama's doing it, it's bad, but when oil companies were getting billions in subsidies from Bush, it was...what, necessary? Hey, let's just skip the subsidies and give them the same amount in tax cuts. That's fiscal responsibility!
It’s clear the 11,000 registered lobbyists working in Washington aren’t all there to foster competition and boost market forces. Their job is to gain an edge for specific corporate paymasters. During the healthcare reform debate, for instance, Wal-Mart actually lobbied for employers to be forced to provide employees with insurance coverage. The company knew it could more easily afford it than many smaller retailers.Goddammit if you make me agree with you I am going to be really, really pissed off...
Or take financial reform. While big banks may complain about the tidal wave of new regulation, they also know they got off easy in some respects. They weren’t broken up, nor were size limits put in place. In fact, the biggest banks have gotten bigger since the financial crisis and have every incentive to keep doing so since the bigger they are, the more likely Uncle Sam will see them as too big to fail. And what sort of climate change policy has Big Business pushed? Cap-and-trade whose size and complexity make it the perfect target for lobbying and rent seeking.
What’s good for business can also be what’s good for America. Tackling the budget deficit is one example.Oh thank God. So, Obama should cut corporate taxes, but tackle the deficit. Well, since we're cutting subsidies too, that kinda cancels out the tax cutting part, so...how do we tackle the deficit?
Oh right...umm...Jimmy here doesn't have an answer. So, populist populist populist, cut corporate taxes, cut the deficit. Right. Fiscal responsibility 101. Good ol' Jimmy, just as much a hack as ever.