Loaded with misleading statements, demagoguery, political rhetoric and outright lies, Mr. Obama’s speech announcing his debt reduction plan was no more than the formal start to his re-election campaign with the establishment of a clear ideological line in the sand. The American people now will begin a long debate on which side of that line they will stand.
On one side is the America that those who came before us worked hard for; sacrificed for; and many died for. This is the America where individualism and self-reliance is real, not just the throw-away line that Mr. Obama opened his speech with. This is the America where all are guaranteed equal opportunity, not equal outcome; the America where the efforts of citizens determine the winners and losers; the America where the current generation pays for itself and passes on the freedom to increase prosperity to the next generation.
On the other side stands a perverse vision of our country where the government makes choices for the citizens; determines who the winners are; and pays for all of the current generation’s desires with liens on the labor of future generations.
In his own words, Mr. Obama declared, “This is not about debt reduction; this is about what kind of country we want to be.” However if we don’t begin to focus on the run-a-way spending of the federal government, our national debt will exceed our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the end of this year and will double over the next ten years. Our economy will collapse under the weight of that debt and the only kind of country we will be, is a failed one.
Just before the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001, our nation was prospering with total federal spending of $1.8 trillion per year. Since Mr. Obama took office, we have been spending $3.8 trillion per year. What have we bought for that? Unemployment is twice what it was back in 2001, more people have dropped out of the work force, fuel prices are twice what they were before Mr. Obama took office and more American’s believe that we are declining as a nation then believe we are advancing. Spending the wealth of future generations is simply not working.
“We can no longer afford to give a trillion dollar tax break to millionaires and billionaires” Mr. Obama stated and went on to call for increasing taxes on those making more than $250,000 per year. Aside from his numbers making no sense and unable to be tracked to any real facts, we already know that we could double the federal taxes on all Americans and we would still have an annual deficit in excess of $400 billion. We clearly have a spending problem.
Mr. Obama also attacked the Paul Ryan budget, not with the civil language of a statesman but with the political rhetoric of a campaigner. “His approach would take away health insurance from 50 million Americans” Mr. Obama declared. Does he really think the American people are going to accept that one of six citizens will lose health insurance if we make logical and financially prudent changes to Medicare and Medicaid over the next decade?
The important issue here is not the specifics of Mr. Obama’s plan, nor is it about how he presented the plan. What is important is the clear choice that the American people will have to make over the next eighteen months leading up to the 2012 Presidential Election and then with their vote in that election. It is the choice of which vision of America we will embrace.
Mr. Obama clearly believes that the United States of America would be better off as a socialist democracy, where the government reigns supreme over the people and decisions for every major aspect of a citizen’s life are made by an elite ruling class. In this America, citizens exchange their freedom and the freedom of future generations for a government guaranteed safety net. The trouble is that even if we made the false assumption that this safety net would be effective and fair, the truth is that it would only exist until the economy collapses due to lack of incentive, the death of innovative spirit and a collectivist economic model that has never worked for any length of time in history.
Hopefully, the majority of Americans still believe in the America that has become the greatest nation in the history of man in just 234 years; a country where the citizens reign supreme over the government: and where the only ruling class is - the people. This is the America where individual drive, innovative thinking and a capitalistic economic model can do anything.
So the line has been drawn. Lift yourself above the falsehoods, misleading statements and political rhetoric. Think of what you want for your children, for their children and for future generations of Americans. If all citizens look past themselves, the right choice will be made. The world will continue to be blessed by an America with the freedom and prosperity that all other nations aspire to.
Robert Allen Bonelli is the author of “Liberty Rising,” an accomplished business executive, public speaker and involved citizen.