• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: We Still Hold These Truths

    A year ago this week, the American people elected a President who had promised during the campaign that he would: “cut taxes for 95% of workers and their families,” expand the Army by 65,000 and the Marines by 27,000, and enact “a net spending cut” for the federal government. Lower taxes, a strong defense and shrinking the size of government. Those are all core conservative beliefs. Accordingly, President Barack Obama entered the White House with sky high approval ratings.

    But since being sworn into office, President Obama has raised taxes, weakened our defenses, and overseen arguably the largest expansion of government ever. As a result President Obama’s approval ratings have steadily declined, and the American people have only become more conservative. According to Gallup, Americans, by a 2-to-1 margin, say their political views in recent years have become more conservative. While independents and Democrats most often say their views haven’t changed, more members of all three major partisan groups indicate that their views have shifted to the right rather than to the left.

    And this is before the more radical elements of the Obama agenda are to be forced on the American people. Both the cap and trade and health care legislation currently moving through Congress will transfer unprecedented power from the private sector to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington. Search the texts of each bill for the phrase “shall” or “may establish.” Every time these phrases appear in these bills, the left in Congress is empowering unelected Obama Czars at the expense of your liberties. And this is not by accident. The empowerment of unelected bureaucrats is at the very core of Obama’s progressive agenda. Hillsdale College Associate Professor of Political Science Ronald Pestritto explains:

    It is the Progressives’ desire to free bureaucratic agencies from the confines of politics and the law that allows us to trace the origins of the administrative state to their political thought. The idea of separating politics and administration–of grounding a significant portion of government not on the basis of popular consent but on expertise–was a fundamental aim of American Progressivism and explains the Progressives’ fierce assault on the Founders’ separation-of-powers constitutionalism.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Center for American Studies Director Matthew Spalding details the rise of the progressive movement and their assault on the founding principles of our nation in his new book, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future. The book is built around 10 foundational principles that created a free, prosperous and just nation unlike any other: Liberty, Equality, Natural Rights, Consent of the Governed, Religious Freedom, Private Property, The Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, Self-Government, and Independence.

    The progressive movement represents a threat to these founding principles. For the left, “progress” means fundamentally transforming America with a new form of government that will engineer a “better” society by assuring equal outcomes. It would redistribute wealth through a distant, patronizing welfare state that regulates more and more of the economy, politics and society. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society were grand steps toward achieving the progressive platform.

    We Still Hold These Truths offers a different direction. Spalding makes the case that we don’t need to remake America, or discover new and untested principles. We need a great renewal of the true roots of American greatness–and a radical reapplication of America’s core principles to the great questions of our day.

    These core principles can be the source of a new and unified American conservatism, one that reminds economic conser­vatives that morality and self-reliance are essential to limited govern­ment, reminds cultural conservatives that unlimited government threatens moral self-government, and reminds national-security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to safety at home and prominence in the world.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to ABC News, even using the White House’s most optimistic job numbers, Obama’s failed stimulus has spent $160,000 for every job “saved or created.”
    • Many communities hit hardest by job losses, those built around dying factories and mills, have been slowest to see relief from Obama’s failed stimulus plan.
    • According to recently released White House records, Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern has been the top visitor to the White House, with National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan also in the top ten.
    • The ACORN affiliated Working Families Party is citing the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination to withhold documents related to whether the WFP is scamming the campaign finance system.
    • Claremont Review of Books contributing editor William Voegeli details why California’s high-benefit/high-tax model no longer works.
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to Morning Bell: We Still Hold These Truths

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      What "taxes" has Obama RAISED?

      He Cut Taxes with the MORE TAKE-HOME PAY TAX CUT

      that HF won't even mention.

    2. Lawrence Runke, Clar says:

      The "Rule of law" must be based upon the Constitution which is based upon the Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that (1)All men are created equal,(2)that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.(3)–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, (4)–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form…

      Laws not based upon these documents and these four (4) dictums are invalid and are not the "Rule of law" but are the "Rule of Tyranny".

      Lawrence Carl Runke

    3. Mary, WI says:

      It's too late to do anything at this point. The left is going to pass whatever they want and to hell with what the majority of Americans want. THEY HAVE TO BE VOTED OUT IN 2010 AND AGAIN IN 2012!!!! And then this country will have to slowly climb it's way out of the dung hole the left has thrown us down to make this country great again.

      Perhaps all the new tax increases beginning in 2010 will awaken those too ignorant to see what's happening now. We can only hope.

    4. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Obama is a liar, a revolutionary and an anti-American It is in the nature of a revolutionary that he never speak the truth lest people become aware of his true intentions and stop him from accomplishing his agenda.

      Obama's agenda is now as clear as day; he is a progressive Marxist and will destroy our Country if good men stand by and lament his evil doings, but do nothing to stop him. He must be denounced on the floors of Congress and in public gatherings.

      People must realize that Obama was not elected 'King', although he seems to believe he is: 'King Obama'! He is usurping 'Powers' that were never intended, nor are permitted in our Constitution.

      He must be Impeached before he and his gang of Chicago thugs do so much more harm, that we will be finished as the best and most free Nation the world has EVER known. He does not deserve the respect that we normally show any President. He does not deserve any.

      Obama has never spoken the direct truth to the populace. People need to look beyond the image of 'Hollywood' Obama and recognize the devil that he is!

    5. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Obama Marxism and socialism not a surprise to any of us that could look past the media lies and the distortion efforts put out by the Obama campaign. What is still a surprise is that Obama

      has about a 50% approval ratting. Are their that many people that still cannot see who and what Obama is? The most important question is will these people wake up in time to save this country.

    6. jim toledo says:

      It looks like the first battle's of Revolution to take back the Constitution will be in New Yorks district 23, New Jersey and Virginia. I just hope the patroits have enough 'will' to fight and ulktimately vote the democrats out of office. Regardless of what happens, I'm sure the spin is really going to get spun, so, we can only hope the troops on the ground have the will to do what is right.

    7. Tom, Houston says:

      What do you expect from the pied piper of Illinois? He, like most politicians on each side of the isle, will tell voters whatever they want to hear in order to get elected. Maybe instead of a campaign debate between the two candidates, they each take a lie detector test on what they intend to do – that is something I will watch.

    8. Prevailer76AZ says:

      Obama's soft approach to support of our military and the sacrifices made so far in the interest of freedom from terrorism for us and others empowers the terrorists. With their recent activities taking the lives of so many in the Mideast regions, the terrorists have responded by metaphorically sticking their finger in Obama's eye.


      We really have to get back to the basics. First,impeachment Obama. Second,kick the rest of them to the curb and start over with term limits.

      In addition,any law that applies to the general public also applies to the members of congress. Enforce the the laws already on the books against fraud,waste and abuse. We have to take a stand before it's too late. Don't let the commies have this country.

    10. Jim Cowen Jr Westla says:

      Bankrupting our economic system was not what was intended when Pres BO was elected last Nov.."Be careful what you wish for/ there may be unintended consequences" .. Liberals are now seeing what "Change" means and my liberal friends are not happy.. We all deserve better from our legislators..The administration is continuing this hoax and fraud on the American people..Keep up the monitoring of the liberal/progressive/socialistic base ..

    11. Roy Callahan, Gaines says:

      Well written and well said. I just wish someone would point out that Article 1, Section 8 was never amended to allow congress to enact social security, medicare, and medicaid and control the economy the way it does. Enactment of the 16th and 17th Amendment radically changed the property rights or Americans and the idea of "Representative Government." We had the perfect plan from the onset. We need to get back to that perfect plan.

    12. Publius Huldah, Cook says:

      Oh, yes, the Progressives are our deadly enemies.

      Samuel L. Blumenfeld describes in his book, "Is Public Education Necessary?", how in the 1840's, education in America began to be transformed FROM the Traditional View that the purpose of education is the development of an individuals's intellectual skills plus moral education based on Judeo-Christian ideals; TO the progressive view that education is a tool for social & cultural reform to be achieved by the remaking of human nature.

      The progressives won the battle. And that is why Americans can't think and know nothing.


    13. joan, connecticut says:

      The president gave General McChrystal about 28 minutes to talk about the Afghanistan war. What an insult to hear that he gives more time to the election campaigns of failing DEMOCRATS. "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN ." I don't think so. Our armed forces are putting their lives on the line, but the democratic party lifetime careers come first,after all someone has to vote the party line to insure the pork keeps on coming.It is discouraging to see the what is happening to our Great country!

    14. Tucano Fulano, Calif says:

      It makes no sense at all to allow any immigration at all till well after every American who wants a job actually has a job.

      California, and the USA, is insolvent because Mr Obama encourages and uses American taxpayer monies to support Illegal Aliens, and refuses to demand that current laws be enforced regarding deportation of Illegal Aliens already, criminally, within the USA's borders.

    15. Crane, Louisiana says:

      Mr. Wilson was correct, maybe not the appropriate time. Lies, Lies, Lies. I don't see how President Obama can get by with all the things he promised and has deliberately, openly, and without conscience done just the opposite. Surely, there is a Watchdog for the Presidency. What he is doing is disgusting and scary. It seems to me Impeachment should be the Order of the Day before it is too late. Pelosi and Reid need to go, too.

    16. Corky says:

      obama took an OATHE to uphold the CONSTITUTION and he is NOT doing it. Congress took an OATHE to uphold the CONSTITUTION and they are NOT doing it.

      The Administration is putting our Country in HARMS way with what it is doing. IS THIS NOT TREASON? If I do something to hurt my Country am I not held accountable? What happens if we are attacked because the administration has cut back military spending? He HAS put us in the POOR HOUSE and we are losing allies….How much more are you going to take AMERICANS?????

    17. Robert says:

      Obama's promises on the campaign are exactly 180 degrees of what he is actually doing. We were told about his radical cronies but nobody listened and ACORN had a major hand in the radical liberals gaining power. I think it took these Marxist and Mao revolutionaries to wake up the American people and I hope it's not too late. We must adopt lie detectors to go along with debates in future campaigns…

    18. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      I abhor Progressives' idealism because they want me to believe that they have my best interests at heart and can effectively create an environment that can nurture me better than I can for myself. I call this slavery.

      Once the Progressives' idealism controls my body, then they will migrate to my mind. I call this tyranny.

      Sic Semper Tyrannis

    19. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      The Republican Party needs to get back to the principals that made the Republicans the Conservative Party. The dems have always been the give me party, very liberal with othe peoples money, as well as their rights. They have also been the ones to forget the Constitution and what it meant. We the people have been kicked to the side by obama and the dems. They are all about the power and controll of everything in this country, yet when the people protest they label them as un-american, or terroist. We the people need to get out and vote in 2010, let the liberals know we will not become a socialist country, or a country that will follow a dictator. THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE. THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN THIS FACT, FOR THE PURE REASON THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE NOT VOTED IN THE PAST ELECTION. IT IS TIME THIS CAME TO A HALT. VOTE!!!!!!

    20. E Fresquez says:

      president obama has done none of his promise's. he has created a Chicago mafia administration and is working hard at taking away our F–R–E–E–D–o–m. What more could the liberal government want from us but our total freedom.

    21. jim sardis,ms says:

      the republican party is lost unless new conservative leadership is installed and compromises stopped in different parts of the country to try to steal liberal votes from the democrats.more liberal/moderates will only provide more specters,snowes,McCain's and grahams which will vote with the democrats anyway.this is why we have no republican senate.we have rinos.

    22. Jim@Redding,CA says:

      One solution is available to get rid of the idiots in DC: VOTE OUT EVERY INEFFEC-

      TIVE INCUMBENT (about 95%). Of course it

      will require us to actually do some re-

      search into these people and those running

      against them, so get on your reading clothes and get busy! If there's even a

      HINT of ambiguity or liberal leanings then

      vote against them, and, just because they

      SAY they're "Republican" doesn't mean they

      have actual conservative values like that

      ACORN approved woman in New York.

      You and I can get rid of them by voting

      them out.

    23. Dulyn Redding CA says:

      Norman Thomas said this in a 1944 speech: The Prophesy is here to bite us! 65 years later


      Norman Mattoon Thomas , a leading American socialist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America . said this in a 1944 speech:

      "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of "liberalism," they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without

      knowing how it happened." He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.

    24. Mary, WI says:

      Obama let the Bush tax cuts stay for this year….that's why you've seen a decrease in the amount of taxes taken from your paychecks. Obama's tax schedule comes out in 2010. Hold on to your wallet out there in LasVegas. And if Cap and Trade is passed you WILL be paying so much more for electricity, etc….that's a tax!! National Healthcare….that's a BIG tax increase too!

    25. Joseph C, Moore, Cpo says:

      I wanted to be wrong (about Obama) but I told you so!

    26. Judith in Michigan says:

      Is it just a coincidence that the partial visitor list for last 6 months just released from the White House includes Andy Stern, head of SEIU union,(20 visits), and George Soros (2 visits)?

      Also listed are Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and Michael Moore (but these are not THOSE infamous people we are told, just others with the same names!!), and various other champions of the Progressive movement.

      Were they just getting the grand tour, or were they discussing policy and strategy?

      The United States of America is in serious trouble.

    27. Bobbie Jay says:


      and the president knows it…

    28. Manny, New Jersey says:

      President Obama, swore an oath on the Bible to defend and uphold the Constitution of these United States of America. It seems to me that he is doing all he can to destroy that Constitution. Isn't that a form of Treason? Can he be Impeached for this.

    29. robert sargent sr.we says:

      obama is not running our country.andy stern,george soros,and bill ayers are in the white house they are tearing our country apart.glen beck is right on the money.these usurpers will make us walk in lock step.they have congress and the senate in their pockets.the american people will aways win no matter what they throw at republic.

    30. Chris J. FIgueroa N, says:

      This socialist government must be knocked of course. Im sick of government telling us how to live. I'm done with government taking my hard earned tax money and spend it on programs (welfare) for one, while I bust my hump and they watch me work for them and I'm done with looking like the sucker…

    31. Kathy, Kettering, OH says:

      The jobs saved/created has bounced all over the spectrum. Could you run a graph of different fed admin in the WH with the numbers over a time line since stimulus created?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.