"So I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary." Those unfamiliar with history may not recall that this was exactly what Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler asked their legislatures to do in creating National Socialism. In the midst of rising unemployment and economic crisis, both men asked for and got legislation to do what was "necessary" and promised new private-sector jobs would be generated by government-funded programs, new tax laws and novel "lending rules." It worked. Private companies did hire workers to build rail systems and highways. They also invigorated auto industries and, in Germany, the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world. The rest is history we all know.
"In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry." Not true. Our transcontinental railroad, arguably the greatest engineering feat of the 19th century, began in 1830 and was not completed until 1869, as a private-sector venture. The federal government's role was limited to "eminent domain" land seizures, authorizing the import of immigrant laborers, guaranteeing private bank loans, and approving the actions of administrators in federal territories.
"I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it." Great line, but wrong. The first "automobile" (a French word) was invented by Frenchman Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769. In 1862, French inventor Alphonse Beau de Rochas built a car powered by an internal-combustion engine. Karl Benz, a German, was issued the first patent for a "self-powered car," in 1886. Henry Ford was the first to mass-produce automobiles -- starting in 1913 -- and he did it without any money from the U.S. government.
Mr. Obama said his budget "makes the largest investment ever in preventive care … (in order) to keep our people healthy and our costs under control." Polio, once deemed to be the No. 1 health threat in the U.S., was all but eliminated by Jonas Salk. Beginning in 1947, Salk conducted research at the University of Pittsburgh. The research was funded by private charity, not government.
"This budget supports (a) historic investment in education." But according to the UNESCO Global Education Digest, even before this "investment," the United States had the world's highest per capita spending on education -- with just 4 percent of the world's children -- and 28 percent of global education expenditures. Clearly, lack of money isn't the problem.
Mr. Obama said, "We're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use." But if we don't buy ballistic missile defense, upgraded nuclear weapons, submarines, F-22s, F-35s, V-22s and aircraft carriers and replace equipment that's worn-out after eight years of war, how do we deter our adversaries or even fight back when we're attacked?
Truth be told, this isn't an "economic recovery budget." It is a Lyndon Johnson plan. In the midst of "crisis," a controversial war and an economic slowdown, we're being told that we need a massive expansion of the federal government, higher taxes, more debt for our children, and defense cuts that are tantamount to unilateral disarmament.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.