Obama: America Was Not a “Great Country,” 1776-1965

As the nation digests Barack Obama’s plan to ride a tax hike to re-election, one phrase from yesterday’s budget speech confirms what this author has long stated: the president is fundamentally an anti-American Messianic figure who believes he was sent to save our nation from itself and its Founders. Speaking a line that was written in advance, approved by multiple layers of handlers and advisers, and spoken with relish, the president said America is only a great nation if we commit ourselves to big government spending. Obama began by contrasting the nation’s historic belief in “rugged individualism” with real “patriotism” — the kind that requires wealth redistribution. He said:

[W]e contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities. We are a better country because of these commitments. I’ll go further – we would not be a great country without those commitments.

By that measure, America was not “a great country” for most of her history. Unemployment insurance did not exist in any state until Wisconsin adopted the program in 1931. FDR made the system national law in the Social Security Act of 1935. Lyndon Baines Johnson created Medicare and Medicaid by signing the Social Security Act of 1965.

That means America has been “a great country” for, at most, 46 years. Coincidentally, this time frame happens to overlap with Barack Obama’s life.

These commitments come with a price tag. In his desperate attempt to hang the national debt on Republicans, he fibbed, “as far back as the 1980s, America started amassing debt at more alarming levels.”

Actually, the national debt began its inexorable growth at exactly the time America undertook these wealth transfer programs Obama believes make us “great.” The national debt stood at just over $2 billion in 1900, despite the Spanish-American War and a full-flung empire stretching from the Caribbean to the Philippines. Historians’ two most despised modern presidents, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, cut the debt racked up by Woodrow Wilson by 40 percent. The debt crept up again through the progressive policies of Herbert Hoover. The New Deal and World War II raised the national debt by 900 percent, but it hovered around $260 billion for a decade.

In 1967, two years after Medicare and Medicaid became law, the national debt began increasing by $20 billion a year and has never really looked back. George W. Bush added $5 trillion to the deficit in eight years; Barack Obama added $3 trillion in two.

The social welfare spending Obama believes makes us a worthwhile nation stands ready to bankrupt us. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-wing think tank, the government spent $715 billion for national defense in 2010. By comparison Social Security cost $708 billion, health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP) cost $753 billion, and social welfare programs (unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc.) consumed $482 billion federal dollars.

From zero percent in 1935 or 1965, Obama’s “great” programs now consume at least 55 percent of the federal budget.

Some argue Social Security does not face a crisis, much less present one to the economy. Bernie Sanders, the Senate’s lone (admitted) socialist, has said, “We are getting very tired about hearing our Republican and right-wing friends telling us about how Social Security is collapsing when the reality is, Social Security today has a surplus of $2.6 trillion.” Unfortunately, Congress spent it and left the trust fund a stack of IOUs. The Congressional Budget Office states the program will post a $45 billion deficit in 2011, and $608 billion over the next ten years.

Even Obama is more honest than this. He said Wednesday:

So here’s the truth. Around two-thirds of our budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and national security. Programs like unemployment insurance, student loans, veterans’ benefits, and tax credits for working families take up another 20 percent. What’s left, after interest on the debt, is just 12 percent for everything else.

The idea that this massive expenditure is the only thing that keeps the United States from being a moral pariah is only comprehensible from someone as anti-American as Barack Obama. He wrote in Dreams from my Father that in college:

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz [sic.] Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.

In his 2001 public radio interview, Obama insisted the U.S. Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

Even in 2008 on the campaign trail, Obama stated, “I personally would want to see our tragic history, or the tragic elements of our history, acknowledged.” He added that he wanted to offer his imagined victims “reparations.” As president, he has lost no opportunity to belittle America, B.B.O. (Before Barack Obama).

Perhaps we should be grateful Obama is president and not his wife. Michelle Obama was not proud of her country until 2008.

Despite the first couple’s perpetual reaffirmation that they believe their country has a retrograde past and dubious present, some Republicans are afraid to target Obama personally. Those weak-kneed RINOs who quiver at the idea of campaigning against Obama’s personality, ideology, and record are either hopelessly fearful or insufficiently outraged at his assault on their country.

Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of LifeSiteNews.com, the guest host of Nothing But Truth with Crane Durhamon AFR Talk Radio, and the author of three books. His personal website is TheRightsWriter.com. Connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.