Invoking TR

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Simple facts.

  • In 1910, Theodore Roosevelt went to Kansas and made one of his “square deal” speeches, promising to give the little guy a fair shake. The same theme had inspired much of his popularity as president during the preceding decade.
  • In 2011 Barack Obama went to Kansas and invoked Roosevelt in a speech promoting higher taxes on wealthy folks to pay for more government spending on education and “infrastructure.” He too called for a square deal, but with less colorful language. He preferred the word “fair,” as in "pay your fair share."
  • After Teddy had provided a “square deal” for seven years, federal spending as a percentage of GDP was under 10%.
  • After Barack had provided his for three years, federal government spending as a percentage of GDP was about 40%.

Couldn’t we just settle for more than twice the fairness that Teddy demanded, by cutting the government in half?

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