Ways to Buy Washington

May/01/2009 11:07AM
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The current entry, Oil Prices Will Go Up, for reasons only know to my administrator is out of chrological order. Please scroll down two entries to read today’s entry. Sorry.

The ways to buy what you want in our government are too numerous to mention. But, new ones are being invented every day. Most either center on votes or lining the pockets of our elected officials. I don’t remember the intensity of effort ever being this high. Perhaps the for sale sign has never hung higher.

First, you have Acorn. They are really creative. They stole the playbook from Chicago and improved it tenfold. Vote early and vote often is passe to Acorn. They just make up a bunch of names and use them when they need them. The corruption and illegal acts this organization is committing would make Tony Soprano blush. But, they got TARP money and lots of it. Why, they deliver votes. Doesn’t matter if they are legal or illegal, they are votes. Plus, they strong arm the enemy. It’s always nice to have some one to do the heavy lifting. For example, threatening the men and women who got bonus checks from AIG. Down the road, they may come after any one of us who becomes upset with the community organizer version of union mobs.

Speaking of Union Mobs, like the job Washington is doing for the UAW? With Chrysler, the government did the number on the creditors and bondholders who owned the company. With GM, it’s on the non-union retirees. CreditSights Inc. Analyst Glenn Reynolds wrote in a a report last week titled in part, “water boarding bondholders”. He said it was a political rip-off, with the Obama Administration currying favor with the UAW voting bloc at the expense of unorganized retirees. Expect the administration to use the same language they used with Chrysler. Defending the working man against the money people. Except, the retirees are hardly money people. My brother will pay a big price for this. He worked his entire career at GM and retired with what he thought was a safe retirement fund. He is not a money person. He is just not part of a large voting bloc that owns the Democratic party. To protect the UAW and the votes, Obama will give this group, the retirees, just 10% of GM in exchange for the $27 billion they are owed. The UAW will get 39% plus the $10 billion the government will pay into their health care trust. That in exchange for the $20 billion GM owes the fund. You do the math.

But, the most creative method of buying Washington has to go to GE. For years I have wondered why GE held onto NBC and MSNBC. Then the bought the weather channel. Jack Welch forced every part of the business to make money or it went away. Jeff Immelt has just about destroyed GE as Jack’s replacement. Finally we understand. There will be 5000 messages about universal health care on the two TV channels in the next year. It’s hard to get data on how many “green” messages there have been in the past 2 years. Now, with the Weather Channel, it will be daily. Why did GE work so hard to put Obama and the Democrats in power with their favorable TV coverage? It’s called a loss leader. You lose money with the network business but you use the networks to put the right people in office. Then you sell your health care products to a pumped up demand with universal health care. You sell your windmills and other green products through initiatives you get from a grateful group of people who got elected. This more than offsets the losses in the network business. A whole new form of lobbying using the UAW’s methods to get what you want.

Understanding that Washington is for sale has helped many a enterprise succeed. Archer Daniels Midland has done it for years with ethanol. I was part of a group that presented scientific facts to a governor that aromatics in gasoline wasn’t needed with knock sensors. The aromatics come from ethanol. He said I understand your science and believe it’s true, but this is a corn state and it’s not about science it’s about votes.

Unfortunately, every time someone buys Washington, there are losers. With Acorn, it’s the entire integrity of the voting process. Not to mention the criminal process. With GM and Chrysler it’s the creditors, bondholders, and retirees. With GE, it’s everyone, since both universal health care and the global warming initiatives will hit everyone in the pocketbook.

But, as the esteemed governor told me, it’s not about getting good votes, and accurate census(Acorn will do the census), fairness to stakeholders in a company, or consensus science like global warming, or rationed health care, it’s about getting enough votes.

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