Joe the Plumber exposes Obama collectivism

Related series: "What did Barack Obama Teach ACORN?"
More collectivism stories: here

Union-backed candidate offers 'middle class' America a lesson in Marxist economics

The press has now investigated Joe the Plumber roughly as much as Barack Obama — or at least as much as Obama's tax policies — and one of the dreadful conclusions is that he doesn't have a license that's not required anyway. Can you believe it?

What he did have in a brief conversation with Obama was a pretty good question, namely why Obama wants to gouge him with high taxes if he fulfills a dream to own a business making really good money, and what Obama said in reply was pretty revealing. He wants to spread the wealth around.

Related video: "Smearing Joe the Plumber"

More than a virtual army of supposedly sophisticated press analysts, many of them doing more to betray the truth than expose it, Joe Wurzelbacher has helped the public to a realization that Obama is a socialist-inclined collectivist, someone intent on massive redistribution of wealth, even if that means going to war with individual aspiration. The facts on this are clear, although disputation has been rife.

Through increases in inheritance taxes, capital gains taxes, payroll taxes, business taxes, carbon taxes and income taxes, Obama aims to secure multi-billions a year from people at the highest levels of income, even though some of these taxes will hit the middle class while giving away billions to the 40 percent of workers who now pay no income taxes and increasing the number who don't pay by some 10 million.

Owing in part to President Bush's frequently misportrayed tax cuts, it's already the case that the top 5 percent of income earners pay 60 percent of income taxes and that the top 50 percent pay 97 percent. He increased the amount given to non-payers, partly on the ground that they do pay the payroll tax, and effected large reductions for the middle class, despite demagogic contentions to the contrary.

Not many of us object to some degree of progressivism in taxation — even most flat-tax proposals exempt the first $35,000 of earnings. Nor do many of us have a problem with giving special help to those most in need. But what Obama is talking about is redistribution on a major scale, and that's just the beginning.

While leftists hither and yon are cheerleading on the sidelines for an end to the free market as we have known it, their candidate of choice is bashing business, questioning free trade, proposing a way of cheating workers out of secret ballots on union-formation votes, advocating regulation that would cost billions and proposing hugely expensive programs that would leave scarcely a blade of grass untouched.

He wants federal funding for pre-school education that would begin in infancy — that's right, infancy — and to enlarge programs and start new ones that would compete with volunteer work done by private charities. He's got a health entitlement plan up his sleeve that could ultimately lead to an single-payer insurance, even though we already have $40 trillion in unfunded liabilities owed to Social Security and Medicare.

Is there something you want out there? He's got a tax credit that will do the job.

The fact of the matter is that despite some rhetorical bows here and there to self-responsibility, Obama is an extreme, consistent left-winger whose vision of America is far different from the free, robust, energetic, individualist country we have known, a place where most people still get ahead not by whining and asking for more, but by working hard and taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in vast quantity.

Somehow, this real Obama is not the one many people have learned about, although now, thanks to Joe the Plumber, more Americans seem to be catching on, and doing so despite silly press commentaries and investigations that miss the point.

- Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.


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