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As Long as We Remember...

January 16, 2015

Giving What We Donít Have

Joe Charlebois

When I was 13, I visited Williamsburg for the first time. It was my eighth grade class trip. Several buses snaked their way along the highways that made the long trip from western Pennsylvania to the Colonial Virginia town.


Besides my memories of the rural scenes and being away from home for the first time, I remember distinctly what I bought my father at one of the town’s gift shops. I bought him a black cast iron trivet. A trivet that had the phrase “The Lord Giveth, The Government Taketh Away.” I wonder if there is room left to add “Obama Giveth What He Doth Not Have?”


The president’s attempt at a complete fundamental transformation of our society is back in full swing.


After relying on strictly partisan votes to pass the Affordable Care Act in his first term in office, resulting in the health insurance system falling under regulatory control by the federal government, the president is working his way into further control of the higher education system and further control of benefits and pay in private industry.


Mr. Obama has presented several proposals that are unlikely to be bills that the House and Senate will vote on.


First there is the $80 billion price tag – $20 billion from the states – that goes along with the plan to offer Americans a “free” college education. Specifically the president proposes that the first two years of community college would be free under certain conditions. Ironically, Mr. Obama told an audience in Tennessee that “there are no free rides in America. You would have to earn it.” What would students need to do to earn it? Just keep your grades up. Details on how it would be paid for have not been revealed.


Mr. Obama has also proposed a plan that would require employers to offer seven days of paid sick leave or paid family leave. This bill would aid up to five states with $2 billion over three years in reimbursement to implement this policy. Details on how it would be paid have not been revealed.


The president has also proposed raising the minimum wage 39%. He is asking Congress to pass legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. If passed this would lessen the number of entry-level jobs available to those entering the workforce. The employers that do pay employees the current minimum wage would see employee costs skyrocket. Those that already pay above the minimum wage would be pressured to raise wages as well just to keep current employees happy. Details on how it would be paid have not been revealed.


All of these proposals – among others – that the administration is putting forth just prior to the State of the Union address next Tuesday are merely political ploys to dishearten those Americans who are looking to benefit from government handouts of our tax dollars. The president knows that a Republican House and Senate will not pass any these proposals as legislation. Besides, even if they did, how would they be paid for?


The left and some moderate Republicans are happy to go further in debt in order to make short term gains politically. They know the risks we face with increases in the national debt; they just don’t care. They giveth what they don’t have.


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