What’s more important: the wellbeing of each individual citizen in America, or the wellbeing of government?
One of the reasons that the United States occupies a distinguished place in the world is because the American founders prioritized the wellbeing of the individual person. Government, the founders believed, should be the servant of individual people. This was a rather significant departure from the view that individual people should be the servant of their all-important government.
Unfortunately, many Americans today prioritize the wellbeing of government above all else. Take for example our President, Barack Obama.
Throughout the debate over our nation’s debt and deficit, President Obama has made it clear that politicians and bureaucrats must be permitted to go on spending money as they see fit. Any limitations on government borrowing or government’s ability to collect taxes will result in calamity, whereas borrowing and taxing will enable all the societal goodness that can exist.
The President’s vision defies historical fact. But here’s a quote from a press conference on July 16th, where he addressed the public pressure to curb government spending, that he and the Congress have been facing:
“….Some of these decisions are tough…but they don’t require us to gut Medicare or Social Security…they don’t require us to stop helpin’ young people go to college…they don’t require us to stop, you know, helpin’ families that have got a disabled child…they don’t require us to violate our obligations to our veterans…and they don’t require quote-un-quote job killing tax cuts…”
Much of this is simply rhetorical. Nobody has proposed “gutting” Medicare or Social Security. Nobody in Congress has suggested that college students or parents of disabled children should be abandoned.
But notice President Obama’s choice of words about taxation – “job killing tax cuts.” Nobody who has even a remote acquaintance with basic economic concepts actually believes that allowing private individuals to retain more of their own wealth decreases “job creation.” Indeed it’s just the opposite – the more wealth that individuals can keep for themselves, the more likely it is that they will invest money in business enterprises that will lead to employment opportunities. Yet, there he is, the leader of the free world, fussing over alleged “job killing tax cuts.”
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.