Obamanomics in action: Getting Wal-Mart to restrict private gun sales

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Gun Control,Walmart,Firearms

The gun-control debate gives us Obamanomics in a nutshell.

Government regulation of commerce is often expanded to the benefit of – and with the cooperation of – the biggest business in the industry being regulation.

The Washington Post reports on Obama’s efforts to regulate the sale of guns:

One potential strategy would be to win support for specific measures from interest groups that are normally aligned with the NRA, according to one person who works closely with the administration on gun-related issues and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.

For instance, this person suggested, Wal-Mart and other major gun retailers may have an incentive to support closing a loophole that allows people to bypass background checks if they purchase firearms at gun shows or through other types of private sales. That could result in more people buying guns in retail stores.

If you make it harder for people to buy guns in private-party sales, you drive more business to Wal-Mart. Car dealers should take notes.

This is how Obama works.

The flattering way to describe it is this: He finds diverse partners from all walks of society who have aligned interests, and he works with them to achieve desired ends.

But here’s another accurate way to describe it: When Obama wants to restrict the freedom or extract the wealth of one group, he finds businesses that would profit from this government intervention, and recruits them to lobby lawmakers and woo the media.

Remember when Obama did this during ObamaCare? Via the Center for American Progress, Obama got Wal-Mart on board with the employer mandate in health insurance. Also, the White House largely let Big Pharma write the bill.

The Obama IRS wanted to regulate tax preparation, and so they hired the former CEO of H&R Block who wrote the rules that helped crowd out competition, thus benefitting H&R Block.

To push his stimulus, Obama roped in an army of tech and energy lobbyists.

I could give many other examples. This has been the prime focus of my writing for four years.

On the wall of my office, above my desk, is a line from my second book, Obamanomics. “Every time government gets bigger, someone’s getting rich.” Obama figures out who that is, and he gives them a call.

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