President Obama Wednesday decided to rally his beleaguered troops with a special post-Thanksgiving serving of class warfare, heading to his political brain trust at Washington’s Center for American Progress to proclaim income inequality “the defining challenge of our time.”
In fact, it’s what got him into the politics business, he said.
I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for every working American. It’s why I ran for President. It was at the center of last year’s campaign. It drives everything I do in this office.
Oh boy. So that’s why the economy is still slumbering and unemployment remains high. We’re trying to redistribute wealth instead of create it.
There will, Obama promised, be more “spending” to address “inequality,” deficits be damned:
When it comes to our budget, we should not be stuck in a stale debate from two years ago or three years ago. A relentlessly growing deficit of opportunity is a bigger threat to our future than our rapidly shrinking fiscal deficit.
There’s something I don’t understand. If there is significant, expanding income inequality – and I’m not convinced there is – why has it taken place in the context of massive growth in the entitlement state? I mean, we keep adding new programs, eliminating vast swaths of people from the tax rolls, and still, voilà, growing income inequality.
WHY IS THE ANSWER YET MORE “HELP”? More government “action”?
If we’re going to focus on expanding wealth at the lower income rungs, how about tackling The Culture of Dependency created by all these brilliant ideas hatched at places like the Center for American Progress.
At the heart of Obama’s confusion about what’s wrong in the nation is the startling comment he made near the end of his speech:
Government is us, he said.
Think about the mindset that produces such a comment.
No, government is not us. There are honorable, decent and sometimes even hard working men and women employed by the federal government. But the federal government is not us.
The federal government is a remorseless creature, a necessary evil bloated far beyond what the Founders envisioned, that forcibly – under threat of jail time – takes money from citizens and uses it for whatever purpose it wants, including giving to other citizens who have not earned it.
Government can’t stand on the sidelines in our efforts. Because government is us. It can and should reflect our deepest values and commitments.
Actually, by pretending to do the job for us, government relieves us of our deepest values and commitments. It cannot possibly reflect our values, because it not among us. It is over us. It doesn’t need to earn a living, raise children, or fear going out of business. It is fueled by the corrupting influence of power, not morality. With police backing it up, it becomes inebriated with the sense it can do what it wants and take what it likes.
It’s not us. It tells us what to do.
The government should act as a railroad switch, occasionally stepping in to provide some redirection when there is discrimination or cheating. Obama thinks government is the locomotive and the caboose.
Because, you see, he views the world as a vicious gladiatorial arena, where men are helplessly pitted against lions, and corporate CEOs sit amidst their concubines and their wine and with cruel nonchalance deliver the thumbs up or thumbs down.
And BTW, you racist rich, it’s not just blacks being oppressed, since we know you don’t care about them, but whites too. So listen up, your own are in jeopardy:
First, there is the myth that this is a problem restricted to a small share of predominantly minority poor — that this isn’t a broad-based problem, this is a black problem or a Hispanic problem or a Native American problem. Now, it’s true that the painful legacy of discrimination means that African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans are far more likely to suffer from a lack of opportunity — higher unemployment, higher poverty rates.
A new study shows that disparities in education, mental health, obesity, absent fathers, isolation from church, isolation from community groups — these gaps are now as much about growing up rich or poor as they are about anything else. The gap in test scores between poor kids and wealthy kids is now nearly twice what it is between white kids and black kids . . . So the fact is this: The opportunity gap in America is now as much about class as it is about race, and that gap is growing.
Can Obama have so little faith in America that he assumes he can’t sell his program as easily if people are thinking they’re mainly helping minorities?
I don’t think we’re so callous.
What’s callous is believing that a government so bloated it’s $16 trillion in debt must expand still further to solve the problems created by its prior expansion. That yet more of the fruit of people’s labor must be stolen from them. And that the culture of government is the culture of America, even as it has ground the poor into a dependent, permanent underclass.