President Obama made a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas that is being called the ‘fair shot’ address. This address really struck a nerve in conservatives, and those in talk radio took to the airwaves and misconstrued what Obama really said.
In President Obama’s fair shot address, Obama came out strong against trickle down economics. For those of you that do not know, trickle down economics is the idea that providing tax breaks and incentives to the top income earners will enable the economy to prosper and as such the benefits of the economy will ‘trickle down’ to poorer members of society. President Obama was very clear that he was coming out against the trickle down theory. Obama said:
“There’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If only we cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everyone else. And even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, they argue, that’s the price of liberty.”
“It’s a simple theory – one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. It fits well on a bumper sticker. Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It’s never worked.”
It is pretty clear what President Obama is talking about. He was attacking trickle down economics. Obama says that trickle down economics doesn’t work and never has worked. This is a topic that is up for debate and indeed should be discussed seriously. But if you listened to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh yesterday you were told that President Obama said that capitalism did not work.
Glenn Beck called Obama a liar. He claimed that Obama said that capitalism never worked. No he didn’t. Beck went on and on about how capitalism has worked for the betterment of America throughout time. Beck is correct on that front and I suspect President Obama would agree with him on that point. The problem is Beck claims that Obama came out against capitalism in his fair shot address. He did not. Obama came out against trickle down economics.
Immediately after Glenn Beck’s radio show, Rush Limbaugh came on to say the very same thing, but with a different flair. Limbaugh said, “The elected president of the United States said in Osawatomie, Kansas, trying to be Teddy Roosevelt, that the United States of America has never worked. That is a quote, “has never worked.”
The text of the speech is clear. President Obama never said that the United States never worked. He said that trickle down economics never worked. That is the key point that brings to light the secret that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and many more conservatives like them have been keeping to themselves. To them, trickle down economics IS capitalism. There is no other form of capitalism but one that incorporates trickle down economics at its core. This is the secret that is now out in the open.
Capitalism does not have to include trickle down economics at its core to still be called capitalism. Conservatives like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh believe it must be included and that an attack on trickle down economics is an attack on capitalism, even the United States itself. They could not be more wrong.