by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
With economic pessimism widespread and a presidential election looming, the White House is desperate to distance themselves from “Bidenomics.” After dubbing it the “word of the day, word of the week, word of the month, [and] word of the year here at the White House” this summer, the president avoided the term for more than a month. His allies in Congress are also actively avoiding the moniker.
But that doesn’t mean the administration has changed its tune on policymaking. Far from it. Behind the scenes, the hostility from Biden’s political appointees toward the private sector continues unabated and is taking the economy down with it. From energy to tech to cars, virtually no sector has been left untouched by the long arms of misguided regulatory overreach.
Perhaps no greater offender is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its chairwoman, liberal icon Lina Khan. Normally a faceless and anonymous branch of government, the “independent agency,” which has been under sole Democratic rule after the last remaining GOP appointee resigned in protest, has launched a number of far-reaching lawsuits and attacks against high-profile companies, from Amazon to Total Wine & More, and is now taking aim at sandwich shops.
Under Chair Khan’s leadership, the commission has come under scrutiny from key congressional committees, who are investigating allegations of abuse of power, the deletion of key documents, and disregard for the rule of law and federal ethics standards.
Rather than reverse course, Khan has doubled down. While defending the agency’s string of court losses at the New York Times DealBook Summit last month, Khan explained her antitrust ideology, stating that federal agencies have to ask, “Is it better to get it wrong in the direction of acting, or is it better to get it wrong in the direction of not having acted?”