Walter Scott Hudson
Figthin’ Words
January 28, 2010

Jackson and Lee
Obama makes his first state of the union address.

Skimming the State of the Union address from last night, these tidbits stood out:

This recession has also compounded the burdens that America’s families have been dealing with for decades, the burden of working harder and longer for less, of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.

For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don’t understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded, but hard work on Main Street isn’t, or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems.

Actually, many people are angry because they do understand why Wall Street gets bailed out while Main Street is bowled over. Many people are angry because they do understand why they work harder and longer for less. Many people have woken up to the hidden tax of inflation perpetuated by the Federal Reserve System and enabled by Congress. Many people are wise to the good cop / bad cop routine bankers and politicians have played with the purchasing power of their dollar. Many people get that printing fiat currency ad infinitum and racking up the national debt is unsustainable and tantamount to a regressive tax against the poor and middle class. Many people understand, as President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

Tomorrow, I’ll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation’s goods, services and information.

[efoods]Fortunately, many people understand such job-creation is illusory. Who is left to cover the cost of maintenance once these projects are complete? Where will these jobs go after completion? By touting this “accomplishment,” President Obama counts on people not differentiating production from subsidization and not understanding the fact they pay for the Recovery Act with the reduced purchasing power of their dollar.

[Healthcare] is a complex issue. And the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, this process left most Americans wondering, “What’s in it for me?”

This is an amazingly arrogant sentiment. Obama here presumes the only reason people are skeptical of his proposed health care reform is because they do not understand it. Aside from demeaning the intellectual capacity of the electorate, Obama’s presumption precludes the possibility people do understand his proposed reform and simply disagree with it on principle.  Equally disturbing is his implication Americans only care “what’s in it for them,” precluding the possibility people are concerned how expanding their own entitlement might result in effects beyond today and themselves. Does it not stand to reason, if Americans were truly fixated on narrow self interest, they would overwhelmingly support their own entitlement? Does it not stand to reason opposition to such entitlement reflects concern over long-term sustainability?

Put another way, Obama’s sentiment might read, “I know it’s hard for you folks to comprehend, but I’m trying to take care of you.” Such an attitude is unbecoming a public servant. The burden is not on President Obama to explain his plan, and on We the People to listen, but on him to listen to us.

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