Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama and the government reward dispenser

By Donald Sensing

This video or its soundtrack is hurtling around the Internet. It's of a woman at a town hall meeting with President Obama telling him forthrightly that she is "exhausted" from defending him.

"I'm one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly, I'm exhausted. Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where I am right now. ... The financial recession has taken an enormous toll on our family. My husband and I have joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot dogs and beans era of our lives, but, quite frankly, it's starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we're headed again, and, quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly. Is this my new reality?"

And the president's response:

"The life you describe - one of responsibility, looking after your family, contributing back to your community - that's what we want to reward."

This sentence, coming near the front of the video, encapsulates most of what repels me about this president's statist world view. It is not the responsibility of the government to "reward" any particular way of living. The government is not delegated any power in the Constitution to do so. The real nugget here is when he says he wants to reward "contributing back" to the community. What does that mean? It can mean whatever the political masters want it to mean; at one time both parties even used the concept to support drafting young men into the military.

"Rewarding" contributing to the community is lib-left codewording for a tax of some kind, if not of money, then a tax of time or talents. Obama openly promoted this coercive regulation of Americans' lives when campaigning and after elected.

Obama and Biden will call on citizens of all ages to serve. They'll set a goal that all middle school and high school students engage in 50 hours of community service a year, and develop a plan for all college students who engage in 100 hours of community service to receive a fully-refundable tax credit of $4,000 for their education. Obama and Biden will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
All your labor are belong to us, I guess. But that's the Left for you.

The rest of the president's reply is verbal dodgeball, recounting a few trivial legislative accomplishments and then finally agreeing with the exhausted lady that time are tough and life is hard, but it won't change anytime soon.

The summary of the president's answer to her question, "Is this my new reality?" Yes, ma'am, this is your new reality. Get used to it.