Corker rips Obama in 'assault' on free market

Corker rips Obama in 'assault' on free market

May 19th, 2009 by Matt Wilson in Business


Sen. Corker discusses several other issues Monday morning, including:

Auto industry: "Two-thirds of our automotive industry has moved to Washington," Sen. Corker said. "I think the country will recoil from that."

Health care: The senator said providing a public health coverage option would "take the entire space" and elbow out private providers. Still, he said he remains open to reform ideas.

Cap-and-trade: Sen. Corker said the plan to place a cap on emissions and distribute so-called carbon credits to compaines would be "the mother of all earmarks."

In a speech to local business and political leaders Monday, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said some in Washington are committing an "assault on people who think in entrepreneurial ways."

"It's almost dividing the country up based on income," Sen. Corker said in an interview after his remarks.

Tennessee's junior senator said he doesn't know what's driving that mindset, but he said it's been in place since the fall, around the time the collapse of several financial institutions created a sort of economic panic. He said it may be driven by news reports of huge bonuses for Wall Street employees.

But Sen. Corker told the audience assembled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's University Center that most entrepreneurs aren't in it for the money.

"They do it to express themselves," he said.

The developer and former mayor of Chattanooga spoke to a group celebrating the 10-year reunion of the hall of fame at UTC's School of Business.

Sen. Corker said the "basic tendency" of President Barack Obama's administration is to have an adversarial attitude toward entrepreneurship. But he said some recent reversals on issues such as national security give him some hope.

Chip Forrester, chairman of the Tennessee Democratic Party, said Sen. Corker didn't help entrepreneurs by voting against President Obama's stimulus package, which offered tax credits to small-business owners.

"What solution are you offering?" Mr. Forrester asked.

Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who spoke to the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club Monday, also said "the federal government is just recklessly turning left."

But the Chattanooga congressman and gubernatorial candidate said he sees those reversals happening, too.

"The pendulum is on its way back," Rep. Wamp said.