American presidents have advanced redistributionist policies before, but none has used Marxist class-war rhetoric as routinely as Barack Obama.
Obama has used the words "millionaire" and "billionaire" in just about every political speech he has made since August -- and although Obama himself is a millionaire, he never uses those words except pejoratively.
"Millionaires and billionaires" in Obama's lexicon are people who should be taxed more and held up as objects for public antipathy.
"Millionaires and billionaires," he contends, are the main constituency of a boneheaded Republican Party and constitute a class of Americans whose interests are contrary to "ordinary folks" and "working folks" -- as if ordinary folks who work hard and have a good product to sell are not precisely the people who have become millionaires and billionaires in the free society we have maintained until now.
In August, at a campaign event for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Obama said America had rejected what he characterized as the "philosophy" of the Republican Party.
"That's why I'm president," he said. "Their basic philosophy goes something like this: We're going to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires, folks who don't need it, weren't even asking for it. And we're going to cut rules for special interests, gut regulations that protect clean air and clean water and things that most of us value. And then you're going to cut working folks loose to fend for themselves. So, if you can't find a job or you can't afford college or don't have health insurance, tough luck -- you are on your own."
At a Sept. 23 Democratic Party event, Obama said of the recent recession: "And all of this was brought to you by, was underwritten by, a very specific ideology that basically said, we're going to cut taxes, especially for millionaires and billionaires; we're going to cut rules for the most powerful interests in our society; we're going to cut ordinary folks loose to fend for themselves -- and somehow, magically, we're going to grow and we're going to prosper."
At an Oct. 1 campaign event, he said, "For the last decade, the Republicans in Washington subscribed to a very simple philosophy: You cut taxes, mostly for millionaires and billionaires."
"And basically," Obama said, "the idea was that if you had blind faith in the market, if you let corporations play by their own rules, if you let everybody else fend for themselves, including young people, including the next generation, then somehow America would grow and prosper. That was the theory. Now, look, here's what we know: The philosophy failed."