By Con George-Kotzabasis—February 18, 2012
In his State of the Union address President Obama has abandoned the “hope and change” of his past presidential campaign and replaced it with “equality and fairness” for his future one. How is he going to accomplish the noble values of equality and fairness, by changing the tax code that would severely tax the incomes of the rich; by organizing watchdog agencies that would round-up Wall Street miscreants; by sending the seals to capture Chinese DVD pirates; and by compelling students to stay in high school until the age of 18? The former community organizer-enforcer that threatened bankers in his Chicago days with law suits if they were unwilling to provide loans to non-creditworthy borrowers, is now to enforce the rich to put their pound of flesh on the tax scale weighing at least 30% of their income, according to the “Warren Buffett Rule.” It is by such measures that the physically sprightly moving president will bring with Mercurial speed to the door of every ordinary American the goodies of “equality and fairness.”
Obama cannot run on his record—he barely mentioned in his Union address Obamacare and the stimulus, his major but questionable legislative achievements-but only on a re-run of new false promises. Equality and fairness cannot be achieved by minor legislative measures that he proposes but only by major ones, such as tax reform and entitlement reform, the core measures that would spawn the seeds for the growing of those noble values. The first generates social equity plus economic efficiency, and the second generates social justice plus debt reduction. It is by economic efficiency and debt reduction that the vital spirits of capitalist entrepreneurship will be incentivized and in turn set in motion the productive process that will increase the wealth of society and by spreading it to a greater number of people will reduce inequality and unfairness among Americans.
The taxing of the rich will bring negligible revenue for Obama to accomplish his grandiose scheme of equality and fairness. On the contrary it will sterilize the vital spirits of entrepreneurs and stifle capital investment, especially in conditions of recession, hence retarding economic growth, and indeed, deepening the slump, as Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in his rebuttal of Obama’s State of the Union address. Therefore Obama’s proposal to tax the rich is another seductive but false promise, like his past promises, by which he is attempting once again to mislead and delude Americans that by taxing those who earn more than a million and by ‘barking’ against Wall Street greed he will create a socially fairer America.
Another central feature of his Union address was the praising of the armed forces for their solidarity and discipline, with which they achieve their great missions, and using them as a template to be adopted and imitated by all Americans, so they too can accomplish their aims in their pursuance of building a more prosperous and equal America. It is good to see the anti-war Obama extolling the virtues of the military and making them a model for the United States. But he overlooks the fact that the virtues of war are not applicable to, and are not, the virtues of civil peace. The qualities of solidarity and discipline are a prerequisite in war for defeating an enemy; but are an obstruction in search of knowledge that enhances techno-scientific economic development. Copernicus and Galileo had to break the disciplinarian regimen of the Catholic Church to make their breakthrough to their great scientific discovery. Great minds and their discoveries do not flourish in the restricted practices of solidarity and discipline but in the spiritual freedom that has no constraints.
One can hardly think that Obama is ignorant or unaware of this distinction. Therefore one must deduce that the admiration of Obama for the military virtues is only a post sop to the warriors of Iraq and Afghanistan, whom before he became president and in the initial stages of his presidency, consider them to be inept and useless in their fight against Islamic terror, and whom he would replace with his soft power policy and highfalutin diplomacy which completely failed to entice either al Qaeda or the Taliban, as well as the regime of terrorist sponsoring Iran, to come to the negotiating table. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The respect of President Obama for the military is shown in his latest proposal of cutting the army by 100,000; by the delayed production of helicopters and stealth jets; and by the elimination of one-tenth of the Air Force’s tactical fighter squadrons. And the savings of these cuts in a budget of over a trillion dollars will be for this year 4.5 billion dollars. It is by such tricks that Obama proposes to reduce the budget spending of the government while at the same time truly reducing the hard power of America that is the sine qua non in its security and stability, and, indeed, of the rest of the world in our very dangerous times. As for being praised for killing bin Laden what else could he do, once he was informed by the CIA that a highly placed al Qaeda subject was living in the compound with the possibility that this subject might be bin Laden himself, other than sending the seals to kill him? The American electorate would have never forgiven him if, having this knowledge, he had done nothing.
Obama failed in his stewardship as president, due to his wont to imitate the social democratic policies of Europe—Obamacare was his top example—internally to improve the economy and reduce markedly unemployment, and externally in his foreign policy to effectively constrain the rogue states of N. Korea and Iran from continuing their belligerent threats toward the U.S. and the rest of the West, and in particular preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The latest proposal by Iran to participate in negotiations to discuss its nuclear programme is a ruse on its part with the purpose to check Israel from attacking its nuclear facilities and thus saving its nuclear bomb that is rocked in its cradle. And the Americans according to the statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have accepted with alacrity this Iranian proposal without any preconditions. Thus the Iranians have rolled out the Persian carpet of diplomatic deception and subterfuge for the Obama Administration to walk on. Further, Obama in his attempt to “reset the button” with Russia has been effectively aborted, as exemplified by his inability to persuade the latter either in the case of Libya or Syria not to use its veto in the Security Council. It is for the purpose of covering all the above failures that Obama plays the rich pay tax card amidst the poorness of his stewardship, and in his goal to win a second term by cunningly deceiving Americans once again.
I rest on my oars: your turn now…