October 15, 2008
Atlas Shrugged Deja Vu?

And Obama confirms in his own words his economic policy:

By CHARLES HURT Bureau Chief

WASHINGTON - You won't find it in his campaign ads, but Barack Obama let slip his plans to become a modern-day Robin Hood in the White House, confiscating money from the rich to give to the poor.

Conservatives yesterday ripped Obama after he was caught on video telling an Ohio plumber that he intends to take the profits of small-business owners and "spread the wealth around" to those with lesser incomes.

The fracas over Obama's tax plan broke out Sunday outside Toledo when Joe Wurzelbacher approached the candidate.

Wurzelbacher said he planned to become the owner of a small plumbing business that will take in more than the $250,000 amount at which Obama plans to begin raising tax rates.

"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the blue-collar worker asked.

After Obama responded that it would, Wurzelbacher continued: "I've worked hard . . . I work 10 to 12 hours a day and I'm buying this company and I'm going to continue working that way. I'm getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American Dream."

"It's not that I want to punish your success," Obama told him. "I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too.

Then, Obama explained his trickle-up theory of economics.

"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Critics said Obama let the cat out of the bag.

"It's clear that his main goal is redistribution of wealth, not growth," said Andy Roth with the anti-tax group Club for Growth. "He's perfectly happy to destroy wealth as long as he can redistribute it."

Obama has been meticulous, Roth said, to conceal the "socialistic" nature of his tax plans. "But every once in a while, he lets it slip," he said.

Republican candidate John McCain yesterday charged that Obama's comment was telling.

"This explains how Senator Obama can promise an income-tax cut for millions who aren't even paying income taxes right now," he said in Pennsylvania.

"My plan isn't intended to force small businesses to cut jobs to pay higher taxes so we can 'spread the wealth around.' My plan is intended to create jobs and increase the wealth of all Americans."

Meanwhile, a New York Times/CBS poll last night showed Obama moving into a commanding 53-39 percent lead.

This all reminds me of a great excerpt from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged:

Ragnar: ". . . [Robin Hood] is not remembered as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became a symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don't have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures - the double-parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich - whom men have come to regard as the moral idea." ". . . Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us? That is what I am fighting, Mr. Rearden. Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive."

Yes, that quote could be called a bit harsh, but truly...the idea that the Robin Hood Effect is the cure for the current (or any) economic crisis--take FDR and his New Deal, for example: UCLA economists found (four years ago) that FDR's own stimulus package during the Great Depression actually lengthened the depression instead of helping to cure it. A very interesting quote from the UCLA article:

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

Hindsight's 20/20, but it doesn't do any good if you don't look back. In Atlas Shrugged, the government kept nationalizing private sector after private sector, all in the name of saving the economy, but in truth, the supposed fix widened the fissure. The current bailouts don't seem to be helping much, either. Could a New Deal 2.0 be in the making? God help us.

-Cydney

Cross-posted on The Celebrity

Posted by Cydney at October 15, 2008 07:26 AM | Email This
Comments
1. This type of wealth confiscation does not result in the type of "success for everybody" Obama thinks it will. It never has. Obama is breathtakingly naive. There isn't enough taxation in the country to 'give' everybody everything. Look at the old USSR and Cuba. People weren't exactly flocking there for freedom and prosperity!

Posted by: Michele on October 15, 2008 02:22 PM
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