I read the inaugural address rather than watch it. What dreck. What drivel. Here is what jumped out at me:
The commitments we make to each other: through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
The things that are ruining this country actually “strengthen” us. The extra taxes required, which discourage entrepreneurs from hiring people to expand their businesses, actually “free us” to take risks. Orwell could not have put it better.
Thank God for government’s benevolent hand, without which Americans would not be free to take risks. How did we ever fly the first airplane, or run the first automotive assembly line, without Social Security and Medicare to fall back on?
The twisted irony of Obama’s presidency, particularly in light of his emulation of Lincoln and Reagan, is that, like them, he does face a momentous crisis that requires leadership commensurate to the moment. He just doesn’t have it in him to lead on it, or maybe he’s too busy with other priorities. An economic rebound in his second term will delay the reckoning with entitlements for a few years longer so his legacy is probably safe in the near term, but if he doesn’t do something wildly unexpected in the next four years to deal seriously with mandatory spending, then his place in history is secure. He’s the guy who expanded health-care entitlements at a moment when Medicare spending was starting to go haywire, the guy who doubled down on the welfare state as the bill was coming due, the guy whose second-term agenda was even more aggressively liberal than his first despite trillions more in debt over four years. You wanted him, America, you got him. Good luck.
Don’t forget: he’s not just the guy who dodged all these tough choices. He’s also the guy who lied to his countrymen about the need to make them.
Boy, this has been a wretched day.