Obama’s Plan: One Nation, Under Government
You’ve probably read that the series of speeches President Barack Obama started giving Wednesday are a “pivot” to the economy designed to rev things up. Well, they’re not. Obama’s speeches will be no less than the manifesto of a leftist president who plans to spend his remaining time in office installing as much of his big government “project” as possible by whatever means he can get away with.
If you got the wrong message, it’s because Washington reporters too often have a poor understanding of people who have a systematic philosophy and truly believe in what they are doing. Reporters, focused on who is up this day and who’s down the next, have difficulty discerning the intent of someone like Obama — who is thinking much more long term.
Obama, with his speeches, is intent on laying out the rationale and building public support for “fundamentally transforming America” — as he promised five days before being elected in 2008.
Speaking Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, Obama presented a statist vision that should send chills down the spine of anyone who believes that free markets, not government, create wealth.
Obama sketched a series of problems that he says confront the United States and hold back what he called the middle class. He might as well have used the term “proletariat,” though — because every fetter he described requires government intervention to make things right.
“We need a long-term American strategy,” he said, “based on steady, persistent effort, to reverse the forces that have conspired against the middle class for decades. That has to be our project.”
Let’s forget about the Internal Revenue Service and Benghazi, and political debate: “With this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball. And I am here to say this needs to stop.”
What needs to start? Government spending. Hold onto your income, because the taxman cometh.
Every problem, in Obama’s thinking, requires a government solution masterminded by the altruism and genius of central planners such as he.
Is business lagging? Lets invest billions to build new ports, transportation systems, power grids, bridges and communications networks to provide infrastructure and, by the way, create “good-paying jobs” with paychecks signed ultimately by Uncle Sam. While we’re at it, let’s expand worker-training programs.
Is American manufacturing floundering? Let’s create government-funded “manufacturing innovation institutes” that “partner” with the private sector to “turn regions left behind by global competition into global centers of cutting-edge jobs.”
Meanwhile, White House economists will perform surgery on the tax code to reward companies that don’t outsource overseas or that invest in proper green technologies.
Are our kids too stupid for the 21st century? Let’s provide a brand new entitlement and “make high-quality preschool available for every 4-year-old in America.” Such a scheme “will also provide a vital support system for working parents. “ That is, government-financed daycare for all.
College is an entitlement too, so Obama will soon “lay out an aggressive strategy to shake up the system, tackle rising costs, and improve value for middle-class students and their families.”
Exactly what that means is not clear. But it’s obviously not coming from the private sector.
Need more health care? Let’s get to “fully implementing the Affordable Care Act.”
Is opportunity not knocking? “We need a new push to rebuild rundown neighborhoods.”
The democratically elected House of Representatives is conservative and stands in the way of such massive government intrusion. But never mind that. Poor choices by voters cannot be permitted to interfere with the left’s noble designs.
“I will not allow gridlock, or inaction, or willful indifference to get in our way,” Obama warned. “That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I’ll use it. Where I can’t act on my own and Congress isn’t cooperating, I’ll pick up the phone — I’ll call CEOs; I’ll call philanthropists; I’ll call college presidents; I’ll call labor leaders. I’ll call anybody who can help — and enlist them in our efforts.”
Just listen to the contempt Obama harbors for those who disagree with him.
“Now, there are others who will dismiss every idea I put forward either because they’re playing to their most strident supporters, or in some cases because, sincerely, they have a fundamentally different vision for America,” Obama said. “One that says inequality is both inevitable and just; one that says an unfettered free market without any restraints inevitably produces the best outcomes, regardless of the pain and uncertainty imposed on ordinary families, and government is the problem and we should just shrink it as small as we can.”
Conservatives, in Obama’s view want to inflict pain on Americans. Is it not therefore just to take any steps necessary to oppose such iniquity and replace it with “equality” and justice?
Obama has made his plans for the country clear. “Government,” he said, “can give the middle class a fair shot in this new century.”
So government must accrue power and act to correct the errors of a market economy and the injustices spawned by too much individual freedom.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Keith Koffler is editor of the blog White House Dossier.
PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks about the economy during a visit to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, July 24, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque