The Empire Strikes Back

Apparently Obama did get the message from the midterm “shellacking” administered by Tea Party groups supporting conservative candidates. He now realizes that the wealthy business class he’s spent the last two years vilifying holds the key to his reelection prospects in 2012 and he wants to make up for it in a hurry. He’s packing his administration with business-friendly types and sucking up to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with a flurry of free trade deals in an attempt to make nice with the business community.

The business community was cast as the evil empire that Obama, as Luke Skywalker, would defeat to restore order to the universe and redistribute its wealth to the downtrodden rebels exploited by the evil machinations of the greedy empire. Much like the movie, the business empire has struck back in a bid to rid the universe of these progressive chameleons masquerading as champions of virtue interested only in righting perceived wrongs. As most people, except liberals, eventually figure out, business is not evil and provides the means for us to support our families and enjoy our lives through employment at their companies.

Business has been sitting on a mountain of cash to the tune of $2 trillion and refusing to cooperate with Obama’s plan to redistribute America’s wealth. Instead of expanding their businesses and hiring new workers, they’ve chosen to wait out the uncertainty caused by Obama’s socialist redistributive polices. Unemployed workers stop spending and cause more layoffs in a downward economic spiral that produces less and less revenue for the government to redistribute.

Government has maxed out the credit card and the bill is now due. Americans voted for spending restraint in the last election and the 112th Congress understands this all too well. Speaker Boehner realizes that Republicans will lose what little trust the voters have in them if they do not live up to their promise to reduce spending.

The true test of who has the upper hand in this fight will be revealed in the looming battle over raising the debt ceiling. The Obama administration has cast this as a fight to preserve America’s good credit rating while conservatives are drawing a line in the sand against profligate federal spending and demanding that the government face the pain of living within its means.

Make no mistake. The federal government is broke and Obama knows it. The spending spree is over and Obama has called for spending cuts. However, like most profligate Democrat politicians forced to face the music from an angry electorate, Obama wants to first shut off the essential services like defense in a show of how spending cuts are just not achievable without losing these essential services. Defense Secretary Gates has called for $78 billion in defense reductions while America fights two wars and faces the threat of a Chinese military buildup.

Americans have persevered through hard times and know all too well that sacrifice delayed only grows in severity. Those proclaiming the new normal of austerity need only spend some time listening to their family members tell stories from the Great Depression to soon realize that we are way better off now than they were then. While we drop our cable subscription and forego expensive coffee, they were struggling to find something to eat and somewhere to sleep.

The Obama economic team that pushed Keynesian policies has now been thrown under the bus as the promised economic recovery has failed to materialize much to the angst of voters more savvy on economic matters than Democrats realized. Voters have at least reminded Obama that he serves at their pleasure and the presidency is not his by divine right.

Speaker Boehner and the Republican House have been criticized for reading the Constitution on the House floor by liberal progressives claiming that this is nothing more than a gimmick with no real meaning. Republicans have been scared straight and are doing everything in their power to demonstrate that they are the antithesis of the 111th Congress. Reading the Constitution is Boehner’s way of demonstrating that he’s the anti-Pelosi in his approach to the Speakership, and this contrast is highlighted by a comparison of his humble demeanor to Pelosi’s haughty attitude.

Those wealthy individuals such as Warren Buffet who are complaining that their taxes are too low have the power to contribute as much of their wealth to the federal government as they wish, but never seem to take advantage of this opportunity. They would rather have the government force everyone to pay more in taxes without allowing them the choice to decide for themselves. Buffet’s investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway owns insurance companies that provide policies to shield wealth from the death tax and profits by higher tax policies.

Small business owners don’t have the luxury of Buffet’s billions to cushion their mistakes when they guess wrong about future expenses stemming from socialist redistributive policies and the uncertainty they generate. Rising costs and falling sales force them to lay off real people they know and work with. It’s not easy to take away someone’s livelihood; especially when you know they have a family to support.

This is why unemployment is known as a lagging economic indicator. Employers wait as long as possible to lay off workers in the hopes they can avoid the painful layoff process if the economy improves. Unemployment continues to rise through an economic downturn and contributes to the economy’s downward trajectory. When the economy begins to improve, employers resist hiring workers for fear that the economy may slip back into recession or that the economic upturn is not sustainable and force them to make painful layoffs.

Obama entered office on a mission to redistribute America’s wealth in the name of some vague progressive notion of fairness. He has denigrated the usual straw men Democrats identify with wealth such as bankers, Wall Street traders, and greedy businessmen with the tired rhetoric of class envy that the liberal Democrat base laps up through decades of conditioning from party pols. When their attempts to co-opt the progressive agenda failed, the business class realized they were in a fight to the death and dug in to defeat their oppressors.

The once-proud progressives who declared that they won and things would be run their way over the last two years, are now having to humble themselves to these same businessmen as they come to realize that it is these businessmen who hold the real economic and political power in America. The wealthy have the resources to opt out of participation when government policies are engineered against their best interests. Unfortunately, we in the middle class are the ones who suffer in this battle of wills until we get the opportunity to change the political class unable to realize that they are temporary distractions in the grand scheme of things.

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