More Big Government Shilling in Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' Speech

The President's statement about the importance of the public sector at a stop in Roanoke, VA has received a lot of attention, mostly for his comment about private sector businesses. But there's a lot more in this speech which deserves scrutiny. To wrap up his praise of the public sector, Obama had this to say:

I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there...

[E]ver since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president – because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

Some have noted that this line of thought is very similar to one expressed by Elizabeth Warren in a viral video clip. It's also quite similar, at least in part, to an MSNBC promo Rachel Maddow filmed to promote her "lean forward" network:

The federal government did fund the construction of the Hoover Dam (though the work was carried out by a conglomerate of six private companies). And going back to Obama's list, it did fund the GI Bill, the moon program, and the creation of the Arpanet, precursor to the Internet. The lesson Obama seems to be drawing from this is that all the big and important things that happen in our nation stem from the government's ability to tax and spend.

The problem is that President Obama hasn't proposed any moon shot. He isn't planning a new Hoover Dam or funding the creation of a new Internet. What he has given us is the cancellation of the manned space flight program, the regulation into extinction of coal power plants, and a string of failed government investments with names like Solyndra.

But putting aside the particulars, Obama's speech seems spectacularly tone deaf. In the midst of a great recession, with Social Security already spending more than it is taking in, with Medicare racing toward a similar fate, with states deeply in the red as a result of public sector pensions and health care costs, with American cities declaring bankruptcy, with Europe on the brink of collapse from decades of big government policies, and with $15 trillion in national debt for which we have no retirement plan--in the midst of all that, Obama comes to praise big government and badmouth innovation and hard work. It's just sort of stunning, really. Has there ever been a man less suited for the moment than Obama is for right now?


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