AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka gave a speech today in Columbus, Ohio at the union’s annual convention. He delivered a hate filled rant blaming Republicans, businesses, insurance companies, banks, and just about anyone who is not a socialist like him:
“Some of our politicians and some of America’s biggest corporations have given up on America. Companies are sitting on $837 billion without creating jobs,” Trumka will say. “Banks are clutching a trillion dollars in profits without lending to small businesses and consumers. Too many companies aren’t investing in the future, or in the country that made them great. All they want to do is scrape every ounce of flesh from our hides — for their profit.”
“Well I say that is economic treason!” Trumka says.
“The big health insurance companies — the same ones that racked up tens of billions in profits last year and paid their CEOs megabucks — they say they need premium increases of 20 percent or more for no reason at all – except guess what? Greed,” Trumka will continue. “That’s economic treason!”
The barking by Obama’s ankle biter reminds me a lot of the attitude and rhetoric of progressive politicians in the 1930’s. Herbert Hoover felt the same way as Trumka. When federal, state and local taxes rose sharply, the pain was hard to bear for both businesses and families. No one was willing to invest. Jim Powell’s book FDR’s Folly describes Hoover’s attitude:
To protect themselves, people increasingly held on to whatever money they had, and Hoover thought that was unpatriotic. He denounced “hoarders” for threatening America’s credit system.
Jim Powell then goes on to describe the hostility by FDR and Congress and the consequences that had on businesses:
Employers were wary of long term risks, one of which was a president and congress threatening those with “idle” capital to invest. Many economists then and now recognize how bashing employers can destroy jobs. Joseph Schumpeter wrote in his 1939 book Business Cycles that employers felt threatened: “They realize that they are on trial before judges who have the verdict in their pocket beforehand, that an increasing part of public opinion is impervious to their point of view, and that any particular indictment will, if successfully met, at once be replaced by another. Again, we may differ in our estimates of the importance of both of this factor and the functions it tends to paralyze, but is should not be overlooked.
Many began to think that FDR had become a Keynesian:
Naturally, all this further alarmed the business community, undermining the confidence of anybody who might have contemplated making long-term investments. As bad news continued to come in, increasing numbers of people demanded that the government get off their backs, starting with tax cuts. FDR would hear none of it, since he fought hard to raise taxes during the depression.
And with Obama, so it was with FDR:
Apparently people were becoming weary of FDR’s class-warfare rhetoric and his attacks on “economic royalists”; in addition, there was increasing support for tax relief.
Barack Obama, Richard Trumka and all the other socialist are reading from the same old and tired playbook. It’s too bad that they haven’t learned from their demigod’s mistakes.
Jim Powell's FDR's Folly