John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Shock and Awe

Posted on February 28, 2009

Shock and Awe


            In the beginning stages of the Iraq War, American forces embarked on an aerial bombardment meant, in the immortal words of Ari Fleischer, to shock and awe the Iraqi Army.  It worked to some extent, although, as we all know, the war didn’t come to the hoped-for quick conclusion.


            Barack Obama is attempting his own version of shock and awe with a budget that can only be called breathtaking.  The historian Robert Dallek said it reminded him, in its breadth and expense, of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. 


            Obama’s enemy is the upper middle class, the bourgeois as Karl Marx called them.  He had taken aim at their charities, their homes, their livelihoods; their utility bills their small businesses.  He does this in the name of fairness. And then he moves to greatly expand the power, might and influence of the federal government.


            He has consistently said that people who make more than $250,000 won’t pay more in taxes, as if somehow, a two-parent family, with both parents taking in a hundred and a quarter are somehow extraordinarily rich.  That might be rich in the Mississippi Delta, but it ain’t rich in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  In fact, a strange as it might seem, many of these folks are in the toughest economic shape because they have made certain assumptions that their income would keep going up (have big mortgages, car payments, private school etc) but if even one of them loses their job, they are in big trouble financially. 


            Of course, these are also many of the same people who voted for Obama because he promoted change they could believe in.  But you can’t blame Obama.  He said he was going raise taxes on this group, and now he is following through on that threat.


            It is just starting to dawn on the business community that this new President is actually a lot more dangerous to their industries than they first anticipated.  His vision is one of an activist, interventionist, high tax and high spend government, one that picks winners and losers, one that targets investors, one that attempts to systematically bend industry to his vision.


            I have talked to many industry representatives and they are finally waking up to something that should have been clear to them from the beginning.   Obama is no joke.  His first budget is all about shock and awe.  And now the fight begins for the future of free enterprise in this country.

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