As many of you know, Obama made his first address to Congress tonight. This address was concentrated nearly entirely on the economy. He started out by talking about the sorry state of our economy, and how it is affecting everyone either directly or indirectly. He reiterated the point that America will prevail and recover. I don't doubt that we will prevail and recover, but not because of Keynesian economic policies that the Democratic Party is implementing. Not because of the spending, bailing out, and intervention of the Federal Government.
He criticizes CEO's for taking taxpayer money and then flying in private jets and padding their balance sheets. He said that those days are over. Instead of applauding a governmental plan that will now limit the spending of the top executives of companies, we should be asking: Why are these banks getting taxpayer money anyway? And how can the federal government expect a company to change its ways when they have just set a precedent of bailing out any failing bank as long as they are 'too big to fail?' Instead of trying to control these companies and giving them taxpayer money, the free market would force them to make changes or simply fail. Instead of having a job as a CEO, they will be out looking for jobs with the rest of the employees who have lost their job. The top executives and board of directors should answer to stockholders (the owners of the company) instead of the federal government who is fatally inefficient and ineffective.
He rejects the notion that government's role does not include intervening to bring the country out of a recession. He is basically saying, I reject supply-side economics and I approve of Keynesian economic policy. When has Keynesian economic policies ever worked? It prolonged the depression of the last 20's into the 30's, and it will prolong this depression as well.
A few comments concerning the address:
Obama said we need to 'take responsibility for our future once more.' How is spending money that we surely cannot pay back for years to come taking responsibility of our future? Think about it: we just passed a spending bill that cost nearly a trillion dollars even though our nation is deeply in debt. We are the biggest debtor nation in the world. Our country is deeply in debt, and instead of drastically cutting spending we are drastically increasing it.
"We import more oil today than ever before" - Drill Alaska and offshore, that would help us move towards a more independent America.
Our schools are not preparing our children to compete in the global economy - School vouchers would give parents choices for their children, increase competition, and therefore increase the quality of our education. Why not give it a chance? Clearly our current system is not working effectively.
Energy Policy - He wants to put a cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions. This is not going to help promote business, but make business more expensive. As if our extremely high corporate tax isn't enough to drive business out of the country, this will surely make America even less attractive for business.
Higher Education - He said he wants every American to go to at least one year of higher education. This simply is not possible. Not everyone needs to go to college; it does not make sense for everyone to go to college. I point to Michael Powell's article "College is Overrated," where an argument is made against higher education. Also, he foreshadowed the inevitable push we will see within the next two years where service for school is going to be grandfathered in, eventually resulting in mandatory service for all 18-25 year olds.
"Not because I believe in bigger government, I don't." - Ironic. How can he say that? Most everything he supports results in bigger government.
After listening to this address, the sharp contrast between Obama's policy and true conservative policy could not be more clear. There was very little I heard during this address that I truly agreed with. The liberal agenda is in very sharp contrast to the cause of liberty. Though the current policy of the Federal Government is in such opposition to the cause of Liberty, I see hope in the message of liberty. The message of liberty is popular. The message of liberty is growing. Above all else the message of liberty offers true hope and change. President Obama, you can pursue your policies, grow the size of government at a rapid pace, and even increase government intervention in the free market to an all-time high, but I will choose to align myself with the cause of liberty, limited government, and the free markets.