Barack Obama as Robin Hood: Socialism With a Smile

I have a number of fairly conservative fiends and family members who are considering voting for Barack Obama. They’re rightly fed up with the ineptitude, corruption, and hypocricy of the Republican Party, and they perceive Barack Obama as a relatively benign Democrat who will at least be different than what we’ve had.

I plan a post in the near future to enumerate the reasons why I think that voting for Barack Obama is a mistake, but in this post I want to focus on Barack Obama’s Socialist Policies and political outlook. For those of you who view the state enforced redistribution of wealth as a positive, good thing, then Obama is your man and this post isn’t going to convince you otherwise, so simply skip down to watch the embedded video I think best represents Obama.

For those of you who are considering voting for Obama, but are not comfortable with the morality and the implications of forced socialism, read on.

Obviously, the United States has already become, in many ways, a socialist state. Wealth is forcefully collected and doled out in all kinds of ways. Those of us who don’t believe it is moral to forcefully take money from one and give it to another, that question the incentives or lack of incentives socialism creates, and who worry about the degree of governmental power required to do so (power that once acquired may be directed toward less beneficial ends), are already concerned about the current socialism in our system.

At least some of the anger directed at the Republican Party by those who have in the past supported it is because the Republicans have been acting more like Big Government Democrats than conservatives, and because George W. Bush’s “Compassionate Conservatism” ended up being pretty similar to Democratic Socialism.

But if that is the reason for the anger, then voting for more and greater socialism is not the answer. The idea that you are “teaching the Republicans a lesson” by voting for Barack Obama is ridiculous. If you are trying to send a message to the Republican Party that you dislike how they have governed, then voting for Barack Obama sends the wrong message. If you are determined to send a conservative message, then vote for the Libertarian candidate, or the Constitution Party candidate.

Is Barack Obama a socialist? Recently conservative bloggers have focused on the following exchange between Mr. Obama and a Plumber on the campaign trail:

Plumber to Obama: “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more. Isn’t it?”
Obama: “It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

“Spreading the wealth,” sure sounds like socialism to me if it means that it is going to be enforced by the government.

And how does Mr. Obama plan to “spread the wealth” around? Through the forced redistribution of wealth via what he calls “tax credits.” When Obama talks about “Tax Cuts” on 95% of working families, he is not talking about real cuts on the percentage of money being collected as income tax. It is a little word game. Instead, he is proposing “tax credits” which he presents as equal to tax cuts.

The difference is that “tax cuts” decrease the amount of money the government is actually collecting. “Tax Credits” on the other hand mean that the government continues to collect the same amount or more in tax, but then credits money back to individuals that meet certain requirements. So how is that different? Tax cuts lower the tax burden on those who pay taxes. But with Tax Credits, everyone who qualifies for the credit gets money distributed from the IRS, even if they paid no income tax.

Estimates are that under Obama’s tax plan, over 40% of all those who file with the IRS would pay zero taxes, but most of those would still receive and cash a Tax Credit check from the IRS. This already happens with the Child Tax Credit, but Obama is planning on adding a lot more credits.

For a more extensive analysis, see this article in the Wall Street Journal: Obama’s 95% Illusion

So, what Obama is calling “Tax Cuts” are what conservatives have traditionally called “Welfare” or “the Government Dole.”

Tax the wealthy and distribute it to the less wealthy. Rob the rich to feed the poor. Barack Obama is a modern day Socialist Robin Hood. Except that by using government power to do it, he is using the Sheriff of Nottingham’s abuse of government power to achieve Robin Hood’s aims. You can’t be Robin Hood and the Sheriff at the same time, unless you are talking about Socialism with a capital S.

For those who espouse conservative ideas of what constitutes the proper role government, Barack Obama’s socialism should make him anathema as an option for our vote.

Some have said they will vote for Obama because of his first-class temperament . But Socialism with a Smile doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

One of the most memorable depictions of the kind of socialism I see promoted by Barack Obama is the following scene from one of my favorite movies of all time, Time Bandits. In the clip, the bandits, having just looted Napoleon Bonaparte, find themselves in the middle ages, and meet Robin Hood and his “Merry Men”—who aren’t so merry after all, but vicious thugs. Robin takes their ill-gotten gain and redistributes it to the poor, who in addition to getting a dole, also each get a punch in the face by one of the Merry Men.

A brilliant vignette and a long time favorite of mine, the clip seems to represent Obama pretty well: the friendly, smiling socialist, surrounded by unsavory associates (Ayers, Wright, Rezko, etc.) who is happy to take money from other robbers (fanny, freddie, etc.), and then later call them “awful people”, and whose socialist policies seem benevolent, but end up requiring a punch in the face, as socialism usually does in one way or another.

[ Watch the clip ]

“Jolly Good!”

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