“I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. If I help him, he’s gonna help me.”
– Peggy Joseph, Obama supporter, 2008
Barack Obama swept his way into office on a wave of assumptions that weren’t much less ridiculous than those harbored by Joseph. By obscuring his real plans for the country in the brilliant populist sentiment of “hope and change,” Obama easily triumphed at a time when America was reeling from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
For his part, Obama did little to dissuade voters from thinking he was the magical solution to all of their problems. He was less a politician and more a complete savior. The fact that he was black not only shored up a wellspring of support among African-Americans, but it also drew to mind Hollywood’s myth of the “magical negro,” as exemplified by Bagger Vance and John Coffey from The Green Mile. Maybe this guy was something special, liberals and braindead independents thought. Maybe America was in for a grand transformation.
And indeed it was. Obama had big plans lying beneath all the rhetoric about hope and change. And many of those plans involved expanding the entitlement state. When Mitt Romney was caught on tape giving his thoughts about the 47 percent of Americans who were dependent on government, the country was aghast. But maybe the shock was not due to the inaccuracy of the remark, but rather how closely Romney hit the nail on the head. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Now Obama wants to make community college an entitlement. Though he plans to put the majority of the financial burden on the states, he’s provided no ideas on how it can be done without bankrupting local governments and increasing the debt. But that’s okay. Obama is going back to what worked for him in the past. Keep the details in the shade, and focus on the big ideas. Do you think Peggy Joseph cares how we will pay for millions of Americans to go to college? Of course not. It’s enough that the idea is out there.
So why stop at community college? Why not address Joseph’s original expectations and make gasoline free? Sure, prices are low now, but how long is that going to last? Besides, free is better than affordable. And what about her mortgage? Why not make housing free as well?
The president already has aims on a government takeover of the internet, so we can probably add that to the free column. Millions of Americans are unhappy about Obamacare, so let’s scrap it and go back to what he wanted to do originally: implement universal healthcare. Free is always better than not-free.
Argh, but those damn Republicans! They’ll never go for it! Ah, but you forget. This president doesn’t have to wait for Congress to act. He can wave a magic wand from the White House and make everything better. Hell, he might just decide to stick around come 2016. Do I hear the cry?
One more time…one more time…
He really is the gift that keeps on giving.