While I was driving home Tuesday evening, I listened to President Obama’s State of the Union address for a few minutes on the radio. Obama’s speech was vapid with an insightful phrase thrown in here and there to show he really is a champion of free enterprise and middle-class values. Obama sounded like a cross between Vince Lombardi and the head of the Chamber of Commerce.
President Obama sounded like he was giving a locker room speech to his players, team America, “The future is ours to win…We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” In addition, the president said, “We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.” The economic illiterates in Congress applauded loudly. I thought they were going to go into the chant, “We’re number 1; we’re number 1.”
Just prior to Obama’s rah rah words about “beating” other “nations” economically, he said, “What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -– the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny.” That statement means government must get out of the way of the people; that government should be so limited that it does not matter who the president of the United States is, because the people’s freedoms are secure and no president and/or Congress can take away our natural rights to life, liberty and property.
Instead of articulating that vision for America—free enterprise and limited government– Obama began channeling Benito Mussolini when he asserted–“Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout our history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need.” In other words, business needs government to support innovation; otherwise, we will be out competed in the global economy. Alternatively, as Mussolini put it succinctly: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
Obama then rattled off all the industries that need government loans, subsidies, grants, etc., to make the U.S. economy more productive, will increase the number of new jobs and make the U.S. the envy of the world. However, Ludwig von Mises described the proper path to prosperity: “Economic progress is the work of the savers, who accumulate capital, and of the entrepreneurs, who turn capital to new uses.” Therefore, if Obama wants to make the U.S. economy grow rapidly, he should call for the abolition of taxes on savings and capital gains. Abolishing taxes on savings is not going to happen unless the GOP and enough Democrats have their heads screwed on right and force this on Obama.
President Obama is governing in the tradition of all interventionists who occupied the Oval Office. They know how to create prosperity using the crony capitalism toolkit at their disposal–deficit spending, regulating, subsidizing, inflating and of course funneling money to a humongous military-industrial complex.
Further on in the speech Obama began to channel Bill Cosby when he stated, “And so the question is whether all of us –- as citizens, and as parents –- are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed. That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair. We need to teach them that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.”
Public (taxpayer) funded education is expensive and another example of government overreach. We need to separate school from state for many reasons, not the least of which is that children are learning to become “good collectivists” in classrooms across America. For conservatives to support the ideological training ground for future leftists is to ignore Lenin, the first leader of the Soviet Union, said about the education: “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
In addition, while Obama and others decry the lack of science and mathematics skills in American students, Ludwig von Mises observed decades ago: “The modern American high school, reformed according to the principles of John Dewey, has failed lamentably, as all competent experts agree, in the teaching of mathematics, physics, languages, and history.”
At the end of his address, Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the foreign intervention to combat “global terrorism.” In short, Obama did not reflect on how and why the bipartisan foreign policy of the United States has contributed to the murderous Islamic fundamentalists’ attacks on us and other nations.
Not surprisingly, Obama ignored the disastrous role the Federal Reserve played in creating the last financial bubble. The FED is the epitome of crony capitalism…Wall Street and bankers love the printing of money and the subsidies they receive from “easy money.”
Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin and chair of the House Budget Committee gave the GOP response to the president’s address. His theme can be found in this statement: “We believe government’s role is both vital and limited — to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders … to protect innocent life … to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.”
In short, according to Ryan, the GOP believes in limited government and the welfare state, Ponzi schemes (Social Security and Medicare), the military-industrial complex, but we Republicans now really mean it, we want fiscal discipline; after all how can we raise money from the fat cats and the general public if we don’t demonize Obama—the big spender in the Oval Office.
When a Republican was president for eight years the GOP Congress, with a few exceptions, supported more government intervention in our economy, an expansion of Medicare, more government involvement in public education, the Patriot Act and of course preemptive war. However, according to Ryan, let bygones be bygones. We have seen the light and we promise to be good fiscal conservatives, so help us God.
The two party system is really one party—the Washington Party, an observation I made 40 years ago after President Nixon imposed wage and price controls and ended the last link between gold and the dollar.
The day of reckoning has arrived. The solution to our $14 trillion national debt, $1.5 trillion budget deficit, $100 trillion dollar unfunded liabilities, Ponzi schemes, debasing of our money and our expensive and disastrous global military empire will come not from the Congress and/or the occupant of the Oval Office, but from the marketplace. The federal government is bankrupt and will restructure when the rest of the world says “no mas” to our debt.