President Obama’s Remarks on the Economy: “Government is Us”
President Obama made remarks on the economy Wednesday, lamenting inequality in America. Of course, he blames everyone but himself and the big government he promotes for the state of things.
Mr. Obama said, “we can’t tackle inequality if the economic pie is shrinking or stagnant.” But as Heritage’s David Azerrad explains, “Free-market economics is not about dividing up a dwindling pie, but expanding the pie to serve everyone. Those who succeed do not do so at the expense of others.”
Mr. Obama’s policies have resulted in $17 trillion in debt, up from $10.6 trillion when he took office in 2009. He would be better off focusing on cutting back excessive government spending rather than redistributing wealth.
He also belabored the point that income inequality is on the rise in the United States and suggested a minimum wage increase and more government intervention. He said “we need to set aside the belief that government cannot do anything about reducing inequality” and added:
We’ve … seen how government action time and again can make an enormous difference in increasing opportunity and bolstering ladders into the middle class.
He wants to demand that the minimum wage be increased, as a means of lessening inequality in America, but as James Sherk explains raising the minimum wage would put the jobs of entry-level and unskilled workers in jeopardy:
Some Members of Congress now propose adding to these hiring costs by raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour. This would have disastrous consequences for the unskilled workers and families they want to help. It would raise the cost of hiring a full-time worker to at least $12.71 per hour. A worker would have to produce at least that much for a company to break even on that position.
Mr. Obama denies this reality saying “there is no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs.” That is what he said about Obamacare, but that wasn’t true either. Obamacare is a massive job killer.
He paid lip service to parents, families, businesses and civic organizations, but the reality is that his big government policies are designed to replace or undermine these other institutions. The conclusion of his speech was very revealing of his true big government ideology:
We know that’s our strength, our people, our communities, our businesses. But government can’t stand on the sidelines in our efforts. Because government is us.(emphasis added)
The liberal model has been a disaster. Government, far from acting as a catalyst for opportunity as intended, has become opportunity’s chief barrier. Government spending, taxing, and borrowing are killing the American economy, and we are wrapped in endless rules and regulations. Poverty rates remain high, our public-education system fails the least fortunate, and the family — the key to the well-being of children — is falling apart among poor and low-income Americans. Meanwhile, our ever-growing welfare state crowds out the very private activities and institutions that make up not only society’s best safety net but also its seedbed for self-improvement and advancement. And the government’s uncontrolled costs and unsustainable promises threaten long-term economic growth and will pass on crushing debt and social burdens to our children and grandchildren.
If Lady Thatcher had listened to his speech, perhaps she would give him this advice:
Defending the Dream: Why Income Inequality Doesn’t Threaten Opportunity
How President Obama Is Killing Jobs
Political Justice: Equality of Opportunity not Sameness of Opportunity
How to Limit Government in the Age of Obama