Jan. 1, 2012, is the first day of the last year of the first term of the most “transformative” president in the history of the United States. Before he became president, Barack Hussein Obama told America that “… we are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.” During the first three years of his presidency, he has pushed his philosophy of governance further and further away from the philosophy of governance developed by the framers and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The defining moment in the future of the United States will come on Nov. 6, 2012, when each citizen casts – or fails to cast – a vote for the next president, and for the legislators who will guide the nation.
Before his first election, Obama promised “hope and change.” We have seen whatever “hope” his supporters voted for turn into fundamental changes in the size, cost, scope and function of the national government. Never in the history of the nation has a president or Congress even considered giving the government the power to force private citizens to purchase a specified product. President Obama and his Democratic majority in both houses of Congress transformed the function of the national government. If government is endowed with the power to force private citizens to purchase a specified health insurance product, this same power can to force private citizens to purchase a Chevrolet, solar-generated electricity, or any other product the government thinks the people should use.
This fundamental transformation of the function of government abolished the possibility, and even the dream, of America, “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
On Dec. 6, 2011, President Obama traveled to Kansas to deliver a speech that fully outlines the direction and the extent of the transformation he fully intends to pursue. His masterful presentation carefully distorts the truth to deceive his audience into believing that his goal is the same as the goal declared by Teddy Roosevelt who said: “Our country means nothing unless it means the triumph of a real democracy … of an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”
Obama said: “The free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history. It’s led to a prosperity and a standard of living unmatched by the rest of the world.”
In a free market, competition sets prices, pushes innovation and encourages quality because people are free to purchase whatever product and service they wish from whomever they wish. If some businesses’ prices are too high, their products out of date or inferior, people are free to refuse to purchase products, and a free market will force these businesses to improve – or close.
The free market is “… an economic system under which each man shall be guaranteed the opportunity to show the best that there is in him.”
A free market guarantees every man an equal opportunity, not an equal outcome.
Obama told his audience: “I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules.” This is not the description of a free market; the economic system President Obama describes is a “government-managed” market.
The economic system Obama envisions requires someone – the government or its administrator – to define what a “fair shot” is for everyone, to define what constitutes their “fair share” and to set the “same rules” under which everyone must play.
American prosperity has grown in the face of a constant struggle between too much and too little regulation. This struggle must forever be the work of a freely elected legislature and never left to the executive or the bureaucrats appointed by the executive branch.
President Obama says that his opponents – Republicans – suffer from a “collective amnesia, and … want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess.” He never misses a chance to say that lower taxes and less regulation are the policies that got the nation into the economic mess he inherited.
Not so – and he knows it. He just doesn’t want Americans to remember that the fundamental cause for the current economic mess must be laid at the feet of his Democratic predecessors who essentially forced banks to give (sub-prime) mortgages to people who could not afford to repay them. What’s worse, they forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee these loans so the banks could repackage the bad mortgages as federally guaranteed securities, which were easy to insure and easier to sell.
Sooner or later, these bad loans had to fail. The bubble burst during the last months of the Bush administration, which became an easy target for blame by the Democrats and their rising new star, Barack Hussein Obama.
Freedom cannot exist in Obama’s vision of a managed market and a managed society. Every citizen must decide whether this nation will yield to Obama’s vision, or return to the framer’s vision of a government that exists for the purpose of protecting every citizen’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – as defined by every individual – not by the national government.