Ron Morley's Freedom Blog

This is the place where I do my little bit to explain the evils of the State.

January 2009 - Posts

What President Obama could have said

Newly sworn-in President Barak H. Obama could have said a lot of things during his inaugural address today. He could have said that he recognizes that the current financial crisis is a direct result of interference by the Federal government in the workings of the marketplace. He could have said that he understands that Federal policies aimed at extending credit to those who could not afford it fueled the fires under the housing bubble. He could have said that it is now obvious that Federal regulatory policies have led to marketplace collapses of unprecedented magnitude and that those policies need to be not simply re-examined, but scrapped wholesale so that the markets in the United States could indeed be called “free”, not simply in the rhetoric of politicians, but in reality. President Obama could have admitted that his proposed economic stimulus package is economically wasteful, inefficient, and likely to prolong the economic problems that it is supposed to solve.

President Obama could have said that no more bailouts will be provided to any business or group which finds itself in economic trouble. He could have called for an immediate halt to the on-going process of the nationalization of large parts of the American economy. He could have forthrightly said that the Federal gravy train for UAW workers, in the guise of the “bailout” of the Detroit automakers, and for Wall Street bankers in the form of TARP funds, is going to come to a screeching halt. He could have said that it is unfair, unethical, and economically unsound practice to require taxpayers who make less than UAW workers and Wall Street bankers and brokers to support those who wantonly gutted the companies which provided them employment. The new President could have said that he realizes that the only way out of the economic mess we find ourselves in is to allow a marketplace free of restrictive Federal regulation to sort itself out and reallocate the malinvestments, that have been made over the last couple of decades because of misguided Federal policies, so that assets are once again usefully employed and people are able to find work in private enterprise instead of within some gigantic make work Federal program which will simply suck the lifeblood out of private enterprise.

President Obama could have said that the Federal government will no longer be in the business of choosing who will win and who will lose in the marketplace. He could have announced that he would begin this process by canceling his much-ballyhooed plan to spend billions of Federal dollars on“green” technology. He could have said that , after careful study, he now understands that the best way out of the health-care crisis that this nation finds itself in is to get the Federal government out of the business of paying for, providing, and regulating health-care. He could have forthrightly recognized that much of each dollar spent on health-care in this country is the direct result of providers having to pay for the expense of ineffective and unnecessary Federal regulation of the health-care marketplace. He could have said that, after further study, he understands that any government-funded health-care system automatically leads to the rationing of health-care resources. He could have said that he realizes that the way to lower health-care costs is to remove Federal regulation and allow competition to determine the price and availability of health-care services.

The newly inaugurated President could have said that he intends to abide by the oath which he took to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” and that he would begin that process by vetoing any bill which falls outside the list of eighteen items found in Article I, Section 8 of that document. He could have called for the immediate reigning in of the power of the Federal government by saying that he would immediately disband Federal agencies such as Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Labor Department, the Surface Transportation Board, and every other Federal bureau and agency not authorized in the explicit and plain language of the Constitution. He could have said that he plans on making the expansion of liberty the keystone of his new administration, not by expanding the reach of Federal regulators to control what American citizens can do, but by disbanding those agencies which are not only unconstitutional, but are also counterproductive so far as the expansion of liberty is concerned. President Obama could have admitted that our government has strayed very far from the vision of a free nation, inhabited by citizens for whom the government acts as an enabler of liberty, rather than the restrictive beast that it has become. He could have gone on to say that he will begin immediately to dismantle the liberty-destroying apparatus of the Federal regulatory state which has grown up since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's open assault on the classical liberalism that this nation was founded upon.

However, President Obama chose not to say any of those things. Instead, he focused on how the role of the Federal government will expand under his administration: “this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control “ is as direct a statement that he intends to expand the interference of the Federal government in the marketplace as one will get in an inaugural address. He intends to go ahead with his economically foolish “stimulus” plan by stating, “...we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together...” He went on to say that, “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. “ There is no recognition here that it is the State itself which is the cause of much of our current distress. Instead, we will be served up more of the same: more Federal government regulation, more Federal spending (under a misguided belief in Keynesian economics), more Federal interference in the marketplace, and certainly, a continuation of the process of nationalizing yet more pieces of the American economy. President Barak Obama did indeed have an opportunity to lay out a plan for making a radical break with America's immediate past, and a return to the principles upon which this nation was founded and which served it well until certain “progressive” politicians decided that they knew better how to live the lives of ordinary American's, than did those citizens themselves. There will be no real change, no recognition that the current way of doing things simply does not work, but is, simply put, destructive of that freedom which the new President claims to hold in such high regard. Because the old policies have signally failed there is no reason to believe that the so-called “new” policies, which are, in reality, merely rehashes of tired liberal programs and goals, will fare any better. The American people are in for yet more disappointment and disillusionment. Perhaps this time they will recognize that electing another Democrat or Republican will not change things, and that the way forward is to vote for those candidates who actively support the libertarian principles that made this nation great. To continue to do otherwise is simply to prove that, according to Einstein's definition of insanity (repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting different results), the American body-politic is far from sane.