Too Late, Mr. President

Monday, April 20, 2009

President Obama returns to Washington after a weekend of cavorting in Trinidad with the likes of Hugo Chavez and, I am sure, having to pinch himself more than once during Daniel Ortega's fifty-minute harangue just to make sure he hadn't actually dozed off during a sermon by Jeremiah Wright.

And what's he going to do after thus "representing" American interests abroad? He's going to save us money!

On Monday, Obama will gather his full Cabinet together for the first time as president and challenge it to cut a total of $100 million in the next 90 days, two senior administration officials said.
$100 million? After his near-trillion dollar stimulus bill and his multi-trillion dollar budget? A trillion is a thousand billion, and a billion is ten times the amount of savings Obama is trumpeting. $100 million is thus 1/10,000th of every trillion he just added to the budget. This is like lighting a cigar with a $100 dollar bill, and then bragging about picking up the nice, shiny penny he just spotted on the sidewalk.

Or, more precisely, when one recalls the nature of government as an agent of physical force, it's like Obama walked up to you, took a $100 bill at gunpoint, used it to light his cigar, and then promised you the nice, shiny penny he just picked up -- after it fell, unbeknownst to you, from a hole in your pocket. You would find this not only unjust, but insulting to your intelligence, would you not?

So why does Obama think he can get away with it?

I propose looking no further than his conservative "opposition", best exemplified by the self-proclaimed "pork busters," who, as I have said before, "[focus] on petty theft and [turn] a blind eye to grand larceny." So long as even his opposition regards spending on welfare state programs as legitimate -- as long as it's not "wasteful" -- Obama will have all the moral cover he needs to crow about being, as the Heritage Foundation might put it, "efficient."

The fact remains that Barack Obama is still a thief, and any welfare state "benefit" one might receive from the government is redistributed loot. Until more people stand up to the practice of the state stealing money, massive government theft will improperly be regarded as above question, and Barack Obama will get away with his pretense of responsibility. It's high time to end charades like this -- and the massive theft they try to cover -- by recalling the proper purpose of government and loudly insisting at every election on that instead.

-- CAV


Jaz said...

I loved the tone of this post. Especially your statement: "So long as even his opposition regards spending on welfare state programs as legitimate -- as long as it's not "wasteful" -- Obama will have all the moral cover he needs to crow about being, as the Heritage Foundation might put it, "efficient." "

I many a times wonder at that which is crystal clear about the repugnant nature and represhensiblity of all altruistic ideas and their flow then into the political realm in the form of statist/collectivistic ideals the morality of which most nobody is willing to question. So why are people so blind to them? (Most times I just want to cry out in despair -but can't people see through this crap -it is oh so wrong and the path it is leading them up to -destruction of all?) People commit massive evasions in some form of another-it is like they want to only think so far and then just let go at the most crucial point of the thought process-where tough questions finally need to be answered and reality needs to be squarely faced.

Inspite some of this knowledge of irrationalities committed they still remain as bothersome questions to the mind.

Economist Ludwig von Mises wrote many a times that the defeat of liberal philosophy (the original term "liberals" from the late 17-18th centuries who were for limited governments and laissez-faire economies) and their greatest error of omission was in the fact that they believed that what they had discovered and written about and was soon proven with the unprecedented improvement in man's life on earth as never seen before in the history of mankind would soon become self-evident to all.
These truths of course are not self-evident.These truths have a long line of thinking, connections to be made and integrated and communicated to the general public with tomes and tomes written. Through the transmission belts of popular media then permeating the culture with the morality of rational self-interest of individuals, and, with that as its source, this nation as well.

Then again, there is nothing mystifying about -"My life is mine to live" -to even a simpleton is there??

I can see where the Age of Reason intellectuals/liberals would have erred in their powers of persuasion.

Most importantly, they of course did not have the great truths discovered by Ayn Rand at their disposal -fundamentally the questioning of the moral code of altruism and exposing its actual immorality and evils. Intellectually, thus, we are armed with a lot more and have far greater odds of success, hopefully.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks, and I agree that this time around we have the advantage of understanding the need to defend capitalism on moral grounds.

I think that many people can see on one level that their own life is their own to live, and that capitalism (to the degree that they understand it properly) brings prosperity, but to tie the two together and actually stand up for capitalism will require people to understand a rational, egoistic morality. And to reach that point, people will have to realize that to leave moral questions up to others is ultimately to take marching orders from them.

Americans are fortunately, on the whole, implicitly selfish enough to not want THAT.


Andrew Dalton said...

There is no way to significantly cut federal spending without cutting Social Security and Medicare. We don't need reductions in "waste," increased "efficiency," and so on--but deep, serious, and permanent cuts.

The litmus test for whether any advocate of "small government" is our ally is to ask them about Social Security and Medicare. If they don't have major cuts to these programs in their plan, or if they merely want to rearrange the deck chairs, then they are not really on our side.

Gus Van Horn said...

And at best, they have a ton to learn.

Galileo Blogs said...

Great post, Gus. I almost dropped my newspaper (well, actually I was reading it online, so I am not sure what I would have dropped) when I read that Obama wanted to save $100 million. Incredible.

Your analysis of it is perfect.

I would add that this is a perfect illustration of why the battle can only be fought on moral grounds. The immorality of government violating our rights by taking even a dollar from us must be challenged.

Obama's ploy is so obvious that only a conservative who argues on "efficiency" grounds could fall for it.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, GB.

FWIW, I encountered another analysis -- I forget where and can't scrounge it up with Google -- that suggested he's using the alleged insensitivity of "people" to degree, like he's drinking the Kool-Aid of someone like a Cass Sunstein.

By the looks of it, even many rank-and-file journalists were hip to this.

Still, most are only bemused, and what little outrage there is WILL dissipate without the moral conviction behind it.