In anticipation of a grilling by the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week, Google executive Eric Schmidt appeared on ABC-TV’s “This Week” to defend his company and pontificate about the economy. He should have stayed home.
As if reading off talking points drafted by the Obama Administration or Paul Krugman of the New York Times, Schmidt argued for further government spending and stimulus. He called efforts to balance the budget “ludicrous” and suggested that government spending was needed to “create demand.” One can only assume that he forgot that Obama has already spent $1 trillion in stimulus and his policies failed. Or perhaps, he believes the stimulus was not big enough.
Looking at Schmidt’s performance in the most generous light, one can say he was just wrong. But with Google’s growing influence on K-Street the more accurate description might be to say Schmidt fears losing his government produced gravy train.
Since investing $1 million in electing President Obama Google has turned away from the marketplace and toward government to pad their bottom line. From NASA contracts to NSA contracts, Google has used their relationship with the Administration to press for government action at every turn. Their quiet support for government regulation of the Internet is turning into a reality as the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to implement a “Net Neutrality” policy that benefits the company. At every turn, Google loves the State.
A reduction in government spending could see the end of government handouts to Obama’s favorite crony capitalists – like Google.
There was an age in America where leading CEO’s and companies just wanted to be left alone by government. Not anymore. Schmidt is leading a pack of CEO’s who see government spending as a way to pad their bottom line. Through K-Street lobbyists and their connections to well-heeled politicians, Google can achieve through government what it cannot achieve in the marketplace – permanent dominance of the Internet.
Schmidt is testifying before the Senate later this week. It would behoove Senators to ask Schmidt about his crony relationship with the White House. The time has come to end crony capitalism and that should start with Google.