Obama on the (Class) Warpath

Pages: 1 2

Republicans have yet to settle on a nominee, but President Obama has already decided whom he will run against: the rich.

If his populism-fueled speech this Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kansas, is any guide, Obama’s reelection platform will be centered on class warfare. In his speech, Obama conjured a grim image of middle class struggle. As he told it, a combination of unfettered free markets and “breathtaking greed” has created a dismal economic situation for the middle class, one that “gives lie to the promise that’s at the very heart of America:  that this is the place where you can make it if you try.” Instead, Obama suggested, this is a place where you can make it as long as you take from the rich, and that America’s problems could be solved if only “our wealthiest citizens would agree to contribute a little more.” For good measure, Obama also caricatured the Republicans as believing that “we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”

While the speech was well-received by the left, Obama’s attempt to cast himself as a paladin of the middle class is singularly implausible. Rail as he may about the hard lot of the middle class, Obama himself deserves much of the blame. After all, it was his administration that passed a largely failed $787 billion stimulus package that distributed taxpayer funds to an already privileged constituency in public sector unions. It was this same president that increased the national debt to $4 trillion dollars, a tab that the middle class and its children will be paying off for some time to come. And for all of his opportunistic attacks on Wall Street, Obama himself supported the bailouts for the banking industry. Exactly why the middle class should look to this president as its savior is unclear.

Indeed, beyond tax increases on the rich, Obama’s speech failed to offer any detailed policy proposals to help the middle class. Elevating style over substance, Obama instead made an elaborate attempt to liken himself to Theodore Roosevelt, to whose “New Nationalism” speech in Osawatomie in 1910 Obama’s remarks were intended as a not-so-subtle parallel.

Politically, the comparison was certainly convenient. An outspoken critic of the “great malefactors of wealth” who defected from the Republican Party for his own Progressive Party, Teddy Roosevelt has long been rhetorical fodder for Democrats who want to portray modern Republicans as beholden to the rich. Obama continued that partisan tradition, citing Roosevelt several times in the course of his indictment of Republicans. Obama also enlisted Roosevelt to preempt charges that he was engaging in class warfare, pointing out that Roosevelt himself was called a “radical, a socialist, and even a communist” after his “New Nationalism” speech.

What Obama did not mention is that this criticism of Roosevelt’s speech was not unjustified. As Jonah Goldberg observes in Liberal Fascism, his recent history of the American Left, Roosevelt’s New Nationalism speech could fairly be described as socialist. Among other things, Roosevelt avowed that “every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” Such socialist overtones are hardly surprising, since Roosevelt was far more of supportive of centralized power than the modern Republican Party. It is also worth noting that Roosevelt’s critique of the wealthy took place in a starkly different context than Obama’s calls for higher taxes. At the time that Roosevelt delivered his speech, there was no income tax, and hence the argument that the rich were not paying their fair share was far more credible than it is today, when the top 1 percent pays nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

Pages: 1 2

  • John_Kelly

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

  • John_Kelly

    Republicans have yet to settle on a nominee, but President Obama has already decided whom he will run against: "the rich."

    Obama is a world class HYPOCRITE as he and his wife are both happy to live the life style of the rich & famous while claiming some affinity with the poor and hungry.

    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    Obama has no love or pride in America and will happily stand by as his policies drive America into class warfare and perhaps civil war as his egotistical agenda is far more important than the well being of the nation.

  • John_Kelly

    The rabid hypocrisy of Obama and his wife is a stench in the nostrils of every hard working American.

    On August 24th, 2011, White House sources claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.

    Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie', they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.

    The 'top source' told the National Enquirer: 'It's disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work.

    'When it's all added up, she's spent more than $10million in taxpayers' money on her vacations.'

    The First Lady took 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel.

    The source continued: 'Michelle also enjoys drinking expensive booze during her trips. She favours martinis with top-shelf vodka and has a taste for rich sparking wines.
    'The vacations are totally Michelle's idea. She's like a junkie. She can't schedule enough getaways, and she lives from one to the next – all the while sticking it to hardworking Americans.'

    So Obama get you own house in order before you dare point the finger at hard working Americans who have succeeded due to hard work rather than mooching of the system.

  • KusoJiJi

    Maybe a little beta testing is in order. Lets start the experiment in Hollywood. Raise taxes on the rich there, confiscate their mansions and convert into homeless shelters. If that test pans out repeat in San Fransisco, Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore etc… Put up or shut up libs.

  • http://www.lysanderspoonerlawschool.org Kenneth Olsen

    Obama's love for the middle class and for downtrodden minorities is evident from the amount of time he spends with them (at the hawaii mansion, at martha's vineyard, etc). Part of the problem is the middle class has gotten a little lazy and soft, and petulantly refuses to come up with the $38,500 it takes to buy a seat at the dinner table with the caring, sharing Big O.

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    FROM ABE LINCOLN TO TEDDY ROOSEVELT

    After failing to be the new Abe Lincoln (the great uniter), the new JFK (the irresistible charmer), the new FDR (the optimistic inspirer), and the new Bill Clinton (the moderate triangulator) Obama now wants to be the new Teddy Roosevelt (the patriotic, America first nationalist)? Can you imagine this moral weakling leading the charge up San Juan Hill, or hunting lions in the wilds of Africa, or personally making peace between the Russians and Japanese (Obama lacks negotiating skills)? Indeed, using Teddy Roosevelt as a model this divisive, demoralizing, declinist-this bumbling, ineffective, dissembling teleprompticator-is going to rekindle the American spirit and win reelection as a super patriot? It's completely laughable. Teddy Roosevelt is Obama's last desperate ploy to seem greater than he is, more presidential than he is, more truly and patriotically American than he is and deceive his way to a second disastrous term.

    continued

  • http://apollospaeks.blogtownhall.com/ ApolloSpeaks

    The truth is this:

    We are a rudderless nation
    Without purpose and aim
    Adrift on a sea of growing troubles
    Recklessly steered
    By a drunken sailor
    Into icebergs and storms
    Staying the course
    To disaster.

    Four more years of this blundering, incompetent, chaos causing fool and we'll be undone. Thank God we'll have either Newt or Mitt in 2012 to save us from this man. For either one will limit the damage by making Obama a one term disaster.

    • Asher

      If people don't see the error of their ways in electing this mysterious man who does not even mix with people in the White House, has a constroversial birth certificate, shows contempt for Christians, Jews, Colonialists, is Anti-God, and Anti-American and who imposses total destruction on this nation by now, they never will see through his true character or intentions.

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    It’s amazing that you fell for Obama’s populist speech and you think he really means it. Anyone running for office now has to pander to either a right leaning or a left leaning populist uprising and pretend they are on the side off the common man instead of the elite. Is this Political Science 101, where everything a candidate says is presumed true and heartfelt?

    • davarino

      You gotta lean forward bro

  • davarino

    I could see raising taxes on the rich only after cutting huge amounts of spending that is waste and fraud. Then if we are still running a deficit after cutting spending I could see raising taxes across the board. We have to eventually start taxing the lower classes so they feel the same burden as every one else. You cant have some pulling the wagon and everyone else dragging their feet. Safety nets yes, compasion for the needy yes, but this entitlement mentality has to stop or we will go broke just like Greece.

    • truckwork

      The idea of providing safety nets or compassionate welfare to the needy is where we have gone wrong. It is not the federal governments job to provide benevolence to those in need. In fact it is a violation of the Constitution.
      “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” ― James Madison
      “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” ― James Madison
      We should not be supporting any social causes with federal tax dollars.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Obama is really out of line getting into redistribution. Like typical leftist totalitarian he will not give up any of his wealth but will, if permitted, force others to do so.

  • Asher

    You know this is his final push to destroy Capitalism. Please note the health care bill with many getting waivers and abuse of the commerce clause which was expanded to accommodate goverment run healthcare is unconstitutional Open borders, regulations on energy, freedom of religion, cash for clunkers, cellphones, and drivers licenses for illegals helps to collapse the system. Bailouts of companies, banks collapsing, homes being repossed, high priced environmental schemes, OWS, are all party of the Socialist-Communist movement to tear down America and rebuild her into a Stalinist nation.

  • http://www.wastewatchersinc.org Richard Ahern

    When is Congress and the President to face reality. President Obama and his Administra tion is out of Control. He ignores the rule of Law. Our Laws are based on natural law which is eternal. http://www.judgenap.com

  • Obzerver

    President Obama must have returned from his Pacific trip with the Australia philosophy of a 'Fair Go' on his mind. However his Osawatomie speech missed an opportunity to explain how 'Australian Exceptionalism' could improve the USA … http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2011/12/08/a

  • BLJ

    This cretan must be stopped. He is the lowest of the low. I hold all of the idiots who voted him into office just as responsible. I hope they can sleep well at night.

  • mrbean

    It is fact that raising taxes on the rich does not work. So how do we increase tax revenues, create jobs and reduce the federal deficit? The answer is clear. If individual income tax revenues average 8% of GDP, and GDP drives job creation, what we need to do is increase GDP. So if increasing tax revenues is dependent upon increasing GDP, what strategies would be most effective? We should reduce or eliminate the prohibitive tax on bringing cash back into the U.S. That done, we should reduce taxes while eliminating loopholes and subsidies (the Solyndra debacle has proved that government does a poor job of picking winners). Finally, we should trim the size of government and reduce regulations (including government-run health care) that discourage capital investments. Capital is the fuel that powers the economy, and we should do everything in our power to get it in the tank if we want to increase tax revenues and job creation.

  • Martel64

    When a Leftist says they'll go after "the rich", it always means they'll never go after a single rich LEFTIST – they're the Good and Moral rich,as we know….

  • richard

    were they to take 75% from 'the rich' they would only spend it that much quicker, & demand more. the ans. comes from less govt. less spending. energy independence. not cutting ourselves short; (trade/china), etc. many other ways. will only suceed in increasing unemployment. No one will hire in this environment. (tax, obama care).

  • Tanstaafl

    The rules are for thee, but not for me.

  • mrbean

    All the Liberal women will vote for Obama because they all have a Kim Kardasian syndrome and they want their mandingo man so they can have sexual fantasies about him in their dreams.

  • StephenD

    "It is also worth noting that Roosevelt’s critique of the wealthy took place in a starkly different context than Obama’s calls for higher taxes. At the time that Roosevelt delivered his speech, there was no income tax, and hence the argument that the rich were not paying their fair share was far more credible than it is today, when the top 1 percent pays nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes."

    A Republican on the scene now should agree and say something to the effect that Roosevelt had a point and we should demand from the rich the same that roosevelt did. Then point to Obama and have him answer the question of how much the rich were expected to give under Roosevelt and then point out what they give now.

  • LindaRivera

    "President Obama has already decided whom he will run against: the rich."
    Obama will run against the rich? That means Obama will have to run against himself! Obama is fabulously wealthy. He is a millionaire.

    Since being elected as president, Obama and his family have taken constant, extremely expensive trips overseas, held huge, expensive parties and enjoyed lots of golfing. A number of people have called Michelle, Marie Antoinette! The phony pretense to care about the struggling middle class is disgusting.

    Most people are not aware of government raids made on small-medium sized farms. Raw, organic dairy farms have had their healthy dairy products seized and thrown out. At least one farmer has been taken away in handcuffs! Many people in a desperate struggle to regain their health (or not lose their health) know how IMPORTANT raw, organic dairy is in the battle for health.

    Businesses and jobs must be PROTECTED! The war against small-medium sized businesses must stop!

  • LindaRivera

    Today, Friday, is the last day to comment on the new Animal Identification rule that will act like a tax on every livestock animal that crosses state lines – something that happens THOUSANDS of times a day in the United States! This is incredibly hard on small-medium sized farms WHO CANNOT AFFORD THIS!

    Family farmers and ranchers cannot afford additional paperwork and unnecessary expenses to please the industrial agribusiness lobby. We must stand up for our rights and the rights of farms! Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance is standing up for family farms and backyard livestock growers!

    This is their internet address: http://farmandranchfreedom.org/

  • LindaRivera

    It's WAR on American BUSINESSES and American JOBS:

    FOXNEWS
    Is Fed Raid on Gibson Guitar Company Enforcing Policy . . . or a Push to Target 'Made in the USA'?

    They are among the most sought-after musical instruments in the world.
    Gibson is also a company that is proud to put the “Made in the USA” label on its instruments. While the company has lower-end lines that are made overseas, every guitar that bears the “Gibson” label is made in the U.S. by American workers.

    Related Stories
    Attacking U.S. Companies Is No Way to Create Jobs
    Gibson: Feds Want Guitar Woodwork Done by Foreign Labor

    Related Video

    Gibson Guitar CEO: Don't Know Why We Were Targeted

    On August 24, armed agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Homeland Security raided the corporate headquarters and two factories of the Gibson Guitar company. The agencies took away 24 pallets of Indian rosewood and ebony, as well as a number of guitars and computer files.

    “I think they’re taking the position that we should be shifting these jobs overseas,” says Bruce Mitchell, the chief legal counsel for Gibson. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/07/does-w

  • LindaRivera

    An inferior health care plan that no one wants and CANNOT afford to pay. The threat to jail and/or fine those who don't purchase the government enforced plan.

    Massive spending as if there is no tomorrow. Fighting wars we have no money for. Massive borrowing.

    The Massive giving away of Billions of dollars every year to other countries, including the oil-wealthy Middle East, Hamas-controlled Gaza and the Palestinian Authority organization who fill their war chests, build mansions and laugh all the way to the bank with FREE infidel money. Whilst in America, homeless shelters are filled to capacity; tent cities have sprung up all over the U.S. filled with desperate, jobless, homeless, neglected Americans.

    Massive debt. The massive printing of paper money out of thin air to DELIBERATELY create out-of-control inflation. There is no question that the total DESTRUCTION of America's economy is planned. The results will be horrifying. In the once wealthy and great nation of America, millions of Americans will become destitute, hungry and homeless with no money or resources to help them.

  • LindaRivera

    Organic, non-GMO avocado, fruit and nut trees and berries must be planted in all of our nation’s cities’ and towns’ parks to help the many millions of Americans who will soon be in a desperate struggle to survive because of the frightening, highly destructive economic policies of our government.

    Watch it. And weep for our great nation and people:

    FALL Of The Republic – The Presidency Of Barack H Obama – The Full Movie HQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8LPNRI_6T8&fe

  • mrbean

    Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others. By what criterion of justice is a consensus-government to be guided? By the size of the victim’s gang. When government controls are introduced into a free economy, they create economic dislocations, hardships, and problems which, if the controls are not repealed, necessitate still further controls, which necessitate still further controls, etc. Thus a chain reaction is set up: the victimized groups seek redress by imposing controls on the profiteering groups, who retaliate in the same manner, on an ever widening scale. parasitism, favoritism, corruption, and greed for the unearned did not exist, a mixed economy would bring them into existence. Since there is no rational justification for the sacrifice of some men to others, there is no objective criterion by which such a sacrifice can be guided in practice. All “public interest” legislation (and any distribution of money taken by force from some men and given as unearned to other men is immoral.

  • Liberty-Clinger

    “Private Property as conceived under the liberalistic economic order was a reversal of the true concept of property. This “private property” represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests… German socialism had to overcome this “private,” that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.” Ernst Huber – Nazi Party Spokesman
    http://www.peikoff.com/lr/review_rand.htm

    “Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it.” Theodore Roosevelt
    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index….

  • 080

    The president is hardly a great friend of the poor. I don't think that their situation has improved much during Obama's presidency. He is a friend of the special interests. His support of the unions which is obvious is not good for the poor while it is good for a small part of the working class. First of all the unions are in favor of boosting the minimum wage since their contracts obviously have a floor of the minimum wage. The poor are already unemployed disproportionately due to the 7.50 minimum wage. How will the union supported "living wage" help the poor find jobs. Unions raise prices; try to prevent cheap imports; restrict entry into ltheir jobs, all of which is no good for the poor. And that's only the beginning.

  • Dispozadaburka

    Obama will win by "invoking" a version of the Bolles/Simpson Pact.

  • John_Foster

    The good news is 12 months from now it will be "Obama …Who?"