The Rosett Report

The Promised Land of the Free Lunch

Something splendid did happen at Invesco Field Thursday night. Race is no longer a bar to nomination for the American presidency. The pity is that this historic occasion deserved a far better candidate –a disciple of someone like Tom Sowell, not Jeremiah Wright.

And enough, already, of Barack Obama’s “improbable journey.” He grew up in an America in which, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, his rise turned out to be wonderfully possible — and at lightning speed. What’s really improbable is the destination that in the name of “change” he now promises this nation.

The place to which he would guide us is a land of the free lunch, where the government will wake you up in the morning, tuck you in at night, and pay your bills in between. Healthcare, daycare, college tuition, energy, pensions, jobs … you-name-it, the super-size state will be there, assuring, insuring, investing, redistributing, paying off credit card bills, rebuilding cities, mending lives, saving farms. All of that would of course require a state bureaucracy even more immense and intrusive than the bailout-happy tax-and-spend behemoth we have now. But that’s OK, because under Obama, lobbyists would vanish and special interest groups would melt away. With all Americans holding up “change” placards on cue and chanting “Yes we can,” our dreams would become one.

Of course, someone would have to pay for this vast experiment in state-mandated largesse, and since even America’s resources aren’t infinite, someone would have to ration it out. So there’s the intriguing glitch that while Obama’s big plans are supposed to help Americans succeed, anyone with the audacity to do so would be taxed and regulated right back into victimhood — with the exception, perhaps, of those an Obama administration might judge virtuous enough to deserve special privileges and exemptions. That’s not the system that made America great, and it’s not the system that gave Barack Obama the rich opportunities he has enjoyed to realize his own dreams. But he’s right about one thing. It would be change.