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KNIGHT: Obama’s politics of envy
Capitalism didn’t fail; Democratic meddling failed
Question of the Day
When reality bites, you can either try to change reality or create your own.
Barack Obama claims he has presided over trillions of dollars in spending cuts. If he’s a fiscal conservative, then I’m a forward “enforcer” for an NBA playoff team.
The president, who has increased the national debt by $5 trillion - more than all previous presidents combined - points to a nutty study by a journalist named Rex Nutting, whose virtual math asserts that Mr. Obama is an advocate for small government.
Mr. Obama has unrolled this meme on the campaign trail. He told a crowd at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Thursday that the Republican plan to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts is “like trying to put out a prairie fire with some gasoline.”
Mr. Obama also pushed his green energy agenda by promising to save jobs at a wind-turbine factory in Newton, Iowa, where he said, “If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit. Jobs will be lost.”
Mr. Obama should know about lost jobs. Real unemployment, which includes underemployment and those who have given up looking, is about 11 percent. First Solar, to which the administration provided $3 billion in loan guarantees, has fired 30 percent of its workforce, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Abound Solar, which got a $400 million loan guarantee, stopped production in February and laid off 180 employees, according to Forbes. Solyndra and several other companies that received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in loan guarantees also have gone belly-up.
The problem here is not failed capitalism but crony socialism. According to the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer, author of “Throw Them All Out,” bundlers for Mr. Obama raised nearly $500,000 for his campaign while receiving more than $11 billion in grants or loans.
Yes, Mr. Bush spent too much, financing two wars and colluding with liberal Democrats on boondoggles such as the No Child Left Behind Act. But Mr. Obama’s crony socialism makes Mr. Bush look like an amateur.
The real cause of government gigantism is a breakdown in the moral culture and the rise of envy, the beating heart of socialism, which is the desire to have what someone else already has.
All across the land, Mr. Obama is waging class warfare. In Columbus, Ohio, on May 5, Mr. Obama accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of wanting “to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.”
In Redwood City, Calif., on Thursday, he slammed Republicans for wanting “bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. They want to give banks and insurance companies even more power to do as they please.”
It’s not as if Mr. Obama has been coy about his redistributionist philosophy. He tipped us off when telling Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher in 2008 that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
In 2009, in his first budget statement, Mr. Obama announced, “For the better part of three decades, a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth has been accumulated by the very wealthy. Technological advances and growing global competition, while transforming whole industries and birthing new ones, [have] accentuated the trend toward rising inequality.”
It was time, Mr. Obama said, “to break from a troubled past” and “begin charting a new path.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.
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