As 2016 approaches, I find myself thinking a lot about the criteria we should use when selecting a United States president. What background best qualifies a person to preside over the greatest country in the world?
By Allen Tharp
My thoughts on this subject have changed significantly over the years, and I have decided that there is no simple answer to this question. I used to think that experience running a business was the best qualifier for this position. Those who have run businesses understand how counterproductive supposedly good-intentioned policies like raising the minimum wage can be. They understand that if you remove the bottom rung from the ladder, you make it harder for everyone to climb the ladder. They know that minimum wage jobs are entry-level positions and are usually filled by young folks starting out in the job market. These same young folks will progress to ever higher levels of responsibility and pay if they perform well.
Business owners also understand that overregulating business raises prices for all and can even kill businesses and jobs. Few good businessmen would propose forcing businesses to pay overtime on salaried employees, but the Obama administration does because Obama has never run a business or had to make a payroll.
Business owners quickly rejected Obamacare and knew from the start that it would kill jobs, increase deductibles, increase premiums, and decrease access to doctors.
However, the Obama administration pushed ahead with bad policy, and sure enough each dire prediction came true.
So, my thoughts were that we could avoid these inane policies by just electing a person with a successful business background. But, while I still think that is helpful, I have come to realize that it is not nearly enough. I would never recommend Trump or Romney for president, although they certainly understand business. Ronald Reagan did not run a business, and he was the best president in my lifetime.
I have concluded that while a business background may be helpful, two more important criteria for being a successful president are:
1. To love and adhere to the Constitution and the principles of our founding fathers, and to truly believe in and promote free market ideals.
As I have often said, most problems we deal with in America would be solved, if we simply followed our Constitution. There would be no federal Department of Education, Department of Energy, or EPA. All these things would be done at the state and local levels, and the cost and overreach of the federal government would be curtailed.
So, business experience in a presidential candidate may be a plus, but a president who follows the Constitution should be a requirement.
2. A work ethic. Elitist presidents like Obama and Bush had developed no work ethic over their lifetimes because they have never held a job where they had to show up day after day.
Obama lived off the government and other mysterious funding sources, and George W. Bush had the support of the Bush Empire. Lives full of self-indulgence and sleeping until noon are hardly the background needed to develop character and a sense of responsibility. Thus, it should be no surprise when we see the presidency treated as one big spending spree and a series of vacations at the expense of the taxpayers. Easy come, easy go. These folks never learned the value of a dollar or the joy of achievement through hard work.
Folks who have had to work all their lives to make ends meet would never countenance or participate in the incredibly irresponsible spending spree we see now at the Obama White House. Most of us cringe every time we hear about another lavish taxpayer-funded vacation for the Obamas, who love to treat themselves like royalty on our dime. However, they have no sense of shame whatsoever. Why pay for your own vacation when you can have someone else pay for you? Why take commercial jets when you can take Air Force One? In fact, why take one government jet when you can take two: one for the king and one for the queen? And why not throw in a few cargo planes to carry all your limos and such?
You would expect Congress and the media to refuse to put up with this nonsense, but they sit silently by as the Obamas feed their bonfire with our dollar bills.
So, I hope our next president lives by the Constitution and knows the joy of hard work.
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