Another Look at Obama’s “Small Town” Remarks: It’s Socialism He’s After

by Gina Cobb | April 12, 2008 9:19 pm

John Stephenson[1] has already done an excellent and comprehensive job of addressing Barack Obama’s elitist comments on small town voters, but I think one aspect of those remarks deserves a little extra examination.

In Obama’s remarks, this portion stuck out for me:

Here’s how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

But — so the questions you’re most likely to get about me, ‘Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What’s the concrete thing?’ What they wanna hear is — so, we’ll give you talking points about what we’re proposing — close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama’s gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we’re gonna provide health care for every American. So we’ll go down a series of talking points.

Former Rep. Bob Barr thinks Obama’s comments reveal that he doesn’t understand freedom[2] — as in the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

That’s probably true, but more fundamentally, Obama realizes that government has done absolutely nothing to help the poor or middle class economically, but his "solution" to that is not to turn to non-governmental solutions to create wealth (like, say, the free market), but instead to try to use that same failed government to take wealth from one group of people and give it to another. 

Notice that in Obama’s latest remarks, immediately after noting that people are cynical about government, he proposes to "close tax loopholes . .. to roll back tax cuts for the top 1 percent."  That means increasing the amount of taxes taken from one group of high income people by the government.  He also proposes "tax breaks" for the middle class and health care for every American.  That’s, theoretically at least, a direct transfer of wealth from high income earners to the middle class and poor.  Of course, the reality is that governmental agencies waste huge percentages of the revenues they collect due to civil service bureaucracy, fraud, poor planning, lack of responsiveness to changing conditions, people who learn to game the system, and other forms of waste caused by lack of market incentives.  Meanwhile, the top 1% of earners whom Obama proposes to soak already pay 39.4 percent of all federal individual income taxes[3].  Just how much more does Obama want to squeeze out of this group before they flee overseas?

Obama doesn’t understand, or doesn’t think it’s in his interest to admit, that free markets enrich everyone in a country, be they rich or poor.  He doesn’t understand the engine of America’s prosperity.  In Obama’s mind, the only way government can enrich poor people, or even the middle class, is by taking more and more from the rich.  Of course, if that theory were correct, Zimbabwe would be rich right now, having taken away the farms from white people and redistributed them to farmless blacks.  How well did Zimbabwe’s redistribution of wealth work out?  Not very.[4]  Hyperinflation, economic collapse, mass emigration, stores emptied of bread, people beginning to starve, and now a presidential regime that won’t even release election results.

Obama’s got only one tool in his toolbox, and that tool is Socialism, also known as Communism or Communism lite.  Either way, far from enriching the poor, Obama would ensure that they remain destitute by reducing or destroying incentives to produce and to create and to innovate, for both the rich and the poor.  Why should the rich produce if their wealth is taken away?  Why should the poor produce if they are given everything they need without having to lift a finger?

As John Stephenson noted earlier, Glenn Beck and Mark Steyn reached pretty much the same conclusion about Obama’s socialism, looking at the "dividing the pie" comments of Michelle Obama this week.  Watch this video Jon linked to earlier (via Stop the ACLU[5]):

The conclusion is inescapable that Obama is carrying forward his father’s dreams, and those dreams are socialist and communist in nature[6].  As reported at PrestoPundit[7], In a 1965 paper entitled, "Problems Facing Our Socialism," Obama’s father advocated socialism in Kenya:

1.  Obama advocated the communal ownership of land and the forced confiscation of privately controlled land, as part of a forced "development plan", an important element of his attack on the government’s advocacy of private ownership, land titles, and property registration. (p. 29)

2.  Obama advocated the nationalization of "European" and "Asian" owned enterprises, including hotels, with the control of these operations handed over to the "indigenous" black population. (pp. 32 -33) [Note from Gina Cobb:  We see how "well" nationalizing assets of whites is working in Zimbabwe]

3.  Obama advocated dramatically increasing taxation on "the rich" even up to the 100% level, arguing that, "there is no limit to taxation if the benefits derived from public services by society measure up to the cost in taxation which they have to pay" (p. 30) and that, "Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed." (p. 31)

4.  Obama contrasts the ill-defined and weak-tea notion of "African Socialism" negatively with the well-defined ideology of "scientific socialism", i.e. communism.  Obama views "African Socialism" pioneers like Nkrumah[8], Nyerere[9], and Toure[10] as having diverted only "a little" from the capitalist system. (p. 26)

5.  Obama advocates an "active" rather than a "passive" program to achieve a classless society through the removal of economic disparities between black Africans and Asian and Europeans. (p. 28)  "While we welcome the idea of a prevention [of class problems], we should try to cure what has slipped in .. we .. need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now .. so long as we maintain free enterprise one cannot deny that some will accumulate more than others .. "  (pp. 29-30)  . . . .

Also recommended on this subject from earlier this week:  Michelle will steal your pie[11].

We have a bona fide socialist running for the presidency of the United States. Will American voters be well-informed enough to understand what this means? Will they understand that the Audacity of Hope leads to economic ruin?

Cross-posted at GINA COBB[12]

  1. John Stephenson:
  2. he doesn’t understand freedom:
  3. pay 39.4 percent of all federal individual income taxes:
  4. Not very.:
  5. Stop the ACLU:
  6. those dreams are socialist and communist in nature:
  7. PrestoPundit:
  8. Nkrumah:
  9. Nyerere:
  10. Toure:
  11. Michelle will steal your pie:
  12. GINA COBB:

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