Sarah Palin: Obama’s Message to America: The Era of Big Government is Back, Now Help Me Pay For It



By Sarah Palin

The President’s state of the union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The Future” speech, but the title’s acronym seemed more accurate than much of the content.

Americans are growing impatient with a White House that still just doesn’t get it. The President proves he doesn’t understand that the biggest challenge facing our economy is today’s runaway debt when he states we want to make sure “we don’t get buried under a mountain a debt.” That’s the problem! We are buried under Mt. McKinley-sized debt. It’s at the heart of what is crippling our economy and taking our jobs. This is the concern that should be on every leader’s mind. Our country’s future is at stake, and we’re rapidly reaching a crisis point. Our government is spending too much, borrowing too much, and growing too much. Debt is stifling our private sector growth, and millions of Americans are desperately looking for work.

So, what was the President’s response? At a time when we need quick, decisive, and meaningful action to stop our looming debt crisis, President Obama gave us what politicians have for years: promises that more federal government “investment” (read: more government spending) is the solution.

He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree. Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night.

In the past, he promised us he’d make job creation his number one priority, while also cutting the deficit, eliminating waste, easing foreclosures in the housing markets, and making “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” What did we get? A record $1.5 trillion deficit, an 84% increase in federal spending, a trillion dollar stimulus that stimulated nothing but more Tea Party activism, 9+% unemployment (or 17% percent if you include those who have stopped looking for work or settled for part time jobs), 2.9 million home foreclosures last year, and a moratorium on offshore drilling that has led to more unemployment and $100 dollar a barrel oil.

The President glossed over the most important issue he needed to address last night: spending. He touched on deficit reduction, but his proposals amount to merely a quarter of the cuts in discretionary spending proposed by his own Deficit Reduction Commission, not to mention the $2.5 trillion in cuts over ten years suggested by the Republican Study Committee. And while we appreciate hearing the same President who gave us the trillion dollar Stimulus Package boondoggle finally concede that we need to cut earmarks, keep in mind that earmarks are a $16 billion drop in the $1.5 trillion ocean that is the federal deficit. Budget cuts won’t be popular, but they are vitally necessary or we will soon be a bankrupt country. It’s the responsibility of a leader to make sure the American people fully understand this.

As it is, the American people should fully understand that when the President talks about increased “investments” he’s talking about increased government spending. Cut away the rhetoric and you’ll also see that the White House’s real message on economic reform wasn’t one of substantial spending cuts, but of tax increases. When the President talks about simplifying the tax code, he’s made it clear that he’s not looking to cut your taxes; he’s looking for additional tax revenue from you. The tax “simplification” suggested by the President’s Deficit Reduction Commission would end up raising taxes by $1 trillion over the next decade. So, instead of bringing spending down in line with revenue, the President wants to raise our taxes to pay for his massive spending increases. It’s tax and spend in reverse: spend first, tax later.

And the Obama administration has a lot of half-baked ideas on where to spend our hard-earned money in pursuit of “national greatness.” These “investments,” as the President calls them, include everything from solar shingles to high speed trains. As we struggle to service our unsustainable debt, the only thing these “investments” will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy.

With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so “great” when its credit rating is in tatters.

Of course, it’s nice to give a speech calling for “investment” and “competition” in order to reach greatness. It’s quite another thing to advocate and implement policies that truly encourage such things. Growing the federal government is not the answer.

Take education for example. It’s easy to declare the need for better education, but will throwing even more money at the issue really help? As the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner notes, “the federal government has increased education spending by 188 percent in real terms since 1970 without seeing any substantial improvement in test scores.” If you want “innovation” and “competition,” then support school choice initiatives and less federal control over our state and local districts.

When it comes to energy issues, we heard more vague promises last night as the President’s rhetoric suggested an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our country’s energy needs. But again, his actions point in a different direction. He offers a vision of a future powered by what he refers to as “clean energy,” but how we will get there from here remains a mystery. In the meantime, he continues to stymie the responsible development of our own abundant conventional energy resources – the stuff we actually use right now to fuel our economy. His continued hostility towards domestic drilling means hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs will not be created and millions of Americans will end up paying more at the pump. It also means we’ll continue to transfer hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars to foreign regimes that don’t have America’s interests at heart.

On the crucial issue of entitlement reform, the President offered nothing. This is shocking, because as he himself explained back in April 2009, “if we want to get serious about fiscal discipline…we will have to get serious about entitlement reform.” Even though the Medicare Trust Fund will run out of funds a mere six years from now, and the Social Security Trust Fund is filled mainly with IOUs, the President opted to kick the can down the road yet again. And once again, he was disingenuous when he suggested that meaningful reform would automatically expose people’s Social Security savings to a possible stock market crash. As Rep. Paul Ryan showed in his proposed Roadmap, and others have explained, it’s possible to come up with meaningful reform proposals that tackle projected shortfalls and offer workers more options to invest our own savings while still guaranteeing invested funds so they won’t fall victim to sudden swings in the stock market.

And what about that crucial issue confronting so many Americans who are struggling today – the lack of jobs? The President came to office promising that his massive, multi-trillion dollar spending programs would keep unemployment below 8%; but the lack of meaningful, pro-free market reforms in yesterday’s speech means his legacy will almost certainly be four years of above 8% unemployment, regardless of how much he increases federal spending (or perhaps I should say because of how much he’s increased it).

Perhaps the most nonsensical bit of double-speak we heard last night was when the President said that hitting job-creators with a tax increase isn’t “punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.” But government taking more money from the small business entrepreneurs who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country is not “promoting America’s success.” It’s a disincentive that will result in less job creation. It is, in fact, punishing the success of the very people who created the innovation that the President has supposedly been praising.

Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs. America is an exceptional nation in part because we have historically been a country that rewards and affirms individual initiative and offers people the freedom to invest and create as they see fit – not as a government bureaucrat does. Yes, government can play an appropriate role in our free market by ensuring a level playing field to encourage honest competition without picking winners and losers. But by and large, government should get out of the way. Unfortunately, under President Obama’s leadership, government growth is in our way, and his “big government greatness” will not help matters.

Consider what his “big government greatness” really amounts to. It’s basically a corporatist agenda – it’s the collaboration between big government and the big businesses that have powerful friends in D.C. and can afford to hire big lobbyists. This collaboration works in a manner that distorts and corrupts true free market capitalism. This isn’t just old-fashioned big government liberalism; this is crony capitalism on steroids. In the interests of big business, we’re “investing” in technologies and industries that venture capitalists tell us are non-starters, but which will provide lucrative returns for some corporate interests who have major investments in these areas. In the interests of big government, we’re not reducing the size of our bloated government or cutting spending, we’re told the President will freeze it – at unsustainable, historic levels! In practice, this means that public sector employees (big government’s staunchest defenders) may not lose jobs, but millions of Americans in the private sector face lay offs because the ever-expanding government has squeezed out and crippled our economy under the weight of unsustainable debt.

Ronald Reagan said, “You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.” President Obama’s proposals last night stick the little guy with the bill, while big government and its big corporate partners prosper. The plain truth is our country simply cannot afford Barack Obama’s dream of an “exceptionally big government” that may help the big guys, but sticks it to the rest of us.

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  • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

    Did you see her interview with Greta Van Susteren where she repeatedly used WTF? Seemed like it was either very naive, or a pretty crass, use of WTF. Either way I was disappointed.

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      I didn’t. Not language I would use.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah. She used the WTF expression two or three times in that interview.

        Keep it classy, Sarah!

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Oh brother, I wouldn’t have used that phrase but I really can’t think of anything more petty to snipe about.

        Our country is going to hell in a handbasket and you are worked up about her saying “WTF” acronymn in reference to the title of his speech. I’ve never heard her use that phrase anywhere else.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        I have to agree. Shock jock radio hosts use similar language. Lets give Palin a pass on this. But maybe this is just more evidence that she is not really serious about taking a run at the presidency. LOL, who does she think she is? Joe Biden?

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Hey Bob, I don’t really think a comparison to a shock jock is fair.

        At least like Biden she doesn’t actually drop f-bombs.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        I understand that you don’t see it that way Shane.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        It’s just not that I like Sarah Palin, but the things that some shock jocks do is so disgusting and perverse that I really think it is unfair for somebody to compare them to somebody who uses the acronym – WTF.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        Sarah Palin would do well to stay away from WTF the next time she is interviewed by Fox. You may not care (and hold her accountable for her crass speech) but folks like me do.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        I’m just saying Bob that it is an unequal comparison… google Howard Stern to see some what he has pulled and then comeback and say that is the same thing.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        A shock jock is simply a term that describes a media personality that uses hyperbolic rhetoric to attract an audience. It is unfair to use the worst of them to compare. Why not use someone like Savage, Matthews, Rush, Hannity or some of the milder shock jock out there?

        I know that we disagree on this. I think that Sarah Palin simply needs to decide whether she wants to be a a serious leader or a media personality that speaks like a shock jock when she is interviewed. And you feel that her presentation style is appropriate for a serious leader.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Bob, that isn’t, with the exception of Savage, who people think of when they here the term “shock jock.”

        “And you feel that her presentation style is appropriate for a serious leader.”

        When did I say that? I just don’t think it disqualifies her, I didn’t say I agreed with it.

      • http://kansasbob.com Kansas Bob

        I am okay with comparing the WTF remarks to things that Savage says. At least we agree on that. :)

        “I just don’t think it disqualifies her”

        On that we also agree Shane. She has plenty of time to transition from a media personality to a serious leader. If that is what she wants to do.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        I didn’t say that, but… well this is getting us nowhere.

        I’m glad we agree on my second point.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Bob, that isn’t, with the exception of Savage, who people think of when they here the term “shock jock.”

        “And you feel that her presentation style is appropriate for a serious leader.”

        When did I say that? I just don’t think it disqualifies her, I didn’t say I agreed with it.

  • ship of fools

    Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to understand that we are moving ahead and leaving her behind. Snark and disrespect toward the POTUS is turning off a LOT of people out here, Sarah Bear. Not only do you NOT have any solutions, you would not be able to coherently piece them together without the help of a ghost writer.

    Obama is pulling us back to the TRUE center, not right of center that idiots like Palin have helped to create. How do I know? It’s the young’uns. It’s THEIR country, and they don’t want to watch countries like South Korea, Finland, et al pass them by. Obama understands this, Palin does not.

    As the expression goes, Evolve or Die. When will we as Americans embrace this concept? Palin doesn’t want change, because she is a control freak like everyone else on the right. So she’ll do what every other no-nothing congressperson on the right is doing — use fear, lies, and hate to keep their ever dwindling numbers from going *poof* into thin air. Don’t let them, folks.

    Obama 2012: The only adult in the room

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      Who is we?

      • ship of fools

        Sorry —

        “We” is those of us terrifying, elitist, reasonably educated liberals. So include yourself, if you’re game, otherwise you’re dreaming. You know, all nostalgic about the 1950s and such. Not going back there again, EVER.

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        No thank you. Well you better work on increasing your numbers – http://www.gallup.com/poll/141032/2010-conservatives-outnumber-moderates-liberals.aspx – the independents have wised up to Obama’s policies.

      • Anonymous

        “We” also means, we conservatives who are looking for a serious Republican candidate that can win a general election.

        I can’t decide if Sarah Palin’s responses sound more like those of a 15 year old or a bitter ex-wife.

        Either way, she is getting tiresome.

      • Anonymous

        “We” also means, we conservatives who are looking for a serious Republican candidate that can win a general election.

        I can’t decide if Sarah Palin’s responses sound more like those of a 15 year old or a bitter ex-wife.

        Either way, she is getting tiresome.

      • ship of fools

        You know, RU, I was really, honestly going to include you guys. Seriously. I’m VERY nostalgic for the days of thoughtful, intelligent debate between a half-dozen thoughtful, intelligent contenders, both conservative AND liberal. Please accept my apologies for being so closed minded!!!! :)

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Hope you aren’t pulling for Romney then.

        Her responses sound like neither, if you are conservative how about rising above belittling her huh? It makes you sound petty. I expect that from liberals with PDS, not self-described conservatives.

      • sak it

        awww did they hurt your feelings Shaney?? :(

      • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

        Oh boy what a zinger… especially coming from somebody who is too much of a coward to reveal his or her name.

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      Other than disagreeing with his policy and direction, how exactly was she being disrespectful? I also find it interesting that you talk about being respectful and then you call her “Sarah Bear,” no that would be Governor Palin, and then you label her an idiot – comparing her op/ed to your comment I would say you are in no position to judge her intellect.

      As for you guys leaving her behind – well you and your 20% go ahead – http://www.gallup.com/poll/141032/2010-conservatives-outnumber-moderates-liberals.aspx you’ll see your numbers shrink even further. To say Obama is pulling us to the true center just doesn’t make sense.

      • DEEZNUTS

        you do mean former governor bear right>?

  • ship of fools

    Oh, and Sarah: The numbers were 92% and 8% — and in case you didn’t get the memo, 92% represented the people polled who had a POSITIVE response to our president’s SOTU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000474142906 Dustin Krutsinger

    “The era of big government is back”

    Did it ever leave?

    • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

      Good point… the era of monstrously huge government is back.

  • DEEZNUTS

    any good businessman knows that you have to spend money to make money