Monte Kuligowski
Obama's class agitation is not an American value
By Monte Kuligowski
November 3, 2011

We can't fault journalists for getting excited about the image Barack Obama presented to the public from behind the teleprompter.

What's not to like about a biracial man who, by virtue of his election, could bring healing and unity to a country that suffered race-based slavery in its past? What's not to like about a post-racial, post-partisan figure freighting the hope to change the atmosphere of the country? What's not to like about a man who traverses a conciliatory path above the fray of mean politics?

We can't fault people for being drawn to that image. But we can fault the press for failing to discover that the image was a complete crock; and the actual substance inside was unseemly.

The essence of Obama is at odds with what makes America, America. From his elementary days in which he was taught the civics of third-world, Islamic Indonesia to his mentorship with Communist Party member, Frank Marshall Davis, to his college days in which he befriended "Marxist professors and structural feminists," to his Sal Alinsky training to his 20-year tenure at Jeremiah Wright's "Christian" church, Obama inhaled the fumes of anti-American-capitalism his entire life.

At the core of his economic policy is his moral system, as Professor George Lakoff calls it. Obama's moral system is based upon class warfare and division from which he takes from the greedy and gives to those deemed worthy of receiving other people's money. In doing so, Obama claims repeatedly that he's not out to punish successful entrepreneurs.

But when a politician feels compelled to declare that his plan is not class warfare chances are it's nothing but class warfare.

In an attempt to peddle his latest "jobs" bill at the Rose Garden, Obama claimed that, "This is not class warfare. It's math. The money is going to have to come from someplace."

Too bad we couldn't see what kind of grades Obama earned in his college math courses. A Wall Street Journal piece highlights Megan McArdle's use of IRS data to show that even if the rich were "taxed with rates of 50%, 60%, 70% on incomes of $500,000, $5 million, $10 million respectively [this] would generate an added $133 billion. That is roughly 10% of the current annual budget deficit." In other words, it's a drop in the crock of Obama spending.

For his class warfare to support his grandiose dreams (some of which are already law) of trillion-dollar social justice programs Obama needs to do more than tax the earnings of the rich at exorbitant rates — he would actually have to confiscate wealth and/or tax the hades out of the middle class.

A speech in 2010 provided one of those informative moments when Obama goes off teleprompter: "We're not, we're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money."

A president announcing that kind of belief is cause for alarm, to put it mildly. After reaching "a certain point," should the individual just work for the government?

Not only must Obama determine the "point" at which one makes enough money, but based on his own words he does begrudge success when it's not earned "fairly." That means Obama must make a determination on the overlapping Marxist concern of fairness. Even hinting at arbitrary wealth limits and fairness judgments are waters no U.S. president should ever wade into.

The United States government was not established to determine how much is enough for each person and whether the individual earns his money fairly. The former Soviet Union already hobbled down that road. The government's job is to equally enforce the laws. The government is supposed to prosecute lawbreakers not redistribute the wealth of those on the "unfair" list (which presumably would include the twin evils of big oil and big banking, but not big green, big unions, big trial lawyers or big Hollywood). America was not meant to be a place of politically-determined fairness; it's the land of equal opportunity under law.

Mr. Obama, however, seems to think he's a walking fairness meter. If only the rich would pay "their fair share," so we're told, then everything will be rainbows and butterflies. But, if Obama really wants fairness then everyone should pay the same tax percentage rate. What's fair about a system in which 49 percent of income earners pay no federal income tax? Top earners are already carrying an unnecessary burden: The top 1 percent of earners pay 38 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 10 percent of earners pay 70 percent.

One of the few similarities between the Tea Party and the Occupy mob is the prevailing view that the banking and other industries should not have been bailed out with taxpayer funds. But, considering that Wall Street was bailed out three years ago the Occupiers showed up a little late to voice their disapproval.

The reason the timing doesn't matter so much is that many leftists share a belief that rich people are generally greedy and the protesters are somehow entitled to force the transfer of some of their earnings to themselves. It's neo-Marxism plain and simple. It's what Barack Obama has been about his entire adult life.

A subset of the left believes that "white folks' greed runs a world in need." Those are the words Obama attributes to his old pastor and spiritual advisor, Jeremiah Wright. That's the sort of message Obama willingly lapped up for over two decades in Wright's church and in private consulting with the cleric of social and economic justice.

Rev. Wright's sermon, "The Audacity of Hope," is credited for originating the phrase, "white folks' greed." Interestingly, it's the first sermon Obama heard from Wright and Obama would later title a book after it. And, amazingly, it's the sermon Obama credits "with drawing him to Christianity."

Another fascinating point about the sermon is that there appears to be no direct evidence that Wright used the phrase, "white folks' greed" (though that would not be uncharacteristic language from Wright) even though Obama quotes a paragraph from the sermon in his book by the same title which includes the racist phrase. Even if Wright didn't use the phrase, it's what Obama heard Wright saying.

If Wright's bigoted, social justice sermon drew Obama to Christianity then that explains a lot.

It's Obama's ideology, worldview and his version of Christianity that drives him in his pursuit of social and economic justice thinly disguised as jobs bills or healthcare restructuring or even financial reform. Demonizing the rich and pitting Americans against Americans to pay for his revolution is the only blueprint Obama has.

Traditionalists should be quick to point out that the far left's beliefs, that the rich are greedy and have amassed ill-gotten gain which should be redistributed by government, have nothing to do with Christianity, let alone the Constitution.

On the contrary, the time-tested religion of our founders encourages private charity/generosity and warns against coveting the property of others. It's no coincidence that the Constitution, if followed, prevents a federal nanny/fairness state and protects private property rights.

God, not Obama has sole jurisdiction to deal with greedy Americans — whether they are sitting in fancy corporate offices or squatting in Zuccotti Park.

© Monte Kuligowski


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Monte Kuligowski

Monte Kuligowski is an attorney and writer whose legal scholarship, including "Does the Declaration of Independence Pass the Lemon Test?" (Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy), has been published in several law journals... (more)

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