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Washington Examiner: 'Secretary of Business' is last thing nation needs

Published: November 5, 2012

THE only thing scarier than what President Obama plans to do without Republican help in his second term is what he plans to do with it.

We already have a vague outline of what Obama will try to push through Congress if he wins re-election and the Democrats retake the House: Higher taxes on wage earners, more costly regulations on oil and gas production, an immigration amnesty and skyrocketing spending across the board.

But pressed by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough to identify what he could really get done in a second term if Republicans maintain control of the House, Obama predicted, “we can start looking at a whole bunch of other issues that, as I said, historically have not been that ideological.”

Obama's top nonideological issue? Creating a brand new “Secretary of Business” so there can be a “one-stop shop” for firms seeking tax breaks, subsidies, and other handouts from the federal government. This is Obama's idea of bipartisanship. It is also the reason Obamanomics has failed so badly. The fact that Obama thinks businesses need a Cabinet secretary is itself a sign of how little he understands the free-enterprise system.

Obama has no concept of the difference between “pro-business” policies and “pro-market” policies. The former give privileges to specific businesses — usually larger, incumbent, and politically connected ones — at the expense of startups and political outsiders. Pro-market policies remove government barriers to markets, letting good firms succeed and bad ones fail, thus increasing competition and making it easier for new firms to grow.

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