“Facts are stubborn things.” Part 1
By Howard Kaloogian
In 2008 Barack Obama’s campaign shtick was “change.” That resonated because President Bush was spending too much and the country meant to change Washington. But Obama meant to change the country.
In response the Tea Party movement has arisen to implement the real change, putting brakes on that out of control big government growth. Our message to Washington is simple: you have run out of our money, stop excessive spending. You cannot borrow your way out of debt; you cannot spend your way out of deficits.
What is President Obama’s response to our message of fiscal responsibility? Shared sacrifice; everyone must feel his pain. By everyone he means the people, not the government. Winston Churchill was more eloquent when he observed that “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
Last year Obama used Pennsylvania’s Allentown Metal Works as a backdrop to tout his so-called stimulus spending as a success. A couple of months later, the plant closed.
Then Vice President Joe Biden bragged to a Pittsburgh crowd that all the runaway deficit spending would produce 250,000 to 500,000 jobs created each month by the start of last summer. We’re still waiting Joe.
Obama claimed his extreme spending spree would prevent unemployment from going above 8%. It’s been above that for the last 27 months.
To be fair, not everyone has done poorly under Obama. Federal government union employees have prospered. Federal employment has grown by over 100,000 positions. Federal civil servants average pay and benefits were $123,049 in 2009 while private workers that year earned $61,051 average pay and benefits, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Take the Department of Transportation as a specific example of excessive government growth. Before Obama, only one bureaucrat there made over $170,000. After Obama’s spending spree, 1,690 bureaucrats are paid over $170,000 a year. How has Departments services improved the nations transportation services, has anyone noticed? Now Obama claims austerity by wanting to freeze it at that exponentially higher level for a short while before increasing it again.
I guess that is what Obama meant when he said he “will not rest” until he creates jobs, jobs, jobs. But growing the government is not the same as growing the economy. Extending unemployment insurance payments is not a jobs program. Adding more Americans to food stamps is not a jobs program. Redistribution schemes do not create more wealth; it just shuffles the stack of what was already there, nothing new. No real help there.
News flash to Washington politicians: you don’t create jobs. The American people do. In the private sector, without government money, ordinary Americans start businesses and hire people. All that is needed is that the government leaves our money in our pockets and gets out of the way ending excessive and burdensome regulation.
If you succeed, Obama’s government would take your profits in oppressive taxation, to consume on growing the government overhead and whatever is left over is redistributed to government dependents who will vote for more handouts.
The truth is only 30% of the money intended to be redistributed actually gets to people liberals claim they want to help. If the government were a United Way charity with 70% overhead expense, would you contribute to it voluntarily? If the government were a company, would you buy its stock? When you hear that Obama wants to raise taxes on anyone, what you are hearing is his call for big and bigger government. The government does not deserve a pay increase. It’s time to cut spending.