Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Washington Petard

From President Obama’s website, here is the wrap-up of his remarks on tax fairness for the middle class:

It's a simple proposition. That the wealth we earn comes from the work that we do. It's a proposition that is lived, day in and day out, in the homes of millions of working Americans. The steady pursuit of simple dreams.

The American economy is the tally of all of those dreams. Now - at a time of rising costs and rising uncertainty - it's time for polices from Washington that put a little wind at the backs of the American people. Now is the time for us to come together as a nation behind a new compact for the 21st century - one that gives the American people a lift, so they can lift up this country anew.

Let’s look closer at this folksy bit of wisdom:

Simple Dreams: When my dream to own a house becomes a mandate from the government to move around the wealth you earned to make sure I can stay in that house, one that I could never have afforded in the first place without government policies allowing for cheap money and coercing banks to take greater risks in their loan practices – that’s not simple.

When my dream to have the best medical care that money can buy without actually paying for it creates a system where doctors and other medical providers become employees of the government and must practice as mandated rather than at will – that’s not simple.

When I begin to think of my dreams as my needs, and my needs as my rights to be fulfilled by the government which in turn pays for my dreams with your earnings – that's not simple.

Rising Costs: Government subsidies of failing businesses contribute to rising costs. New government programs contribute to rising costs. Increasing taxes to support these programs contribute to rising costs. Hamstringing corporations, or outright nationalizing companies contribute to rising costs (and falling employment). Every action of the government contributes to rising costs somewhere in the economy.

Rising Uncertainty: When the rules for doing business in American change everyday, this can only contribute to rising uncertainty. When the three branches of government seek to meet the prevailing winds of "social justice" instead of pursuing the steady course of justice, nothing is certain.

Washington Winds: Any “lift” from Washington occurs at the expense of all of us. Government does not produce money. It takes it from the individuals who do and uses it to function. There are legitimate functions of government in the protection of our individual rights: objective laws to protect those rights, the legal system to determine when violations of those rights occur, and national defense to secure our rights from invasion by a foreign power. Everything beyond that is overreaching and destructive to those rights.

There is, in fact, a wind blowing from Washington - it is from an unfathomable explosion of government spending, programs, laws, and regulations, all crushing and crumbling our individual rights to meet the dreams of the mob.


Rather than being lifted, we are being hoisted on that petard.

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