Editor’s note: This commentary originally appeared on ToBeRIGHT in July of 2008. The original document was damaged by a computer virus and so is being re-published here. The article is no less relevant today as it was some two years ago. Now more than ever Republicans, with the support of conservatives and libertarians, need to elect politicians with a clear vision of how a constitutional republic ought to function. Here is the text of the original piece…
Good afternoon, fellow Americans. Welcome to the ToBeRight version of what John McCain’s stump speech should say. If only we could be so lucky…
We hear a lot about change these days. The leftists keep on with the same old complaints: We need to change how the United States is viewed by the rest of the world. We need to stop tax cuts for the rich. We need to change the failed Bush energy policy. We need to change the culture of corruption. We need to change how oil company executives keep getting richer, while gas prices have doubled in the past couple of years. Change, change, change. Hurrah for change!
But a change to what?
While the mantra of change can be a powerful media message, as evidenced by Barrack Obama’s campaign, it is but a loose cloak, concealing the true nature of the change Obama seeks. Before systematically dismantling the Obama platform, let’s first discuss something Obama never does; talk about how great the United States already is.
The United States is HOPE. Hope for millions upon millions of people who try, many succeeding, to come live here. To listen to the political left, the United States has a tarnished image across the world, and we must be nicer, so that we are better liked. They usually say something like, “We must repair the image of the US abroad.” Hogwash, I say. If we are so bad, why then do immigrants, legal and otherwise, pour across our borders by the millions? The answer is because we give hope, where no other place on Earth can.
The United States is GIVING. As a country, we give more in charity than any other country. In fact, we give more than the next two largest givers COMBINED. This is not just in terms of dollars. As a percent of our gross domestic product we give this huge amount. What a stunning, beautiful reflection on the good people of America. That we would give about $300,000,000,000.00 in charity in a single year speaks volumes about the people who are responsible for it.
Of course, we could never give so much if we didn’t have two fundamentals in place: First, the kindheartedness that is required. Second, the ability each has to give. The former is a product of a country founded in the belief that all people of the earth are born with equal footing under God and as such, we should do what we can to help each other. The latter is a product of the freedom we enjoy, granted by God and secured by our Constitution.
The United States is DECENT. This Fourth of July weekend I walked down my neighborhood street and was in awe of the decency of the people. Each lawn had children running around, playing with bats and balls and chasing dogs. Dad’s stood sentry in front of smoking grills, spatulas in hand, waiting for Mom’s to deliver the trays of burgers and hot dogs. American flags waived from almost every front porch. Firecrackers popped in the distance as neighborhood boys celebrated both Independence Day and an excuse to blow off said firecrackers. Innate in all of this is an overwhelming sense of decency. From the farm towns of the mid-west to the sidewalks of south Philadelphia, this scene played out across the country.
America is SAFE. Throughout the typical days and nights in America, we share a common sense of safety. We don’t have to worry about a neighboring tribe attacking us. There are no worries about a violent uprising of a political opposition party. Many of our kids walk home from school in safety. Ten year old’s should only be concerned with getting their homework done, listening to Mom and Dad, and about what to do on the weekend. They should not be shouldered with adult burdens. Much less knowing that just miles away there exists a people who want to kill them. Americans are safe because we are free.
The United States is FREE. Perfectly simple and it works. We are free to do whatever we want, whenever we want to in the pursuit of happiness. The government is not free. The government can only do that which is specifically provided for in the Constitution. The Constitution is, therefore, a rulebook for the federal government. If it doesn’t specifically say the government can do something, they cannot. At least, this is how the document was designed. In practice, however, liberal ideology has been a constant force of degeneration. It is this force that we find so clearly defined in the Obama platform.
Where does the Constitution say that the Federal government is supposed to provide health care for every American? It doesn’t. That should be the end of the story, but it unfortunately is not.
Obama wants to provide health coverage for every American. Well, the federal government already does this for the poor and the elderly, and it is a disaster. Between Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we are on our way to economic collapse. A study by the Heritage Foundation says it best:
“In the coming decades, the cost of these programs will leap from 8.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 18.6 percent of GDP—an increase of 10.2 percent of GDP. Without reform, this increased cost would require raising taxes by the current equivalent of $12,072 per household or eliminating every other government program. Funding all of the promised benefits with income taxes would require raising the 35 percent income tax bracket to at least 77 percent and raising the 25 percent tax bracket to at least 55 percent.”
All you Obama supporters hear that? Now, that’s just for the existing programs. Let’s tack on healthcare for not just the poor and elderly, but for EVERYone. What do you think is going to happen to your taxes?
Obama continues the tired old “Republicans give tax breaks to the rich” mantra. (Though this very old bit of demagoguery seems to clash with the ‘change’ mantra, but I digress.) In common liberal fashion, Obama chooses his statistics very carefully, saying in his “Blueprint for Change” document that, “The Bush tax cuts gave those who earn over $1 million a tax cut nearly 160 times greater than that received by middle income Americans.”
That is probably true. But this fails to recognize that those who make $1 million or more PAY THE MOST.
- The top 5% of income earners pay 60% of all income taxes!
- The bottom 50% of income earners pay 3% of all income taxes!
- The top 50% of income earners pay 97% of all income taxes paid!
So, does Obama mention this? Of course not. It appears he would rather have you think that the federal government is giving money to rich people and taking it from the poor. His argument is so audacious that it somehow doesn’t seem to go away. Obama is lying to you.
The Bush tax cuts went to EVERY single income bracket, top to bottom.
On creating jobs. Never mind that we are at around 5.5% unemployment, which is near full employment. Still, Obama wants to further increase the size and scope of government. According to his “Change” document on his Web site:
“Barack Obama believes we need to double federal funding for basic research and make the research and development tax credit permanent to help create high-paying, secure jobs.”
On Iraq, Obama says that he will begin bringing troops home immediately. According to his own Web site, “He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”
And then, he’s going to keep things stable with “diplomacy.” Interestingly, diplomacy had zero effect on the decade leading up to the war and 17 UN Resolutions. But, if he says he can do it, it must be true.
On Energy, Obama says that the Bush policies have failed. Many democrats use this to cite some of the “change” Obama is going to bring around. Well, Obama doesn’t want to drill in ANWR, doesn’t want to drill off-shore, doesn’t wan’t to drill in the Dakota’s, doesn’t want to use and expand nuclear energy and doesn’t like coal. So how then does he expect to lower gas prices? Well, he doesn’t. He almost said so himself when he said he’d prefer a more “gradual increase” in gas prices.
You’ll never hear Obama say this, he’ll leave that to the other leftists, but liberals want high gas prices. That way, they have more reason to take your money and subsequent control over your life.
In Obama’s 64 page Plan for America, he says that he will increase or add funds or funding 32 times. That’s some list! In the same document, he also says the word “provide” a whopping 52 times! I counted them – each instance is another in which he says he is going to “provide” something for you. From “providing capital” to farmers (giving money to them) to “providing seven sick days per year” (getting involved in business operations at the smallest level), Obama is going to provide for you.
Change can be good or bad. You can have change where government is scaled back, taxes are lower, we crack down on terrorists and illegal aliens, or you can have the kind of change Obama wants. The change where you get increased taxes, larger government, weaker military, no war on terrorism, inept foreign policy, and a nanny-state to boot.
Which change do you want?