Specifically, here is what the President said in Chicago:
“Too many folks still don’t have a sense that tomorrow will be better than today. And so, the question in this election is which way do we go?” President Obama asked at a fundraiser in Chicago on Sunday.
“Do we go forward towards a new vision of an America in which prosperity is shared?” Obama asked. “Or do we go backward to the same policies that got us in the mess in the first place?”
“I believe we have to go forward,” Obama said. “I believe we have to keep working to create an America where no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, no matter who you love, you can make it here if you try. That’s what’s at stake in November. That’s what is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States of America.”
If you want to share prosperity (and we’ll see how that should be done in a minute) where do you get prosperity? How do you get prosperity?
Stephen Moore recently honored the late Milton Friedman, writing in the Wall Street Journal:
In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical “multiplier effect” by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul. As obvious as that insight seems, it keeps being put to the test. Obamanomics may be the most expensive failed experiment in free-lunch economics in American history.
The United States cannot again be prosperous by taking money out of the hands of producers and giving it to the non-producers. But who are those producers? Too often we think only of the multi-millionaires, the captains of industry, the Wall Street financiers.
The real producers in this country are all of those plus the wage-earner at the local convenience store, the custodian in your building, the secretaries, the plumbers, the doctors, the engineers, the waitresses and waiters at your favorite restaurant. In other words, the producers are all of those are working to earn an income, watching over and investing their savings or earnings, putting money into a start-up venture, opening a new retail store, or getting their first job in the proverbial mail room of the company they aspire to some day serve as CEO.
These are the producers in the United States.
Each time these producers buy groceries, buy gasoline, pay rent, pay a mortgage, buy a car, loan money to someone starting a business, or even put money away in a savings account, they are creating prosperity, not only for themselves but for those who receive the money they spend or invest.
And that, Mr. President, is how prosperity is shared in the United States.
But how does Barack Obama want to share the prosperity that created in this country?
His vision is one in which the producers pay more in taxes so that money is spent as the government deems most appropriate:
longer unemployment benefits periods,
welfare without work,
lower tuition for illegal aliens,
higher medical insurance costs covering cover those who don’t or choose not to have medical insurance,
taxpayer money bailing out union workers while eliminating pensions for non-union members,
free contraceptives for women with those costs borne by everyone else,
taxpayer subsidized loans to bankrupt solar energy firms, and, finally,
higher taxes on those already carrying most of the burden of government costs.
This President’s idea of “shared prosperity” is one in which the government is the arbiter of who gets how much prosperity. This President’s vision is of a European socialism that says wealth is sent to the government so it can redistribute that wealth back according to the whims of politicians. If your politician is in the majority, you win. Otherwise, you lose.
America is a nation that has shared prosperity – we have one of the greatest standards of living in the world, where even the poor live substantially better than all the rest of the world. Our nation is one where equality of opportunity is the standard, not equality of outcomes.
The President is correct – the choice is clear. We can have an America where individuals are free to make their own choices and create their own destinies, or we can live in an America dumbed down to an average where a monolithic government determines how much prosperity you either get to share or get to receive.
I’d rather make that decision on my own than a government too big to take away everything from me.