Obama’s Biggest Bailout Beneficiaries: Lobbyists

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A fascinating and ominous article (vie Drudge) features Fidelity’s Edward Johnson, a critic of FDR and of Obama’s “New Deal II.”

“Johnson, sounding like he’s never been a big fan of the original New Dealers from the 1930s, warned of too much government involvement in the economy and indicated Fidelity is beefing up its government-affairs unit to fend off possibly burdensome new regulations.”

Isn’t it curious that the best these all-powerful financial titans can do to defend themselves is hire lobbyists? Yet that’s exactly what is happening all over the private-sector, as it faces mass nationalization.

But wait, there’s more: next, Johnson has the temerity to blame the government! (no names mentioned, he’s not insane, and he has to be careful: apparently he lives in Massachusetts): “[T]his climate was caused by many well-intentioned policies – stimulated by individuals at high levels in government and sanctioned by regulatory structures.”

Two dark clouds appear (and no silver lining): first, Mr. Johnson had better be careful, economist Dan Mitchell tells the reporter, because it’s “risky” for Mr. Johnson to criticize government. It might “anger government policymakers.”

And second, deferential ignorance by “professionals” still runs rampant: “But William Cheney, chief economist at Boston’s John Hancock Financial, said he ‘very much’ disagreed with Johnson’s version of FDR’s New Deal policies. Roosevelt’s initial policies did boost the economy, which faltered after FDR tried to rein in government spending, Cheney said.”

7:13 am on February 26, 2009
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