He's Not My President?

Thoreau: "Government is Best Which Governs Least"

What Obama Really Said in this Week’s YouTube Address

So it looks like Barack Obama will now be addressing the nation on a weekly basis through a YouTube video.  It is important to look at the rhetoric in these addresses to find out where the President-elect plans to take our country.  I’ve taken the transcript of the address and bolded the sections where I believe he speaks substantively.  We can quibble over whether or not there are more items of substance in the address, but I’d rather look at the overall tone and what the President-elect is telling us in the substantive elements I’ve outlined of his address.  Following the transcript, I analyze the substantive remarks.

Remarks of President-elect Barack Obama

November 15, 2008

Today, the leaders of the G-20 countries — a group that includes the world’s largest economies — are gathering in Washington to seek solutions to the ongoing turmoil in our financial markets. I’m glad President Bush has initiated this process — because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.

And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America’s own economic crisis. This week, amid continued volatility in our markets, we learned that unemployment insurance claims rose to their highest levels since September 11, 2001. We’ve lost jobs for ten straight months — nearly 1.2 million jobs this year, many of them in our struggling auto industry. And millions of our fellow citizens lie awake each night wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, stay in their homes, and save for retirement.

Make no mistake: this is the greatest economic challenge of our time. And while the road ahead will be long, and the work will be hard, I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis — because here in America we always rise to the moment, no matter how hard. And I am more hopeful than ever before that America will rise once again.

But we must act right now. Next week, Congress will meet to address the spreading impact of the economic crisis. I urge them to pass at least a down-payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families, and help get the economy growing again. In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year. If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as President.

Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century.

That starts with the kinds of long-term investments that we’ve neglected for too long. That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children. It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.

Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that is how we will meet the challenges of our time — together. Thank you.

To make it easier, here are the substantive words from his address put together:

Our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response.

We must also act immediately here at home to address America’s own economic crisis.

But we must act right now.  In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year.

That means putting two million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools. It means investing $150 billion to build an American green energy economy that will create five million new jobs, while freeing our nation from the tyranny of foreign oil, and saving our planet for our children. It means making health care affordable for anyone who has it, accessible for anyone who wants it, and reducing costs for small businesses. And it also means giving every child the world-class education they need to compete with any worker, anywhere in the world.

Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. If this financial crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people. And that is how we will meet the challenges of our time — together.

Basically, what I get from the substantive remarks is that government has to provide the resolutions.  Even though he talks about us all working together it is clear that the overreaching theme is that from the campaign, i.e., he will setup various government programs to address these issues.  I was not alive during the Great Depression, but I believe that history teaches us that the government intervention that occurred at that time only prolonged the depression rather than getting us back on our way to prosperity.  What is more frightening is that anytime government expands it never again retracts.  Once you build a bigger government, you have little chance of making it smaller in the future.

What does this mean?  This means in my opinion, you can’t bail out the auto industry.  You can’t provide univeral healthcare.  You cannot create a “green” energy policy.  You cannot do any of things noted above without expanding government.  And you simply cannot expand government.  Most of the problems we face today are due to government intervention and the size of government being too large.  We must limit government interference.  We must make government smaller rather than larger if we have any hope of prospering in the future.

We can take care of each other.  We do it every day in our individual lives, but we cannot have government have us take care of each other, or have government take care of us.  This is not the American way.  And this is not the way I will live the remainder of my life, beholden to a government that I have no interest in being beholden to.  Stand up for your individual rights and the rights of American capitalism, the free market system, and individual human rights.  Stand up before it is too late and you no longer recognize our country as America.

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Written by KJ Kaufman

November 15, 2008 at 3:53 pm

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