President Obama opined, "History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry."
The expansion of the railroads was accomplished by, primarily, British railroad speculators and a land bribe, giving a section (one square mile) of land along each mile of railroad bed right-of-way. It cost taxpayers nothing, and created hundreds of thousands of jobs and planted the seeds of the great catalog retailers, Sears Roebuck and Co. and J.C. Penney. To suggest that the great railroad expansion was a Federal program is patently silly.
He continues to misrepresent, "From the turmoil of the industrial revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age." Again, public education was not championed by the Federal government. Public schools were local efforts by local citizens out of a civic duty.
The President could not have picked a more ironic example next, "In the wake of war and depression, the GI bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle class in history."
The GI bill was a tuition assistance voucher that did not discriminate against religious schools. If the President means to follow this example, he should pursue the expansion of vouchers to neighborhood secondary schools. (Fat chance.)
He continues, "And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world."
What was this twilight struggle for freedom? Against collectivism, socialism, and communism – against large central governments like the USSR? Mr. President, look in the mirror!
He concludes, "In each case, government didn't supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive."
Private enterprise is catalyzed by three essential enablers: The protection of private property, an efficient honest marketplace, and a monetary policy that maintains the value of the nation’s currency.
The Obama Administration is making a no-holds-barred assault upon all three by raising taxes on the most productive (the 2% already carry over half the freeloaders that voted for him on their backs), by confiscatory tax rates on businesses and corporations, and by inflating the money supply.
American greatness is a result of limited government, something our current Occupant seems incapable of grasping.