Dan Popp
Mr. President, please stop helping us
By Dan Popp
January 26, 2010

I am always afraid of your "something shall be done." Titus Maccius Plautus

Dear President Obama,

As I write this, you are polishing your "State of the Union" message. I expect that address to be like most such speeches given in my lifetime: not a report to Congress on the state of affairs in our nation (as mandated by the Constitution) but a lengthy infomercial for new government "initiatives" and "investments," as you like to call them.

These efforts will be paid for, as usual, by confiscating choices from Americans who have earned them — including the poor and the productive. They will, as always, provide disincentives for the kinds of achievement necessary to lift us out of our current depression.

President Obama, I am a small businessman — very small, and getting smaller. I talk to other small business owners. We are afraid. We're scared not so much of what you and the Congress might do — though that shocks us daily — but that you will just keep doing. It is inarguable that the continual "changing of the rules" has been one of the largest wrenches in the gears of economic recovery.

I hope you will agree that when honest people are afraid of what government might do to them, something has gone terribly awry.

Mr. President, you came to my state of Ohio recently and pledged to "fight for" (someone — the exact victim is immaterial). But surely you must realize that it's not your duty to fight for one group against another. With your credentials as an instructor on the Constitution, you know that the President is the head of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Your job is to execute the laws that Congress has made. That's it. It isn't to create law by fiat from the Oval Office. It is not to "change" or "transform" or "challenge" or "rebuild" America. It's just to make sure that the constitutional laws of the country are being carried out.

Of course the President is also the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces, but you seem to tackle that role quite differently, if you'll pardon my frankness. You aren't frequently (at least so far) changing the colors of military uniforms or the design of weapons systems. Unless I missed them, you haven't announced new programs to show how you're "fighting for" the enlisted men against the officers, nor for transferring the pay of Marines to members of the Air Force. No, in military matters you are studious. You are circumspect. You are deliberate. You seek wise counsel, take your time, make few moves and stay the course until you see the outcome.

Not so in the civilian world. Wielding a weapon perhaps even more powerful than the United States Military — I'm speaking of the US economy — you and your subordinates issue new commands every day. You order some to fire on others, and you change the rules of engagement almost hourly. Then you pretend that we have advanced when everyone can see that we've fallen back.

Enough. Stop. Please.

Give America a break, President Obama. We've endured a year of the "Fire, Ready, Aim" approach. Just pause. Don't do anything. It may give businessmen some optimism that they can predict what the economic landscape will look like next month, so they can begin to put forth some "green shoots" of hiring and buying.

We know this much: What you've done to this point regarding the economy has not worked. Only the insane do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I don't believe you're insane, Mr. President.

When you stand before the cameras and Congress to deliver your speech, tell us how the union fares. Tell us about our blessings and our challenges. And resist the urge to introduce even one new program. No matter how much you'd like to "help" the farmers or the homeowners or the students or the widget-calibrators — just let us be. We can work these things out for ourselves, as we were doing for two hundred years before you came along.

Then, after your 10- or 15-minute explanation, say, "Thank you, and may God bless America," and sit down.

And when you get back into your office on Thursday morning, Mr. President, ponder this: One of the biggest crises facing America today is the unbearable burden of our government. It micromanages our industries, it taxes and regulates us out of prosperity, it borrows from our unborn grandchildren without their consent. You yourself said that our current spending policies are "unsustainable." Consider this crisis, Mr. Obama — not a manufactured crisis like the health care "crisis," but a real crisis. A crisis similar to the one our Founders faced; one that provoked a radical response from ordinary farmers and shopkeepers and tea-partiers.

Then think about how we could "hope" to "change" this monstrous problem of parasitic government that is strangling our liberty. Discover a "solution" to the dependency, mediocrity and malaise imposed by the ironically-named Great Society. And begin making a legacy befitting a true patriot.

Mr. President, I humbly submit that, unless and until you're willing to apply your considerable talents to the task of solving our biggest problem — unlimited government — we don't need your "help." Relax. Take some time off. Play some golf or basketball. Enjoy a nice concert.

For the love of God, sir — and for the love of America — leave us alone.

© Dan Popp


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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