Skip to comments.What’s the Matter with Obama’s Kansas Speech? Nothing fair about it.
Posted on 12/10/2011 6:56:29 AM PST by IbJensen
You cant say the message of Obamas December 6 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, should have been a surprise to anyone. After all, hes been beating the class warfare drum for much of his administration, and the idea of higher taxes on the rich to promote income redistribution is something he telegraphed as far back as the 2008 campaign, with his impromptu reaction in the famous Joe the Plumber incident. During the 2008 presidential campaign Obama also stated an interest in using the capital gains tax primarily as an instrument of fairness even if a rise in the rate would cause a decline in the amount of tax taken in.
In his Kansas speech Obama repeatedly mentioned this goal of fairness while blurring or ignoring the all-important distinction between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome as a measure of that fairness. Daniel Henninger of the WSJ pointed out that the speech was the sort of thing one could easily hear in Caracas or Buenos Aires, with its populist anti-rich message:
The Kansas speech was built around one concrete policy idea: that the rich and millionaires (officially still defined as families with before-tax income above $250,000) should send him more money so he can invest it. This single policy, if we heard correctly, will end high unemployment, raise middle-class incomes, put children through college, make America fair and defeat countries that pollute.
Actually, there were other policy ideas as well: that banks need more regulating or theyll cheat the middle class and the poor, and that consumers require more protection from the rapaciousness of lenders.
But it was less a speech about concrete policy proposals than one about promoting the vague and protean concept of economic fairness as the solution. Obama not only talked repeatedly about wanting to ensure fairness, he also warned us what they his unspecified, unnamed opponents would like to see instead. We may not know exactly who hes taking about, but we can safely assume theyre Republicans rather than Democrats:
They want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.
I am here to say they are wrong. Im here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that were greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules.
In the first paragraph, Obamas use of the phrase stacked the deck against middle class Americans implies that they have purposely discriminated against the middle class in order to cheat its members out of what is rightly theirs. In the next sentence he goes on to suggest that if they had their druthers, pure laissez-faire capitalism would be the order of the day.
Although eliminating all financial regulation is not what Obamas leading Republican opponents are actually suggesting, it does set up a nice contrast with Obamas next paragraph, which introduces the concept of fairness that is the heart of his speech. Everyone gets a fair shot sounds as though Obama is referring to equality of opportunity, something Republicans and conservatives favor. But everyone does their [sic] fair share is more potentially problematic, although it is seamlessly slipped in after the previous phrase and sounds deceptively like it.
But how can doing ones fair share possibly be determined? Is Obama edging close to the idea of from each according to his ability, to each according to his need? Its impossible to say quite what he means, which is no accident. And the same is true of the next phrase about everyone needing to play by the same rules.
Some time ago I put together my own synthisis of his Teleprompter Fare in what I call;
The Barak Obama Do It Yourself Speech Kit:
Preamble: this must consist of varying portions or iterations of the following; [Place in any order you choose]
Folks are hurtin. [This must be said with feeling, to show caring.]
We have to invest in the future. [Translation; Spend Spend Spend!]
We need a balanced approach. [Remember, this means Tax Increases so make it sound reasonalbe.]
My hope and expectation is that we can put country before party and get something done for the American people. [This is the crux of the speech, this is where it is emphasized that any disagreement is tantamount to Treason.]
[At this point it is important to have an agenda list that will consist of proposals. Use the following skeleton to introduce each of the agenda items.]
Obama Introduce a Subject on the Agenda
Some would say [Insert here a quotation of something No One ever says.]
let me be perfectly clear [This is the place for obfuscation about the subject and any position regarding the subject.]
We cannot simply just [This is where you mention something that would inspire the American People if mentioned by a Republican politician, i.e. "we cannot simply just drill for all the oil we need."]
make no mistake about [Here is where the Exact Opposite of any of the things which are to take place are stated.]
I reject the false choice that some would [Again, reiterate quotations that No One has ever said followed by Him vs. an idiotic extrapolation of any Republican position.]
I have ordered my team to [Doesn't matter what actions you fill in here, they aren't going to do it.]
Repeat as needed for new subjects
Then, in closing you must include a reference to the Bush Administration and The Failed Policies of the Past. that we cannot go back to.
From his speech, one would almost think that Obama is moving towards the imposition of a flat tax after all, that would seem to make the tax rules the same for all levels of income. But of course thats not what hes getting at at all. To Obama, whats fair for a poor person is the use of different rules (or at least different tax rates) than those for a rich person, a progressive rather than a flat tax.
By using the word fair or fairness over and over as though their meanings and the best way to achieve them are self-evident, Obama glosses over the quandary that every consideration of fairness in tax law presents. For example, is progressive taxation, which sets a higher tax rate for the rich, fairer because the rich can afford to pay more? And if so, then how progressive is progressive enough to satisfy the requirements of fairness? Also, is it fairer to allow the poorer segment of society to pay no income tax, or is it fairer to have its members pay something?
Or would it actually be fairer to have people of all income levels pay a flat tax that is the same percentage of whatever their income might be? And what about exemptions and loopholes? Is it fairer to eliminate them all, or just some, and if so which ones? How about taxing consumption rather than income? Is that too regressive a tax to be fair, even though its equal? And what of dividends, which are taxed twice, once at the corporate level and once at the individual level? How fair is that?
In addition, there are the myriad practical considerations that should be factored into any decision about fairness. For example, the tax rate that is set for the last dollar of a persons taxable income (the marginal tax rate) is not the same as the rate that is actually paid (the effective tax rate), and this difference should be recognized. But later in his speech Obama purposely blurs the two by comparing higher marginal tax rates of the past (up to 90% for the highest brackets during the Eisenhower years) with lower effective tax rates of today apples to oranges. In so doing, he also ignores the enormous tax shelters that functioned to drastically lower the effective rate during those times of sky-high marginal tax rates and to encourage investment as well.
Any honest discussion of tax rates and fairness is inevitably complex, full of wonky charts and details that make most peoples eyes glaze over, and about which liberal and conservative economists can argue nearly forever. Obama takes the easy way out by pretending that the issues have a simplicity and the answers a clarity that they lack, and that he is telling self-evident truths. But what hes really doing is pandering to a schoolyard mentality of envy that says, Its not fair if other people have more stuff than I do; they must be cheating and they should pay me back and that governments just the one to do it.
Somebody pointed out that there was nothing accidental about this - Osowatomie was the name of the Weathermen’s magazine back in the early 1970s. Bill Ayers was a member of the Weathermen (a violent SDS off-shoot).
I’m sure he and Obama got together and decided this would be a perfect venue for a call to class warfare and Marxism.
Much of Osawatomie, which was written at a time when the Dohrn-Ayers wing of the Weather Underground was transitioning from terrorism to working from the inside for revolution, concerns itself with the need to encourage organizers who will work in communities and use audacity to bring about socialism in America.Let's not kid ourselves. Obama's speech in Osawatomie Wisconsin was a official declaration of Marxist Revolution against America.
[Quoting the Weather Underground's 1975 OSAWATOMIE (note the "OWS" in that town name) magazine:]"Like all our work, OSAWATOMIE is guided by a commitment to struggle, a determination to fight the enemy, the certainty that we will see revolution in our lifetime"
Owe me a coke.
Obama is a whining girly-boy who is the perfect spokesman for his generation of incompetent moochers.
They ride to the good life on a wave of political correctness, Affirmative action and government pandering.
All he knows about making his way in life is how to play the victim and snivel that life isn’t fair.
Obama is the spirit of the anti-American.
He is a disgusting waste of a God given precious life.
IbJensen, you are SO right on!!
Fairness is only what he and his insiders consider fair. Obama’s philosophy of ‘fairness’ is the most elemental and primitive political idea: tribalism. It goes beyond the intellectual appeal of Marxism when its economic and political application was an ‘innovation’ in the 20th century. Now, we have the historical record which demonstrates that socialized systems eventually lead to tyranny, the police state and tens of millions dead.
Obama wants total power, a totalitarian police state. He will define fairness. He can cloak it in Marxist ideology, but that disguise is well
recognized now. If Obama does get a second term, the republic is dead
because regarless of the composition of the Congress, Obama will rule by decree and via the administrative state. In that situation, a peaceful restoration of the republic will be impossible. A coup d’état would be needed as a transition back to republic, but I fear that we would suffer the same fate as the fall of the Roman Republic.
As a kid of the 60’s, I can remember when I tried to pull the “fair” game on my mom.
“Thats’s not fair”, I cried.
“Life’s not fair, so get over it”, my mother responded.
I never tried that lame excuse again.
Looks like zero never got the same lesson!
Yeah, when I read it I could barely believe it. But it’s true: the Weathermen’s “Prairie Fire” publication was named Osowatomie. It featured glorious pictures of Mao, just like those in the Obama posters that were all over the place in the last election. Complete with halo.
Wow. Thanks for the heads up. Talk about your smoking gun.
Incompetency, hate, class warfare.
Keep it up Bozo because DC resembles Madrid in 1936 more and more each day!
There is a day of reckoning when we die and are judged, but a day of reckoning could be coming for this lousy government and this evil administration.
At least one, if not the main problem, with ‘FAIR’ is that it is a totally subjective concept, ie: what one person considers fair is unlikely to be universal! President Obama considers it FAIR to force me to buy insurance just for living in these United States. The 23 Attorney Generals bringing the Supreme Court case this term disagree.
Thus a call to being actively ‘FAIR’ is a call to submitting to the caller’s concept of fairness - I consider this to be unfair!
Eli Thayer, a second-term Congressman from Massachusetts, hatched the idea of an Emigrant Aid Company in the winter of 1853-4. His primary partners in the venture were Alexander H. Bullock and Edward Everett Hale, and together they set Thayer's plans in motion on March 5, 1854.And another to bookend:
[Edward Everett] Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed the short story "My Double and How He Undid Me" to the Atlantic Monthly. He soon published other stories in the same periodical. The best known of these was "The Man Without a Country"And Obama, here today, is indeed the man without a country.
Born of his mom, Stanley Anne Dunham, a traveler. Her dad's parents raised his Dad in Kansas:
... The Travelers' Cafe on William St. situated between the old firehouse and the old Wichita City Hall.That is, until 25 November 25 1926, when 8 year old Stanley Armour Dunham found his mom's body, dead of suicide. Stanley was then placed with his maternal grandparents in El Dorado, Kansas to be raised. Like Obama came to be placed with his maternal grandparents, also about the age of 8.
Obama, the traveler is searching for his roots, and came to Osawatomie, Kansas to ground them there.
There with the red legs and Weather Underground, back down the maternal line. A tree seeded from cheap terrorisms, banditry, chaos and suicide.
**To go to Osawatomie and neglect a nod to its history diminishes the point in being there and squanders an opportunity to leverage its meaning as a milestone in America's epic journey of freedom.**
Hussein misses again. LOL
And only a couple days later "Just another Bam scandal [No bid contract for Dem fundraiser and SEIU union official]" where the small businessman gets screwed by Obama, the taxpayer gets screwed by Obama, and the middle class takes it yet again courtesy of Obama.
Very strange. Why do we have to be the theater for Bambi’s psychodrama?
The guy doesn’t even merit it. He’s not very bright, was promoted way above his paygrade (simply by being part black, residually Muslim, and anti-American) and has no ideas. He has a personality that is rather akin to that of a deceased piscine creature.
The press and the radical leftists behind him, the other face of Osowatomie, put him where he is. But he has always believed his own press, so he probably thinks he has sanctified the ugly Kansas connections and we should all want to go back on a journey down his memory lane to confront the ugly past of his (putative) Marxist family.
I’m sick of Obama’s reality theater.
I think I shall have more to say on this. G-d willing. Just human history type-stuff, though. The “middle class”, George Washington, Barabados, Marx, highwaymen and renegades, that kind of stuff.
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