Monday, March 30, 2009

Flight Of Fantasy

When Barack Obama assumed the presidency, he had waiting for him the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, an unpopular war, and a growing terrorist threat in the Persian Gulf. He has made big decisions and avoided others. And yet this is what obsesses Rush Limbaugh:

The best way to understand Obama, and I can't say this enough, he really believes that it's his job to return the nation's wealth to its rightful, quote, unquote, rightful owners. And that means that he believes the people who have wealth have stolen it from those who have no wealth. It's been unfairly achieved and accrued, and it's his job to take it and redistribute it. And that's what he means by sacrifice. When he talks about sacrifice, he's talking about raising your taxes, taking away your assets, and giving them to other people he thinks you stole them from who are thus more deserving.

This is what Limbaugh repeats, explicitly and otherwise, every day. Obama wants to raise everyone's taxes, steal from the rich and redistribute it to the undeserving poor and middle class. So imagine my surprise when the Wall Street Journal reported Monday

In his address Monday morning, Mr. Obama laid blame for GM and Chrysler's financial ills largely at the feet of the management teams at those companies. That said, he called on hourly workers and retirees at the companies to be ready to accept more sacrifice if they hoped to keep their employers afloat.

"It will require unions and workers who have already made extraordinarily painful concessions to do more," Mr. Obama said, adding that all stakeholders will need to provide givebacks. "Only then can we ask American taxpayers, who have already put up so much of their hard-earned money, to once more invest in a revitalized auto industry."

Now you may like the idea of the President of the United States demanding productive, middle-class employees give up some of their pay, health benefits, or pension while AIG and Merrill Lynch executives get to keep their bonuses for running their businesses into the ground, followed by a bailout by the American taxpayer. (And if so, you're right there with Rush.) But requiring yet more givebacks by unions and workers is a funny way of redistributing income away from the wealthy and, given Mr. Obama's stated concern here for the taxpayer, it's hardly a guy who wants to "raise your taxes."

Put aside Limbaugh's partisanship, fanaticism, ethnic bigotry, anti-Americanism, and sexism. On second thought, don't.

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