The essential error of the Obama presidency is an unfounded belief that greater government power—in our pocketbooks, in our private lives—will make America more prosperous and free. President Obama’s faith in concentrated power was on full display in tonight’s State of the Union address.
Really, Justin Amash? Are the growing divide between rich and poor and the near $1 billion the Koch Brothers plan to spend to influence the 2016 elections not foundation enough for concern? Is our Constitutional Government, in which you have an important role, so corrupt that it can’t be trusted to act in the public interest? What if not active, effective government could resist monopoly capitalism and imperialism?
Working families feel squeezed by higher health care costs and tuition bills. Those fortunate enough to hold steady jobs haven’t seen a raise in years. They worry about their children’s future and their country’s.
Yes indeed, America is a low wage country. We need to fix that. President Obama proposed a number of measures to do just that.
The president seems to have only one answer for them: enlarge the size and scope of the federal government. To help middle-class Americans, the president demands more than $300 billion of tax hikes and a new round of stimulus spending.
As President Obama noted, and Republicans agree, eonomic recovery hasn’t reached many working families. Additional action is needed.
To rein in education costs, the president creates a federal education entitlement, the type of which led to skyrocketing tuition in the first place.
To help students pay for college seems like a better policy than jawboning about costs.
(Interestingly, some say a university education is a luxury good, subject to what Thorstein Veblen called “conspicuous consumption.”)
To fix our health care system, the president touts the same law that has caused prices to rise and stripped families of access to their doctors.
Prices were rising before Obamacare was enacted. Since it became law, the rate of increase has slowed.
To make the financial system more stable, the president threatens to veto reforms to Dodd-Frank, his law that made banks bigger than ever.
The changes to Dodd-Frank were not reforms at all, but roll-back of measures intended to prevent another Great Recession–welfare for big banks.
And to protect Americans’ privacy, he offers yet another report instead of reining in his own spies.
NSA surveillance can’t be blamed on President Obama–it existed before he was elected and doubtless will continue after his administration ends.
Higher federal taxes, more federal spending, and greater federal control of our lives haven’t worked over the past six years.
Higher federal taxes and more federal spending can’t fairly be said to be ineffective–higher taxes have scarcely been tried.
Our country is beginning to turn the corner not because of government but in spite of it. Instead of faith in Washington, let’s put faith in Americans to determine their own lives. Let’s give liberty a chance.
Leaving Americans to make the best of their situation often means they will be:
- Poverty stricken
- Sick and without health insurance
We have had enough of that; let’s not try that again. Liberty without justice isn’t enough–we must insist on Liberty and Justice for all.
© William Hungerford – February 2015