In my post Graph: Non-Defense Spending Relative to GDP, Color-Coded by Party in Power, or the Obama Hockey Stick, reader Levi commented "Which policies (of Democratic President Barack Obama) are stunting the recovery?"- he doesn't believe that Barack Obama is pushing any sort of policies that are slowing our economic recovery.
Levi probably isn't a regular reader of my blog, since he has obviously missed posts from just this month detailing Obama's efforts to harm our economic recovery, ranging from his banking policies (Obama Pressuring Banks to Give High Risk Loans to Poor and Minorities) to regulations that the EPA has put in place (Latest EPA Rules to Cost 1.4 Million Jobs and a 12% Increase in Utility Bills) to executive orders that add to the cost of doing business in America (Government Does Not Create Jobs; In July Alone It Added $9.5 Billion to the Cost of Doing Business). These stories were well-researched and filled with details, but perhaps Levi and progressives like him need more evidence. I can provide that.
The Justice Department’s raid on four Gibson guitar factories is in that category. The raid took place last Wednesday; this Memphis Daily News story, published this morning, is a good place to start:
Around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, agents executed four search warrants on Gibson facilities in the two cities [Nashville and Memphis]. They seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars.
But Gibson’s CEO says his company has not been told what it did wrong and that he assumes the allegation is that some of the wood being used to manufacture the company’s guitars is illegal.
“Everything is sealed. They won’t tell us anything,” Juszkiewicz said, never raising his voice but pulling no punches in his defense of the storied guitar maker.
He valued the equipment and raw materials seized from Gibson at almost $1 million. At one point, the chief executive said he’s letting the U.S. Justice Department know he’s telling his employees to keep making the instruments. …
“We feel totally abused,” he continued. “We believe the arrogance of federal power is impacting me personally, our company personally and the employees here in Tennessee, and it’s just plain wrong.”
Now, it may turn out that Gibson's has broken some obscure portion of the Lacey Act, a piece of legislation that is designed to protect exotic trees by putting burdens and fees and regulations on US companies, who extract a fraction of the exotic trees compared to other nations (Gibson's imports only 5% of the rosewood, while an unburdened China that shows much less respect for the environment is encouraged by progressive laws like the Lacey Act to extract 95% of rosewood). If this is so, one wonders why other companies are not also being punished- companies like one of Gibson's principal competitors, C.F. Martin & Company, which engages in the same practices but isn't raided (it's CEO is a big Democratic donor), or Michelle Obama, who gave French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar with a rosewood fret, in clear violation of the Lacey Act.
But the point is that the President and his administration are not helping businesses navigate these useless and harmful laws; the President and his administration are not working with Americans to produce more goods and products in a more efficient and profitable manner; and the President and his administration are not helping our nation to recover from the recession. No, he is instead harassing legitimate businessmen on frivolous ground that are motivated perhaps by political malice and smell strongly of the misuse of federal power. He is not helping America recover- he is acting to hurt our recovery and make a recession into a Depression through his policies.