(Centennial Fellow) On this Presidents’ Day it’s worth recalling the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933: “Our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” Although sometimes considered the father of the American entitlement state, FDR understood that our sense of achievement and self-sufficiency comes from our work.
Unbelievable. President Obama, among the most divisive presidents in our recent history, gives an also divisive State of the Union speech, taking credit for things he did not do, producing a laundry list of mostly bad things he plans and at the end sounding oh, so nice. This country of ours? We’re a “tight-knit family.” Republicans? He wants to get along with them. To repeat a question he asked, really?
This year is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty, and there has been lots of discussion of whether it worked or didn’t. It didn’t, at least as regards its advertised purpose of reducing poverty. But it didn’t do anything to worsen it, either. That’s President Obama’s record.
(Denver Post, Apr. 18) “The British are coming,” Paul Revere’s alarm to the Massachusetts countryside on this day in 1775, conveys an urgency you don’t get from the equivalent warning of 2010, “The bankruptcy is coming.” Fact is, though, fiscal implosion threatens the aging United States of today as grimly as the redcoats threatened the newborn nation of 235 years ago. The question is whether Americans will come awake as the patriots did on that historic night, or sleepwalk into the abyss. I fear for our country, optimist that I am, because the answer is not clear.