Friday, October 01, 2010

Is "pro-business" a code word?

News Corp., the parent of Fox News, just gave a million bucks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Not too long ago it gave a bunch of money to the Republican Governors Association.  Target and Best Buy gave a bunch of money to some organization or other.  All of said recipients give the money to Republicans.  All of the donors deny that they are interested in social issues – they aren’t anti-gay (Target and Best Buy  love gay people, well maybe not that way) for example.  They give, they all say because these groups and the beneficiaries of their largesse are “pro-business.”

But, the GOP gives Obama flak for the $700 billion TARP program to bailout Wall Street, insurance and auto companies and other big businesses (a program that is reported to now cost maybe only $50 billion, and if we’re lucky actually make money for the government when the accounting is done).  It would seem to me that TARP was “pro-business.”

The GOP gives Obama flak for the health care bill.  The bill will expand health spending for millions of people.  Don’t businesses provide the care, and charge for it?  So, isn’t the health care law “pro-business.”

Why don’t the mega companies give money to the “pro-business” Dems?  I think they have a different definition than I do.


Anonymous said...

It seems like the conservative agenda works like this: "We'll all have crappy jobs with crappy pay and crappy benefits, but it's okay because we're all going to get rich in the stock market."

The Curmudgeon said...

TARP was pro-business -- pro-giant-megabucks-business. Banks that were "too big to fail" got to pay bonuses another day. It's enough to make the blood boil.

But most business aren't banks that are "too big to fail." Small businesses still can't get loans despite all the federal money, consumers had credit card interest rates jacked to the moon while borrowing costs for the megabanks are nearly zero, fees have mushroomed, etc., etc. So the TARP was anti-most businesses.

Obamacare is pro-business -- if you're in the health insurance business or the hospital business. If you're in any other business, Obamacare is anti-business. People will be obligated to buy insurance or pay a fine. How wonderful if you're selling insurance! Insurers have already raised premiums in anticipation of mandated increases in coverage (family coverage to age 26, etc.) and will continue to do so. Soon, they'll be able to pay bonuses just like banks that are "too big to fail."

Speaking of which, Banks that are still "too big to fail" can drop their health coverage for their peons and pay bigger bonuses to their favored few and it won't hurt them a bit or the insurance companies either, since the peons will have to buy the product somehow. Or get the G to pay for it. (Or, like McDonald's and 29 other big businesses, they'll just get the government to absolve them from complying with the law.)

And maybe Obamacare isn't anti- the accounting business either -- that is, if the rest of us are really supposed to prepare W-9s for any entity with whom we do more than $600 of business in a year -- including (for example) West, the local office supplies shop, the landlord....

But if you're in any other business -- if, for example, you manufacture something (and SOMEONE in this country must still be doing that... right?) -- Obamacare gives mandates and increased administrative costs. So Obamacare is anti-business, too.