by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Writing before this week’s State of the Union address, John Stossel drafted a different speech — one for an alternative world in which President Obama adhered to libertarian principles. (Note for John Hood: The column does not say whether Mr. Spock wears a goatee in this alternative world.)
Here’s an excerpt:
I’m so happy I won again. Now that I don’t have to suck up to my base, I will be the grown-up in the room.
Yes, I know John Boehner claims I said, “We don’t have a spending problem.” Maybe I said that — I don’t remember. But we do have a spending problem.
Now that I’m concerned about my legacy, I looked at the numbers, and they are scary. I made so many promises that there’s no way we can pay for them.
Take climate change. I think it’s real and that man contributes, but even if America spent trillions to try to lower our carbon output, that would only make a microscopic change in world temperatures. The earth wouldn’t notice.
Some of my anti-poverty plans are worse. Now that I’ve been re-elected, it dawns on me that those programs I said need more investment — always more — well, they didn’t work. They perpetuate poverty by making Americans dependent.
The key to helping the poor — and being rich enough to adjust to things like climate change — is growth.
America grew fastest when government was tiny. Government at all levels was only about 8 percent of gross domestic product in 1912. In the hundred years prior to that, we made the Louisiana Purchase and settled the West. Americans went from subsistence-level farms to the highest standard of living on the planet.