Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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LETTER: Rhetorical caffeine for progressives nationwide

“@BarackObama: Watch a livestream of the second inauguration here starting at 11:30am ET:http://www.2013pic.org/live

Because there have only been two.

Barack Obama’s second inauguration speech was riddled with the same rhetoric he has been spewing for the past four years.  His ideological rant lasted about 15 minutes and rehashed his increasingly progressive agenda advocating for the ever-achievable American welfare state.

His blatant attempt to include constitutional language was utterly laughable considering Obama’s growing mantra defending the collective and against the individual, going against the ideals set forth by our founders. But amongst all the veiled reverences to American historical documents and all the repeated “we’s,” it was his collectivist approach to American historical documents that struck me as most insulting.

“Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character,” he said.

I do not know whether to laugh or cry. With the highest corporate tax rate in the world, Obama is doing everything but championing equality. I know that most “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” college students believe Obama’s attack of corporations is some incalculable equalizing force.

Guess what? That is incorrect and I am not sorry.

Regarding fairness in tax policy and equality of opportunity in America, Obama’s actions have had inverse effects.  His insistence on raising taxes on the “1 percent” will bring in a mere fraction of the revenue he has planned to reel in and hit lower classes harder than ever while top earners use tax shelters and loopholes to evade the tax. A higher tax rate on less money does not mean more revenue. A pivotal economic principle our President refuses to understand and tolerate is the fact that profit for anybody is profit for everybody.

And yet he claims the following: “For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”

Amidst fiscal cliff talks, I questioned Obama’s last-minute decision-making in his attempting (and succeeding) in flexing his muscle to Boehner and the Republicans. I thought that maybe, just maybe, some spending cuts would be made. Alas, hope ironically outweighed reason and for every $1 in spending cuts there were $41 in tax increases.  Remember when Obama said he did not want to raise taxes for anyone? Me neither.

Obama’s equality is not your average equality, and the only accepted currency for Obama’s equality is American taxpayers’ money.

 

For the full text of President Obama’s second inaugural address, refer to this link.

 

Mara Mellstrom

CAS ‘14

V.P. BU College Republicans

maramell@bu.edu

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