Two recent news stories illustrate, more clearly than ever, the Obama Democrats' contempt for the free market and individual economic liberty. If given the chance, they will expand government and spend as much of our money as they can get away with.
First we learn that Obama and his party simply will not agree to keep their grubby government hands off the estimated $200 billion the banks are going to repay under TARP. Just when we finally receive this glimmer of good news to ameliorate our reasonable panic over the ever-increasing national debt, Obama announces that he intends to intercept a good portion of the debt repayments and spend it on job creation and assistance to certain debtors.
I assume we're supposed to be too dense to remember that his stimulus spending to date hasn't created jobs and that most of it hasn't even been used for that purpose. So when this administration says its first priority is reducing debt, understand we are being played -- by consummate cynics.
Likewise, the Democrats' various health care plans contemplate $500 billion in Medicare savings between 2010 and 2019. But instead of using the savings to shore up this entitlement's solvency, they are charging forward with a new entitlement: major subsidies to the uninsured to buy health insurance.
They just can't help themselves, what with their firm control of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. They barely have to pretend to like capitalism anymore.
Obama's economic radicalism was as plain as day for those paying attention during the presidential campaign and not otherwise hypnotized by his platitudes. But it's not just him; the lion's share of his party is right on board, putting the lie to their long-professed centrism.
We surely all remember two of candidate Obama's unscripted comments that were particularly revealing of his economic philosophy.
When asked in the 2008 Philadelphia primary debate why he wanted to pursue a capital gains tax increase despite historical evidence that such increases generate net decreases in revenues, he said, "I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness."
Plus, he told Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher -- who was complaining about Obama's plan to increase taxes for those, including small-business owners, making more than $250,000 -- "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you ... (has a) chance at success, too. ... My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's going to be good for everybody. ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Obama Democrats never tire of ridiculing supply-side economics -- which is basically letting people keep more of what they earn -- as specious "trickledown economics." Labels aside, supply-side is just common sense. The economically and historically literate know that small- and large-business owners create jobs when they're prospering and that the less burdensome the tax code the likelier they are to prosper.
But Obama Democrats, as we see from Obama's comment to Joe the Plumber, believe in "trickle-up economics," the self-defeating notion that jobs are created from the bottom up: "If the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's going to be good for everybody."
Sadly, though, we might as well dispense with any debate over which of the two economic philosophies is more effective. This is just a diversion.
Why can't everyone see the obvious? For Obama and his comrades, this isn't about creating jobs, or they wouldn't be hoarding so much of the "stimulus" money for purposes of "buying" the upcoming national elections. It isn't about getting everyone health insurance. It's about leveling the economic playing field by lowering the common denominator and spreading the misery. It's about evening the score. It's about power, i.e., who makes the decisions over how our money is to be spent.
Obama Democrats believe that they know better than we do how our money ought to be spent and that they have a superior moral right to our money. They might even recognize that supply-side economics works -- just as they know capital gains tax reductions generate more revenues. But to them, the free market isn't fair because winners and losers are determined, not by the government, but by other factors, including people's raw efforts. They believe that economic "fairness" -- or "economic justice," a good old Jane Fonda/Tom Hayden/Marxist phrase -- should be dictated from the top down by government officials and bureaucrats.
If they permit significant reduction of this monstrous debt that they are deliberately expanding exponentially, they lose their main excuse to implement their socialist schemes, which are born from the chaos and fear they've generated. So when you hear them talking about debt reduction, look at their actions, not their words -- except for their unscripted, candid statements.