You have got to give credit where credit is due.
President Barack Obama has laid out the core message of his re-election campaign. It is a message whose claims are blatantly false and whose point is irrelevant to what is of greatest concern to Americans today.
Despite this, there is no evidence so far that his strategy and messaging is not working and won’t be successful.
In his speech Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, the president defined what he called “the defining issue of our time.”
This defining issue, per the president, appears to be that America is not fair.
We suffer today, Obama says, from “a shrinking number of people who are doing really, really well, but a growing number who are struggling to get by.”
Apparently the reason this is happening is because ours is not a nation in which “everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does a fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.”
Now excuse me for pointing out the irony of hearing from our nation’s first black president a suggestion that America may no longer be a nation where dreams can be realized or where someone can come out of nowhere and make it.
But Obama probably would explain his unlikely success in this unfair nation as the result of his being an exceptional and extraordinary individual. Which is why, I would assume in his thinking, we ordinary folk should turn our lives over to him to determine who should have what.
Ironically, I would say that if America is unfair today, it is because politicians and government have the power to do exactly what it is that Obama wants to do: Seize control of the wealth of some and redistribute it to whomever they choose.
The Bible that I read every day calls this theft.
The president seeks to gain political support for this redistribution of wealth by tapping into the widespread dissatisfaction with our most disappointing economy.
But is our economy underperforming because some have more than others, because some succeed more than others?
At a time when Americans are looking for answers to restart our sputtering economy, our president chooses to use his time complaining about the wealthiest not paying sufficient taxes.
But according to the National Taxpayers Union, in 2009 the top 5 percent of income earners paid almost 59 percent of the funds raised by the federal personal income tax and the bottom 50 percent paid about 2.25 percent.
Yet, in the president’s remarks in Florida, he defined fairness as everybody playing by “the same set of rules.” Not only are the tax rules not fair by the president’s own definition, in the name of alleged fairness he wants to make them even more unfair.
Of course, the president’s real problem is that his policies have failed so he has to change the subject. He told us that the almost $900 billion in stimulus spending passed in 2009 would revive our economy and reduce unemployment to 6 percent. Three years later, unemployment stands at 8.2 percent.
There is no evidence that our president has a clue about what why we are not on the path to recovery. But, unfortunately, he does have a clue about how to tap into the worst instincts of people to garner political support. Inspiring blame and envy, sadly, pays political dividends.
The fairness the president obsesses about has nothing to do with fairness, nor does it have anything to do with fixing our economy.
If he really wants guidance on a fair and moral tax system, he might turn to his Bible instead of his campaign spin machine.
He can learn there that the 10 percent tithe on income applies to everyone.
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