“You’re sweet as a honey bee, But like a honey bee stings, You’ve gone and left, my heart in pain, All you left is our favorite song, The one we danced to all night long, It used to bring sweet memories, Of a tender love that used to be, Now it’s the same old song” – The Four Tops – 1965
In 1965 Motown (Detroit) was buzzing. New acts like The Four Tops were hitting the top of the charts with songs written by pro songwriting crews like Holland-Dozier-Holland, who wrote, recorded and distributed The Same Old Song in less than 24 hours!
Since that day, America has had nine presidents, and each has told Americans that their money would be better spent by Uncle Sam than by themselves. From the Great Society to the war in Vietnam, the War on Drugs, Iraq, Medicaid, No Child Left Behind, The Department of Education, to getting off the gold standard, government has insisted that it knows best and that power should be transferred from citizens and their states to the federal government. With President Obama’s State of the Union address, it’s the same old song.
For those of you who can remember 1965, do you think all the increased government involvement in the lives of Americans has worked? As America stares down the barrel of long-term economic stagnation, President Barack Obama wants you to think increased government has worked. His State of the Union address was replete with ideas for “investing” your money in his goals. His stimulus plan was to have been an investment. There is no room in any portfolio for the kind of investments the president has in mind.
Most of what you heard in President Obama’s speech last night were proposals for misallocation of wealth and resources. Government working with business to find a better way is much different than government working for businesses to find ways to buy their products. Infrastructure investments? Now Americans know what the ascendance of GE’s Jeff Immelt to the top of the president’s panel of outside economic advisors will mean. Look for lots of GE products to be used in these new “investments.”
Rather than spend money on pumping up GE and other corporate titans, the government should be finding ways to get out of the way. The president made the right suggestion when he said that the corporate tax rate ought to be lowered. But he also plans on punishing the oil industry to do it.
The goal of government ought to be to methodically shrink itself, not expand. Government must find better ways of fulfilling its constitutional mandates using fewer tax dollars and creating a smaller federal footprint. The reverse has been happening for decades.
The Democratic Party has been proactively pushing greater government intrusion into the lives of Americans for a long time. The Republican Party either has wanted the same thing or has been completely inept at stopping the Democrats.
Congressman Paul Ryan summed up the Democrats’ strategy: “By their actions [the Democrats] show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much.” To do too much—that’s the problem right there. When you hear that the federal government is preparing to turn Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid over to the states, is slashing defense spending by pulling troops off foreign soil and closing most foreign bases (and some domestic ones), and is eliminating unconstitutional departments like the Department of Education, you will know that America is on the right track.