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President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas yesterday is yet another socialist, rhetorical campaign device aimed to shift thought away from the real problem: his own economic policies that are failing America.
The speech highlights the fact that the middle class has taken a hard hit in the recession; we have less income, savings, jobs, and hope that the situation will turn around. However, the President is not looking inward to solve the problem at hand—he is continually looking to blame others by making faulty accusations.
“Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that's happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they [the Republicans] want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, 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.”
This is twisted logic that leftists use to frame supporters of economic freedom in a negative light. This type of rhetoric and ideology is like the house built on sand—the logic falls in the face of history. Let’s take the presidency of Calvin Coolidge for example:
Prior to Coolidge, most of the tax burden fell on the rich: maximum federal income tax rates topped off at 73 percent for those earning over $100,000. This is the type of policy President Obama claims America needs. However, in the early 1920s, unemployment hovered at 6.7 percent, the growth of the economy was stagnant, and tax revenues were low.
Coolidge knew that taxing the rich worked against economic growth—the rich would invest their money overseas, scale back business, and hire fewer workers. “The wise and correct course to
follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful,” he said—and he did just that.
Coolidge implemented economic policies that brought on the “Roaring Twenties.” Marginal tax rates for high-income workers were slashed from 60 percent or more to 25 percent. This had wonderfully beneficial effects on the economy:
• Gross national product grew at an average of 4.7 percent
• The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 3.2 percent
• Incentives to work, invest, and save increased
• Income increased across the board
• And as a result, tax revenues soared from that group, more than doubling from $300 million to $700 million
President Obama was wrong when he claimed that “others” want to return to policies that “got us into this mess.” The fact is that the policies of the Obama Administration are oppressive to business and the middle class—they result in less hiring, saving, and investment.
President Obama also propounds a faulty message when he claims that policies such as those of Calvin Coolidge are based on selfish principles. This is simply not true. Free-market principles relieve the burden of the federal government and allow people to freely work together—each achieving their unique needs and not undermining one another.
President Obama’s anti-“rich” rhetoric divides us —different laws and different standards for different people. Economic freedom unites people in one market, with one law, and equal opportunity for all.
The economic principles held by Calvin Coolidge raised the standard of living by raising incomes across all classes, increasing economic growth, and decreasing unemployment.
President Obama should get his facts straight.