Just in case you doubted whether President Obama is a thug on the debt ceiling, he reiterated his bully tactics this morning at his press conference. Discussing the Republican Party’s desire to cut spending, Obama did not lay out a rational proposal on how to achieve fiscal responsibility. Instead, he moved directly to attack Republicans as morally deficient:
But it seems as if what’s motivating and propelling at this point some of the House Republicans is more than simply deficit reduction. They have a particular vision about what government should and should not do. So they are suspicious about government’s commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research. So they -- they got a particular view of what government should do and -- and should be.
Of course, it is Obama’s budget that slashes Medicare, makes Social Security unsustainable, and impoverishes millions of children. But that’s not the point. Obama’s point is a moral one.
Obama is claiming that only government can ensure decent healthcare for seniors, food for poor kids, and groundbreaking medical research. Only government. Therefore, anyone who opposes government is against decent healthcare for seniors, food for poor kids, and groundbreaking medical research. This is how Obama wins the argument. He implies that government is the solution to all ills, and that if you oppose government, you are therefore a fan of the ills.
Obama’s talk on the debt ceiling is the opposite of rational policymaking. The fact is that government can no more guarantee old age and wealth than it can guarantee health – a free market is the single best solution to all the problems suggested here. The single best guarantor of lower life expectancy, poverty, and illness is a government that restricts the free market while spending its way into oblivion. But Obama doesn’t want to discuss rational policy. He wants to paint his opposition as morally blighted.
But it is Obama who refuses to discuss real solutions to our debt crisis. It is Obama under whose watch poverty has grown, health care has become more expensive, and the medical industry has been burdened more heavily than at any time in American history. He isn’t interested in solving problems. He’s interested in demonizing his opposition. And that means worse health care, worse medical innovation, and more poor kids.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).