How GE Gets the Government to Work for GE

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“The intersection between GE’s interests and government action is clearer than ever,” General Electric Vice Chairman John G. Rice wrote in an Aug. 19 e-mail to colleagues.

Rice was calling on his co-workers to join the General Electric Political Action Committee. “GEPAC is an important tool that enables GE employees to collectively help support candidates who share the values and goals of GE.”

The full letter suggests that “share the values and goals of GE” really means “support policies that profit the company.”

Steve Milloy, a pro-free market investor at the Free Enterprise Action Fund, obtained this e-mail and says it reveals General Electric for what it really is. “GE is lobbying to become the biggest rent seeker this country has ever seen,” Milloy told this column. Rent seeking is using government legislation or regulation to generate private profits the free market wouldn’t provide.

“On climate change,” Rice wrote, “we were able to work closely with key authors of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives. If this bill is enacted into law it would benefit many GE businesses.”

Most of all, Waxman-Markey would profit a GE joint venture called Greenhouse Gas Services, which deals in greenhouse gas credits, products that have value only if a cap-and-trade bill like Waxman-Markey passes.

The leaked e-mail shows how tightly GE connects PAC contributions and lobbying efforts. “Our Company is heavily impacted by a number of issues pending in Washington this fall,” Rice wrote.

……Rice’s description of how PAC contributions help the company (“we must also make sure that candidates who share GE’s values and goals get elected to office”) belies the true dynamic in political giving, as the rest of the e-mail suggests.

By calling for PAC contributions in the context of GE’s lobbying efforts in coming weeks, Rice is clearly not talking about electing pro-GE candidates in November 2010. He is talking about making current congressman more pro-GE.

……Rep. Charlie Rangel of Harlem received $2,000 from GEPAC. He is not in electoral danger, but he is chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Henry Waxman of Hollywood also doesn’t need GE’s help getting elected, but the $1,000 from GEPAC might make Waxman, who’s chairman of the Commerce Committee, more amenable to a GE-friendly climate bill or health care reform bill.

……The other top recipients are all safe incumbents in powerful positions: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, Ways and Means member Richard Neal, who chairs the subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, and key appropriator Norm Dicks.

GE’s financial ties to Obama’s regime go way beyond the usual political donations.  Jeffrey Immelt and company practically have an office in the legislature.

Not only does GE own one of Obama’s propaganda wings (NBC), but it wields a good deal of influence over some of the economic decisions being made by people who are supposed to represent the electorate.

Unfortunately, the average American who stands up at Townhall meetings and voices their opinion, doesn’t have the monetary clout of GE.

Welcome to the socialist Kleptocracy.

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