“Every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich.”
That’s the starting point of my brother Tim Carney’s new book released today, titled Obamanomics, How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses.
Whether he likes it or not, President Barack Obama’s policies on finance, the economy, technology, the environment, and even health care are turning out to be boons to the most entrenched special interests. Meanwhile, smaller businesses, taxpayers, and some disfavored industries are bearing the burden.
Our President believes in a “mixed economy” in which private enterprise and the profit motive are still alive and well, but government gets to pick the winners and losers.
Whether it's unprecedented spending sprees with trillions of loot being handed out, a cascade of bailouts across industries, or new regulations and mandates, Obamanomics makes it disastrous for business to ignore Washington. That's good news for Washington's lobbying corps.
The biggest winner on K Street, though, may be the Podesta Group, co-founded by John Podesta, an Obama confidant who ran the presidential transition team. The firm, with top clients in the healthcare and energy industry among others, is now in the hands of John's brother Tony, whose 65th birthday party in October was graced by Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
The Podesta Group also snatched up the first Obama administration alumnus to pass through the revolving door to K Street that Obama promised to shut down.
Alcoa has long lobbied for Obama's agenda of greenhouse gas regulations and heightened fuel-economy mandates. aluminium-framed cars are lighter than steel-framed cars, but much more expensive. As Obama's green policies add to the cost of every pound of car, he's driving business to Alcoa.
Of course, making aluminium frames is more energy-intensive than making steel frames, but Alcoa makes its frames in Australia, where it actively lobbies against green regulations.
Alcoa sent its vice president for public strategy, Jake Siewert, to the Obama administration where he now serves under Timothy Geithner.