Yes Who Can?

The upcoming presidential election is a choice between "Yes you can" and "Yes we can."

Mitt Romney recently embraced his inner "Yes you can":

Today, government at all levels consumes 37 percent of the total economy. ... And through the increasing controls government has imposed on industries like energy, financial services and automobiles, it will soon effectively control the majority of our economic activity.

America is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. President Obama is transforming America into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity. ... We know where that transformation leads. There are other nations that have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

[T]here is nothing morally right about trying to turn government dependence into a substitute for the dignity of work. ... I don't want to transform America; I want to restore the values of economic freedom. ...

President Obama trusts in the wisdom of government. I put my trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people.

For what it's worth, my housekeeper tells me that "Yes you can" is "Sí tú puedes" in Spanish.  Because she makes at least 200% more per hour than SEIU janitors, she also embraces "Yes you can."

On the other hand, President Obama's "Yes we can" is more complicated.  We might even say it has "evolved" and gradually shed its platitudinous disguise. 

We all heard the "Yes we can" bromide during the 2008 campaign, but we now understand that Obama's "we" is short on "you" and long on "him."  The president uses first-person pronouns with incontinent frequency:

Our economy started growing again six months after I took office and it has continued to grow for the last three years.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al-Qaeda. ...

I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. 

My plan sets up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans. ...

I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects.

I've signed a law ... I've cut taxes ... [I]'ve proposed a new defense strategy ...

I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. ... And I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by the rules.

I've got a different vision for America. ... That's my vision for America. ... This is the vision I intend to pursue in my second term as president

And I'm running for a second term as president because we have more to do.

But I can do a whole lot more...

Given this litany of self-credit, it is safe to say that Barack Obama really meant something like "Technically, yes we can, but really only with me, Barack Obama, president of these United States, very heavily involved."

But the president's self-confidence is at odds with the facts, and unjustified.  Every time he and his administration get involved, bad things happen. 

Our unemployment surged after the February 2009 Obama stimulus, then returned to its very same February 2009 levels -- in other words, the non-stimulus was an $800-billion waste.  The under-employment rate remained persistently high, and black teen unemployment is now at 39.3%

Likewise, after Obama dove into the offshore energy business 19,000 jobs were eliminated and $1.9 billion of economic damage inflicted.  Similarly, the president has cost coal country up to 30% of its jobs, and thousands more are at risk. 

As well, the president's involvement in the renewable energy sector was a spectacular bust.  He wasted $90 billion in what the Wall Street Journal called "The Green Jobs Brown Out."  Obama's Solyndra was only the first lead balloon.  Johnson Controls turned $300 million in government grants into 150 jobs, at a cost of $2 million per job.

Nonetheless, in a robust display of misplaced confidence, President Obama recently further clarified "Yes we can":

[I]f you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. ... If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

So while Barack Obama's "Yes we can" may for a time have seemed like "Technically, yes we can, but really only with me, Barack Obama, president of these United States, very heavily involved," we now know better.  His latest disdain indicates that he really meant "No you can't" -- and he is the first president in over 200 years to suggest such a thing.

And in the spirit of "No you can't," President "Somebody Else" persists in pushing more wasteful spending and more handouts -- most recently by waiving welfare work requirements, thus quelling individual aspirations, encouraging class envy, and establishing a permanent and discouraged underclass of reliable Democrat voters.

Recent Rasmussen results indicate that even those who receive Obama cash have more sense than the president.  In their hearts they know the gravy train must stop, despite the temptations it presents.  Dependence breeds bitterness and a get-mine mentality, both of which are disconcerting to good, kind, and hopeful people. 

The president's patronizing view of us as inept and permanently classed is uniquely Democrat but distinctly un-American.  Consider the U.S. Census Bureau's recent testament to our economic vibrancy:

The proportion of households in the bottom quintile in 2004 that moved up to a higher quintile in 2007 (30.9 percent) was not statistically different from the proportion of households in the top quintile in 2004 that moved to a lower quintile in 2007 (32.2 percent). ... Chronic poverty was relatively uncommon, with 2.2 percent of the population living in poverty all 48 months from 2004 to 2007.

This observation about American economic mobility validates Mitt Romney's "trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people."

So with Romney's "Yes you can" and Obama's "Yes we can / No you can't" comes a choice.  The first is a vote for hard work, fortitude, and dignity; the second is a vote for Obama's dismal record, sloth, and the low self-esteem that comes from dependence.  On a personal level, one choice invites virtue, and the other invites vice.  We should recall the observation of a prudent man, Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

During times when jobs were reasonably plentiful ... the Negro family became stronger and more stable. As jobs became more and more difficult to find, the stability of the family became more and more difficult to maintain.

Unsurprisingly, instability of the family is the one area where the president has excelled.  As was recently reported, our "illegitimacy rate, dropout rate, crime rate and incarceration rate have set new records, as the test scores of high school students have plummeted to new lows."  Likewise, related Obama achievements of note include the abortion of 60% of the black babies in NYC and the establishment of a Planned Parenthood clinic in an LA high school.

We all know something is very wrong, if for no other reason than simple awareness of household economics.  The circle can't be squared with redistributive vote-buying. 

For the 99%, only a miserable quality of life will remain once Obama's Leviathan has devalued the currency and crowded out private-sector jobs (and pushed religion and its virtues from the public square).  At that point, out of sheer necessity, we each will desperately seek extra employment (as well as reconnection with the mediating institutions of neighborhood, family, church and voluntary associations). 

A return to American values, and producing more than we spend, must occur.  It's only a matter of time, and time is short.  The question for November is how much damage should we permit before returning to sanity and recovering individual dignity.  In other words, do you vote "Yes you can" and return to prosperity and virtue; or vote "Yes we can / No you can't" and dig the hole deeper?

The upcoming presidential election is a choice between "Yes you can" and "Yes we can."

Mitt Romney recently embraced his inner "Yes you can":

Today, government at all levels consumes 37 percent of the total economy. ... And through the increasing controls government has imposed on industries like energy, financial services and automobiles, it will soon effectively control the majority of our economic activity.

America is on the cusp of having a government-run economy. President Obama is transforming America into something very different than the land of the free and the land of opportunity. ... We know where that transformation leads. There are other nations that have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

[T]here is nothing morally right about trying to turn government dependence into a substitute for the dignity of work. ... I don't want to transform America; I want to restore the values of economic freedom. ...

President Obama trusts in the wisdom of government. I put my trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people.

For what it's worth, my housekeeper tells me that "Yes you can" is "Sí tú puedes" in Spanish.  Because she makes at least 200% more per hour than SEIU janitors, she also embraces "Yes you can."

On the other hand, President Obama's "Yes we can" is more complicated.  We might even say it has "evolved" and gradually shed its platitudinous disguise. 

We all heard the "Yes we can" bromide during the 2008 campaign, but we now understand that Obama's "we" is short on "you" and long on "him."  The president uses first-person pronouns with incontinent frequency:

Our economy started growing again six months after I took office and it has continued to grow for the last three years.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against Al-Qaeda. ...

I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. 

My plan sets up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans. ...

I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects.

I've signed a law ... I've cut taxes ... [I]'ve proposed a new defense strategy ...

I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. ... And I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by the rules.

I've got a different vision for America. ... That's my vision for America. ... This is the vision I intend to pursue in my second term as president

And I'm running for a second term as president because we have more to do.

But I can do a whole lot more...

Given this litany of self-credit, it is safe to say that Barack Obama really meant something like "Technically, yes we can, but really only with me, Barack Obama, president of these United States, very heavily involved."

But the president's self-confidence is at odds with the facts, and unjustified.  Every time he and his administration get involved, bad things happen. 

Our unemployment surged after the February 2009 Obama stimulus, then returned to its very same February 2009 levels -- in other words, the non-stimulus was an $800-billion waste.  The under-employment rate remained persistently high, and black teen unemployment is now at 39.3%

Likewise, after Obama dove into the offshore energy business 19,000 jobs were eliminated and $1.9 billion of economic damage inflicted.  Similarly, the president has cost coal country up to 30% of its jobs, and thousands more are at risk. 

As well, the president's involvement in the renewable energy sector was a spectacular bust.  He wasted $90 billion in what the Wall Street Journal called "The Green Jobs Brown Out."  Obama's Solyndra was only the first lead balloon.  Johnson Controls turned $300 million in government grants into 150 jobs, at a cost of $2 million per job.

Nonetheless, in a robust display of misplaced confidence, President Obama recently further clarified "Yes we can":

[I]f you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. ... If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

So while Barack Obama's "Yes we can" may for a time have seemed like "Technically, yes we can, but really only with me, Barack Obama, president of these United States, very heavily involved," we now know better.  His latest disdain indicates that he really meant "No you can't" -- and he is the first president in over 200 years to suggest such a thing.

And in the spirit of "No you can't," President "Somebody Else" persists in pushing more wasteful spending and more handouts -- most recently by waiving welfare work requirements, thus quelling individual aspirations, encouraging class envy, and establishing a permanent and discouraged underclass of reliable Democrat voters.

Recent Rasmussen results indicate that even those who receive Obama cash have more sense than the president.  In their hearts they know the gravy train must stop, despite the temptations it presents.  Dependence breeds bitterness and a get-mine mentality, both of which are disconcerting to good, kind, and hopeful people. 

The president's patronizing view of us as inept and permanently classed is uniquely Democrat but distinctly un-American.  Consider the U.S. Census Bureau's recent testament to our economic vibrancy:

The proportion of households in the bottom quintile in 2004 that moved up to a higher quintile in 2007 (30.9 percent) was not statistically different from the proportion of households in the top quintile in 2004 that moved to a lower quintile in 2007 (32.2 percent). ... Chronic poverty was relatively uncommon, with 2.2 percent of the population living in poverty all 48 months from 2004 to 2007.

This observation about American economic mobility validates Mitt Romney's "trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people."

So with Romney's "Yes you can" and Obama's "Yes we can / No you can't" comes a choice.  The first is a vote for hard work, fortitude, and dignity; the second is a vote for Obama's dismal record, sloth, and the low self-esteem that comes from dependence.  On a personal level, one choice invites virtue, and the other invites vice.  We should recall the observation of a prudent man, Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan:

During times when jobs were reasonably plentiful ... the Negro family became stronger and more stable. As jobs became more and more difficult to find, the stability of the family became more and more difficult to maintain.

Unsurprisingly, instability of the family is the one area where the president has excelled.  As was recently reported, our "illegitimacy rate, dropout rate, crime rate and incarceration rate have set new records, as the test scores of high school students have plummeted to new lows."  Likewise, related Obama achievements of note include the abortion of 60% of the black babies in NYC and the establishment of a Planned Parenthood clinic in an LA high school.

We all know something is very wrong, if for no other reason than simple awareness of household economics.  The circle can't be squared with redistributive vote-buying. 

For the 99%, only a miserable quality of life will remain once Obama's Leviathan has devalued the currency and crowded out private-sector jobs (and pushed religion and its virtues from the public square).  At that point, out of sheer necessity, we each will desperately seek extra employment (as well as reconnection with the mediating institutions of neighborhood, family, church and voluntary associations). 

A return to American values, and producing more than we spend, must occur.  It's only a matter of time, and time is short.  The question for November is how much damage should we permit before returning to sanity and recovering individual dignity.  In other words, do you vote "Yes you can" and return to prosperity and virtue; or vote "Yes we can / No you can't" and dig the hole deeper?