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Wilkow!': Welcome to the New Era of Big Government, Is It Here to Stay?


In his second Inaugural address Monday President Barack Obama came out heavy-handed in his defense of progressive ideas expected to push his administration further to the left in term two. The speech was panned by worrisome conservatives, speculating that by 2016 the work of Reagan, Bush and even more moderate Democrats like Bill Clinton will have been totally undone.

Paul Kengor writes in the American Spectator:

With Barack Obama’s second inauguration, liberals are touting an altogether new epoch: the end of the Reagan era.

Unfortunately, I believe they are largely correct. We are witnessing a period of left-wing ascendance, marked bygay marriageforced taxpayer funding of abortion, an exploding  government class, and big government. As to the latter, Ronald Reagan had declared in his first inaugural: “government is not the solution … government is the problem.” The first Democrat to follow Reagan, Bill Clinton, similarly stated “the era of big government is over.” Clinton’s affirmation was also affirmation of the Reagan era.

Then came Barack Obama. Just days after his 2009 inauguration, Obama proclaimed: “the federal government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back into life.” He said “only government” could alter our “vicious cycle.”

Obama had repudiated Reagan, and the electorate would again reward him four years later. What Obama called for in 2009 seems to be the new American spirit in 2013.

On Fox News Monday, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer called the address "Obama unbound," and said the president was basically "declaring it the end of Reaganism." Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute called one section of Obama's speech "astonishingly bold," where the president addressed "takers" attitudes of conservatives toward Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security--programs which he in turn described as what "free us to take the risks that make this country great."

With these words, the president 1) made it clear he is aware many Americans are troubled by the seemingly relentless expansion of government entitlement benefits and its impact on our way of life, and) 2 also made it clear that he totally dismisses their concerns.

James Pethokoukis of AEI joined 'Wilkow!' Tuesday to discuss the president's understanding of the 'takers' argument, the long term damage the administration's understanding of entitlements will have on the economy, and where the media is in all of this.

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