In the president's speech last night, he conceded the following:
1) America was founded on rugged individualism.
2) We need to tax cuts to stimulate spending and hiring.
3) We need to shrink the size of government.
4) We need to do away with onerous and redundant regulations to free up businesses and give the market more certainty.
5) We need to close loopholes, which implies simplifying the tax code and moving away from the lobbyist-controlled corporatocracy that exists now, where his own buddies, Warren Buffett and Jeff Immelt (GE), pay almost no taxes as a pro rata share of income.
I, and every other, conservative/libertarian American should be encouraged that the President has become aware of the above truths. It is a testament to just how far we've fallen as a result of the failed policies of both parties.
However, not to be overly conciliatory, President Obama was quick to qualify all of his concessions with a "double down" on big-government, Keynesian, labor theory of value fiscal policy, which almost immediately negated any respect he seemed to have for the idea of limited, constitutional government:
1) We have a shared fiduciary responsibility for the financial well-being of all Americans.
2) We need to spend more money at the federal level on infrastructure. (additional stimulus)
3) By ignoring the Constitution we now have Social Security, Medicare, Interstate Roads, Railroads, National Parks, etc. Therefore, we can't be so stingy about our adherence to the Constitution.
4) Government is better at creating jobs than the private sector and needs to do more of it.
5) Collective bargaining is a right that needs to be protected.
The assumptions that must be granted for the above proposals to be effective/true are many and varied, but can basically be reduced to the following statist maxims:
Those in government are smarter than you. Government is the source of your rights and has the authority to define them, so there is no need for a code of law to enumerate those rights. Profit belongs to labor, not entrepreneurs. Government is better at educating children, creating jobs, organizing large scale projects, judging the worthiness of charitable pursuits and administering charitable funds.
President Obama demonstrated last night that he is an exceptional speaker who wields considerable power over an audience and has mastered the debate tactic of softly conceding small points to win larger arguments and delivering rhetorical darts with precision. He will be very formidable in a general election, not because he is a capable executive, but because he knows how to speak what the people want to hear... I'll feed you. I'll clothe you. I'll keep you safe.
Bread and Circuses...