Tag Archives: tim carney

Tim Carney on Rick Perry

Washington Examiner columnist (and former CEI Warren Brookes Fellow) Tim Carney has a must-read column today on Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry’s economic policies. They appear suspiciously similar to Bush and Obama’s policies:

“I’m a pro-business governor — I don’t make any apologies about it,” Rick Perry told the crowds in Iowa this week. He’s right, but we can get more specific. Perry is pro-Merck, pro-Boeing, pro-Mesa Wind, pro-Texas Instruments, pro-Convergen, and pro-dozens of businesses that donate to his campaigns and hire his aides as lobbyists.

Perry promises to “get Americans back to work,” but his policies — from backroom drug company giveaways to green energy subsidies — eerily mirror the unseemly big business-big government collusion that has characterized President Obama’s presidency. Judging by his record in Texas, Perrynomics might just be low-tax Obamanomics.

Pro-business politicians like Perry and Obama are a dime a dozen. What the economy needs to recover are more pro-market politicians. Instead of putting their thumbs on the competitive scales to favor one business or another, Congress and the president should allow an open, competitive market process.

That means the rules of the game would be both clear and few; they would also be consistently enforced. Unlike Perry and Obama, markets respect no special interest. If they did, no company would bother with a Washington office.

Consumers do a much better job of picking winners and losers than politicians with campaigning and fundraising on the brain. They should be allowed to try it sometime.

What a shame that no presidential aspirant is likely to admit that; such is the curse of “do-something” bias.

Tim Carney Knows How Washington Works

Tim’s latest column, “Bail them out, regulate them, then work for them,” is a must-read.

Amy Friend, a former staffer for Sen. Chris Dodd, played a large role in writing the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. And she just got a new job at a lobbying firm. Tim explains:

There are two types of people on K Street: access people, who can get you in the door; and policy people, who know what’s on every page of every relevant bill and regulation. Friend is the latter. While business will dry up for other Dodd alumni on K Street, Friend is valuable because — to quote one Republican lobbyist — “she knows what’s on page twenty-three-[bleep]ing-hundred of that bill,” and every other page, too.

In other words, Friend didn’t just write a landmark piece of legislation — she wrote her meal ticket.

Tim doubts that Friend is corrupt. But her story is very common in Washington. Lobbying wouldn’t be such a booming business if regulation wasn’t, too. And the revolving door between the Hill and K Street can be very profitable, even when no corruption is involved. Most people forget that regulators act just as self-interestedly as the people they regulate.