The State Doesn’t Make You Great, You Do

by walterm on July 21, 2012

“If you’ve got a  business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

— Barack Obama, Roanoke, VA, July 13

A few magical words. And that’s all you need to know about Barack Obama, who went off teleprompter and told us how he really felt. Of course, those of us who were observant knew this all along by his actions. But his handlers won’t allow him to just come out and say candidly that he believes it is government that makes it all happen. We are all just cogs in the collective societal machine that is government. A piece titled Did the state make you great? by Charles Krauthammer so brilliantly illustrates what Obama’s goals are that I won’t have to write as much for this blog post. So I will highlight some of Krauthammer’s points and provide some additional commentary. What Krauthammer points out in this article is that Obama believes it is the state (i.e., government) who is that somebody else that enables entrepenuers to do great things. Everyone works hard, so the fundamental difference between one who works hard and does great things versus the one who works hard while not creating anything particularly noteworthy is that the former just happened to latch on to the right government program by sheer luck (which begs the question as to who built that government program). Well, we all know that’s ludicrous, but Obama has been able to successfully sell this notion of Leviathan government to no small number of Americans.

Krauthammer makes key mention of The Life of Julia, a fictional creation of the Obama campaign that is entirely consistent with Obama’s vision of big government statism. Krauthammer states that Julia’s world ”may be the most self-revealing parody of liberalism ever conceived. It’s a series of cartoon illustrations in which a fictional Julia is swaddled and subsidized throughout her life by an all- giving government of bottomless pockets and ‘Queen for a Day’ magnanimity. At every stage, the state is there to provide — preschool classes and cut-rate college loans, birth control and maternity care, business loans and retirement. The only time she’s on her own is at her grave site.” This is the true meaning of”cradle to grave” or “womb to tomb” government at it’s finest, so Obama’s comment last week on Friday should not have surprised anyone. This is the same president whose Health and Human Services department, this very week, eviscerated the 1996 welfare reform legislation by waiving the work requirement. This was strongly bipartisan legislation whose very success was predicated on the obligation to work if you receive welfare benefits. And now that work requirement is history by decree, which is most likely illegal anyway according to how the law was written. But never mind that. This is just one more data point for your consideration.

Krauthammer goes on to say “Julia’s world is totally atomized. It contains no friends, no community and, of course, no spouse. Who needs one? She’s married to the provider state. Or to put it slightly differently, the ‘Life of Julia’ represents the paradigmatic Obama political philosophy: citizen as orphan child.” This is terribly troubling, because the statistics bear out what the modern welfare state has done to the family, particularly the black family. Few will have the “success” that Julia has.  73 percent of black children are born out of wedlock, while 40 percent of children are born out of wedlock overall in the United States. This is one of the primary risk factors for poverty, yet instead of encouraging marriage and strong families, what Obama seems to want is that these women be married to the state with the expectation that they will be Democratic voters for life. And their children, if they survive, will be the next generation of Democratic voters that live in poverty and have their own out of wedlock children. When the president’s very actions make it easier for people to live off the government and to not even be required to work, I believe more and more that even Julia is just an idyllic notion that attempts to make the cradle to grave welfare state attractive knowing that the reality is an entirely different thing.

In closing, Krauthammer writes “The conservative sees the proper role of government as providing not European-style universal entitlements but a firm safety net, meaning Julia-like treatment for those who really cannot make it on their own — those too young or too old, too mentally or physically impaired, to provide for themselves. Limited government so conceived has two indispensable advantages. It avoids inexorable European-style national insolvency. And it avoids breeding debilitating individual dependency. It encourages and celebrates character, independence, energy, hard work as the foundations of a free society and a thriving economy —  precisely the virtues Obama discounts and devalues in his accounting of the wealth of nations.” I couldn’t agree more with this assessment, as liberals think conservatives don’t care when we actually do. We just don’t believe that you should do for the able-bodied what they could and should do for themselves. Welfare should be a temporary hand up, not a permanent handout. This is because the more we breed dependency into the population, the less independent, hard working people who build businesses that actually create opportunities for others will be there to help those who have become dependent. Somehow, that doesn’t factor into Obama’s equation, since he obviously believes he can manufacture prosperity through government programs. This won’t work, because eventually you run out of other people’s money since it is human nature to take on less risk as government siphons off more and more of the fruits of your labor. That is what Obama can’t seem to understand. And he won’t understand if he gets a second term, which is why he needs to go.

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