Americans have lived through three years of Obama and have nothing to show for it beyond massive unemployment, lost homes, dislocation, food stamps, graduating into the world with a national debt that is equal to the Gross Domestic Product.
By Alan Caruba
It is clear that Barack Obama’s main campaign theme is going to be about “fairness.” This is one of those words like “hope” and “change” that can mean many different things to different people. No one can ever accuse Obama of clarity. He is a consummate sloganeer, but the results of those slogans hardly represent anything resembling fairness. Or success.
The one incontrovertible fact about life is that it is not fair.
Some are born into wealth and some into moderate means and some into poverty. Moreover, some are born with inherent gifts and talents, while others are not. Some are born into “dysfunctional” families where a parent or parents are alcoholics or use illegal drugs, in jail or just gone.
The list of the plus and minuses in life are long and varied; city-born, country-born; the lure of gang life versus the expectation of rising early to do farm chores. Inner city schools versus suburban ones with greater budgets and opportunities. There is no real fairness and those who see the obstacles and overcome them do so because of an innate desire to achieve their goals.
One young man who comes to mind was born to a white mother, Stanley Ann Dunham in Hawaii with a black father, Barack Obama Sr., from Kenya who in fairly rapid order divorced her and returned to an African wife he already had. His mother then married another foreigner, Lolo Soetoro, a Muslim from Indonesia, moving to Jakarta with her young son whom he adopted. When that marriage collapsed, she turned the care of her son over to her parents. One might not consider this the most promising beginning in life.
Barack Obama, however, got lucky. His grandparents ensured he attended a private school, Punahou, where he received an above-average education. He enrolled in colleges, eventually making his way to Columbia University and onto Harvard University Law School. Much of the information regarding his academic life remains shrouded. Indeed, we only “know” what Obama told us in two “memoirs” written at an early age about a life of relatively little achievement until politics propelled him into office in Illinois and then to the U.S. Senate where he spent barely two years before seeking the presidency.
Where did fairness play a role in any of this? Was it “fair” to be biracial? Was it fair to secure an education at well-respected institutions to which others were not admitted? So much of Obama’s life seems to hinge on remarkable, impenetrable happenstance and good fortune, but at this point he tells us that he is obsessed with the issue of “fairness.”
In a speech in December he talked of everyone engaging in “fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share.” It sounds nice, but it has nothing to do with hard work, self-improvement, personal motivation, and good values.. We look around us in any office or workplace and can pick out one or two that fit this description while the rest engage in psychological warfare and backstabbing.
For all this talk of fair share and fair play, Americans have lived through three years of Obama and have nothing to show for it beyond massive unemployment, lost homes, dislocation, food stamps, graduating into the world with a national debt that is equal to the Gross Domestic Product.
There are fewer real opportunities, no matter what one’s background or resume may be. It is fair the nation has been saddled with six trillion dollars in new debt since he took office? It is fair that future generations must pay this debt?
Obama is obsessed with what he regards as the unfairness of the income tax system, forever decrying what he perceives as differences in the rate the wealthy pay. In fact, the wealthy pay far more taxes than most Americans and some 40% of Americans pay no tax whatever.
The National Taxpayers Union’s figures for 2009 reveal that the top 1% of taxpayers paid 36.73%, the top 5% paid 58.66%, the top 10% paid 70% to the point where the top 50% paid 97.75%. The rest paid a mere 2.25% of incomes taxes that year. Is that fair?
Obama’s belief in the redistribution of income is hardly fair. Taking money from decent, hard-working Americans and giving it to those who won’t work or came here illegally hardly fits the description of fairness. It is, however, the classic definition of “economic justice” which gave us the 2008 financial meltdown when bad housing loans nearly destroyed the banking system.
As Mitt Romney campaigns in South Carolina for its primary election, a collection of yelping dogs are nipping at his heels, crying about how horrible it was that he was a practitioner of venture capitalism, cruelly destroying jobs, and growing wealthy. Newt Gingrich called it “vulture capitalism.” It is all a distortion of the truth and, worse, betrays a total lack of understanding of capitalism, the greatest job creator in the history of the world.
As The Wall Street Journal noted in an editorial, “Bain Capital has been a net job and wealth creator.” Citing just one example, Staples, Romney’s investment enabled the company to grow to a point where it currently employs 90,000 people. Also noted was the fact that some of Bain’s investments did not pan out. That is the nature of capitalism and it is often not fair.
Americans got burned by Obama’s “hope and change” mantra in 2008 and those who fall for his “fairness” mantra in 2012 will suffer a similar fate.
As for me, I am going to cast my vote for a man who made his wealth within and because of a system that rewards risk and the ability to pick more winners than losers.
I am going to avoid a president who has proven to be the biggest loser this nation has ever seen.
© Alan Caruba, 2012
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