Thursday, December 08, 2016

Small Business Association, Blumenthal vs McMahon Round Two

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley" – Robert Burns

President Elect Donald Trump, who knows Linda McMahon more intimately than U.S. Senator Dick Blumenthal, has appointed the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to head the Small Business Association (SBA).

Mrs. McMahon twice ran for high political office in Connecticut, losing to then Attorney General Dick Blumenthal in 2010 and to Chris Murphy in 2012, but not before she slathered the political landscape with nearly $100 million. It was noted at the time that wrestlers sustain injuries and Mrs. McMahon had a yacht.

If Mr. Blumenthal, slightly edging out Nancy Pelosi as the eleventh richest U.S. Congressman in a body swelling with 268 millionaires, showed any anxiety that his election would turn on Mrs. McMahon’s millions, no worry wrinkles appeared on his placid brow during the campaign.

Mr. Trump’s successful presidential campaign has torn asunder the best laid schemes of progressive Democrats. In the post-election period, Democrats find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. Nearly every Democratic politician in Connecticut expected Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to mop the floor with Mr. Trump, thus ushering in a new progressive era of sweetness and light. Lame duck President Barack Obama’s domestic and foreign policies would be vindicated; the progressive cream in the Democratic Party – socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts firebrand Elizabeth Warren, the scourge of Wall Street – would rise to the top; the last several decades of moderate Democratic politicking would be mercifully assigned to the ashcan of history; and a new progressive utopia, lasting for half a decade or more, would shape the future.

Then along came Donald Trump, who tore asunder the gossamer dreams of the progressives. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, approval rating 24 percent, will not be accepting a position in the Clinton administration and handing the gubernatorial baton to Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; the seven Democratic members of the state’s all Democratic U.S. Congressional Delegation will not be moving into chairmanship positions in a Congress dominated by Democrats; in fact, after Republicans won the White House and retained control of both houses of Congress, Mr. Blumenthal was forced to surrender his position as the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee to fellow Democrat  Senator Jon Tester of Montana.

And now, rubbing salt in an open wound, Mrs. McMahon is to be put in charge of the SBA.

Following her appointment as SBA chief, Mr. Murphy threw a bouquet in her direction. Mrs. McMahon, said the progressive Congressman, is “a talented and experienced businessperson” and a “fierce fighter.” Mr. Blumenthal was also complimentary, calling Mrs. McMahon "a person of serious accomplishment and ability."

And then he wandered into an old smoldering fire pit. Mrs. McMahon, said Mr. Blumenthal, “can help create jobs by helping small businesses, as long as she is not hamstrung by the dangerous economic policies espoused by other Trump-nominated cabinet officials. The Trump administration needs a sane and stable source of economic leadership. Small businesses are among our most important job creators, and they need support.”

Small businesses in his own state, caught in the toils of both state and federal regulations and burdensome taxes, recoiled with horror during a 2010 Blumenthal-McMahon Senate race  when Mrs. McMahon, a talented and experiences business woman, politely turned to Mr. Blumenthal and asked him how jobs are created.

Mr. Blumenthal proceeded to rattle off at great length his crony capitalist talking points, prominent among them that governmental intervention – i.e. the picking and choosing of winners and losers in what remains of the U.S. free market system -- is indispensable in the creation of jobs: “…we can and should create more of them [jobs] by creative policy, and that’s the kind of approach I want to bring to Washington.” Never fearful of patting himself on the back, Mr. Blumenthal explained that as Attorney General he had “stood up for jobs when that company [Pratt&Whitney} wanted to ship them out of state and overseas… I want programs that provide more capital for small businesses, tax policies that promote creating jobs, stronger intervention by government to make sure that we use the ‘made in America’ policy and ‘but America’ policy to take jobs here, rather than buying products that are manufactured overseas…”

Mrs. McMahon patiently explained how a job is created: “Government, government, government – government does not create jobs. It’s very simple how you create jobs. An entrepreneur takes a risk; he or she believes that he creates a good or service that is sold for more than it costs to make it. If an entrepreneur thinks he can do that, he creates a job.”

Mr. Blumenthal is in the habit of escaping such campaign potholes by dodging debates. In his debate with Mrs. McMahon, he wrecked his axel, not that anyone noticed. High taxes that crush the entrepreneurial spirit, and burdensome regulations that increase the costs of goods and services, may be good for political demagogues, but they are bad for job seekers, especially in urban areas blighted by social decomposition and soothing progressive demagoguery.

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