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By: Wayne Brown
So President Obama ran out of something to do and decided to head on up to Osawatomie, Kansas and emulate the likes of Teddy Roosevelt this week. In his speech he talked of his deep Kansas roots on his mother’s side. Of course, he stopped short of testifying as to how those roots affect him personally as an American. I guess he just couldn’t find the words.
In reviewing the contributions of his grandparent’s generation, Obama pointed out that the World War II contributions of a generation which had triumphed over the Great Depression and stopped the march of fascism on the world. He stated that these were Americans who “believed in an America where hard work paid off, and responsibility was rewarded, and anyone could make it if they tried, no matter who you were, no matter where you came from, no matter how you started out.” The President made this point as if to say that opportunity is no longer there in America, not from his perspective anyway and that is quite understandable in light of his policies.
In the speech, the President reminisces about the economic glory of post-WWII America and how all shared in the fruits of a growing and prosperous economy. He even went so far as to allude that not only did the average American earn a paycheck within expectations but had enough money to raise a family, pay for healthcare coverage, and save money. To say the President overstated the situation would be an understatement in this case.
The President went on to say that the thriving economy and the successes of Americans were soon overshadowed by burdensome mortgages and credit card debt. He pointed out how all of that fell apart in 2008 after far too many Americans had been sold houses they could not afford yet the banks and lending institutions which financed them continued to pedal the sub-prime paper associated with these mortgages in the marketplace. He stopped short of mentioning that the situation which allowed this circumstance was legislated by a Democratic President in the form of Bill Clinton and then further engineered by Democrat Congressmen. He stopped short of mentioning that the Bush Administration had warned Congress no less than 21 times to do something about the mortgage situation only to have the pleas fall on the deaf ears of a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress which took no action. He stopped short of mentioning that fact.
He stopped short of pointing out that the entire debacle with regard to the failing mortgage industry was the brainchild and the engineering of the federal government as elected politicians attempted to put a chicken in every pot and buy campaign votes along the way. He stopped short of pointing out that the government has no business attempting to engineer the rights of home ownership when there is nor ever has been such a guarantee in this country. As citizens, we have the “opportunity” to earn a living and work to purchase a home, that’s all. He stopped short of pointing out that government meddling created a false inflated bubble in the housing and mortgage business which was destined to explode sooner or later. Instead, he left the blame with the financial institution who had literally been mandated by the federal government to provide high risk loans to home buyers.
The President then took this disaster and framed it as the issue blocking the economic recovery of America. Never mind that he and his legislative cronies expended over $800 billion in mostly borrowed dollars as a “stimulus” to get the economy back on track. Never mind that far too much of that money went to the wrong places to ever stimulate the economy of mainstream America. The mainstream economy of America is not built on green jobs or green industries as the President would wish and in the middle of an economic disaster is not the best timing to go investing in them. The President pointed out that Congress is virtually gridlocked but stopped short of explaining that the major basis for such gridlock is a democrat-dominated Senate unwilling to pass a fiscal budget and an Administration which refuses to quit spending money like drunken sailors just arrived into port. He stopped short of pointing out the failure of his Super Commission to find any viable spending which could be reduced though the books of the federal government are loaded with pork and fat.
Obama spoke of “fair shoots” and “fair opportunity” without mentioning much as to what that means but alluding that the lack of fairness was a consequence of the top 1% in America not paying their fair share. He pointed out that Warren Buffet agrees with him yet, to date, Mr. Buffet has failed to come forward and voluntarily pay more taxes which he is free to do. He stopped short of pointing out that Mr. Buffet is in constant litigation with the federal government over his taxes owed. In effect, the President left the impression of what a “fair shoot” is to mean “something provided to you through government means at taxpayer costs”.
Obama cited Teddy Roosevelt and his belief in the strength of a “free market”, stating, “He (Roosevelt) believed then what we know to be true today, that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.” Teddy Roosevelt might have believed that statement but Barack Obama does not and it shows in everything that he has done since taking office. His actions have stymied the free market at every turn and he continues to executive order regulations and restrictions which grow that resistance. He has left the American businessman totally unsure of his tax position and unable to evaluate the impact of government mandated healthcare on the very survival of the business.
The President points out that the huge advances in technology have made it much easier for today’s businesses to set up shop and hire workers anywhere in the world. He points out the fact that businesses have taken advantage of that ability stopping short of giving any reasons why but leaving the listener to conclude that the current state of unemployment in this country is the fault of business. He stops short of raising the question that “maybe American labor has priced itself out of the market”. He stops short of considering that a company cannot sell goods and services in Mexico or China competitively if they rely on American labor resources. In the interest of survival, these companies have to make choices based on what is available. This is not voluntary, it is mandatory if the business is to survive in the global market.
Obama pointed to the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 as the source which undermined the economy, piled up massive debt, and leveraged the middle class. He blamed those cuts for higher education costs, crumbling infrastructure and the problems with Medicare and Social Security. He stopped short of pointing out that he is in favor of continuing payroll tax cuts which undermine both Medicare and Social Security at the present. He stopped short of pointing out that Social Security is in trouble because those in Washington cannot stop spending money that America does not have in its revenue streams.
The President will have you believe that he is the new “Teddy Roosevelt” with his “progressive nationalism” which is rooted in the promise that, “if any of us succeeds, we all have to succeed”. His approach to success is like playing golf with a dead man…hit the ball and drag Charlie, hit the ball and drag Charlie. His approach is like buying a group healthcare plan in which the whole dang group has to get sick before there is any coverage. His approach is one that says that the bulk of American accomplishment can and should be based in mediocrity. The President wants to label “individual liberty” as a negative calling it an “on your own” mentality. Well, the reality of the life is that we are on our own in many walks of it. We are also free to make our own way and many of us do it better than others not because we are so smart or so rich but because we are responsible, accountable people who believe in making some sacrifice in the name of preparedness. The President wants to penalize that individualism by hanging the weight of your fellowman around your own neck so you too can play golf with a dead man in your ventures of life.
In the speech, Obama points out that the success of individuals does not mesh with the growth in the economy. He ignores the efforts of Bill Gates and the growth of Microsoft; the initiative of Steven Jobs and the prosperity of Apple not only for its employees but also its investors. He ignores the millions of small business throughout America which are poised on the brink of success if they can just get a market recovery. That success would bring growth, expansion, jobs, more income, to communities across America. Instead, the President is more interested in making sure that individual remains unclear on his/her future tax liability and healthcare compliance status. No, he ignores all of this and declares that the private sector growth and success just doesn’t cut it in providing for Americans. He makes this connection after openly stating earlier in the speech that hard work, effort, and responsibility were the mainstay values of the growth in the American economy after WWII and by holding up Teddy Roosevelt’s quote that “a free market is the greatest force for progress in human history.”
Obama notes that those who have money in America continue to make money. If that analysis is a surprise to anyone, I am shocked. In general, most people who have money make more money on a relative basis if they apply themselves to the task. That may mean taking some risks; or even taking greater risks than might be comfortable. It may mean having a vision and the means to put that vision into action and gain a net result. The President would insinuate that these are “bad people” and that they are not paying their share though 50% of the American public pays no taxes at all. A fact he continues to ignore when he is preaching class envy on the streets in his “community instigator” role.
The President wants to blame “inequality” for the lack of growth in American paychecks. He compares growth in household payrolls to the growth of income of the top one-tenth of 1% of the population and insinuates there should be some level of parity in the comparison. Sorry Charlie, but where is the risk factor associated with going to work every day versus investing a couple of million dollars in a venture that might go belly up before there is any return on the investment? The President says that his remarks are not aimed toward class envy but clearly this distortion in terms of a comparison of numbers is a fair indication of such efforts. Has there ever been a time in America in which the growth in wages was on par with the growth of investments?
Equality cannot be legislated by government with any effective means. Mandating minimum wage laws did not yield equality. Providing government-guaranteed home mortgages did not yield equality. Offering government-sponsored college tuition programs did not bring equality. The insinuation here is that, given the chance, your federal government can bring equality to the doorsteps of every household in America that desires it. The President wants to claim that we cannot live on the false promises of the past yet insinuates that “equality of life” is within the grasp of the government to offer to all Americans if we can simply to the top 1% in America to “contribute” more. Of course the term “contribute” is not that used by Webster but in this case the official federal government interpretation….tax increase. In reality, equality, like perfection, is not attainable and no amount of legislation will change that fact. On any given day in America or any other country of the world, one can look out the window and see some relative inequality somewhere.
Equality comes from the values cited early on in the speech. It comes from a commitment to hard work, initiative, focus, and maybe years of sweat equity investment to gain the return. Equality in every sense of the word is earned. America is called “The Land of Opportunity” for a reason. We do not hand out equality as a nation; we simply allow the opportunity to attain success. Many may try and fail but at least they tried. If everyone was guaranteed success, what would success actually mean in the end? Equality, like respect, is an earned situation in our society and also a state of mind. Those who look upon others from a perspective of greed and envy will not have an awareness of equality regardless of how much the government brings to their doorsteps.
When one boils it down to simplicity, the President is really saying that he can fix all this if he just increases the tax revenue. In doing so, he insinuates that the rich will pay, the middle class will grow, and equality will be the rule of the day. He offers this while continuing to search for ways to spend revenue, while continuing to expand and grow the physical size and reach of the federal government, and while blaming one sector of our society for our ills while ignoring that portion which looks for the free ride all the time. He suggests that deficits will be reduced but does not address the reduction of debt. That is not an oversight but intentional. He has no plans to reduce the debt because he has no plans to stop spending. It really does not sound like much of a solution, does it?
Ultimately, this focus of the President’s is aimed at one thing and one thing only. That focus is to break the financial backs of middle-income Americans and the spirit that goes with it. America’s strength and resolve as a nation comes from the spirit of the middle class working Americans. It is a large force and sustaining force not easily deterred. Obama recognizes that fact and he recognizes that America will never be ripe for socialist transition to the future until that spirit is broken and destroyed. That destruction will come through the continued suppression of economic growth, expansion of government regulation and intervention, mandated healthcare, and growing unemployment. The stagnation in our economy will eventually be the culprit which destroys the heart of America.
The conservative, Republican voice is a lost sound in America today. There are few if any wearing the Republican moniker in Washington today willing to step up and speak out against what is going on in America at the highest levels of office. They are unwilling to speak out because they are afraid of endangering their own security in Washington in their cushy offices with their fat paychecks. They are afraid to speak out because they know the mainstream media will ignore or misinterpret what is being said. They will not take that chance. Instead, they will sit back mute and silent and allow this Administration to run this country over the cliff right in front of our faces. What a shame, what a shame.
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