Joe Biden spoke at a fundraiser on Thursday evening and gave his first reaction to Florida Republicans nuking Disney’s long-standing government largesse.
The last few days have been ripe with reactions about the move, which stripped Disney of its self-governing status and numerous tax exemptions in the Sunshine State. Yet, the timing has even some on the right upset, claiming that it’s government retaliation against a private business. I’ve got some thought on that, but first, here’s what Biden had to say.
Luckily, there’s no audio or video that I can find, so you can save yourself at least some of the torture.
Biden condemns Florida GOP:
"There’s nothing conservative about deciding you’re going to throw Disney out of its present posture because, Mickey Mouse? In fact, you think we should not be able to say, you know, ‘gay’? I mean, what’s going on here?"
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) April 22, 2022
As you can see, he’s as incoherent as ever, but that’s not really surprising. We already know Biden is senile. What we didn’t know is that he’s apparently a self-proclaimed expert on conservatism. You know, because if I want tips on conservative principles, Joe Biden is who I’m looking for to give me advice.
Putting aside the absurdity, I’m sick of this argument from both the right and left. Can anyone show me where in the big book of conservatism it is a “principle” that you must support a multi-national, multi-billion dollar company continuing to leech off taxpayers, even in the face of them working against your interests? By what metric does that “principle” rate higher than ending crony capitalism? Why is that “principle” considered higher than protecting children?
I’m not at all suggesting that someone can’t, in completely good faith, believe that what the Florida GOP did was wrong. I know lots of those people and respect their opinions. But I personally do not buy the idea of a “principle” that dictates crony-capitalist companies can’t be subject to the whims of the taxpayers that support them.
Think of it like government contracting. Government contractors have their contracts nuked all the time over political views. There are a litany of stipulations that have been placed on them regarding gay marriage and transgenderism, for example. That has led to religious organizations that once helped the poor or ran adoption agencies being cut out of the government-funding loop. Did Joe Biden object to that? Of course, he didn’t.
Now, if you have a company like Disney which voluntarily made itself dependent on the state by accepting massive, unique carveouts at the expense of taxpayers, it is not unprincipled to suggest they are no longer just a “private company.” Rather, they are benefiting from their partnership with the government, and if they chose to get political, are subject to the wrath of elected officials. Ask yourself, at what point was it decided that crony capitalism was to carry zero risks for the companies involved in it?
Obviously, the answer for any company wanting to avoid what is happening in Florida is simple: Do not become crony capitalists.
There is a difference between elected officials removing special exemptions and tax breaks vs. actively harming a company outside of connections to the government. “But what if the California government did this to Chick-fil-A,” you’ll hear in response. But Chick-fil-A does not have any crony capitalist arrangements to take away in California. If they did, they would be fair game, but they don’t and aren’t.
Lastly, sticking on the topic of Chick-fil-A, it’d really be nice if everyone would stop pretending this move by the Florida GOP is unprecedented. Chick-fil-A has literally been banned by Democrat governments for its social views. Not had its special tax exemption revoked, but outright banned. This is not a “first strike.” It’s a response to years of abuse. That some on the right are done getting beat up should not be surprising, and as for Biden, he’s the last place I’d look to for advice on conservatism.
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