Way back in 1956, the comic strip character Pogo first declared that "We have met the enemy and he is us." Maybe that might not always be true, but it happens often enough to worry conservatives and put us on our guard all the time. In 1994, big business leaders were only too happy to curry favor and cave in to Hillary Clinton's health care bill as long as they could get "a seat at the table." Their price for selling out was cheap and happily they were not the final line of defense but the public was. In 2010, it was the huge drug lobby called The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) that was the primary big business lobby in favor of congressional passage of Obamacare.
PhRMA is a supposedly "pro-business" group that gave Obama all the camouflage he needed to claim business support for his socialist schemes. Far too often professional business lobbyists who you might expect would be on the same side as pro-freedom conservatives, are instead found working for sinister and cynical alliances helping the socialist camp because they really do not care about your personal freedom if they can benefit from government rigging the economic system in favor of their company or industry or against competitors.
The latest example of this shameful practice is letters from ad hoc groups of business lobbies to some governors urging them to set up state health exchanges to conform with Obamacare in order to permanently institutionalize the government takeover of health care delivery even if Obamacare is repealed at the national level. That is just one reason why Republican candidates should not say "repeal and replace" Obamacare because the word "replace" needlessly sews the seeds of mistrust among conservative Republicans who otherwise want to help Mitt Romney win and defeat Obama. The cynical sophistry of the businiess group letters is amazing. For example, one such recent letter from a business group coalition led by a state chamber of commerce to a governor includes false Obama-inspired talking points such as these.
"We recognize there is enormous pressure not to implement any portion of the federal law. To those critics who would advocate a do-nothing approach to the new law, we would offer the following."
"1. The most effective way for the state to inject free-market principles into the insurance exchange is to develop its own exchange rather than reliquish itds design to the federal government." (The design is already federal no matter what and state tinkering is subject to federal approval.)
"2. States that refuse to implement their own exchange invite additional federal intrusion into their markets." (True as far as it goes but that is not an excuse to give up the fight for freedom.)
"3. Citizens of our state will pay for the exchange whether it is run by state or federal government. We believe a sate exchange would be more frugal, not to mention responsive, than a federal exchange." (Based on history, how do they come to THAT conclusion?)
Notice how cynical these talking points are by trying to imply that state health exchanges are a good idea because they only mean idiotic anti-freedom socialist schemes at the state level instead of the federal level as if health plans run by state bureacrats effectively contolled by health care lobbyists would be better than by federal regulators, which is baloney. Recall that a state health insurance exchange is a set of state-regulated and standardized health care plans from which individuals must purchase health insurance policies that are eligible for federal subsidies so one way or another your freedom is attacked. All state exchanges must be fully certified and operational by January 1, 2014 under the Obamacare federal law. Obviously if you run an insurance company, you LIKE the idea of a government mandating that all individuals must buy a policy because that potentially means millions more customers for your company and a resulting boost in profits.
The main point I want to make to conservatives is beware of professional business lobbyists and always harbor a healthy skepticism about their motives because their primary interest is never your freedom, but only getting government to benefit their company or industry. That is why a conservative should never assume that a scheme endorsed by a chamber of commerce is any seal of approval from free enterprise. Pro business does not necessarily mean pro-free enterprise. Business lobbies are not about supporting a free marketplace or your freedom, they are about using the monopoly of force and coercion found in different levels of government for specific short-term benefits to their own members. In fact, real free and competitive enterprise is a threat to professional business lobbies because they fear actual competition and favor instead the low-risk world of government control.
Anti-personal freedom socialism at the state level is no better than socialism at the federal level just because some of your naive local chamber of commerce members and their hired professional Democratic lobbyists mistakenly think they will benefit. What they will learn in the end is what President Kennedy meant when he said that "those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside."
Business lobbyists are happy to pretend they are for freedom and they are all too eager to ask conservatives for our help when they think their own freedom is under a threat, but we cannot count on them when the chips are down and the situation is reversed.