In November, Republicans were apoplectic when they thought President Obama called Americans “a little bit lazy.” In reality, the smear was absurd – Obama had said U.S. policymakers have been “a little bit lazy” when it comes to attracting businesses to American soil, but for many on the right, who consider context irrelevant, the president was attacking the populace.
Looking back, it was an ironic attack – generally, it’s Republicans who argue that Americans are lazy. Mitt Romney, for example, has complained that Americans “have tended to avoid the hard work that overcoming challenges requires.” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Americans have a “culture of people just having no work ethic.”
And now New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is warning against a nation filled with “a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check.”
“I’ve never seen a less optimistic time in my lifetime in this country and people wonder why,” Christie said at the Bush Institute Conference on Taxes and Economic Growth, adding, “I think it’s really simple: it’s because government’s now telling them ‘stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you.’ We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society.”
So, in Christie’s mind, we’re all lazy, but it’s government’s fault for making us this way.
I’m curious, does anyone have idea what in the world the governor is talking about?
Who are these government officials telling Americans to stop dreaming and stop striving? Where is this alleged agenda in which the government sends free money to lazy people? Who, exactly, is Christie complaining about?
It certainly isn’t Democrats. I caught President Obama’s speech in Florida yesterday, and he wasn’t just presenting an optimistic vision, he was challenging Americans and their elected officials to aim high and do more.
This need not be a rhetorical question. Can Chris Christie name anyone, anywhere who wants to reward those “people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check”?
And can all of those Republicans who were outraged by the notion of Americans being lazy let us know if they found the governor’s comments offensive?