After 43 straight months of unemployment over 8%, our President still believes a government which spends big and taxes more will create prosperity. His policies are out of sync with what we know works.
During Wednesday night’s debate, perhaps the most overlooked question asked was that of the proper role of government. In his answer, President Obama revealed a personal ideology that is fundamentally at odds with economic freedom. For Obama, there is no consideration that government might have a specific, Constitutionally-limited role which it ought to do well, but beyond which was exceeding its authority. The President envisions an ever expanding federal government, constantly pushing itself further into our daily lives through entitlement spending, regulation, and greater oversight.
That conflict of vision was clearly on display as Governor Romney aggressively called out the President for $90 billion wasted on ‘green energy’ schemes. In cases like Solyndra and Fisker, Obama didn’t pick winners and losers, he simply picked losers - and stuck taxpayers with the tab.
It is revealing that Obama didn’t bother to defend spending billions on green energy projects boondoggles. To him, that’s the proper role of government. In fact, we heard calls for even more spending, when Obama argued that taxpayers should hire 100,000 new teachers to teach high school math and science programs. He stated that the federal government should make this “investment” because states can’t. Yet states can’t afford more expenses because thankfully they must, under their state laws, balance their budgets. They have meaningful spending constraints.
Throughout the debate, President Obama seemed unaware of any connection between high unemployment and his own policies. He shrugged off responsibility, blamed his predecessor, and doubled down on the same ideas that have hurt small businesses and left the economy languishing in the most sluggish ‘recovery’ in modern history.
The President fundamentally believes that increased revenue, as he called it, will help the government create jobs. While ‘increased revenue’ may sound appealing to many out-of-touch liberals, the reality is that higher taxes will never lead to sustained economic growth. Obama doesn’t realize that the government can never really create jobs – it can only spend taxpayer dollars while creating temporary bubbles. Excessive taxing takes away hard-earned dollars from citizens and gives it to a highly inefficient, wasteful federal government which uses that money for a growing list of non-essential functions. Yet to President Obama, the role of government is to provide an endless list of "services" decided upon by political elites, and we taxpayers should gratefully pay whatever is needed.
In contrast, Governor Romney cited the true authority on the role of government - the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. These founding documents enumerate the principles that have led our country to become the economic beacon of the world. By allowing Americans to pursue their own version of happiness and not limiting them with excessive regulation and punitive taxes, individuals are empowered to invent new products, create jobs, and grow their business – which in turn grows the economy as a whole.
In the aftermath of Wednesday night’s presidential debate one thing has become clear. The President is committed to his vision of bigger government, believing that to be its proper role. But after four years, it’s clear that the path Obama advocates is one of more spending, larger debt, fewer jobs and higher taxes; continuing the same slow economy that has become the crisis of the Obama Administration.
Editors' note: this article has been updated to reflect the most recent jobs numbers.