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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama's Vision For America

"The mission of law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect property." — Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)

Sharon Jasper could be the poster child for Obama's re-election campaign. Ms. Jasper has lived on the dole 57 of her 58 years. She was moved out of the St. Bernard housing project after hurricane Katrina. Her current home is a voucher-backed apartment in a private residence. Speaking to a New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter, Jasper said, "it's pitiful what people give you."

Ms. Jasper, the key word is "give." We taxpayers do not owe you anything. How dare you whine and complain?

This ungrateful, arrogant, entitlement-minded woman called her apartment a "slum." Jasper allowed a photographer to tour her subsidized apartment. She complained about missing window screens, a slow leak in a sink, a warped back door, and a few other details of her residence. Otherwise, Jasper's apartment appeared to have been recently renovated.

Jasper's "slum" also featured hardwood floors and a 60-inch HD TV.

Regardless of the conditions, many former public housing residents avoidmedium_121907_housing1 privately owned apartments because they typically face utility and deposit expenses not charged in public housing.

Sharon Jasper, a former St. Bernard complex resident presented by activists Tuesday as a victim of changing public housing policies, took a moment before the start of the City Hall protest to complain about her subsidized private apartment, which she called a "slum." A HANO voucher covers her rent on a unit in an old Faubourg St. John home, but she said she faced several hundred dollars in deposit charges and now faces a steep utility bill.

"I'm tired of the slum landlords, and I'm tired of the slum houses," she said.

Pointing across the street to an encampment of homeless people at Duncan Plaza, Jasper said, "I might do better out here with one of these tents."

At a New Orleans City Council meeting about whether or not to tear down the dilapidated St Bernard projects, Ms. Jasper verbally attacked a white male in attendance, saying, "I will not be treated like a slave!" and "Back up and Shut up! Shut up, white boy! Shut up, white boy!"

Housing officials said hundreds of private apartments where disaster or Section 8 vouchers can be used are also available to help meet the needs of displaced public housing residents, both in the short and long term.

Meanwhile, activists staged a protest on the steps of City Hall, saying procedural snags, as well as extra costs for utilities and security deposits, put those options out of reach for many poor people. Furthermore, some alleged "slum" conditions at those properties, and they have said they don't trust housing officials to make good on promises of mixed-income redevelopments that will welcome the poor.

Sharon Jasper should be ashamed of herself. Jasper's shamelessness confirms how deeply our culture is infected with an entitlement mindset. Please do not write me about how I am beating up on the poor. I am not. I have known of Sharon Jasper in various forms all of my life I have witnessed firsthand the devastating toll cradle-to-grave government dependency has taken on the human spirit and the wasted lives left in its wake. So please, do not preach to me about liberals' good intentions or tell me I simply do not support black folks. I once lived in Cleveland, Ohio and I saw what the entitlement and welfare culture did to a once dynamic, industrial city.

Sharon Jasper epitomizes the type of voter Obama seeks and is working to create. With more Americans than ever on food stamps and half the country receiving government assistance in some form or another, Obama is cloning Sharon Jasper. Unquestionably, Obama is putting all his re-election eggs into his Sharon Jasper basket.

Bastiat wrote:

“The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.

Now, since under this definition socialism is a body of doctrine, what attack can be made against it other than a war of doctrine? If you find this socialistic doctrine to be false, absurd, and evil, then refute it. And the more false, the more absurd, and the more evil it is, the easier it will be to refute. Above all, if you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation. This will be no light task.”

As callous, self-serving and heartless as drug dealers, the Democrats are government-dependency dealers. Hooking as many Americans as possible on government dependency secures the Democrats' voting bloc of government-dependency junkies. Every election, Democrats will promise to increase the dosage of freebies. Just look what has happened to cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Gary — all under decades of Democrat control.

But somewhere down the road, workers/taxpayers will revolt! "Screw it! I ain't workin' no more for the government to take it and give it away."

I cannot begin to express how painful it is for me to see lazy, "bums'" (as my dad used to call them) do-nothings getting over on hardworking taxpayers and being celebrated by the president of the United States. Obama treats deadbeat entitlement junkies like saints, superior to working Americans. Mr. Obama, we are a not a bunch of slackers. We are Americans, doggone-it! We work! Quoting Larry the Cable Guy, we "git-r-done"!

Some of you patriots still do not get it. You write your blogs and columns explaining the sins of Newt and Santorum and how if Ron Paul does not win the nomination, you're sitting this election out. Well, that is just plain wrong and crazy. While I have my favorite, at this stage of the game, I will support whoever wins the nomination! What part of "Obama will end America as we know it" do you not understand?

The argument that the "wrong Republican" in the White House is just as bad as Obama confirms a naivety of the depths of Obama's far-left radical — and Rev. Jeremiah Wright-inspired hatred for America. Obviously, you do not comprehend the seriousness of the unique situation we find ourselves in as Americans. On their worst day, none of our candidates are as devastating to our freedom, liberty, and culture as Obama is.

And to all you people who write saying both political parties are corrupt and so what's the point in Tea Partying, voting, or even trying, I will not embrace your defeatist attitude. When ten out of twelve spies for Israel said they could not defeat the giants, God called their report "evil." To all you folks who say America is too far gone and we should simply give up, I say take your "evil" report elsewhere!

Four years after winning the White House, Obama is dealing with a different economic and political reality as he seeks re-election. He's focused less on a lofty vision for overcoming divisions and remaking Washington, and more on the most basic building blocks of middle-class economic security: a job, a house, a college education for the kids, health care, money for retirement.

What Obama describes as the American Dream can seem a spare, fundamental aspiration, tailored for a campaign that looks to be fought over who is best equipped to safeguard the interests of middle-class Americans and the Sharon Jaspers of the country.

The question is whether it will convince, even as Mitt Romney and the other GOP presidential hopefuls mount a counter-argument that the president has made the American Dream harder, not easier, to achieve. And Obama must overcome the grinding realities many voters confront daily, even with the economy showing signs of life: no jobs, mortgages they can't pay, dwindling retirement funds and college savings.

The president is betting that if he shows voters he understands their yearning for economic stability and security, they'll reward him over Republicans he's casting as just watching out for the rich — even though he hasn't succeeded in fully reviving the economy so far.

"If you're willing to put in the work, the idea is that you should be able to raise a family and own a home; not go bankrupt because you got sick, because you've got some health insurance that helps you deal with those difficult times; that you can send your kids to college; that you can put some money away for retirement," Obama said recently in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

As you can see Obama’s vision of the American Dream is based on what government entitlements you can get. What happened to promoting ambition and aspirations? How about becoming a doctor or a scientist? What happened to wanting to build dams and bridges?

"That's all most people want," he said. "Folks don't have unrealistic ambitions. They do believe that if they work hard they should be able to achieve that small measure of an American Dream."

The goals can seem almost humdrum in comparison with some of the rhetoric from Obama's 2008 White House campaign. But the message sounds made for the times, with the country emerging haltingly from recession, the income gap widening and unemployment stuck above 8 percent.

"He can't run on change because he's the incumbent, and he can't paint too rosy a scenario because things aren't that rosy," said John Geer, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. "He's got to come up with a theme that appeals to voters, especially middle-class voters, alleviates their fears and gives them reason to believe the future will be better."

The message also creates an implicit contrast with the portrait Democrats are trying to create of front-runner Romney as preoccupied with the concerns of the rich. But Romney is answering Obama's message head-on, seeking a careful balance between sounding optimistic about the nation's future and accusing Obama of destroying the American Dream.

"I've met Hispanic entrepreneurs who thought they had achieved the American Dream and are now seeing it disappear," Romney said after his recent victory in Florida's GOP primary. "We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great."

GOP candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich also have accused Obama of tarnishing American opportunity, as Republicans make clear that no matter their nominee, Obama's claim to be the one to restore the American Dream is sure to be challenged.

The candidates' focus on the American Dream is in itself a sign of the times, said Michael Ford, founding director of the Center for the Study of the American Dream at Xavier University. The phrase was coined during the Great Depression and since then has tended to become a central theme during economic downturns, Ford said.

He said rhetoric about the American Dream has been featured during this election cycle more than in decades, which he attributed to the tough times the nation has been suffering.

"It's pretty basic stuff (Obama) talks about and I think as it turns out that's pretty much where the dream is right now," Ford said. "We can say the dream might have been lowered a little bit in terms of its aspiration but the aspiration is still there, and it's always there."

Some polling suggests that, despite voters' continued unhappiness with the economy and Obama's handling of it, the president may be convincing Americans he's on their side. A recent CBS/New York Times poll shows people view Obama as the candidate who best understands the needs and problems of "people like you," and see his policies as more apt than those of the GOP candidates to favor the middle class or the poor.

I love my country and trust God too much to surrender the greatest nation on the planet to those who would destroy her. Don't know 'bout y'all, but I'm fightin' for my country 'til the Lord takes me home.

Mr. Obama, Sharon Jasper is not America! We will not allow you to turn us into a nation of Sharon Jaspers! Sharon Jasper and Barack Obama are not my America! Your vision of the American Dream is a far cry from mine!

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