President Obama's State of the Union address proved once again that the Community-Organizer-In-Chief hates corporations almost as much as the late historian Howard Zinn did.
Zinn, a Marxist whose revisionist A People's History of the United States has been forced on a generation of helpless college students, died Wednesday at 87.
Zinn considered Obama to be a moderate and described corporations as "monsters trying to devour as much profit as possible at anyone's expense."
This attitude permeates academia, the media, the Democrat-controlled Congress, and the Obama administration, all of which view corporations as threats to the continuing existence of the Republic.
Leftists hate corporations because they despise the profit motive, and perhaps more importantly, because view corporations as part of the political right. Of course the notion that corporations are inclined to the political right is a myth that has remarkable staying power. This false idea has persisted because it serves the interests of the left.
Contrary to popular belief, corporations are by their nature timid when dealing with pressure groups. When pressed, virtually all major corporations bow to the agenda of the left. Try to think of the last time you heard of a corporation standing up to thuggish shakedown artists like ACORN and Al Sharpton. Many CEOs of mega-corporations, such as GE's Jeffrey Immelt and Wal-Mart's Mike Duke, ardently endorse leftist goals. Banks like Goldman Sachs support government-expanding carbon emission controls and big insurance companies support ObamaCare.
A 2006 study by my employer, Capital Research Center, examined the tax returns of charitable foundations of Fortune 100 companies and found they overwhelmingly favor groups that advocate for bigger government and tougher regulations. In fact, every year we used to publish a report called Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy, and every year the data provided by the corporations showed the same thing.
In the preface to the 1996 edition, economist Milton Friedman criticized corporations that financially support those who seek their downfall. "I see little reason to expect the business community to change its current suicidal behavior with respect to philanthropy," the late Nobel laureate wrote.
Anti-corporate sentiment has reached a fever pitch in recent days as President Obama and the rest of the left rage against the Supreme Court's Jan. 21 decision in Citizens United v. FEC that struck down the McCain-Feingold law's prohibition on corporate political spending, finding it a particularly odious variety of censorship.
Liberal anger is misplaced. Anyone who has studied the Constitution knows that the decision simply reaffirmed the court's longstanding position that speech –especially political speech— merits protection.
As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority, "Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy—it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people—political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence."
But common sense is in short supply in progressive circles and leftists' paroxysms of rage have helped to remind Americans how much the left has always hated economic freedom and corporations –especially American corporations.
At the State of the Union address on Wednesday President Obama acted like some chest-beating Latin American caudillo when he took the highly unusual step of chastising Supreme Court justices seated in front of him.
Interrupted by loudly cheering Democrats, America's first Marxist president attempted to intimidate the high court that dared to defy him.
"With all due deference to separation of powers last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests including foreign corporations to spend without limit in our elections," said Obama. "I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people and I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps correct some of these problems."
In fact Obama, who frequently and fondly recounts his time as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, lied about the impact of the decision and even Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times called him on it.
Law professor Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, who, like Obama, graduated from Harvard Law School, charitably described the president's statement as "blithering ignorance of the law or demagoguery of the worst kind."
Despite the ruling in Citizens United, foreign nationals including foreign corporations continue to be prohibited from making "a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which Smith noted was not at issue in the case.
The same law also prevents foreign corporations from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party and from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication," Smith wrote.
Because the right is dramatically outgunned in the world of campaign finance, the left would prefer that billionaire leftists like George Soros, Peter B. Lewis, and the subprime mortgage hucksters Herb and Marion Sandler, who have already made their money in the corporate world, be allowed to use their mountains of cash to control the political debate.
Unsurprisingly, the liberal Secretary of State Project, which Soros helped to create to allow Democrats to steal (even more) elections, decried the Citizens United decision in a mass email to supporters as the "worst decision since Bush v. Gore."
The shadowy group has endorsed Rep. Alan Grayson's (D-Fla.) six-bill "Save Our Democracy" platform. You might know Grayson as the colorful congressman who wanted political adversary Angie Langley jailed for criticizing him.
The six-bill platform would slap a 500% excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. It would also prevent companies making political contributions and expenditures from trading their stock on national exchanges.
MoveOn, another Soros investment property, told its followers the ruling was "the most scandalous decision since Bush v. Gore." The group promised to "tackle the single biggest and best solution to the corporate corruption problem" by pushing a "constitutional amendment to undo the damage of the horrible Supreme Court decision."
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) president Andrew Stern, President Obama's closest ally in the labor movement, said the decision, which also allows labor unions to spend freely on elections, will lead to the "unlimited corporatization of our economy."
"Now we have the right to spend unlimited money apparently in ways we want; unfortunately we don't have unlimited money," Stern said.
At least Stern was honest about his motives.