I received an e-mail yesterday, ostensibly from Michelle Obama, telling me — and the doubtlessly million other recipients — that she would be speaking at the Democritic Democratic National Convention later that evening, telling us why her husband, the President, was the right man for the job. I mused about a possible blob post on that statement, noting that anyone who had presided over 8+% unemployment for almost four years hasn’t exactly proven himself to be the right man for the job, but the prose just wouldn’t flow.
Then, this morning, I read this article from William Teach:
First off, even the AP can’t help but note some of the issues
“He reminds me that we are playing a long game here … and that change is hard, and change is slow and it never happens all at once,” she told a nation impatient with slow economic progress and persistently high unemployment of 8.3 percent. “But eventually, we get there, we always do,” she said in a speech that blended scenes from 23 years of marriages with the Obamas’ time in the White House.
And, just in time for the DNC, the US debt hit $16,000,000,000,000. As for Chris Wallace
(The Blaze) While Fox News political analyst Chris Wallace called first lady Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention “masterful” and heartfelt, he said he was struck by the fact that nearly all of her speech was about about the importance of government in the lives of Americans.
“I’ve got to say, listening closely to the speech one of the things that struck me was it was all about government,” Wallace said Tuesday night during Fox News’ coverage of the DNC. “When she talked at the beginning about the people who exemplify the best of the American spirit, she talked about teachers and first responders and the military, all very admirable professions, but all government.”
He continued: “When she talked about ways to build the middle class, it was all about the auto bailout and student loans and health care reform, once again, all government programs…That was a subtle subtext to the entire speech.”
More at the link. But upon reading this review of the First Lady’s speech,1 I thought back to Mrs Obama’s e-mail: she said that her husband was the “right man for the job,” and that ties in perfectly with a speech, and a party, which holds that the government is the solution to all of our problems. The Democrats even showed a clip, which has since drawn scorn, and away from which the Obama campaign is backing,2 which claims that we all belong to the government.
Your Editor very much dissents: not only do we not belong to the government, but the government is not, and should not be, the solution to all of our problems. If government were the solution to all of our problems, we wouldn’t have 8.3% unemployment today; government could fix that.
The government can’t fix that because the vast majority of Americans — five out of every six — who have jobs, have jobs in the private sector. Despite the Obama Administration’s claim that they have created 4.5 million jobs, a claim that even CNN can’t accept with a straight face, noting that there are fewer people employed today than when Mr Obama was inaugurated, and that there has been a net loss of almost a million public sector jobs since then, President Obama and his Administration don’t create any jobs at all, save direct government jobs. While your Editor thinks it is a good thing that the public payrolls are lower, those are a significant part of the jobs President Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan was intended to save; that those jobs weren’t saved is simply more evidence that the stimulus plan, and really all of the Administration’s economic thinking, are failures.
The First Lady and the other Democrats are telling us the truth: they really do believe that government, and more government, is the answer. But it isn’t, and hasn’t been, and their attempts at more government — something past Republican administrations have not shied away from, either — have created the problems we have today. Under President Obama, total federal spending has been in the 24 to 25% range of GDP, an outlandish number topped only by World War II spending.Even during the four years in which the budget was (supposedly) balanced, we were spending over 18% of GDP at the federal level, and that is too high.
The answer is less government, a government which only does the essentials. The Greeks tried going the more government route, because they thought that everybody should just have more, have more than the wicked capitalist system provided, have more than their production justified . . . and look where they are now. The other European democracies have done the same thing, and The Wall Street Journal is writing about a new “jobless generation,” while Spain is preparing to face educating more students with fewer teachers, because the Europeans have so burdened themselves with debt that they have strangled their economies, because governments tried to provide too much, too much beyond what their people produced.
This is the huge problem that our friends on the left just don’t understand. In the goodness of their hearts, they see people who don’t have everything, and want government to provide them with what they lack. It can work for a little while, on borrowed money, but it can’t work forever, and the Europeans and we ourselves have reached the point where it can’t work anymore.
We need to remember: when we became an economic powerhouse, our government was much, much smaller. When we built the industrialized society that provided us with so much wealth, our government simply did less, far less. Heck, in the middle of the Great Depression, we were spending, on average, less than 10% of GDP at the federal level, and were spending in the 3% range prior to the Depression. In 1922, we had a gross domestic product of $73.603 billion, and total federal government spending was only $3.763 billion, just 5.1%. Total government spending in 1922 (federal, state and local) was $9.297 billion, or 12.63% of GDP, and our economy was growing. Fast forward to 1928, and with a GDP of $97.365 billion, total government spending of $11.444 billion equaled 11.75% of GDP; federal spending only was $3.669 billion, or 3.77%.
Government is a burden: it is a drain on the resources of the nation to provide services for the nation. As we keep defining more and more things as public services we want, we continue to add to the burden that government is.
If we really want more and more and more government spending, then by all means, Barack Hussein Obama is the President for us, and the Democrats are our party. But that’s the economics of Thelma and Louise, gunning that 1966 Thunderbird right off the cliff. Government doing too much, government trying to be all things to everybody, ruined Greece, and has Spain and Portugal and Italy on the ropes.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has promised to get total federal expenditures down from the utterly ridiculous 24.3% of GDP being spent in the current fiscal year to “in line with the historical trend between 18 and 20 percent,” which is still far too high, but at least it’s not as insanely high as under President Obama. Your Editor is very concerned that even if Mr Romney is elected, and even if he gets his entire economic plan passed, it still won’t be enough, that we’ll wind up walking toward the cliff rather than burning rubber in the T-Bird, when what we need to do is turn around and walk away from the cliff. Your Editor is concerned that if Mr Romney wins, he, too, will think that the government just has to do something about the economy, just has to tinker and meddle, when what the government really needs to do is pull back, to reduce its involvement in the economy, to cut government spending and let the economy — which is nothing more than the aggregate decisions taken by hundreds of millions of people — adjust.
- Your Editor did not watch the speech himself. ↩
- From BuzzFeed
An Obama aide emails that the Charlotte host committee, not the Obama campaign, produced the video:
The video in question was produced and paid for by the host committee of the city of Charlotte. It’s neither an OFA nor a DNC video, despite what the Romney campaign is claiming. It’s time for them to find a new target for their faux outrage.
And Dan Murrey, the executive director of the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee, said in an emailed statement:
The “Welcome to Charlotte” video was solely produced and paid for by the Host Committee’s New American City Fund, which promotes the city of Charlotte and welcomes our guests. The intent of this video was to tell the story of this region and it is completely unaffiliated with the Obama campaign or the Democratic National Committee.