Although the media would have Americans believe there were no two groups more different, Wall Street and Big Labor have a few things in common. Both are overcompensated; both are major donors to the Democratic Party; and both have Barack Obama looking out for their interests.
Obama’s long history of doing the bidding of unions is hardly a secret. Then-president of SEIU Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House. Obama steered numerous federal contracts into union hands. And he appointed SEIU/AFL-CIO lawyer Craig Becker, a dedicated advocate of “card check” union oragnization, to the National Labor Relations Board (the agency that moderates disputes between employers and labor).
One of his acts of advocacy on behalf of his labor benefactors will soon be investigated. As I reported yesterday, Obama’s takeover of General Motors allowed employees of Delphi who belonged to the United Auto Workers to keep 100 percent of their pensions. Meanwhile, 21,000 non-union employees lost between 30 and 70 percent of their pension income.
But a new book details Obama ‘s crony capitalism for Wall Street. Fox Business Wall Street reporter Charles Gasparino’s Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street states the president and Wall Street bankers, brokers, and bribers have formed “an unholy alliance against the American taxpayer.” Obama has raked in campaign cash, and Gasparino notes the “amazing” benefits Big Business has milked out of Big Government: taxpayer bailouts, guarantees on corporate debt, and a variety of other government preferences. Ben Smith of Politico has a brief review that is worth reading. Although Smith sneaks in some contemptuous words about Dinsh D’Souza’s recent article “How Obama Thinks,” the extended (if misspelled) excerpts from the book jibe with the liberals’ suspicion of “capitalist” influence on government. (Even a broken clock is right twice a day.)
Particularly interesting is Gasparino’s section on Valerie Jarrett‘s lobbying within the administration. Bought and Paid For notes Jarrett has “never run a real business or started a company from scratch” — she was a government bureaucrat in far-Left Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s administration before making a sideline as a slumlord. Yet her word can open or close the U.S. Treasury to a cornucopia of government goodies.
The Obama administration’s role as defender of Goldman Sachs and George Soros on one hand, and SEIU and the UAW on the other, show exactly who is left out: the American middle class.
The socialist Left has always despised the middle class, which it sometimes labels the lumpenbourgeoisie — the law-abiding sturdy citizens who dream of getting ahead through hard work and opportunity. They are the repository of the nation’s faith, culture, and civic mores. The Left understands its members are counterrevolutionary at their very core and oppose its plans for wealth redistribution.
In theory, the Left hates the upper classes above all; in reality, it recruits the vast majority of its supporters from their ranks. Thus, radicals engage in the sandwich strategy: keeping a rotating door of special interest lobbyists and super-rich “experts” cycling in and out of succeeding administrations while earmarking an ever-greater amount of American paychecks to “entitlements” for the unemployed. Corporate bailouts, mandatory union contracts, and “tax cuts” for people who do not pay taxes leech out the lifeblood of the middle class one bill at a time.
These two stories illustrate two fronts of the Obama administration’s war on the middle class. The Tea Party’s successes show how Middle America is fighting back.