Is it just me, or did everyone else feel a sudden shift in the tectonic plates of national discourse? For decades, the American political debate could be summed up as government provision versus private innovation.
While the conservative position seems to remain, “That government is best that governs least,” the liberal priority appears to have advanced from, “That government is best that governs most” to an all-out campaign of domestic imperialism.
The momentum seemed to begin building in October of 2009 when the Secretary of Defense Comptroller issued a decision to reduce contractor funding 13 percent by converting civilians to civil service.
In other words, a Lockheed Martin engineer could remain in his position supporting base operations at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, but now as a direct employee of the federal government.
Well over half of the $12 trillion mortgage market is now owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Not to mention the remaining TARP investments in General Motors, Citigroup and Bank of America.
The assimilation continues with Obamacare and the $787 billion Economic Stimulus Package of 2009.
When President Obama delivered his “Framework for Deficit Reduction” speech on Wednesday, I kept thinking that America was being treated to the slickest example of bait-and-switch since the Music Man came to River City. A professional persuader will soften up the opposition by first agreeing with them.
The President’s opening statements could have come from Ronald Reagan himself, using terms like rugged individualism, self-reliance, and “a healthy skepticism of too much government.”
Then, Obama delivered his transitional slight of hand; “We believe in the words of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, ‘Through government we should do together what we cannot do for ourselves as well.’” Thanks to the Washington Examiner’s research department, we now know President Lincoln’s words in context.
The actual quote: “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.”
I encourage President Obama to continue researching and quoting Abraham Lincoln. Let me suggest the following Lincoln statements:
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