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  • Morning Bell: What is the American Idea?

    What is the American idea? That all depends on whom you ask. According to President Barack Obama, it’s the notion that the federal government is the answer to America’s problems, and that through its intervention–by sheer force of spending–it can create a brighter future for all Americans.

    There’s a different view, though, that has again found its voice in the past year. It’s the idea that America is at its best when its people are allowed to be free and produce, not thanks to the government or even in spite of it, but on their own merit and initiative. Yesterday, those two competing visions were on display–the former delivered in Denver by President Obama, and the latter in Washington at The Heritage Foundation by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

    In Colorado, President Obama announced his latest plan to stimulate the economy–a student loan giveaway paid for by the taxpayers. The President declared that, “When I wake up every single morning, what I’m thinking about is how do we create an America in which you have opportunity, in which anybody can make it if they try, no matter what they look like, no matter where they come from, no matter what race, what creed, what faith.” And, a few breaths later, he said that there’s only one way, only one force, that can achieve that outcome–the federal government:

    So the truth is the only way we can attack our economic challenges on the scale that’s necessary — the only way we can put hundreds of thousands of people, millions of people, back to work is if Congress is willing to cooperate with the executive branch and we are able to do some bold action — like passing the jobs bill.  That’s what we need.

    In an auditorium in Washington, Ryan offered a different vision of the American Idea, and it’s one that celebrates freedom and prosperity, individual achievement and opportunity:

    The American Idea belongs to all of us — inherited from our nation’s Founders, preserved by the countless sacrifices of our veterans, and advanced by visionary leaders, past and present.

    What makes America exceptional — what gives life to the American Idea — is our dedication to the self-evident truth that we are all created equal, giving us equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that means opportunity.

    Ryan said that it is in times like these, when America is struggling with unemployment and businesses are closing, that the American Idea is in jeopardy, that “America’s commitment to equality of opportunity is called into question.” Unfortunately, he explained, President Obama is responding to these challenges by giving in to the temptation of exploiting fear and envy by embracing petty and trivial rhetoric, avoiding making tough decisions on spending and the debt, and by attempting to score cheap political points instead of building consensus:

    Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were hallmarks of his first campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying on the emotions of fear, envy, and resentment.

    This has the potential to be just as damaging as his misguided policies. Sowing social unrest and class resentment makes America weaker, not stronger. Pitting one group against another only distracts us from the true sources of inequity in this country — corporate welfare that enriches the powerful, and empty promises that betray the powerless.

    Ryan points to the President’s policy decisions as evidence of damaging class warfare: higher taxes on the “rich” to pay for more failed stimulus spending; the EPA’s punishment of disfavored yet commercially competitive sources of energy, while doling out cash to politically favored alternatives; the National Labor Relations Board threatening hundreds of jobs by suing a company for politically motivated reasons; and granting Obamacare waivers to politically connected firms and unions, all while the rest of America wonders whether they will lose their health care coverage.

    All of this, Ryan says, points America toward a future where equality of outcome is favored over equality of opportunity, and where “a class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society.”

    In the House, Ryan has helped lead Congress to pursue a series of policies that promote an American Idea far different than the President’s. It involves spending within our means, reforming the tax code, and enacting meaningful entitlement reforms. Meanwhile, he points out, it has been more than 900 days since the President’s party has passed a budget in the Senate. Yet still we hear the steady drumbeat from the White House calling for more taxes and spending–none of which has mustered support within either chamber in Congress.

    While the President crosses the country, America is at a crossroads. Should it head toward bigger government in the fruitless pursuit of equal outcomes or restrain government so that equal opportunity can flourish? For the sake of the American Idea that the Founders envisioned, let’s hope our leaders make the right choice.

    Watch the full video and read the full text of Ryan’s speech at Foundry.org.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    52 Responses to Morning Bell: What is the American Idea?

    1. Charles Nystrom says:

      To counter Obama's view of an omniscient government, Paul Ryan speaks to the priniclples underlying America's greatness. But what troubles me is that Ryan alone has taken on Obama. Where are the other GOP leaders, like the third most powerful politiico in America, Speaker John Boehner or Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell? While viturally all current candidates for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination speak to a free America, the two most prominent GOP office holders remain mute.

      • Bingsley says:

        Charles:
        I agree 100% with your observations. Let's all remember our GOP mute and deaf come election day and purge them out of office along with the great Imposture-In-Chief, Barry O!!

      • Mike says:

        Right on Charles. My observation is that There is a higher power at work. A power that has taken of hold of both the Parties. Both parties serve the ideals of their master you know the one, the one who is designing the One World Government, The One who is planning for a One World Currency (cashless currency), the One who desires to destroy the Sovereignty of all nations, the One who does not recognize the INDIVIDUAL, does not recognize Individual's God given FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND ONES GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO PURSUE HAPPINESS. The One who wishes to make all of the elite wealthier and the rest WAGE SLAVES, DEBT SLAVES. The One who believes the population must be below 1 billion. The ONE the ELITE, the ONE GROUP OF ELITISTS that believe WE THE PEOPLE are not capable of living free. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA no longer have a representative government, but for a few who have held on to the ideals of our forefathers.

        • Mike says:

          Part 2:

          Why aren't the Paul Ryan's, The Allen West's of this country RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? WE NEED THEM NOW, NOT IN 2016 NOW!! What is keeping them from running and winning and helping to SAVE OUR NATION Which they all claim is teetering on the brink of no return! I say the fact they are not running is proof that both party's in conspiring on behalf of a greater power and power that threatens their well-being, a power they are beholden to, a power they will work for to change our form of Government. The Mayans were accurate 2012 will be the END OF DAYS and the beginning or a new SYSTEM OF THINGS.

    2. This is what Thomas Sowell calls a “Conflict of Visions” in his great book by that title. We are drifting towards fiscal, political and social collapse due to Obama’s statist vision, held by so many, which has created so much misery in the last 100 years. It is especially held by those who benefit when government takes money from those who earned it for those who didn’t. Edward Gibbon said it best: “In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.” I will link to this from my Old Jarhead blog.

      Robert A. Hall
      Author: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
      (All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans)
      For a free PDF of the book, write tartanmarine(at)gmail.com

      • Guest says:

        However, he would be unable to complete that statist vision without the help of the Congress that funds the programs…..There are 179 members of the House who vote in a manner that supports and defends the US Constitution 30% of the time OR LESS…many 0% of the time. We as a people must be aware of who we elect. For instance, are they honest? Virtuous? They give their WORD to support and defend our Constitution, therefore our individual liberty, and then they go to Washington and work for someone else. We have allowed 41% of our Congress to betray us and we re-elect them! Lying is just NOT OK, breaking a promise is NOT OK. Restore America…find out the voting record of your Rep and if it isn't over 90% elect someone else.

    3. ThomNJ says:

      I will grant that the media doesn't like to report the conservative ideas that are so important to our country's future, but in general, the Republicans are way too silent. Not enough outrage, not enough explanations, not enough of a coherent message. With the exception fo a few like Ryan, Palin and a very few more, the Republicans and Conservatives allow the left to dominate the airwaves. As a result, too much stuff that ought to be classified as outrageous gets a mere ho-hum from the press (if not completely ignoring it). A good example is the birth certificate issue. Whether or not the president was born here is almost irrelevant in the discussion about a piece of paper that the rest of us have had to show for lesser things – but the big issue is that the president got a pass for a criminal act. He so much does not want to show this little piece of paper that he had someone go out of their way to create a forgery (a felony) instead of just producing the document. And what happened? Nothing. No wonder the public shrugs off so much. Just where is the hope? Down there with the 9% approval rating of Congress.

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        Dr. Jerome Corsi agrees that The birth certificate is a forgery, he's not just any birther he's a PHD also wants to see BHO's college papers. If BHO's mother and step-father signed away his USA citizenship, he is not elligble to be in office, since he carried a foriegn passport and used Aid for foriegn students, there are a lot of questions and BHO needs to answer if illegal then all acts he signed would be Null and void.

      • Robert, TX says:

        Very true concerning the silent republicans. The 9% approval rating is a farce. The only way it would actually be true is if 487 incumbents are thrown OUT, and I doubt (I hope and pray that it will) that will ever happen.

    4. Eric G. Waxman III says:

      Part 1 of Comment:

      No one among the Republican presidential candidates possesses “the Ryan Factor.” As defined by Dan Henninger in his July 21st Wall Street Journal column and evidenced in its namesake, Wisconsin Representative and House Budget chairman, Paul Ryan, it is that skill set or specialized knowledge needed to do hand-to-hand policy combat with an incumbent President who represents a once-and-for-all assertion of Washington's primacy.

      Hence, disgruntlement with the current Republican roster, whose poll-driven strategies, lack of ability, or absence of conservative principles/inclinations, preclude a full-throated articulation and defense of conservative ideas and policy prescriptions.

      Simply running against the incumbent is usually insufficient, but the stunning incompetence of the current administration may make the strategy both irresistible and victorious. But without more, it will be an empty triumph. Winning by any margin may be a mandate, but for what? No candidate appears willing to go much beyond “anti-Obama” barbs. The President cannot transcend class warfare slogans and “do nothing Congress” accusations.

    5. Eric G. Waxman III says:

      Part 2 of Comment

      Henninger is right: the electorate is hungry for much more and would welcome engagement of civic debate on the terrain of ideas and policies.

      The real regret in this election is the failure of any of the articulate, engaged reformers who demonstrate the Ryan Factor to step forward and run. Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, even Chris Christie, forsake the call. All articulate understandable reasons. Each takes solace in the illusory notion that there is another election cycle.

      Too bad for us. The claims that this is a special time and a critical juncture are legion and usually the product of hubris and misperception. Not so for 2012. Many sense a tipping point. If entitlements are not restructured, if Obamacare reaches 2013 unrepealed, if the debate is not engaged now, then we may lack the will and the votes to address the issues later. “It’s getting late” is a tired refrain, but may apply here and now.

      Is there no Ryan-Factor possessing candidate willing to lay down the plow and answer history’s call?

    6. Ken Jarvis says:

      “What is the American idea? That all depends on whom you ask. “
      *** There is the HF’s America – ONLY FOR THE RICH.
      The Rest of us – Want the BEST for all.
      ===
      “According to President Barack Obama, it's the notion that the federal government is the answer to America's problems, and that through its intervention–by sheer force of spending–it can create a brighter future for all Americans.”

      *** WRONG!!!
      Look at what he is for –
      HCare for ALL
      Consumer Protection
      Regulation of Financial Institutions
      Plan to help ease the debt burden of college students.
      Help veterans find jobs
      Make it easier for struggling homeowners to refinance mortgages."

      I side with OUR PREZ.
      =====
      FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com
      Fight the GOOD Fight, Keep the Faith, and THINGS WILL GET BETTER – they always have.
      TRUTH = THINGS WILL GET BETTER.

      • lights on says:

        Mr. Jarvis, for all you mentioned is the dignity of ones own. Why are you so giving to government and their wasted expense, in control of our matters regarding our personal responsibilities? Why won't you let my children work for a living taking care of and dealing with their own throughout their lifes experiences? Why are you destroying their opportunity to make something of themselves like Russel Simmons or Chris Mathews or George Soros or Oprah without the influence of government less their costs? Why do you want to take America away from my family? Why do you insist people depend on government instead of self reliance and or each other like it was before this mess of crisis' of today caused by government intervention? and really Mr. Jarvis, what this government says they need money and will spend it on is a far cry from where it gets to…

      • lights on says:

        we're for freedom and all moral, positive human qualities that go with!…

    7. Gene in Alabama says:

      I tried to e-mail Mr. Ryan yesterday which failed because of not being a resident of Wisconsin. Therefore, within this format, I want to express my gratitude to him for stepping up to the plate and delivering a message which needs to be on the agenda of all the GOP contenders and our current GOP leaders. Since the mainstream media will not deliver this message, every opportunity to express and convey the differences which exist in America today needs to be proclaimed by everyone mentioned at every opportunity. In other words, we need to take Mr. Paul Ryan's approach – take the ball and stay on offence from now until November 2012. In my opinion, this is the better counter to the radical left's crap rather than just defending. I want to personally thank the Honorable Representative Ryan for taking his message to America and hope that more like him will follow suit ! This message is written by a USW worker and officer in a local union, a conservative, a proud English speaking American with two uncles alive today from Pearl, a christian, a father & grandfather, and a concerned citizen who doesn't want to lose the America I have always known!

      Gene Blazer

    8. Shirley Dittman says:

      The more I read about the Obama policies (change?), the more I associate his objectives with the goals of the ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and Agenda 21 of the United Nations. There is definitely a change these people want and it's control over our current freedoms. This is scary business and I urge everyone to become more educated on what is really happening behind the scenes. I've just started my research and it has been an eye opener. The movement is bigger than I ever imagined. ICLEI is a threat to private property ownership and our constitutional rights. Obama is definitely following their objectives of sustainable development to focus on global land use, global education, global population control and global redistribution of wealth.
      One Reference: Agenda 21 In One Easy Lesson http://americanpolicy.org/sustainable-development

      I agree with Representative Ryan – the vision for our country should be one that celebrates freedom and prosperity, individual achievement and opportunity. I don't want a United Nations telling our country how to live. I definitely don't want a President that bypasses Congress because he's not getting his ideas shoved down the throats of U.S. citizens.

      • ThomNJ says:

        You are quite right – I did some research on Agenda 21 in the past – pretty darn frightening to say the least.

        I would enjoy seeing a new president step forward and declare that the UN interests do not intersect with the interests of the citizens of the USA, and in fact, runs quite counter to our interests, therefore we are pulling the plug and asking them to leave our shores along with our membership in same.

    9. KC - NM says:

      Ryan is right, Obama is wrong, well duh! Our society and the greatness of America are on decline and have significantly deteriorated over that last three years. The lack of accountability, authority and real responsibility by our nation’s leaders (on both sides) has and continues to cripple this great country. Even in the business world – leaders do not own up to their responsibilities today and make the tough decisions. We are held captive by unions, regulators, un-educated individuals, individuals who only believe they are entitled to the free handouts, and out-dated federal programs. We no longer have dedicated leaders focused on this country – they are only self serving. Obama and his team are examples of this – a smooth talker but no action and no results. The polls show that mainstream America is fed up! Yet the liberal media is only interested in the UN-occupy protest. This country can’t be run by the far left or right. Mainstream America needs to wake up and show its real dedication to this country by demanding significant change. We must make significant change in 2012!

    10. Brad - Detroit says:

      ROUND 1 – I vehemently oppose any "relief" proposed for student loan debts. Why should anyone be responsible for their higher education and advanced degree, but themselves ? I worked during the school year and 65-70 hours a week during the summer to pay for my own college. I wasn't funded by the Bank of Mom & Dad or even applied for student loans. That proposal is as ridiculous as saying "Let's forgive all auto loans". Sure, it would free up some discretionary income for those with car payments, but it promotes all of the wrong/bad behavior that we are trying to correct (personal responsibilty). If we did forgive all student loans, then I suggest that they also forgive their degrees. Since, they didn't have to pay for them, they don't get to keep them.

    11. This contrast of arguments hits the nail on the head of what separates the 2 ideologies. Ryan's has history on his side as being consistent with the principles of our founding. The president speaks of ideology getting in the way of solutions-and he is right-his ideology creates division-pitting rich against poor, Dems against the GOP. He demonizes his opponents making it impossible for them to come to the table.

      The president fosters the incorrect notion that in order for the rich to get richer-they have to take from the poor. Yesterday-ABC cited the Gross National Product as a finite pie-that the rich are bigger slices while the middle class gets less and less. The pie total is what we all collectively make it. It could be larger or smaller. XYZ company's success is not dependent on Joe Smith getting poorer. The middle class as well as any class is ultimately responsible for their own prosperity. It is not the government's job to guarantee the outcome, but to guarantee the opportunities for citizens-under their own merits-to create their own incomes.

      It is hard to be a true American. You have to work, you have to innovate, you have YOUR success in your own hands. A socialist, a communist-depends on a government for their own well being. So who's point of view is consistent with a true American point of view. Our vote in the next election will facilitate an American government, or a socialist government. The choices could not be clearer.

    12. Brad - Detroit says:

      ROUND 2 – As a taxpayer, why should I be on the hook for some moron that racked up $80,000 in student loan debt to get a degree in Greek Philosophy or Women's Studies ? Did they even think of the main reason to go to college ? To get a job when they graduate ? I doubt it. Some do have the end goal in mind. Others use college as an excuse to move out of the house. I bet if their student loan was dispensed in cash and they had to go to the University Cashier with thousands of dollars in cash to pay for their tuition, the cost may be a little more "real".

      • John - Richmond says:

        Hey Brad, Just to let you know, many of the principals of the US Constitution are based on the founding fathers' knowledge of Greek philosophy. If more people had a general knowledge of the philosophies of great and failed civilizations throughout history, they would be able to contribute to the success of our society in a meaningful way based upon the triumphs and losses of the past. Imagine going through life with knowledge of your job and little else; how we got where we are, and what made us who we are. Corralling people into jobs, without giving them any understanding of the world or the history of the liberty we enjoy, does not sound like a characteristic of a free society.

    13. Dr.Refet Ramiz says:

      Hi, The possible answers to the question not only for America but for all the other countries are inside the question. To be able to understand this I suggest you to take a look at to the content of the book "Ülkeler Birli?i (Countries Union)". You can take a look at it through my Facebook: Refet Ramiz address, at the "books" section. regards.

    14. Robert Fox says:

      "… America is at its best when its people are allowed to be free and produce …" Isn't this the subtle message behind Herman Cain's recent campaign ad that caused such a stir? His Campaign Director is free to be himself (both good and bad) and by extension so should "We The People." All our candidates for President should be voicing this sentiment, not just a light(er) version of the Big Government approach that has brought us to the brink of ruin.

    15. John E. Ogle says:

      When will the judicial branch file charges of treason against the executive branch for trampling all over our laws (constitution)and stealing from the responsible tax payers of this country.

    16. Dwana Townsend says:

      Paul Ryan's assessment of the Campaigner in Cheif is spot on!!!

      President Obama has never really done any of the heavy lifting and has neglected many of his duties as Commander in Cheif. I don't think he ever left the campaign trail. He has over 1 year left as President . Do any of you think that anything major will be accomplished to turn things around? The way I see it, the answer is NO! The strategy is clear, play the blame game, use class warfare, and use a divide and concur strategy. We need a Uniter in Chief!!!

    17. Joan from Dallas says:

      Dallas, Texas, is a diverse community. The negative effects of that are we have already lost our culture. City by city has been taken over by immigrants, mostly Hispanics. The schools are failing, and many of the children misbehave and do not want to learn. Free lunch programs have sky rocketed, with some districts being 100%, all immigrants. They refuse to learn English, and entire communities it's not even necessary.l in entitlement programs that we pay for. They don't like America, could care less and have no respect for our holidays, our history, our language. Yet, most drive around in new cars…do you hav a new car? have sculpted nails, and coach bags, do you? What's wrong with half of this nation. And as more and more immigrants flood in and live off of American taxpayers, the odds are against us saving our nation.

    18. Ken Jarvis says:

      1. It has been 375 days – 1 year and 10 days –
      since Murdoch declared the Recession over.
      A Gain of = 1358.7 at 12,112.32
      UP 13%.

      So why do SOME think things are bad?

      HF – PLEASE – No more Doom and Gloom.

    19. Wayne Grievo says:

      Federal Government: Provide for a military for the defense of our FREEDOM to conduct commerce live in the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Property. Otherwise, but out. Does anyone remember that piece of paper? The Constitution of the United States of America? Let's get rid of these over grown babies with to high a false image of themselves and get back to reality..

    20. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Obama is not "misguided" Obama is not naive. Obama is not unexperienced or stupid. Obama IS calculating and devious. Everything he does, or reads from his teleprompter, is design to collapse our economic system to be replaced with exactly what he is advocating. Total government control, socialism. We must recognize Obama IS an exceptional liar and will continue distorting the truth to complete his final agenda.

    21. Stephen says:

      When Obama travels around the country, he continues to spout his socialist/communist ideals!
      As a consequence he leaves behind the biggest piles of steaming crap anyone has ever seen!
      And he expects American taxpayer to clean it up!!
      He's making economic slaves to the state for generations to come!!!
      The solution to this problem is to make him A ONE TERM PRESIDENT!!!!!!!

    22. sdfultz says:

      I used to have great respect for the HF, but you've grown into some knid of talking head publication.
      I would appreciate a clear proposal to the current fiscal problems of our great nation, but this uncompromising cheer for Paul Ryans rhetoric IS the current problem of this great nation

    23. pete sttubben says:

      When is somebody (oh, I mean the House) gonna eliminate Government Agencies????…you know Ed., Labor, Energy, etc., etc. It's all talk with no, No, NO deliberate action…PJS

    24. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I watched clips of his speaches and those students looked so bored and showed no expression, shame you have to make peole sit and listen to this rethoric that is being falsly toted as a good will tour. Where is the uproar of what it's costing us and making DNC, pay back cost and not continue using US funds to canpaign, it's illegal. But then this administration doesn't believe in obeying the law in any form.

    25. John Maddox says:

      Not only do we need to get back to the founders original vision for this country. Which I think is expressed very well in the statement in the above article that reads in part:

      '….America is at its best when its people are allowed to be free and produce, not thanks to the government or even in spite of it, but on their own merit and initiative.'

      we also need to get over the 'Club USA' mentality that has permeated US immigration policy. I have known far too many immigrants in recent years that have a very poor understanding of individual rights and limited government and what being a citizen of this country really means. Instead they see the Government as a great uncle protector with deep pockets. As a natural born generational American I've come to feel that my place in this country and the contributions of my ancestors ( many of which were in this country at its founding and before) have no value what so ever. I don't mean that I expect special privileges because of that. I would like more freedom and opportunity to pursue my dreams and that can only be achieved in a free market place where Government regulations and lopsided policies giving others unearned advantages don't interfere.

    26. Jill Maine says:

      I heard on O'Reilly last night that 48% of American voters would be distraught if BHO was reelected. I have been distraught ever since he was first elected so I know how that feels. I can't remember any other time in my life time where an election made me (or others) distraught. I think this says so much. We are losing the greatest country in the world and 2012 is make it or break it time. I wish Paul Ryan would throw his hat in the ring.

    27. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The American idea is the idea that anyone can get ahead.

    28. Jill Maine says:

      I want to add that I was kind of pleased to see Ken Jarvis' name again. I thought maybe he was serving coffee and brownies on Wall St. Glad you are still there Ken because I think you mean well. I don't know how you can be so exposed to the truth and remain so steadfast a supporter of policies that usually end up by forcing people who don't comply into big ditches.

    29. I was listening to a show today where David Barton was speaking. I agree with him. We have forsaken God the creator of the heavens and the earth, the fountain of living water and have hewn us out cisterns broken cisterns that can hold no water. We are looking to government to meet our needs. We are trying to make government our god and you wonder why the government can't balance their budgets. They are a broken cistern that can hold no water. They have forsaken God and His Word and the immutable principles that have worked time and time again in this country. He also said God chose Israel but Americans Chose God and the princilpes in his Word to found our country. You won't find this in your high school history books folks.

    30. dam1953 says:

      Obama's view of America is clearly in line with Orwell's Animal Farm. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". It has become very obvious that public and private sector union members are "more equal". The same goes for corporations that fit the liberal view of "good industries".

      In short, Obama supports groups that return an appreciable about of governmental funding (stimulus money) to him in the form of campaign contributions. The other "non-union" taxpayers (a.k.a the 85%) have to be satisfied with being less equal.

    31. Lee says:

      America is a place of ideas where you have the freedom to succeed or fail, and we don't need government interference in either case. If I succeed, I can guarantee you that many people will be around me to share in my good fortune. If I fail, there will be fewer around but I will know who my true friends are; and there is always family. Keep in mind that all persons fail, at least once in their lives, but it's how you "pick yourself up and get back in the race" that matters. And if you have, or do, neither what comes next is only up to you.

      Remember what President Kennedy said; "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

    32. Robert, TX says:

      The American idea was life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for each citizen. It was based on a foundation of personal repsonsibility first, family responsibility second, and then a community, a state and a federal government (for defense, judicial system and regualtion of interstate commerce). The American idea would never support a government that sucked 43% out of our GDP (and that folks is where it was in 2008, long before Obama set foot in the White House). We have a long way to go, and no candidate to get us there.

    33. Ron Ceres says:

      This poorest excuse of a president really believes that hand-outs of other's wealth is synonymous with the recipient's earning it. Why is it that whenever I think of Obama the word "Dictator" comes to mind?

    34. Martin Lackner says:

      After 235 Years of Constitutional freedom, the greatest output of technology, the best and most comfortable life established for its citizens, having fought several wars to keep the independence of sundry countries around the world at the cost of treasure and the lives of our youngest and best….We were the greatest and finest country in the whole world, warts and all, apparently President Obama missed all that? All we get from him and his supporters is criticism for the deterioration he and his administration have brought down on us in the last three years. Blaming others for this terrible and fast deterioration is not acceptable.

    35. ron hansing says:

      I have worked since the fourth grade, first job, 30 cents an hour chasing birds in a wheat field, in the early morning hours… had to get up at five o'clock… I have had all the dirty jobs, paid my way through college, couldn't get a job in zoology, so, went into a phd program in Microbiology… than since jobs in micro thinned because we landed a man on the moon, I went to medical school.

      My only shame was that in graduate school, my wife was talked into food stamps… we used them for two weeks, and threw the rest away. Why didn't we give them to someone else… because we did not to them to feel the shame we felt. We shopped for our food by dumpster diving. and ate quite well.

      Today, at 69 when I think of the food stamps, great shame engults me. Entitlement robs one of his soul and enslave him to big government.. Now the I am the slave because government wants to rob me of my hard labor tand sacrefice to give to the slackers.

      ron hansing

      I

    36. ron hansing says:

      Addunum…. I prevailed with hard work, ruined my back with heavy construction work, but I can say that I am free. Yes I could have said that life was unfair, because I couldn't get a job after college. I bucked up and did something about it. the same after graduate school. Whew!! I was 29 years old when I got my first real job. Before then, the option was only minimum wages labor.

      My recommendation, is prepare for making money five different ways… Don't externalize and blame others, that is a mental illness, examples, … excess drug and alcohol use, parents, girl friends whatever. The goal to a healthy life is to internalize, and buck up. God gave you a brain… dammit, use it or lose it.

      ron hansing

    37. Bob E says:

      You mention in your article that Americans are worried about losing their "health care."

      If our New Conservative Congress doesn't get off of their whimpy butts and quit imitiating the Libs and fulfil the campaign promises that got you all ellected in the first place, like "Repealing Obama Care", Yes we will definately lose our health care and whatever Constitutional Rights we have left!

      As a side note, wasn't Obama the guy running around the world appologizing for the Evil America that he and his wife couldn't stand and was so embarassed by and now he is telling the students about American exceptionalism, and our Right to Life, Liberty,and the Pursuit of Happiness? Just a tiny little contradiction I'd say!

    38. Kenneth says:

      Obama is still saying "Trust ME". America is only as great as the sum of it's individuals, not as groups. If we trust in the government we are doing ourselves a great injustice. We need to shrink government and instead, promote strong individuals who can stand on their own. Nothing the liberal democrats, or socialists, want make any sense to me at all.

    39. carol,az says:

      The American Idea is;
      American exceptionalism through freedom of thought, creativity, and expressing the dream in a myriad of ways.
      American has changed the world.
      America has protected the rest of the free world, with her blood..
      The lack of leadership has put America in the cross hair.
      Lame excuses for the reasons why she's failing and so many lies told as truth..
      Further, allowing the rest of the world to get in our way and to question the very essence of what America stand for, and what we are as Americans.
      I 'm telling the rest of you to stand up for your America or get out-of-the-way.
      If you haven't figured out what needs to be done , you don't deserve to be free. .

    40. Carol M Kite says:

      I feel America is under attack by this man who's allegedly our president! He, and his wife & radical czars, have no respect for America or all it stands for. He, controlled by Geo Soros, big union bosses, big business & bank 'bigwigs', is on a course to bring America down with socialism, mimicking the near downfalls of too many European countries. Disaster is in our near future as he campaigns on the taxpayers' dime, continues to throw taxpayer millions to unsustainable green energy in FOREIGN countries, ignoring our vast, rich resources right here, really working to bring jobs to Americans, really? Everything he proposes fails, we are doomed 'til this puppet is replaced with someone who apreciates the greatness Capitalism has brought us. He's managed to disgrace the huge step for equality regardless of ethnicity or skin color with his wild perception of a blank check & limitless credit card into near bankruptsy.

    41. Jason M says:

      I like this argument, because I think it hits the nail right on top of the head. It is not the government's agenda to interfere with the welfare of the people. What ends up
      happening is that they make things worse, which is what is happening right now. Things have gotten off track, and it is not due to any one president, but it is due to the
      passive nature of the people allowing government to get bigger and more responsible for the welfare of the citizens. The American Dream of opportunity cannot be realized and
      obtained when an entity is trying to control the outcome of what happens. Stopping the expansion of big government alone will not create the equality of opportunity that this
      article suggest, but it will be a big step forward. The more government that people accept in their lives, the less freedoms they have to live by.

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