May 18, 2005

The Ownership Society

State of the Union Address, 2009

Mr. Speaker, Vice President Rice, members of Congress, distinguished citizens and fellow citizens: Every year, by law and by custom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. 

We gather in this chamber on a night of historic significance. The American people have demonstrated their faith in me with an exceptional mandate in extraordinary circumstances, by electing me the first president to serve three terms since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Applause.) President Roosevelt, too, faced unique challenges in his era. In our day a major challenge is securing the future of the system that he created, while respecting the constraints of dramatically lower tax revenues. That’s why we acted decisively, with the support of courageous members of the Congress, to put Social Security back on sound footing. (Applause.) Thanks to our actions, the private accounts now available to the poorest Americans are no longer precariously dependent on the US Treasury. Nor do payments into these Freedom Accounts shackle the business leaders who are leading our economic recovery. (Applause.)  And no American continues to suffer the cruel indignity of relying on big government for support in their old age or disability. (Applause.) In my first two terms we laid the groundwork for a true ownership society. And we can safely say the union is strong. (Thunderous applause.)

It hasn’t been easy. America has endured some of the most challenging hours of her proud history. No one could have known that our ports were vulnerable to attack; that a cowardly terrorist would exploit this weakness to devastate a major American city. And no one could have predicted the killers would time their strike with the dollar’s collapse in order to inflict maximal pain on the world’s leading economies.

It was under these conditions that a farsighted Congress agreed, and three-quarters of the states approved the first two Freedom Amendments. In an age that has witnessed death and devastation, nothing is more important than reinforcing the culture of life. That is why the 28th Amendment — the Living Family Amendment — wisely outlawed the killing of unborn babies and the cold-hearted termination of our sons and daughters living in a vegetative state, while upholding the sanctity of marriage. (Applause.)

We also recognized that continuity of leadership is what repels the terrorist threat — which is why it was necessary to pass the 29th Amendment, the Continuing Leadership Amendment, which repealed the term limits that were devised for another era (Applause.)

[A cry of “dictator!” is heard in the chamber.]

 Laura always says it’s a sign that our democracy is healthy when people express opposing views. (Laughter.)

[A scuffle ensues and the capital police escort the Senate Minority Leader away.] 

I assure our friends in the press that we have made an appropriate forum available for those who come with the intent to be disruptive — and there’s still some cells available if y’all want one! (Laughter.)

But we have serious business to do, and tonight I turn back to the TelePrompTer in order to talk to you about the most important Freedom amendment of all: the Freedom of Ownership Amendment.

September 11th, 2001, changed everything, and the bloody “Anniversary Attacks” of September 11th, 2007 changed even more. Our enemies thought they could make us react in fear and panic; but instead we act with measured determination and strength.

My fellow Americans, the amendment I’m proposing gives us the opportunity to eradicate the plague of homelessness, the stigma of bankruptcy, and the dehumanizing effect of welfare dependency. Simply put, Americans will be able to own a new class of investments: each other. Tonight I call on Congress to extend the ownership society we have built to include ownership of society. Purchased Americans will enjoy the ultimate freedom — the freedom from responsibility. (Hearty applause.)

With the Freedom of Ownership Amendment, we have the chance to finally eradicate the racial divisions that have damaged our country since its earliest days. I am proud to announce that once this amendment passes, Americans of every race will have the right to participate fully in all aspects of ownership. Indeed all the members of my diverse cabinet have already pledged to purchase a significant number of Americans in the Washington DC area and in the regions of their private vacation retreats. Whether you are a wealthy African American, Hispanic American, Irish American, or any other kind of wealthy American, you will have the ability to participate in ownership. (Robust applause.)

Everyone should have the honor to serve their country, and to know personally the feeling of profound self-respect that serving brings. That’s why if you are currently a poor, elderly, or disabled holder of a Freedom account, the associated Freedom Account Number will be used to put you in touch with a wealthy fellow American who will take responsibility for you and your family members. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to lay the bricks that are America’s foundation. It is now our generation’s turn — and no one has ever been readier to answer the call of duty.

Unfortunately, some in the liberal media have been critical of this new initiative. Some people automatically despise progress, just as terrorists hate freedom. But I remind the obstructionists and naysayers that my opponents in Congress haven’t even offered a plan of their own. They insist that I drop my insistence on personal ownership of Americans before they will even meet with me. My response to them is simple and clear: challenging times require for real leadership, not belligerent obstruction. (Resounding applause.)

Those who would seek to wage class warfare have a pessimistic view of America. But Americans are a strong people, who know that our nation is a touchstone of freedom in a troubled world — and we also know that with freedom comes sacrifice. Thankfully, sacrifice is a foundation of our sacred tradition. And our enduring faith in a better world sustains us through difficulty and toil — for we know that the grace of salvation awaits the people of God.

May the Lord guide us again in the coming year. And may He continue to bless the owners in the United States of America. (Rapturous applause.)

END 9:46 P.M. EST

By Will Friedman in Humor/Satire | Permalink  | 


Oh, the horrors! While I agree that satire is an important illustrative tool, I implore you to post a warning to your readers that states "Do Not Read While Eating." Choke!

Your mimicry is spot-on, my friend.

Posted by: Courtney | May 18, 2005 1:57:36 PM

Good Swiftian stuff. But scarier. I am amazed that there is still a "liberal media" in this Brave New World. Are they holed-up offshore in some cave?

Posted by: dks | May 19, 2005 10:16:58 AM

Of course, even in 2005 the media on the whole are anything but liberal, just as liberals are, in general anything but "elite." It doesn't stop conservative commentators from invoking either boogeyman. But as Orwell said in 1945: "The chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the [Ministry of Information] or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves."

Posted by: Overseas Will | May 19, 2005 12:35:26 PM

Overseas Will, is that your time machine I hear running in the background? Is it too late to alter the course?

Posted by: SheaNC | May 19, 2005 9:34:43 PM

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