Barack Obama wrote a book about hope and be came president promising it. So why’s he doing everything in his power to snuff it out?
Think about it: In Obama World, what are we supposed to “hope” for? Certainly not vast riches.
By Adam Brodsky
The New York Post
What would be the point? His budget swipes massive amounts of wealth from top earners.
Consider, too, his resentful rhetoric toward them. Recall his despicable failure to block the House from moving to rip up private contracts and confiscate past earnings via a 90 percent, retroactive tax.
Really, in this climate, who can muster enthusiasm for personal fortune-building?
“Bankers and executives on Wall Street need to realize . . . that the days of outsized rewards . . . have to be over,” Obama lectured Tuesday.
Yes, bankers and Wall Streeters hurt the economy. But most of their dubious activities occurred before government involvement, when their own fates (and their firms’) were still on the line. Wall Streeters couldn’t have intended to fleece taxpayers, because until last year no one imagined federal bailouts. Indeed, many risky loans were made at the behest of government — not in defiance of it.
No wonder people like AIG exec Jake DeSantis feel persecuted and betrayed. In his resignation letter, which ran in Wednesday’s New York Times, DeSantis describes how he and others like him (folks who, he says, had little to do with the shenanigans that ruined AIG) view the threatening demands to return their bonuses as broken promises, despite their “years of dedicated, honorable service.”
DeSantis doesn’t blame Obama, but the president has contributed to a culture in which such feelings of hopelessness among the well-off (and those who want to be) surely must be on the rise.
Consider Obama’s claim this week that the economy “only works if we recognize that we’re all in this together,” with “responsibilities to each other.” He seems to be saying the fruits of one’s labor must go to help others. Or that there’s no need to work hard; someone else will care for you. Gee, now that’s inspirational.
Anyway, he’s 180 degrees wrong: Capitalism works when folks compete with each other, when they take risks and try to score big — not when they let the other guy pay their way.
“Outsized rewards” motivate. They offer something to dream about.
In trying to strike gold, Wall Streeters made bets that channeled capital to where it was demanded, even if they wound up with snake eyes and dragged the nation down with them.
Obama talks about the national importance of personal financial motivation. Americans, he says, “can’t afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit. That drive is what has always fueled our prosperity.”
But he can’t have it both ways. And in his eyes, there’s just something amiss when some folks earn significantly more than others. “Twenty years ago,” he says, “if you went into investment banking, you were making 20 times what a teacher made. You weren’t making 200 times,” as some investment bankers do now. Yes, but what’s the problem?
Never mind that teachers, like those in New York, can now earn handsome six-figure salaries, with lifetime job-security and unmatched benefits. The question is, why shouldn’t folks on Wall Street hope to make big bucks — especially if they’re willing to take big gambles?
Obama says Wall Streeters “need to spend a little time outside of New York” — to see that folks in North Dakota, Iowa or Arakansas “would be thrilled to be making $75,000 a year.”
That’s backward: Wall Streeters shouldn’t go to Arkansas; Arkansans should come to New York — and see the grand opportunities that lie before them. That’s how you inspire hope.
Let’s face it: If youngsters can’t even fantasize about becoming the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, what “hope” is there for the American dream?
Not much — alas.
Welcome to Obama World.