Wednesday, May 13, 2015

See What We Mean, Democrats?

Yesterday the Senate Democrats halted President Obama's free trade initiative in the US Senate. And he insulted Sen. Elizabeth Warran (D-MA). Oh and by the way, the contents of the bill are as secret as an intelligence bill: nobody is allowed a copy of the bill. So once again, we have to pass it to find out what's in it. Way to go, Barry!

Do you Democrats see, finally, that we have a problem, Houston? That it really isn't a good idea to have a president that acts like a playground bully? A president that sees no problem in insulting the good faith of his opponents? Like this?
The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else. And you know, she’s got a voice that she wants to get out there. And I understand that[.]
Generally, Mr. President, we try to avoid sophomoric comments like that. Even if it's true. Why? Because every elected official has the negative power to put a wrench in the works, especially if someone has "dissed" him. Or her.

Now we learn that the problem with the president's remarks are... exactly, they are sexist, because the subtext of the president's remarks are that the little lady from Massachusetts doesn't know what she is talking about.

Actually, I agree with that. But not because Sen. Warren is a woman. Not at all. It's because she is a lawyer and a liberal.

But how can the president be sexist? He's African American: he doesn't have the power!

Seriously, do you Democrats now see what a total mess this president is, now that your liberal ox is getting gored by his incompetence and his petulance? As I understand it the President of the United States is supposed to get on the phone and stitch up the support for his program before we get to votes in the Senate. The whole idea is to do all the horse-trading in smoke-filled rooms out of sight of the public so that the swing votes are bought and paid for just like it says in Buchanan and Tullocks' The Calculus of Consent.

But let's get back to this whole secrecy thing. Not to mention the whole 1,000 page bill thing.

You know and I know what is going on here. Democrats can't publicly vote for free trade because they have been campaigning against free trade since... since the Republican Party crashed and burned as the protectionist party on or about 1930.

Yep, opposition to free trade is bubba bait. Because the science is settled. It's called the Law of Comparative Advantage, but free trade still hurts established interests that have had privileges legislated into law in the past. Because free trade makes a mockery of all stitch-up deals to special interests. What a shame!

So the best way to pass free trade is to pass a black box with unknown contents, so moderate Democratic legislators can't get primaried by extremists. That is call legislative sausage-making.

But all the bubba bait in the world doesn't change the science: Regulation, protection, taxing, spending: all these things make the nation poorer. Period.

I was just watching the PBS documentary "The Commanding Heights" yesterday and they had airline deregulator Alfred E. Kahn as a talking head. The point is that regulation always ends up as a stitch-up for the special interests. In the case of airlines, it kept them all cosily in business for 40 years. And prices high.

Now Sen. Warren is the champion of the post-crash financial regulation, including her own baby, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is all stitched up into special funding from the Federal Reserve System. So she hates anything that might take power away from her pet project.

I get that.

Personally, I shudder to think what kind of train-wreck will come of Warren's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act. Because my guess is that these regulatory monsters will empower the government to behave badly and screw up the financial system. Until it's too late and we have a financial Armageddon like 2008.

But not to worry. We can still blame the greedy bankers.

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