Best of the Forge: America’s Crony Capital

CRONYISM.  Conservatives must stop using lazy rhetoric and instead engage in the real policy fight to eliminate cronyism.  That’s the message of a piece Heritage Action’s Mike Needham co-authored with Sen. Jim DeMint in the Weekly Standard Magazine.

KEY VOTE. Heritage Action supports the HERO Act (S. 1904 / H.R. 4612) and will include CO-SPONSORSHIP of the legislation on our legislative scorecard.

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Morning Action: Crony Capitalism in the Obama Era

CRONY CAPITALISM.  Heritage President Jim DeMint and Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham penned an op-ed on crony capitalism and big government in the Obama era:

Five and a half years into the Obama era, a healthy conservative movement would be well positioned to highlight the link between big government and corporate cronyism. President Obama’s stimulus package, supposedly passed to address unemployment, functioned primarily to line the pockets of well-connected unions and firms like Solyndra rather than to build a foundation for a broad-based recovery. Obamacare, professedly designed to reduce costs, has served instead to increase premiums, limit choice, and guarantee insurers a steady stream of revenue. The Dodd-Frank reform, billed as a measure that would protect consumers from future financial collapses, has only exacerbated the problem of too-big-to-fail, and Wall Street profits have soared in subsequent years. Corporate friends of the Obama administration and the Democratic party have done quite well in the Obama era, even as the economy has stagnated. Being well-connected does wonders.

There’s nothing wrong with soaring profits, as long as they don’t come at the expense of the public weal. Irving Kristol once observed that big business “straddles, uncomfortably and uncertainly, both the private and public sectors of our ‘mixed economy.’ ” The discomfort is disappearing. In the Obama era, big business seems to prefer sure profits guaranteed by government to the risks of competition.

Read the whole thing here

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Morning Action: President Obama to Talk to John Boehner on Immigration

IMMIGRATION.  President Obama will talk to House Speaker John Boehner on immigration (sub. req’d):

[President Obama] plans to personally press Speaker John A. Boehner to act.

“Some of you saw that there was an interesting election yesterday,” he told donors at a fundraiser this evening. “And it’s interesting to listen to the pundits and the analysts, and some of the conventional wisdom talks about, oh, the politics of immigration reform seem impossible now. I fundamentally reject that. And I will tell the Speaker of the House that he needs to reject that,” Obama said.

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Morning Action: A Surge of Illegal Minors Over Southern Border

IMMIGRATION.  Conservative lawmakers weighed in Tuesday on the surge of illegal minors coming over our southern border:

Conservative lawmakers today blamed President Obama’s policies for provoking a wave of unaccompanied immigrant children to cross the southern border into the United States. The humanitarian crisis, they said, would deter the House from pursuing “comprehensive” immigration reform similar to what the Senate passed last year.

Speaking at this month’s Conversations with Conservatives event on Capitol Hill, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) 85%, and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) 91%, argued that the White House’s lax enforcement of immigration laws encouraged Central Americans to try to escape violence and poverty.

“He picks and chooses what he wants to enforce, regardless of what we pass or don’t pass,” Salmon said of Obama. “That hardly is an incentive to want to sit down at the table and negotiate a deal on immigration reform.”

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Morning Action: Lawmakers to Talk Immigration Today on Capitol Hill

IMMIGRATION.  Conservative lawmakers will be outlining their immigration agenda today on Capitol Hill:

Illegal immigration is back in to the spotlight on Capitol Hill as the White House and congressional Republicans spar over the “urgent humanitarian situation” facing thousands of young immigrants marooned in Arizona.

With immigration reform supporters in Washington this week, lawmakers gather today for the monthly Conversations with Conservatives event at 11 a.m. ET in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building. It will be broadcast live on The Daily Signal.

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