Carney on Obama and special interests

You still have time to sign up for Thursday’s John Locke Foundation Headliner luncheon with Timothy P. Carney, Washington Examiner senior political columnist.

In the meantime, you might enjoy Carney’s take on the president’s efforts to dilute the power of special interests in Washington.

He isn’t reducing the dominance of special interests. He’s increasing the influence of special interests.

His stimulus set off a lobbying free-for-all. His health-care, which was a big giveaway to the drug industry (which spends more on lobbying than any other), bill has made health-care lobbying a chronic condition and spurred the Great Health-Care Cashout in which the bill’s authors monetize their experience writing the bill.

Dodd-Frank not only spurred a similar boom in revolving-door action it also provided the opportunity for Jon Corzine’s cronyism-fueled rise and fall.

And all those measures Obama is claiming to have implemented to crack down on lobbying — they’re toothless. He’s hired more than 50 lobbyists to senior positions, a handful of his top appointees are now on Wall Street, and his bundlers and donors include big-time lobbyists by any normal definition of the word.

Just as Obamacare had the backing of the drug industry, many of Obama’s other top legislative & regulatory achievements pleased the biggest businesses involved, and had big business’s fingerprints all over them. See tobacco regulation, toy regulation, and tax-prep regulation for three examples.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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