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Starve the beast: It's time to deprive Obama's 'government class'

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By Paul Kengor
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013

America is being fundamentally transformed before your very eyes, courtesy of Barack Obama — just as he once promised to loud cheers from the legions of faithful.

There are many ways that this transformation is under way. But the most dangerous is the creation of a huge new government class by Obama and his fellow “progressives”/liberals. That class includes government workers, especially at the federal level, where Obama is adding 103 employees per day — the only real job growth. Remarkably, 73 percent of jobs created in the past five months has been in government.

That's just the beginning. The new government class includes unionized employees at all levels of government; the tens of millions collecting unemployment; the unprecedented 48 million living off food stamps; the continuing explosion in welfare recipients; and the coming eruption of health care dependents.

Gee, Obama has even fostered a devoted segment of young women who, incredibly, expect their fellow taxpayers to pay for their birth control.

These new “progressive” citizens are dependent not merely on big government but on big-government Democrats. They will vote Democrat as if their livelihoods depend on it.

How did this train wreck happen?

The first flame of this roaring government class came with President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s, picking up the earlier spark lit by Woodrow Wilson's progressive presidency. A significant expansion came via Lyndon Johnson's Great Society in the 1960s. Incremental additions happened thereafter, an agency here, a new department there. With Obama, another major thrust is upon us.

Ronald Reagan referred to this steady enlargement as “creeping socialism.” Oblivious Americans blithely vote for Leviathan, finger by finger, appendage by appendage, tooth by tooth, as the beast gradually evolves. As they do, their country steadily becomes socialist.

Of course, this would have positively mortified the Founding Fathers. They argued over checks and balances, separation of powers and reminded us that men aren't angels — we shouldn't expect government to be our salvation.

The Founders spoke eloquently of a virtuous citizenry capable of successfully self-governing itself before successfully self-governing the republic. George Washington expressed this conviction often, believing that virtue and morality were “indispensable supports” to the American republic.

Consider the line from one of this nation's sacred political hymns, “America, the Beautiful”: “Confirm thy soul in self-control.”

To the contrary, our new government class is not about confirming one's soul in self-control but about confirming one's life to Washington — and punishing any politician who seeks to constrain the beast in order to save America from becoming Greece.

Ironically, today's molders of America's government class look not to the Founders but to the continent the Founders fled. In fact, it's rather amazing that a leftist, anti-colonialist like Obama finds his ideal in Western Europe. For decades, liberals have been indoctrinated in their universities to despise Europe; yet, they've completely embraced Western Europe's welfare-statism.

Alas, this is why Republicans should resist every Democrat demand for tax increases: Increased tax revenue gives Obama and liberals more government money to grow their government class, the same class they hope will keep Republicans out of the White House for generations. If Republicans submit to Obama's push for tax increases, and thus further feed the beast, they will be tying their own noose.

In short, America is in a heap of trouble. We have four years to halt this. But it's probably too late. By 2016, Obama and his fellow “progressives” will have so enlarged their government class that it might be able to out-vote the rest of us for years to come.

That, indeed, is a fundamental transformation of America.

Paul Kengor is a professor of political science at Grove City College. His books include “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama‘s Mentor” and “Dupes: How America‘s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.” His column appears the first Sunday of each month.

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