February 24, 2009
Lesson Plans for 'Change'By Matt Spivey
In just over thirty days, our children have learned some very valuable lessons.
Lesson 1: Air Force One rocks!
Though reducing fossil fuels and conserving energy are supposedly major concerns for our new leader, President Obama loves to rev those famous engines.
Recently, Obama's flight schedule looked like this:
Over 12,000 miles in ten days, all for some pep-less rallies that could have been simple speeches from the East Room or the South Lawn. Considering an Obama road trip includes his 747, a backup 747, a C-17 aircraft carrying his presidential limo and Marine One helicopter, and a gas-guzzling convoy of numerous SUVs, our Middle Eastern friends must hear "ka-chings" every time Obama packs a suitcase. Funny, though, I don't hear many environmentalists on megaphones.
Lesson 2: Drugs are tricky.
Peer pressure, experimentation, and performance enhancement are never good reasons for trying steroids. However, a penchant for beer and an addiction to cigarettes is different entirely. When asked about Alex Rodriguez's recent admission of using performance-enhancing drugs, Obama called it "depressing news," saying that drugs have "tarnished an entire era." He also worried about "the message it sends to our kids."
But when it comes to presidential performance, harmful substances seem quite common. While campaigning in North Carolina, Obama apparently waltzed into a bar and, like an attention-seeking frat boy, asked loudly, "Where's my beer?" In Pennsylvania, when asked if his drinking was only a political stunt, he proudly said, "I had a beer last night.'' He added, "Where does the story come from that...I don't like beer? C'mon, man." And it wasn't just on the campaign trail. Obama said in Indiana just last week that he's "always up for a beer."
And we've all heard about Obama's "dirty little secret" of a smoking habit. We know he smoked on the campaign trail and has been trying to quit for years, but he just can't seem to do it. And everyone seems pretty okay with it. While campaigning, Obama himself said in Men's Health, "I figure, seeing as I'm running for president, I need to cut myself a little slack." Slate magazine said, "Obama's smoking habit gives us another reason to like him." Even Katie Couric added that we should "appreciate that the guy's under a lot of pressure."
So children are learning that hitting baseballs with chemical assistance is wrong, but using harmful substances to make friends and deal with stress is fine. Aren't peer pressure and anxiety the very reasons kids start experimenting in the first place?
Lesson 3: Promises are also tricky.
During his campaign, President Obama promised "no more secrecy" when it comes to passing bills, guaranteeing a five-day window for public viewing. He promised that citizens would be told exactly who would be receiving funds or tax breaks on financial legislation and that major meetings and Congressional debates would be televised. He promised that it would become impossible for Congressmen to slip personal pork projects into bills. None of those promises stuck.
After getting elected, Obama and his Congress promised a 48-hour public viewing for bills. Strangely, in only a few short hours under the cover of night, Congress "read" and signed Obama's 1,100 page package...without full public disclosure. Obama also promised that no lobbyists would be hired for his staff of advisors. However, Politico reported "at least a dozen former lobbyists have found top jobs in his administration."
Obama's promise of bipartisanship disappeared on his first attempt, and we now know that the spending "scalpel" President Obama so confidently wielded just a few months ago has yet to be removed from its drawer. Those line-by-line cuts were noticeably absent regarding his recent stimulus bill. An Obama promise is like techno music, kids. It may sound cool, but it's really just empty noise.
Lesson 4: Cheating sometimes isn't cheating.
Back to baseball. When President Obama commented on Alex Rodriguez and the era of steroids, he wanted kids to understand "there are no shortcuts." Obama warned that one's career could be in jeopardy and that we should value "integrity" above all else. But, again, those strong words apparently only apply outside of Washington.
In Obama's lessons for the children cheating on taxes is not only acceptable, it may even earn you a promotion. Rahm Emanuel, Tom Daschle, Timothy Geithner, and others all have tax histories that would make Al Capone smile. And they were all nominated to high office by President Obama.
It doesn't seem consistent to talk about honesty and integrity when half of your inner circle has been scamming the very government you run. At school, the kid leering off a classmate's paper should not be appointed teacher's aide. Our kids need honorable leaders who play by the rules not only in sports, but in the West Wing, too.
Lesson 5: Irresponsibility is okay!
Through the continuous bailouts of individuals and businesses, our government is training our children to refuse responsibility and ignore individualism. Failure is not only an option today; it is a potential career move. Heaven forbid you become successful; you will just be taxed more.
Want to buy a $600,000 house with a $30,000 salary? Want to run a business that overpays employees for making garbage products? No problem! President Obama has shown us that he is ready to reward everyone, regardless of performance. There is no greater deterrent to hard work than our own government. And though our children may not fully understand the poor choices of today's adults, they are certainly witnesses to our culture of corruption and complacency.
President Obama has now saddled future generations with an incomprehensible debt because there is no concept of earned money in our government. There is no real deliberation anymore. Money is simply borrowed from somewhere else, numbers changed from one ledger column to another.
The federal budget means nothing -- like a grocery list when you're starving. Everything goes into the cart. With the world, and the Fed's printing press, at the President's fingertips, what's the point of prudence? A trillion dollars of socialist spending last week has not only snatched precious dollars from our grandchildren's hands, our grandchildren will now owe us in the years to come.
And while a trillion dollars has liberated foreign lands and brought freedom to oppressed people. It's taken the same amount to enslave our own children here at home.
These are not the lessons I want our young people to learn. These are not the values of discipline and honor and character of our founders.
Some may say that we are only one month in, and the new presidency needs time to develop. There may even be more darkness to come before the sun rises again, they say. But if we cannot trust President Obama in the most basic of leadership capacities, then what "hope" do we really have? And where will that leave our children?