Occasionally my liberal friends chide me for never saying something good about our esteemed President Barack Hussein Obama. One of them commented that in all my columns he has never read a complimentary sentence on Obama’s actions or his speeches.
Never wanting to let a good challenge go to waste one of my good friends assisted me in my tiresome search to find something positive. The result of this search is the quote in all its glory from Senator Barack Obama, March 2006:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
I couldn’t agree more. Note that this patriotic statement by Obama was made when our national debt was about 8 trillion. The debt now exceeds 17 trillion.
The antithesis of our current president is the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who left us recently. She served over a decade as Prime Minister, stopping socialism in its tracks, making giant inroads against the nanny state, turning the British economy around and side by side with President Ronald Reagan helped to win the cold war. As noted in the April 22nd issue of The Weekly Standard, Margaret Thatcher took on labour and the Brits’ welfare state.
As a brilliant strategist she outlined the Soviet military buildup in some detail and what lay behind the then aggressive moves of the Soviets. She called for an increase in defense spending in spite of Britain’s economic troubles.
In short she did what any great leader of a democratic society would do – she fought the labor unions that had stymied growth, brought in conservative principles to aid the economy and strengthened the military simultaneously.
Page 2 of 3 - The antithesis of Lady Thatcher is what is now happening in this country. Our national leader has been courting the unions in opposition to Republican governors and state legislatures who are promoting “right to work” and battling the teachers’ unions and especially the unions of public employees. These latter groups have led to bankruptcy of some cities and placed states like California, Illinois, New York and others in dire straits.
Margaret Thatcher tackled entitlements and indeed woke the country from a deep sleep proving to them England would no longer exist as a country of strength unless drastic changes were made in the philosophy of government dominance and cradle to grave policies.
Did she make enemies? Absolutely! Those Britains who were slinking to a nanny state never forgave her. Thus you had the giant celebrations when Thatcher died. Britain citizens are supposed to be the model of human behavior but the sick actions of the forever Thatcher haters was disappointing and vulgar.
For the moment forget about the big three of entitlements in this country namely Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The next levels of welfare-like expenditures are food stamps and disability payments. The food stamp program (SNAP) has rocketed in the past few years. Officially the recession ended in 2009 but you would never know it when you consider the number of food stamp users has increased 70% since 2008. How can that be? With the encouragement and almost insistence of the Obama administration, the states have encouraged more participation by allowing into the program people with higher incomes as well as savings.
And why not? These are federal dollars coming into the state and everybody wins. Right? In fact some cheerleaders for more food stamps will explain to you using that magic multiple theory that for every food stamp dollar brought into the local economy creates a multiple of 2.6. If this be true, let’s give food stamps to everyone. We all know the source of federal money is unlimited, so let’s all cash in.
A quote from Jessica Shawlin, a top USDA official, says it all, “Please encourage your states to adopt the looser rules to improve SNAP operations in your states.” So on and on it goes. In just about every level of federal spending, except for defense, states and individuals are encouraged and sometimes ordered to ‘take’ more federal funds.
Page 3 of 3 - We can only hope this country will survive through 2016 and that our electorate will deliver to us a Margaret Thatcher type. He or she can lead us away from a nanny state and lay the foundation for our capitalistic system to prosper and individuals will flourish by their own efforts.
(Jerry Jackson of Heber Springs writes his “conservative viewpoint” column each week)