Accusing regulation opponents of doing the bidding of industry is a go-to tactic for many on the Left, and it will be the Democrats’ election theme this year. President Obama regularly does it. It’s also lazy and dishonest.
It’s dishonest for two reasons: (a) many free-market types (in think-tanks and the press) who get attacked in this way are truly dedicated to limited government and individual liberty; (b) to the extent Republican politicians really are in the pocket of Big Business, Democrats are no more innocent.
A favorite Democrat/White House/liberal blogger/mainstream reporter trick is to ignore that particular big businesses and industry lobbies are supporting an Obama Big Government proposal (PhRMA backing the health-care bill; GE, Google, Duke Energy, and others backing cap-and-trade) and point out that the Chamber of Commerce opposes that particular regulation, thus everyone else opposing it is “siding with Big Business.”
Well, today, it’s the Dems and their blogger friends who are “siding with Big Business.”
Back in December liberal blogger Matt Yglesias, who loves using alliance with the Chamber as a slur, advocated a “Cash-for-Caulkers” bill to subsidize home weatherization businesses. This week, Congress will vote on a such a bill sponsored by Vermont Democrat Peter Welch.
Guess who’s scoring in favor of the bill, and lobbying for its passage?
Home Star Energy Retrofit Act House
Of course, I don’t think Yglesias, Welch, or Obama are backing this bill just to enrich the weatherization business (though Obama’s connections to the industry include an ugly conflict of interest). I just wish the Left wouldn’t get away with tarring their opponents as industry shills.