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  • Obama's New "Fairness Doctrine" and the American Ideal

    “Economic fairness” is expected to be the topic of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night, during which he will likely sound the same populist notes of progressivism that America heard last month in his speech in Osawatomie, Kansas.

    Fairness, though, is in the eye of the beholder. And in the President’s eye, “fairness” means equality of outcomes, not of opportunity. He says he will “lay out a blueprint for an American economy that’s built to last,” but if his Kansas speech is any indication, that blueprint will run counter to the very principles on which our nation was founded.

    Throughout his Osawatomie speech, the President spoke of “fairness” repeatedly, and he pointed to the federal government as the great instrument by which that fairness can be achieved—by way of more government power, federal education programs, economic regulations, and infrastructure spending. Raising taxes on the wealthy is the “fair” way that the President plans to pay for his expanded state, relying on an “us” versus “them” class warfare rhetoric.

    The resulting policy prescription would ultimately lead to a “new governing class that insists on enforcing political and economic ‘fairness’ rather than letting us govern ourselves,” as The Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding, vice president for American studies, explains. What’s more, Spalding writes, the idea that the government can and should step in to guarantee economic fairness is contrary to the founding principles that make America so great—and that enable its citizens to achieve success:

    Throughout history and today in many parts of the world, political rule is the privilege of the strongest and the most powerful. America is exceptional because it is dedicated to the principle of universal human liberty: that all are fundamentally equal by nature and equally endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This principle and the constitutional framework of law that enlivens it are the foundation of the American Dream.…

    What is truly revolutionary about the United States is that the ladder of opportunity became available to everyone. As a result, poverty has been vastly diminished. Even more important, it is no longer a permanent condition from which there is no real possibility of escape.

    But about a hundred years ago, there arose a different dream: that government could engineer a better society, rather than simply leaving the people free to create one. Progressive reformers were convinced not only that the American founders were wrong in their assumptions about man and about the necessity of limited government, but also that advances in science would allow government to reshape society and eradicate the inequalities of property and wealth that had been unleashed by individual rights, democratic capitalism, and the resulting growth of commerce and business.

    A more activist government, built on evolving rights and a “living” Constitution, would redistribute wealth and level out differences in society through progressive taxation, economic regulations, and extensive social-welfare programs, all centrally administered by expert bureaucrats.

    For the past three years, we have witnessed President Obama attempt to construct that progressive America—whether it was through the expansion of the state in Obamacare, the bailing out of the auto industry, the proliferation of regulations under the Dodd–Frank regulatory reform bill, or the illegal appointments to the unrestrained Consumer Financial Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board. With the President’s speech tomorrow night, we can expect to hear more of the progressive philosophy that undergirds the President’s policies and a vision of America that is quite different from the one the Founders intended.

    Read more of Matthew Spalding’s piece The String-Pullers at National Review Online.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama's New "Fairness Doctrine" and the American Ideal

    1. Alan says:

      I believe that free-thinking Americans conclude that Obama's end game doesn't necessarily include totalinarianism by design, but rather it is the natural outcome of socialism as envisioned by Obama. The end of democratic capitalism is too scary for us, and therefore, Obama wil be defeated in 2012. For that reason alone.

    2. John Bevis says:

      Regarding the Presidents new "fairness doctrine" – If you continue to take away an intelligent, productive man's ability to excel and reap the benefits of his labor, e.g. "the pursuit of happiness", he will wither and die. Or, he will cease being the "silent majority" and fight. IF the former is allowed to happen, the population will sink to the lowest, post productive era, common denominator. I hate to think what will happen if the latter comes to pass. IS THIS FAIR?

    3. Pete says:

      What percentage of americans fought the american revolution to push the british out. A very small group of men made the decision to make a change and stand up to the repression. I am sure that a small group of modern day americans can do the same. Where will be the bridge that the shot is heard around the world.

    4. It is VERY disconcerting to listen to the people in my locality who don't necessarily "believe" in Obama DO want his policies of the rich giving money to the poor—mainly because they all believe THEY are the poor. They believe that if the government is giving freebies like free rent, free healthcare, free utilities, etc, to the "ghettos" as they call them, then THEY want "their fair share" too. In my area, no one wants to "work hard and achieve" when they can do nothing and "receive" all this stuff from the government instead. It's very prevalent around here and you'll be hard pressed to get anyone around here to vote for a Republican simply because they want to take that gamble that the O-administration will give them "freebies" that the GOP won't. They are that intent on "getting their fair share" that they'll gamble away our COUNTRY for it. THIS is the culture the Dems have created. That said, fiscally, we can't support this. Yet, trust me…..my neighbors do not care…..they truly believe that if we'd only take from the rich, like Robin Hood, this can happen. However, most of my neighbors own farms and make over 250,000/year GROSS, but they believe that since their deductions and such take them well below that level for their NET they won't be affected and will then be considered "poor." How stupid is this logic? We are DOOMED to another 4 years of the O-adminstration if everyone else's community is similar to mine because everyone wants that free handout. I fear the SOTU will only perpetuate this.

      • mj larsen says:

        I could have written ths letter myself. I did not see which state you are from, but I live in Ohio and alot of the people here feel and says the same things . Everybody around here does not feel responsible for themselves, if the goverment is handing things out , they want there share. There are also alot of people that do not realize it yet but they will be considered rich as far as obama is concerned!!

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      After three years Obama's mask that dieguised his true nature is off. He no longer tries to hide what his "transformation of America" means. It's now right there in the open. It's not progressivsim or liberialism. It's pure communism. The government controlinmg everything and everyone. Let their be no mistake about Obama true nature and his vision for this nation.

    6. Scot - New Jersey says:

      John;
      If Obama is successful in being re-elected…then perhaps the "latter" is all that will be left to us?
      We've never been afraid to fight before, but if we put in the effort before November, then we can stop the "latter" from being necessary.

    7. In the President’s eye, “fairness” means equality of outcomes, not of opportunity. That's all you need to know.

    8. West Texan says:

      Barack Obama is nothing more than a lot of socialist wannabe hot air. Much like his continued campaign rhetoric, his self-serving fantasy never amounts to anything sane or productive. Fact is, his economic efforts have been destructive leaving the next administration with a mess to clean-up.

    9. Bobbie says:

      What's fair to the President is sacrifice on his choosing.
      If fairness was acting under it's proper definition there'd be no such thing as tax exemptions based on race, creed, culture, immigrant status or skin color. The government or the President wouldn't belittling the rich for more their fair share (particularly and specifically spoken "white".) People (meaning those of which fit the definition,) by their own senses, would be more inspired by the rich to broaden their talents and work for it themselves without controlled paid influences suggesting otherwise. This democratic administration is promoting thievery over self worth while thieving more than money in the process. The democratic party no longer serves America. Why do they exist?

      Did I hear the President sing? It was beautiful. How ironic he could've honestly capitalized on his talent making more money then a president, instead of destroying a country and the good of her people by abusing the authority we had once respected! Mr. President? The former is cool, the latter is disgusting.

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