published Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

What Obama really meant

  • photo
    President Barack Obama waves after his speech at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama presented 2,095 words of confounding rhetoric and preachy prose. The president's frequent use of the royal "we" and undercurrent of his belief in the necessity of government — even to perform functions that are best left to individuals and free markets — appear to lay the groundwork for the collectivist assault on liberty and economic sanity that he plans to propose over the next four years.

In order to understand what Obama's words really meant, it's instructive to look deeper into Monday's address and translate his ornate oration into plain speak. Only then can we see just how wrong — and how offensive and out of touch — so many of Obama's proclamations were.

What Obama said: "Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play."

What Obama really meant: "The government imposition of a strict set of rules and regulations is necessary for a free market to work."

Why Obama is wrong: Almost all failures we, as Americans, have ever experienced with the free market have been a direct result of poor government policies that created monopolies, cartels and inefficiencies with production or distribution. Thanks to courts, contracts and the innate honesty and goodness of humans, a true free market is extraordinarily self-policing and effective.


What Obama said: "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."

What Obama really meant: "It's the government's role to take care of anyone facing hardship -- and if there's not already a program to help everyone suffering with anything, I'll create one."

Why Obama is wrong: No nation or government has ever been necessary to help those in need or the least fortunate in a society. In fact, that notion is a recent — and quite scary — one. For centuries charities, aid societies, churches and caring neighbors have stood ready and willing to provide assistance and services to those in need. Only in the last 80 years has government pushed these altruistic private options aside and forced all people to fund expensive, poorly run and extraordinarily ineffective government schemes to help our fellow man — at the detriment of the private organizations that function much better.


What Obama said: "No single person can train all the math and science teachers we'll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people."

What Obama really meant: "You didn't build that ..."

Why Obama is wrong: Government simply isn't required to achieve remarkable accomplishments. Most of the country's greatest feats have been performed or built by private individuals and companies succeeding in spite of the government -- certainly not because of bureaucracies and central planners. Despite the failure of his stimulus program, Obama still can't seem to grasp that government doesn't create jobs — entrepreneurs do.


What Obama said: "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun."

What Obama really meant: "Yeah, I'm killing kids with drone strikes all the time, but at least drones are doing the killing and not troops. And yeah, the economy totally stinks, but I can fudge numbers here and there so I don't look like a complete failure as a president."

Why Obama is wrong: At the same time Obama was dancing his way through various inaugural balls, his military and foreign policy advisers were discussing expanding U.S. military support for the French invasion of Mali. The economy is an even bigger fib. The unemployment rate is currently 7.8 percent — the same rate it was in January 2009 when Obama took office.

Millions of Americans are no longer counted as unemployed because they have become so frustrated with their poor job prospects that they have simply stopped looking for work. So, in total, unemployment is actually worse now than when Obama was first inaugurated — and that doesn't even address the economic problems that are likely to result from the $5.8 trillion Obama has added to the national debt.


What Obama said: "We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future."

What Obama really meant: "If you love old people, you'll let me take most of your money to prop up failing entitlement programs."

Why Obama is wrong: As much as Obama wants to pretend that there are only two choices: taking away Social Security and Medicare from America's seniors or shelling out trillions more in taxes, that simply isn't reality. A responsible leader would stop inventing false choices and scare tactics and make rational, responsible improvements to entitlement programs, while cutting wasteful and unnecessary government spending to help make the programs solvent.


What Obama said: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."

What Obama really meant: "Allow government to dictate what kind of car you drive, TV you buy and dryer you use. Oh, and we also want to tax and regulate fossil fuel companies out of existence, and institute a carbon tax to raise more money for my nutty programs."

Why Obama is wrong: Patrick J. Michaels, a scientist who serves as director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, points out that "using monthly data measured as the departure from long-term averages, there's been no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures." There is simply no justification for mountains of dangerous, intrusive, socialist-style policies to address climate change.


What Obama said: "For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts."

What Obama really meant: "Look at me ladies! I'm giving you a shout out and pandering to you!"

Why Obama is wrong: Study after study indicates that when a man and a woman with the same education are doing the same work in the same field, the pay gap is less than 5 percent and, in many professions, women actually earn more than men. In fact, men seem to be worse off in our current economy. It turns out that men are currently much more likely to become unemployed — and stay unemployed longer — than women.

When you take the time to read into what Obama was actually saying in his inaugural address, one thing becomes clear: For anyone who believes in liberty, free markets, limited government, personal responsibility and honesty, it's going to be a long four years.

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aae1049 said...

No way, Harry Austin wrote this. Please move this to the right side of the paper, cuz I love this piece. This is a conservative worthy editorial. Keep Harry Austin locked in closet or on vacation, this is good. Stop kidding, I bet Drew Johnson wrote this.

January 23, 2013 at 12:36 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Don't you love it when Republicans have to put words in the President's mouth to create the enormous straw man they so desperately want to argue with?

January 23, 2013 at 12:37 a.m.
Easy123 said...

I'd also like to point out some revealing facts about Patrick J. Michaels:

"Dr. Michaels has acknowledged that 40% of his funding comes from fossil fuel sources: (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2010/08/16/113717/oil-fueled-pat-michaels/) Known funding includes $49,000 from German Coal Mining Association, $15,000 from Edison Electric Institute and $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company, an early supporter of People for the West, a "wise use" group. He received $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association, above and beyond the undisclosed amount he is paid for the World Climate Report/Review. According to Harper's magazine, Michaels has recieved over $115,000 over the past four years from coal and oil interests. Michaels wrote "Sound and Fury" and "The Satanic Gases," two books skeptical of global warming and attempts to curtail greenhose gas emmissions. The books were published by the right wing think-tank Cato Institute. Dr. Michaels signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration. In July of 2006, it was revealed that the Intermountain Rural Electric Association "contributed $100,000 to Dr. Michaels."

Come on, man!

January 23, 2013 at 12:40 a.m.
Easy123 said...

"Look at me ladies! I'm giving you a shout out and pandering to you!"

Take notes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/the-myth-of-male-decline.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

January 23, 2013 at 12:45 a.m.
Easy123 said...

"Despite the failure of his stimulus program"

It didn't fail.

"...the stimulus increased employment by about 400,000 jobs in the first quarter after it went into effect, and increased it by about 2.7 million at its peak. If you're deriding the price tag for those jobs, you're acknowledging that the jobs exist."

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2011/07/stimulus_rip.html

January 23, 2013 at 12:50 a.m.
Easy123 said...

"Thanks to courts, contracts and the innate honesty and goodness of humans, a true free market is extraordinarily self-policing and effective."

"LMFAO! Tell that to JPMorgan, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bernie Madoff, Enron, Oracle, Lehman Brothers, Robert Moffatt, Bear Stearns, WorldCom, etc.

January 23, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.
Easy123 said...

"The unemployment rate is currently 7.8 percent — the same rate it was in January 2009 when Obama took office."

That's still lower than it was during the whole of 2012. That means it's going down. Bitch and moan some more for us.

January 23, 2013 at 1:02 a.m.
raygunz said...

TFP editors, couldn't you have put the "Chattanooga Village offers hope to Hixson" piece somewhere else to make room for this disingenuous crap on the tea-bagger((right-wing),I mean,right-hand side of the editorial page?

January 23, 2013 at 1:03 a.m.
fairmon said...

Easy123 said...

article states..."Thanks to courts, contracts and the innate honesty and goodness of humans, a true free market is extraordinarily self-policing and effective."

easy said..."LMFAO! Tell that to JPMorgan, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bernie Madoff, Enron, Oracle, Lehman Brothers, Robert Moffatt, Bear Stearns, WorldCom, etc.

Why is Oracle included? Oracle has been successful without scandal and without government help. The others all went bankrupt but the government baled out those they favored (JPM, AIG, GS, BAC and others) so the market did police itself. Greedy businesses and greedy people will get ground up in a free market and they should. The government should not intervene other than to assure adequate competition and compliance with regulations without government favor. People like Madoff play on peoples greed. People are sympathetic for those falling for a scam offering returns that are not realistic without understanding the business they are investing in, I am not.

January 23, 2013 at 3:29 a.m.
fairmon said...

easy...The percent of the 154 million in the work force with full time jobs is a more accurate measurement of the employment situation and it is not improving, it is not Obama's fault and an ignorant congress have no clue what to do.

When any politician says we are in this together or we are partners means the government will decide what we can and cannot do, what we will pay for and how much we will pay. The government and the current tax system is a lot like a ponzi scheme. A ponzi scheme implodes when there is not enough new money to provide the expected return to other participants. Once borrowing, printing and taxing peaks the game is over. The only viable solution is good paying jobs with millions more people working and paying taxes. A stimulus will not bring that about in a way that last.

January 23, 2013 at 4:09 a.m.
aae1049 said...

I like the new Harry Austin. Great analysis of the speech.

January 23, 2013 at 6:07 a.m.
Easy123 said...

fairmon,

"Why is Oracle included? Oracle has been successful without scandal and without government help."

You must Google deeper.

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-all-the-people-mucking-up-oracle-according-to-employees-2012-6?op=1

"The others all went bankrupt but the government baled out those they favored (JPM, AIG, GS, BAC and others) so the market did police itself."

Not in the way the author of the article is talking about.

"Greedy businesses and greedy people will get ground up in a free market and they should."

They usually don't unless they get caught.

"The government should not intervene other than to assure adequate competition and compliance with regulations without government favor."

Didn't you just say the market regulated itself via government intervention? Which is it?

January 23, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.
Easy123 said...

fairmon,

"The only viable solution is good paying jobs with millions more people working and paying taxes."

That is a pipe dream. It all sounds good in theory but getting that to actually happen is like trying to make gold out lead. It doesn't happen like that. Their aren't enough good paying jobs in this country and the ones that actually do pay well require extensive academic study. While I agree with you that those things would solve our problem, I don't see that solution actually coming to fruition any time soon.

January 23, 2013 at 6:15 a.m.
Easy123 said...

aae1049,

"Great analysis of the speech."\

Of what speech? The "behind-the-words" speech this author thinks Obama really meant to say? Were the delusional, misguided, dishonest parts of the analysis great too?

January 23, 2013 at 6:17 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

I'm sure Drew not Harry wrote this, and it's listed as a Times editorial by mistake.

Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" gives similar translations of political hot air into plain English. (So does C. S. Lewis's novel "Out of the Silent Planet." I'm not sure which was written first. Also Niven/Pournelle's novel "Footfall," probably riffing on Lewis.)

January 23, 2013 at 6:46 a.m.
fairmon said...

Easy123 said... fairmon said..,

"The only viable solution is good paying jobs with millions more people working and paying taxes."

easy responded...That is a pipe dream. It all sounds good in theory but getting that to actually happen is like trying to make gold out lead. It doesn't happen like that. Their aren't enough good paying jobs in this country and the ones that actually do pay well require extensive academic study. While I agree with you that those things would solve our problem, I don't see that solution actually coming to fruition any time soon.

Does that mean the only solution you see is keep borrowing, printing and taxing?

Keep buying those imports and taxing hell out of manufacturing while giving service and financials the tax breaks and you are right. One of our leaders in an interview said we don't need Americans doing semi-skilled trinket making work, we will leave that to other countries. I could only conclude she meant the government will support those that would do that work. Making trinkets at a decent wage of $14 an hour which enables competing with imports is better than wholesale welfare and better than a lot of services jobs. An aggressive energy independence program with conversion to natural gas would yield millions of good paying jobs for those willing to relocate.

Do you agree that every penny paid in taxes by any business is included in the cost of their goods or services? Do you think people realize the cost of anything they buy includes about 35% in local, state and federal taxes and other legislated cost?

January 23, 2013 at 7:02 a.m.
fairmon said...

"Greedy businesses and greedy people will get ground up in a free market and they should."

easy said...They usually don't unless they get caught. easy...if they don't get caught how do you know they are greedy? Are you one of those assuming all businesses and people are greedy?

"The government should not intervene other than to assure adequate competition and compliance with regulations without government favor."

easy said..Didn't you just say the market regulated itself via government intervention? Which is it?

There is a difference in reasonable regulations that apply equally to all businesses, that protects worker health and safety, assuring fair competition and government intervention with subsidies, grants, charging royalties and many other ways governments involve themselves in a business.

January 23, 2013 at 7:16 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Easy does it, Easy123. This is a great piece. It is enjoyable to see this on the Harry Austin side of the editorial page.

January 23, 2013 at 8:29 a.m.
Easy123 said...

fairmon,

"Does that mean the only solution you see is keep borrowing, printing and taxing?"

At this point, it doesn't really matter. I don't know what the threshold is for our current situation but, according to most economists, we aren't at the brink yet. I don't have the answers. I thought that's what we paid those bums in Washington to do.

"Making trinkets at a decent wage of $14 an hour which enables competing with imports is better than wholesale welfare and better than a lot of services jobs."

That will never happen. Menial jobs don't even come close to making that kind of wage.

"Do you agree that every penny paid in taxes by any business is included in the cost of their goods or services?"

Sometimes. Other times I'm not so sure.

"Do you think people realize the cost of anything they buy includes about 35% in local, state and federal taxes and other legislated cost?"

Anyone that thinks hard enough about it should. Have you ever bought a Nike shoe or a name brand item? That stuff isn't cheap despite the fact that it is made with cheap materials.

January 23, 2013 at 8:43 a.m.
Easy123 said...

aae1049,

"This is a great piece."

You said that already. Could you elaborate?

January 23, 2013 at 8:44 a.m.
Easy123 said...

fairmon,

"if they don't get caught how do you know they are greedy? Are you one of those assuming all businesses and people are greedy?"

Everyone has the capacity for greed. The vast majority of business people I know are, at least, a little greedy.

"There is a difference in reasonable regulations that apply equally to all businesses, that protects worker health and safety, assuring fair competition and government intervention with subsidies, grants, charging royalties and many other ways governments involve themselves in a business."

I agree but I also think it's difficult for any conglomeration, whether it is banks, large companies, etc, to allow government only to intervene in the "right" situations. Our government likes winners. And if you aren't a winner, our government will make you one. You said it before, our government bailed out the banks that it had special interests with and in. Many people that I know preferred to let them go belly up. Would that be the correct course of action? I don't think so and I doubt you do either. But once corporations or banks let government get that foothold, as long as there are bankers and executives finding themselves in positions of power in Washington and as long as those same banks, firms, and corporations are investing their money into our government leaders in Washington, our government will continue to have an awkward, less-than-ideal to the public, relationship with big business, banks, etc. I apologize for being long-winded.

January 23, 2013 at 8:55 a.m.
chatt_man said...

This makes for such good entertainment. Defending this POS president seems to be getting harder and harder as he goes.

I don't see it getting any EASYier going FORWARD. LMAO

January 23, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Defending the President is very easy when people like the author have to resort to elaborate straw man arguments to make their case. "This is what Obama really meant". Only WingNut morons belief stuff like that.

It's been this easy since the beginning. The opposition is still highly unintelligent and only presents fallacious arguments and baseless propaganda.

You're just a POS anyway. LMFAO!

January 23, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Sure Easy 123

This is a great piece from an awesome writer. Take note, he is writing for a major newspaper and we are blogging, wink ;-) I call that a clue.

January 23, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You literally just said the same thing you've been saying. Are you ever going to give any information as to WHY it's a great article?

January 23, 2013 at 6:14 p.m.
bret said...

Clearly, something got lost in the translation. Right-wingers can't debate the actual man or his policies so they make up this fantasy Obama that is the evil Muslim/Socialist/Communist who is coming to take all their freedoms away.

What Obama said: "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun."

What Obama really meant: "A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun."

Why Obama is right: A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun.

January 23, 2013 at 9:17 p.m.
aae1049 said...

Bret, You believe economic recovery has begun?

January 23, 2013 at 9:24 p.m.
bret said...

< Bret, You believe economic recovery has begun?

Yes, it was in all the papers ... except perhaps this one.

January 23, 2013 at 9:29 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Well aae1049, there's your answer, "it was in all the papers." Knows this one well, too..??

January 23, 2013 at 9:41 p.m.
aae1049 said...

If that is the starting point on what Main Street America believes about the current condition of the US economy, then all I can say is do do do da da da is all I want to say to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eps81-QV_e4

January 23, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.
gypsylady said...

What Drew said: I got nuthin' so I'll make up some stuff. Drew, you are better than this.

January 23, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.
cooljb said...

Hey 123, Read the article while pretending you aren't pregnant with Obama's baby and you may be able to realize it makes sense.

January 24, 2013 at 5:37 a.m.
Easy123 said...

cooljb,

I'm not capable of being pregnant due to the penis and testicles between my legs. And, even after that fact, the article still has many falsehoods in it.

Pretend like you aren't a WingNut hack and then you might understand that every anti-Obama isn't true despite how much you want it to be.

January 24, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.
Leaf said...

What aae1049 said: "This is a great piece from an awesome writer. Take note, he is writing for a major newspaper and we are blogging, wink ;-) I call that a clue."

What aae1049 really meant: "This is a throwaway piece from a hack journalist. Take note, he is writing at a fifth grade reading level for a small city newspaper in Appalachia, and an assortment of people - some intelligent and educated, some not - are blogging. Wink ;-) I listen to what he says because he majored in journalism in college and smoked tons of pot."

Why aae1049 is wrong: A person should form their own opinions with actual reliable information and through thoughtful reflection instead of parroting the talking points of someone with a political agenda.

Hey, this is easy.

January 24, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Thank you Leaf.

That is the most mean spirited post, to marginalize us as just Appalachia unimportant. While we are a small city, we are a wonderful city.

I am for the most part conservative, so I do adhere to those principles as much as possible. I make no apologies for that.

January 24, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.
Leaf said...

Yeah. It's annoying when people put words in your mouth and paint you as a caricature, isn't it, aae1049? Now do you see why people disdain this ridiculous article? Or are you an African-born Muslim communist bent on the destruction of the American way of life?

January 24, 2013 at 3:57 p.m.
conservative said...

What Obama said: "Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play."

Yes, especially hiring quotas to insure that one company doesn't get the best and most qualified and thus out produce their competition.

January 25, 2013 at 10:32 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

The Lord God of Hosts, Jesus Christ, has always used heads of states to carry out His chastisement upon immoral nations. We must give our current Presidential administration credit where credit is due. They are punishing a liberal rebelliousness against a Thrice Holy God. One of our great Preachers has spoken rightly, "If Jesus Christ does not judge the USA, then He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah". This present administration is doing exactly as they should to wring the blood out of our noses due to our supporting an evil liberal Democrat agenda of immorality. This present administration is indeed being used by God.

Ken ORR

January 26, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.
Easy123 said...

Ah, the two most ignorant bigots back to back: Conservative and Ken Orr!

January 26, 2013 at 10:44 p.m.
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