Tall Tales in Indiana
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published June 5, 2016 by The Washington Times.
If you believe the federal government is too large and powerful, you’re in what our current president calls “the cult of small government.”
That’s what he said in a speech last week in Elkhart, Indiana, in which his aim was “to bust this myth of crazy, liberal government spending.”
“I am not making this stuff up,” insisted Mr. Obama, who has increased America’s national debt by nearly $10 trillion —- more than all his predecessors combined. A quick look at the National Debt Clock will scare the pants off anyone not put into a hypnotic trance by the fast-moving figures.
As a small-government cultist, I’m proud to admit my desire to restore constitutional limits. This means scaling back programs and regulations, restoring welfare reforms that work, securing the border, cutting taxes, enacting voter photo ID laws, and getting the federal government out of our restrooms and locker rooms. Plus, appointing judges who are not certifiable whackos.
Regarding the restroom issue, Mr. Obama’s administration sent a letter on May 13 directing the nation’s schools to allow anyone to enter intimate facilities based on their own notion of gender instead of their biological sex. Last Wednesday, he told PBS’ Gwen Ifil, “Somehow people think that I made it an issue. I didn’t make it an issue.” Really? His threat to withhold federal funds dominated the news and triggered lawsuits from 11 states. Nothing to see here.
Back to Indiana. Taunting his political opponents, including talk-show hosts, Mr. Obama spun this narrative at Concord Community High School:
“So their basic story is: America’s working class, America’s middle class —- families like yours —- have been victimized by a big, bloated federal government run by a bunch of left-wing elitists like me. And the government is taking your hard-earned tax dollars and it’s giving them to freeloaders and welfare cheats. And we’re strangling business with endless regulations. And this federal government is letting immigrants and foreigners steal whatever jobs Obamacare hasn’t killed yet.”
Apparently, someone spiked the president’s water with truth serum. Speaking of jobs, Mr. Obama also boasted of cutting “unemployment in half, years before a lot of economists thought we would.”
In the real America, beyond the Beltway, you can see boarded-up buildings and talk to people who have given up looking for work, despite the administration’s assurance that only 5 percent are jobless.
A year ago in February, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton noticed his polls showing nearly double the reported 5.6 percent figure.
“The official unemployment rate is extremely misleading,” he wrote, lambasting the media, the White House and even Wall Street for “the big lie.”
“None of them will tell you this: if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks —- the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed.” Later, he retracted his statement on CNBC, saying the government was right and, “I need to make that very, very clear so that I don’t suddenly disappear. I need to make it home tonight.” Gangster government, anyone?
The president’s speech in Elkhart was so full of whoppers that it’s a wonder lightning didn’t strike him on the spot. Here are more, most of which need no comment:
- “I’m going to start with the biggest myth, which is that the federal government keeps growing and growing and growing, and wasting your money and giving your tax dollars to people who don’t deserve it.”
- “Today, the average family’s health insurance premium is $2,600 less than it would have been if premiums had kept on going up at the pace before Obamacare.”
I don’t know about you, but the Affordable Care Act canceled my perfectly good policy and I was forced to buy a catastrophic one at a higher cost with a huge deductible. Meanwhile, 13 of 23 Obamacare state co-ops have failed, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. The rest are on life support.
- “I’ve issued fewer executive orders than any two-term President since Ulysses S. Grant.”
Squirrely numbers aside, executive orders tweak laws passed by Congress. Mr. Obama’s outrageous edicts rewrite or even create laws out of whole cloth.
- “Right now, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is near its lowest level in 40 years.”
- “Immigrants pay a lot more in taxes than they receive in services.”
- “Middle-class families have paid lower federal income tax rates during my presidency than during any other time since the 1950s.”
If the middle class has it so good, how do you explain this next statement?
“Let’s face it —- a lot of Americans don’t have retirement savings. They’re just barely paying the bills.”
Could that be because government is confiscating so much? Adding up all taxes and “fees,” taxpayers fork over nearly half of their income to our ruling elites.
And yet it’s never enough. Just ask Bernie or Hillary, who didn’t make the cut into the small-government cult.