President Obama off message
That sort of rhetoric has to come as a cold shower to those who have worked hard to succeed. A friend is a good example of that kind of achiever. He is one of those “have to always be achieving at something” folks who, over the years, has become an expert in building affordable housing. Some of us naively attributed his success to a master’s degree in economics from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; his experience in the federal bureaucracy; and the street smarts gained from 30 years of experience building homes.
Achievers, people like my friend, are now the target of the president who believes the successful should give back to the community without which, it is believed, they could not have been a success.
Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s “you didn’t do it” and the mindless “give something back concept” sounds reasonable to people who do not really think about what is being said. Given the condition of government schools, the number who doesn’t think things through is daunting.
Did not my friend and other taxpayers already pay for the roads we drive on? Aren’t those same roads available to even those who don’t pay taxes? Why does the president think it is fair to select a small group and demand they pay more?
All of us likely had several memorable teachers, unless you are a young African-American student in Chicago or Washington, D.C. Education is an absolute necessity for a civilized society. That is why we all pay taxes to support the education establishment. Why should a select few have to pay twice?
Mr. Obama obviously believes that behind every successful businessman, there is a big, active government. In his view it is the government that is the builder, the innovator. Individual initiative is but a small part in the more important effort when “we do things together.”
Actually, Obama borrowed this whole bit from Elizabeth Warren, who is the Democratic and Cherokee entry in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts. The idea works for both of them because it fits so neatly in the faculty lounge narrative so popular in academia.
If oratory were reality, Mr. Obama would be known as the master builder. “When we invested in the Hoover Dam,” he reminds us, “or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Internet, sending a man to the moon — all those things benefited everybody. And so that’s the vision that I want to carry forward.”
The problem is the vision he is carrying forward has no relation to reality. There won’t be any more dams built if his administration has anything to do with it, at least according to Deanna Archuleta, his deputy assistant secretary of the Interior, in a speech to the administration’s environmental supporters: “You will never see another federal dam.”
The administration had more than $800 billion in stimulus money and we didn’t get a new Hoover Dam or new Interstate Highways. Instead, Mr. Obama parceled out money to indigent states to help them postpone the day of reckoning, and he managed to find money to bail out the auto unions. But, no American is going to the moon anytime soon unless they speak Russian or Chinese. I guess space is only inspiring when he talks about it. There are no new Golden Gate Bridges on the horizon but, if there were, they’d likely be built in China and shipped to the United States.
Think I’m kidding? Right now, according to the New York Times, Chinese laborers are completing work on a new span for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s a great business deal for the Chinese, and it gives some Chinese working stiffs a chance for some decent Kung Pau Chicken carryout.
Mr. Obama’s visions might be of roads and bridges but his agenda is different. “Instead of roads and bridges,” according to Mark Steyn, “Obama-sized government funds stasis and sclerosis: The Hoover Dam of regulatory obstruction, the Golden Gateway to dependency. Last month, 80,000 Americans signed on to new jobs, but 85,000 Americans signed on for Social Security disability checks. Most of these people are not ‘disabled’ as that term is generally understood.
“Millions of Americans have looked at the road ahead, and figured it goes nowhere. Best to pull off into the Social Security parking lot. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. As the president would say, you didn’t build the express check-in to the Disability Office. Government built it, and, because they built it, you came.”
Maybe the president wasn’t off message in Roanoke last week. Maybe he really believes the small business folks, the earners, the affluent really didn’t earn their success.
Yes, maybe that’s it.