Dinesh D’Souza recently penned a piece called How I became George Obama’s brother. It talks about George Obama calling him (D’Souza) from Kenya seeking $1,000 for badly needed medical care for his hospitalized son. D’Souza, who had met George years ago when he was doing research for “The Roots of Obama’s Rage” was happy to send the money, but wondered “Why are you coming to me?” George, the brother of the multi-millionaire President of the United States replied: “I have no one else to ask.”
Now of course, George not feeling like he could call his brother is different from his actually calling his brother and giving him the opportunity to help. That might be a strong argument on the President’s side if he was somehow unaware of George or if his circumstances were unknown. Neither is the case however. Barack Obama actually met his half brother in 1987 when his sibling was 5 years old and then again in 2006 when Barack Obama was a US Senator from Illinois. In addition to that, George Obama’s life situation in a country where the average person lives on less than $3 a day has been chronicled in the American media since Obama announced his run for the presidency in 2008.
D’Souza grants that George Obama is no angel, calling him a “drinker and a skirt chaser”. Nonetheless, George’s brother is the most powerful man on the planet yet when the health of his son was in the balance George didn’t feel as if he could reach out to him.
One might wonder why George felt the need to reach out to D’Souza rather than his big brother, particularly if he had heard President Obama’s speech earlier this year when he compared his values to those of others, saying “I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper. That’s a value.”
Well, it turns out that President Obama didn’t mean that he was literally his brother’s keeper, but rather he was using the biblical reference to suggest that the rich “do a little more”, i.e. pay more taxes.
That one speech gets to the core of the vision of America that voters are faced with in November. Barack Obama wants to take care of everyone, but he wants the government to do it with your money. Contrast that approach with Mitt Romney’s.
In 1996 a Bain Capital employee, Robert Gay, came to Romney and told him that Melissa, Gay’s 14 year old daughter, had snuck out of the house to attend a concert in New York and had been missing for three days. Romney immediately closed down the multibillion dollar Boston operation, set up a temporary headquarters in New York City and mobilized dozens of volunteers to search for the girl. He had Bain’s printing company print 300,000 flyers and had clerks at the firm’s drugstore unit stuff them into bags at checkout. The girl was found a week later recovering from a drug overdose, and, according to doctors, would likely not have survived another day.
To get another perspective on this contrast, one need only compare the tax returns of Romney and Obama. To compare apples to apples, one would compare Mitt Romney’s 2010 and 2011 tax returns to Barack Obama’s 2006 & 2007 returns – the two years before the presidential election.
The numbers are stark. In both 2006 and 2007 Barack Obama donated 6% of his income to charity. Mitt Romney during 2010 and 2011 donated 14% and 19% (respectively) of his income to charity. The goal of this piece is not to suggest that 6% is too low or that 15% is ideal. On the contrary. Everyone gives what they believe is appropriate.
The difference, however, is clear. Barack Obama claims that he is his brother’s keeper but believes it’s your job to actually pay for that upkeep, and he uses his position as President of the United States to compel such. Mitt Romney on the other hand suggests that it’s not the government’s job to take care of everyone, but rather individuals, communities, churches etc. and he puts his money behind those words.
Interestingly, this is not necessarily about greed or keeping money in his own pocket. If you combine Obama’s taxes and his charitable giving, he paid 39% in 2006 and 42% in 2007 while Romney paid 32% in 2010 and 42% in 2011. It’s about a fundamental understanding of the role of government. Barack Obama believes in the almighty government and their ability and responsibility to take care of the poor and the unfortunate and practically everything else in society. Mitt Romney on the other hand believes that while government can play a role in society, including providing a safety net for those in need, the primary responsibility for taking care of citizens lays with individuals, their families and their communities.
On November 6th, voters should not only think about how great a job the nanny state government has done with everything from food stamps to Social Security to Solyndra to Fast and Furious, they should also look to the plights of George Obama and Robert Gay. When citizens subcontract the support and well being of their families, communities or country to a nameless, faceless government bureaucracy there is a disconnect between the warm and fuzzy feeling they get for being caring people with good intentions and the actual results in the lives of the people in need. This holds true for feeding the poor, educating the children or creating jobs and prosperity. If there was an emergency with your child, who would you rather call for help? Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? This election may not involve a child in danger, but it certainly involves a nation in distress. The question is, who will the voters call upon?