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September 25 2012

Obama's Record of Redistribution

Carrie L. Lukas

Atlas CEO Brad Lips explains in an article on American Thinker how we’ve seen redistributionist ideas at work for the last four years—and that they result in a politicized economy and incentives that discourage economic growth.  Brad writes:

… it was around this point in the 2008 campaign that a confident and cruising Obama campaign was put on the defensive after its candidate gave a revealing answer to a question posed by Joe (the Plumber) Wurzelbacher.  "When you spread the wealth around," candidate Obama opined, "it's good for everybody."

Would a President Obama be as hostile to American free enterprise as those words suggested?  We're nearly four years into the process of finding out.  In retrospect, Americans would have been wise to look past his inspiring (but vague) calls for "hope and change" and study instead candidate Obama's economic philosophy.  Recall that in a Democratic Party debate, Obama had expressed preference for hikes in capital gains tax rates "for purposes of fairness," even if the hike had the effect of reducing tax revenues.

Now we see the consequences of a philosophy that prizes arbitrary notions of fairness over pragmatic concerns about what works.  Facing persistent high unemployment and ballooning deficits, we have learned that public policies that aim to "spread wealth" are not conducive to "creating wealth," and our nation desperately needs the latter.

Most interesting to me was the explanation of how the Federal Reserve has created incentives for bankers to keep money in government bonds rather than financing business startups and expansion which have traditionally fueled America’s job creation and growth.  No wonder our employment problems persists.

Americans who find the idea of spreading the wealth around need to keep in mind that someone has to do the spreading:  When government controls the money, that means politicians and Washington bureaucrats spread the money and often they spread the most to those who support them politically.  When the private sector has the money, we spread it by deciding how to use our money—to buy goods and services that we believe provide a good value and in investments that we think will yield a profit in the long-term.

Which sounds better to you?

(Full disclosure, in addition to being Atlas CEO, Brad Lips is also my brother).

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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