From the Right: State of the Union: Obama’s step backward
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 01:02
President Barack Obama’s re-election message was ‘”Forward,” but his State of the Union address slogan could be interpreted as backwards. In his speech, the president articulated a vision where government is the best friend anybody could ever have or want. The great panacea to all of society’s ills – a restoration of 20th century liberalism where government programs are not a problem, but a solution. Instead of letting out the air of big government, the president seeks to inflate it, returning America to the golden age of liberalism where government reigned supreme.
In his laundry list of sorts the president spoke of proposals that he claims will ignite the fires of economic growth. In reality, he will only exceed in greasing the wheels of a government that has had little action since the glory days of big government under the reign of Franklin Roosevelt. To no surprise, the president offered little specifics on his proposals in terms of costs, but he did offer a glimmer of a truth or a revelation that is my enlightenment. He said, and I quote, “Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit dime.”
Normally, such an assertion would be met with derisive laughter from both the opposition and the news media. Government programs cost money. It’s as simple as 2+2=4. If the solution is not to add onto the already heart stopping deficit, then where will the money come from? While some may be tempted to believe the president is only kidding when he says his plans will not add a single dime to the deficit, the truth lies in the very history of liberalism. There are two solutions to pay for a government program: either increase the deficit, or raise taxes. If the president’s sincerity can be believed, then the latter option is the payment for his proposals.
Taxes, taxes and more taxes. The president didn’t directly say it in his address, but he’s been elaborating (or strongly hinting at) on it since the start of his first term. Rather than tackling the real issue – spending – that is facing Washington, the president believes in the old liberal folly of taxing to the hilt and spending without question.
Not unlike most State of the Union addresses, President Obama’s will not linger in the public consciousness for more than a day at best. The reason? His address is a wish list to Congress that is seldom acted on. However, this State of Union speech, while ultimately forgettable in detail, will be seen in history as the second act of a play.
The first act was the inaugural address which trumpeted the return of big government and decried the era of Ronald Reagan. The second laid out the specifics of a government-centric society. The third act which is ultimately forthcoming will be the implementation of his proposals into policy.
In listening attentively to his address, Obama’s presidency does indeed represent a catalyst, one with dramatic effects for the future of the nation. Like many transformative presidents, Obama seeks to alter the political landscape in which he reshapes the national consensus. His objective is to reshape it in favor of liberalism. His newly-ordained presidency is not a throwback to the moderate democratic wing of Bill Clinton, but a full embracement of liberalism – a grand restoration of government’s prestige in American society and a rehabilitation of its usefulness in the minds of the American people.
Indeed, the final pages on the era of small government are being written and the legacy of Reagan, the man who informed the public about the worries of big government and its ill effects on our daily lives, is also fading into the pages of history. Alas, big government is back and by the hopes of the president and Democrats, it’s here to stay.
Let there be no doubt on Tuesday night for the meager 33.5 million who watched (the least watched address since 2000) President Obama is neither a moderate nor a Clinton democrat. He is a liberal in every sense of the word, a liberal in the vein of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. I take no opposition to his political leanings, but I do take opposition with his proposals. America cannot tax its way to prosperity and government programs cannot subsidize the flawless work of a free market.
President Obama intends not to lead America forward, but instead backwards to the Golden Age of liberalism. Like pasts trysts in the twentieth century, America will once more flirt with big government, but the results will remain the same. Government runs up the tab and the tax payer is left with the bill. The only solace I take in this era is the wisdom of the American people. They’ve rejected big government before and they will reject it again, all in due time.
Phil Boynton is a junior political science major, and considers himself a common-sense minded conservative.