Conservatives insist that only the left believes in double standards. Liberals demand it’s the other way around. The fact is, both sides are consistently hypocritical in their political beliefs. Take for example President-Elect Trump’s recent “deal” to keep some Carrier jobs in the United States. He promised over $7 million in tax breaks over ten years to save about 800 jobs. Trump supporters are heralding this as the second coming but it’s no different than President Obama’s early subsidies of green energy companies. The government is still interfering in the marketplace and picking winners and losers. Crony capitalism is crony capitalism, no matter whether the man doing it has a D or an R next to their name.
Shortly after Barack Obama was elected President the Democrat-controlled Congress rammed through a massive trillion dollar “stimulus” package that doled out billions of loan guarantees to green energy companies. Republicans protested vehemently declaring it was wasteful crony capitalism run amok (which it was) and wouldn’t produce any results (which it didn’t). In the ensuing years, several of those companies went bankrupt, the most famous being Solyndra, and took billions of dollars of taxpayer money with them. It was wasteful crony capitalism, it did fail, and Republicans were vindicated. The Tea Party wave of 2010 was built on opposition to that wasteful spending.
It appears that Republicans have completely forgotten about that six years later. Now, President-Elect Trump is making crony deals and giving certain companies special tax breaks and favors just like President Obama did. The only difference this time is that Trump favors manufacturing jobs instead of green energy jobs. The government is still picking winners and losers. The interference in the free market will be just as inefficient. Trump simply prefers a different sector of the economy. This is still crony capitalism wherein some companies succeed because of their close relationship with government rule-makers. It’s just as destined to fail as well.
When government subsidizes a company with grants, guaranteed loans, or tax breaks they’re propping up a business the market deemed inefficient. These companies are not profitable on their own and would fail without government help. They can be medicated, temporarily, with crony deals and special favors, but that won’t last. Solyndra went bankrupt because it was dependent on government assistance and couldn’t adapt to a changing market. Any company that follows in their footsteps will face the same fate. If Carrier becomes reliant on tax breaks they’ll find themselves in the same place down the road when those run out. Government interference in the marketplace is inherently inefficient and cannot last long term.
Conservatives need to remember that Trump was not a Republican before running for President this year and still isn’t one today. Just because he has an idea doesn’t make it hallowed GOP doctrine. They should oppose his bad ideas, including this Carrier deal and other crony capitalism, just as vigorously as they would if they were President Obama’s ideas. If they don’t, and continue to go along with their transformation into the big-government party of Trump, there will be another Tea Party wave two years from now.