Obama delivered the game-winning RBI for the Wall Street bailout in 2008, and rewarded the bailout's authors, Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, with renomination and a promotion, respectively.
The president's signature legislative accomplishment, the 2010 health care law, was championed by the drugmakers, the biggest single-industry lobby in Washington and one of the most profitable industries in America.
Obama in 2008 shattered fundraising records including the biggest-ever hauls from Wall Street, the defense industry, drug companies, tech companies, HMOs, and more—and he'll likely repeat that feat this time around.
So, on debt talks, if Obama can focus on tiny quirks in the tax code—such as five-year depreciation for corporate jets as opposed to seven-year depreciation for commercial jets—why don't Republicans declare war on corporate welfare, putting the president in the position of defending his Reverse-Robin Hood policies? Obama wants to soak the rich by raising their taxes? Why not soak big business by taking away their taxpayer-funded goodies?
Start with the handouts such as billions in direct grants, in the name of "green energy," to big, well-connected companies like Florida Power & Light. Then there are the green energy loan guarantees, also enriching revolving-door lobbyists and Big Business.
Along the same lines, Republicans could block this year's reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, a corporate-welfare agency that Obama has been steadily expanding. A majority of all of Ex-Im's loans and long-term guarantees subsidize Boeing sales. Banks love this agency, too, because it provides private profit and socialized risk.
Imagine Republicans running to protect taxpayers and reduce the debt by abolishing Ex-Im, while Obama stands with Boeing, GE and Halliburton in preserving this Fannie Mae for manufacturers.
Speaking of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Republicans should try to end those sinkholes. Let Obama, the Realtor lobby and the banks stick up for corporate welfare. Ending ethanol supports would be another no-brainer.
But it's not just handouts Republicans should target. […] [T]he Mattel-backed Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act—a death sentence to small toymakers—is one of many other regulatory robberies that a populism-fueled GOP would target.
I have larded the above passage with relevant Reason links.
Sadly, as Carney points out (and as some of those links attest), "the GOP track record suggests this won't happen."