Obama’s Irresponsible “Responsibility”

Terry Paulson
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Posted: Mar 02, 2009 12:00 AM

After watching President Obama’s address to the joint session of Congress and Governor Bobby Jindal’s Republican reply, it’s clear that Americans have two very different definitions of what it means to be “responsible.”

President Obama and his Democratic friends are spending like they’re playing with Monopoly money. His lofty rhetoric and reassuring phrases have no resemblance to the reality he’s creating. He challenges Americans to “take responsibility for our future once more….our job is to govern with a sense of responsibility…there’s no bailout for dishonest lenders who acted irresponsibly or for folks who bought homes they knew from the beginning they would never be able to afford.”

But his administration continues to bailout irresponsible financial institutions, to save poorly run companies and throw funds at bankrupt states and cities who aren’t fiscally responsible enough to curtail their own runaway costs and unnecessary programs. Instead of letting them fail and cope with the consequences, they delay the inevitable by continuing to give them more money.

Most empathize with those Americans who thought the good times would always roll, who failed to save enough money to weather through the tough times and who never read the fine print in their mortgages. Life’s lessons are often painful, but, instead of letting such citizens learn from their mistakes, the Democrats keep bailing them out. Who pays the price? Responsible citizens who are left with no mortgage relief and higher taxes.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Americans are complaining because the “other guys” are paying the bill! With the tax cuts already enacted, for the first time in history, over 51% of Americans will end up paying no income taxes. For the top 5% of American tax payers, it’s a very different story. Since 1980, this group of Americans has seen their share of the income tax load go from 35 percent to nearly 60%. Obama’s Democratic storm troopers don’t feel that’s enough! This isn’t shared sacrifice—it’s forced confiscation.

It’s said that the rich are greedy. It’s true that increased wealth is often one of the byproducts of success in business, but most rich Americans are far from greedy. They fund important charities; they save and invest more than they spend. They’ve taken responsibility for their own future, but now they’re being penalized for their success.

Could it be that the real greed lies in the citizens who covet what the rich have earned and are all too ready to elect politicians who are willing to legitimize the confiscation of that wealth? The America that the Democrats want to create has moved beyond “equal rights” to promise “equal results!” Far too many Americans feel they’re entitled to a world without failure, to healthcare they can afford, high-paying jobs that are secure and a home they can keep whether they can afford it or not. Doing without is no longer an option!

President Obama and the Democrats want you to believe that only government can save America from a dark economic future. Waiting in line for Washington handouts won’t save the “American Dream!” Americans invent the future by finding better ways to serve customers and to drive new innovations into the marketplace!

Americans aren’t just facing an economic crisis. This is a crisis of confidence! We don’t just lack trust in our banks, the stock market and our politicians. We’re losing faith in ourselves.

When President Reagan came to office facing a recession and runaway inflation, he didn’t tell Americans that government was the answer. There was no massive stimulus package to save “helpless” Americans facing foreclosures or job losses. He challenged citizens to use their skills and innovation to bring America back. His rock-solid confidence in Americans came through when he’d say: “I’m not taking your time this evening to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Governor Jindal’s Republican response struck a similar chord: “We appreciate (President Obama’s) message of hope, but sometimes it seems we look for hope in different places. Democratic leaders in Washington place their hope in the federal government. We place our hope in you, the American people. … We oppose the National Democrats' view that says -- the way to strengthen our country is to increase dependence on government. We believe the way to strengthen our country is to restrain spending in Washington, and empower individuals and small businesses to grow our economy and create jobs.”

President Obama is right when he said: “We will rebuild, we will recover and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.” But that recovery won’t come faster by taking from responsible Americans to fund irresponsible Americans. The Democrats aren’t only overreaching, over spending and over taxing; they’re sowing the seeds of their removal from power.