Editor’s Note: This article was co-authored by Ken Klukowski, a policy consultant and legal analyst in Washington, DC.
Last week’s revelation - in Barack Obama’s own words - that he believes the U.S. Supreme Court should redistribute income to bring about “economic justice” in this country is the final piece of the puzzle that reveals what he believes about the role of government in our lives. Taken with his other statements about wealth, taxes and spending, it reveals a radical-left view of government like this country has never seen.
In 2001, on WBEZ radio in Chicago, then-state senator Obama gave a radio interview. Calling it “redistributive change,” Mr. Obama advocated the courts redistributing income as a civil rights issue. He acknowledged the Founders designed limits on judicial power that they considered “essential,” and then went on to say he could develop a legal justification for the courts to abandon those limits and redistribute wealth.
In that same interview, Mr. Obama said he was not optimistic about the Court redistributing income, not because the Court shouldn’t, just because the process of income redistribution would be difficult for the Supreme Court to manage. However, he continued, it could be done more effectively through legislation or administrative action.
In other words, Mr. Obama doesn’t at all object to federal courts redistributing income, because “economic justice” should be part of advancing civil rights.
These statements are the last piece of a puzzle people have been trying to decipher for two years: What does Mr. Obama really believe? These statements, combined with his other statements over the past few months, finally give voters a coherent picture of Mr. Obama’s views.
Earlier this year, Charlie Gibson asked Mr. Obama if he would still raise capital gains tax if it would not bring in additional revenue and instead adversely affect millions of Americans. Mr. Obama responded he would still do it out of “fairness.” Even if the tax would hurt the economy, losing millions of jobs and squeezing working families, Mr. Obama will do it because in his mind it’s “fair.”
That statement is consistent with Mr. Obama explaining to Joe the Plumber, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” It’s in those moments when he’s not giving canned speeches from a teleprompter, examined in advance for alarming statements, that Mr. Obama reveals what he truly thinks. By his own words, he will use government and higher taxes to “spread the wealth around.” This means he’ll take it from those he decides have too much, and give it to others he decides should have more.