David Harsanyi

Barack Obama is going to fix the economy by "spreading the wealth around"?

Now, I'm not attempting to demonize Obama, God forbid. It's just that, as we all know, that's what Obama told Joe the Plumber.

Obama laughs off the charge of socialist behavior -- and to be fair, socialism isn't the precise term to affix to his ideas. It's more like Robin Hood economics. On a recent campaign stop, Obama joked that by the end of the week, McCain would be accusing him "of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten."

A funny line. But of course, Obama's lofty intellect must comprehend the fundamental difference between sharing your GI Joe with a friend and having a bully snatch your GI Joe for the collective prepubescent good. It's the difference between coercion and free association and trade. In practical terms, it's the difference between government cheese and a meal at Ruth's Chris.

Now, I'm not suggesting Obama intends to transform this nation into 1950s-era Soviet tyranny or that he will possess the power to do so. I'm suggesting Obama is praising and mainstreaming an economic philosophy that has failed to produce a scintilla of fairness or prosperity anywhere on earth. Ever.

If you believe that "fairness" -- a childishly subjective idea that ought to be quarantined to playgrounds and Berkeley City Council meetings -- should be meted out by the autocrats inhabiting Washington, D.C., your faith will be duly rewarded.

You know, once upon a time, the stated purpose of taxation was to fund public needs -- such as schools and roads -- assist those who could not help themselves, defend our security and freedom, and yes, occasionally offer bailouts to sleazy fat cats.

Obama is the first major presidential candidate in memory to assert that taxation's principal purpose should be redistribution.

The proposition that government should take one group's lawfully earned profits and hand them to another group -- not a collection of destitute or impaired Americans, mind you, but a still-vibrant middle class -- is the foundational premise of Obama's fiscal policy.

It was Joe Biden who said (not long ago, when he still was permitted to speak in public), "We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people." The only entity that "takes" money from the middle class -- or any class for that matter -- is the Internal Revenue Service. Other than that, there is nothing to give back.

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.