A culture of favoritism in American politics
It appears that the American people are growing more distrustful of the government each passing day. This should not come as much of a surprise however, since according to a recent Gallup poll only one in ten Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. Even President Obama who entered the White House with prodigious support and high poll numbers has lost much of his luster.
So what is the cause of all this distrust and dissatisfaction with our politicians and the political process? The media and the public are starting to realize that fair, free-market competition has gone out the window. The level playing field has been replaced by government connections and political favoritism. Ordinary Americans are right to be concerned. A recent New York Times piece, “Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility,” highlights one example of high-level crony capitalism in America today, and it isn’t pretty.
The Times article details how a utility company based in Chicago, Exelon Corp, benefited from its support of and close connections with the Obama administration. The article explains that Exelon received hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus grant money and a loan of $646 million for a “green” energy project in California. The Times piece points out:
White House records show that Exelon executives were able to secure an unusually large number of meetings with top administration officials at key moments in the consideration of environmental regulations that have been drafted in a way that hurt Exelon’s competitors, but curb the high cost of compliance for Exelon and its industry allies.
Exelon certainly isn’t the first instance of favoritism in the energy sector. Many companies have benefited from the Democrats’ broad energy agenda which has artificially inflated green companies at the expense of other job creating businesses and industries. The solar panel manufacturer Solyndra and the Obama administration caught some flack when the company went bankrupt in 2011. Solyndra lost over 1,000 jobs despite receiving more than $500 million in federal government loans. Another company, Evergreen Solar, acquired millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts, but last year the business let go of 800 employees, and moved operations to China while filing for bankruptcy protection in the U.S.
With mounting debt at both the state and federal level, a volatile stock market and growing uncertainty about our country’s economic future, stories about companies like Exelon, Solyndra and Evergreen Solar are infuriating for struggling Americans. With our government’s track record, the public should have serious misgivings about the culture of favoritism in our halls of power. The country wants to see real job growth, not politically connected companies being underwritten by government loans paid for by hardworking taxpayers.
This post was tagged under: Indiana Politics