Obama on low taxes: “Selfishness”; Update: Video added

posted at 1:30 pm on October 31, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama gave John McCain another pre-Election Day gift this morning in remarks made to a Sarasota, Florida audience.  After telling Joe the Plumber in Ohio that he wants government to “spread the wealth,” Obama told Floridians that opposition to such policies amounted to “selfishness”:

“The point is, though, that — and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class — it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic,” Obama continued. “You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.”

Jake Tapper thinks this is a nod to Ayn Rand’s book, The Virtue of Selfishness.  He’s unimpressed:

It would seem to be, given the themes of Rand’s work, what happens when independent achievers are demonized.

Which would fit with this description of those who want to keep their hard-earned tax dollars as “selfish.”

Atlas may not be shrugging, but Obama is.

This reveals the basic underlying philosophy of the Left – that one cannot possibly be charitable unless they use the government to redirect their funds.  Obama assumes that people who don’t want to pay higher taxes are somehow “selfish”, but that’s only true if one assumes that the so-called rich won’t do anything else with their money except sit around like Scrooge McDuck, counting it constantly.  Most people today invest it, which creates jobs, or spend it, which creates even more jobs, or donate it to charity — which works much more effectively and with much less overhead than filtering it through government bureaucracy.

Those who earn the money want to direct it in the manner they see fit, in the most efficient manner possible.  That’s not selfish, it’s just common sense.  Only someone in love with government power could see it as anything else.

Update: Here’s the video:


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You have to understand where Obooma comes from, never had a real job in his entire life and his house was free.

tarpon on October 31, 2008 at 3:04 PM

And his formative years and early education were spent in Indonesia … no great bastion of American ideals.

But I think America is being really nice in allowing an Indonesian citizen to run for our Presidency. /sarc

progressoverpeace on October 31, 2008 at 3:08 PM

listen up, dummy.

If you want to give away your own PB&J sandwich to a friend of yours who forgot their lunch, that’s cool. It’s called charity. It’s the conservative thing to do.

If the teacher comes and takes half of your sandwich and decides to give it, agaist your will, to the bullies that tease you endlessly about your dumbo ears, that’s socialism.

You don’t want me to give my money to others that I think need it. You want to tax me and “spread the wealth” to those people from whom you can bribe a vote.

That IS socialism, you big-eared, blue-lipped, stuttering, marxist, dummy.

mattshu on October 31, 2008 at 3:14 PM

This reveals the basic underlying philosophy of the Left – that one cannot possibly be charitable unless they use the government to redirect their funds.

Actually that’s pretty much true for Dims like Obama and Biden. Take a look at their tax returns; they give very little to charity — despite their ample incomes. Like other selfish narcissists, they just assume that everybody else is as cheap and stingy as they are.

AZCoyote on October 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Sharing what he has is charity. Taking away what others have–no matter what he does with it–is robbery.

backwoods conservative on October 31, 2008 at 3:24 PM

BODY LANGUAGE ALERT!

Watch him touch his nose at the 10 second mark. Because it’s growing like Pinocchio’s!

Brat on October 31, 2008 at 3:25 PM

Eat dung, Osama Obama, American-hating totalitarian.

He’s like a black Ellsworth Toohey

Vashta.Nerada on October 31, 2008 at 1:32 PM

He’s not at all like Toohey (from the Fountainhead, BTW)…Toohey could articulate his beliefs clearly, and was, in his own way, honest.

He’s more like Mr Thompson in Atlas Shrugged…a blind follower of a failing system, who will end up thrashing wildly in blind panic as his regime collapses around him.

MrScribbler on October 31, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Actually that’s pretty much true for Dims like Obama and Biden. Take a look at their tax returns; they give very little to charity — despite their ample incomes. Like other selfish narcissists, they just assume that everybody else is as cheap and stingy as they are.

AZCoyote on October 31, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Obama leaves his brother in poverty living on ten bucks a month. His aunt lives in public housing, but he tells us WE are the selfish ones.

Maxx on October 31, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Obama leaves his brother in poverty living on ten bucks a month. His aunt lives in public housing, but he tells us WE are the selfish ones.
Maxx on October 31, 2008 at 3:28 PM

WHITE MAN’S GREED ????
(yeah I know… raaaaaaaacist !)

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM

The speech is incredible!

Nobama, if the Principal took your half your peanut butter sandwich and didn’t give it to your friend, but the gave it to the School Bully would you have been upset?

The difference, Nobama, is that you chose what to do with your sandwich and not the Government, err school!

What a MAROON!

Oxybeles on October 31, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Giving versus forceful charity.

Selfish, it is not.

Kini on October 31, 2008 at 3:37 PM

Boy, the comments at the ABC site give me a little hope that maybe we can still win this thing. Maybe Americans really aren’t buying what Axelrod is selling.

rockmom on October 31, 2008 at 3:43 PM

(I have not read above posts…sorry if repeated above)

“Selfish.”

WHAT A CROCK.

CHARITY, being voluntary, is generally GENEROUS.

TAXATION, being mandatory, is neither GENEROUS nor stingy/selfish.

But THIS IS THE TYPICAL PLOY/MENTAL ERROR OF DEMOCRATS.

CALL THEM ON IT. NOW.

Lockstein13 on October 31, 2008 at 3:57 PM

NY Slimes now defining rich as $100,000

For Incomes Below $100,000, a Better Tax Break in Obama’s Plan

Connie on October 31, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Yes, Demoncrats (as they are now, maybe not 50 years ago) see no moral difference between charity and being robbed at gunpoint. Great stuff, that Godless moral relativity!

mr.blacksheep on October 31, 2008 at 4:03 PM

Boy, the comments at the ABC site give me a little hope that maybe we can still win this thing. Maybe Americans really aren’t buying what Axelrod is selling.

rockmom on October 31, 2008 at 3:43 PM

And there’s CBS, Weds, too, kinda sorta.
Hmmmm.

http://tinyurl.com/5vkl97

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 4:05 PM

As a Canadian who has been bled dry by government for 25 years, I am used to this sort of evil, manipulative nonsense. In any case, I have never understood even the superficial moral argument in favour of higher taxes for a couple of reasons.

1) There can be no virtue without free will.

2) Why is it considered selfish to wish to retain decision-making authority over your own propoerty but not selfish to seek to take away from others what they have worked hard to produce? Clearly, it is the latter that is selfish, not the former.

As Bastiat(?) said, government is a fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.

pussum207 on October 31, 2008 at 4:06 PM

HUGE difference between ‘selfishness’ and ‘self interest’.
Oh, I forgot.. that means a business owner is hoping for a profit.
My bad.

/s

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 4:08 PM

Statements such as this remind me how pathetically clueless this man is

Ann on October 31, 2008 at 4:36 PM

We are not truly understanding or appreciating the Marxist, socialist brainwashing Obama has received from the likes of Ayers, Rev. Wright, Frank Davis and others.

albill on October 31, 2008 at 4:39 PM

New Ad idea: include everything negative Obama has said about the US and Americans (this new slip, the answer to the little 7 yr old girl, his negative summation at one of the debates about America; what the heck, go after Michelle and the mean and proud comments; top it off with Wright and G.D. America. My God, the US is the most unselfish country in the world and we know it…we don’t want this ingrate bringing us down and looking down on us, telling the world how he is going to force us to be better. My, God.

deedledee on October 31, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Most people today invest it, which creates jobs, or spend it, which creates even more jobs, or donate it to charity — which works much more effectively and with much less overhead than filtering it through government bureaucracy.

Very well put, Ed.

mikeyboss on October 31, 2008 at 5:13 PM

Anyone not wanting to pay higher taxes is selfish.

Thus spake ZEROthustra.
—————————————————

Selfish people will have their property seized.
Redemption may be gained in the camps.
Incorrigible capitalists will be executed.

Thus spake ZEROthustra’s buddy Bill Ayers

LegendHasIt on October 31, 2008 at 5:14 PM

Don’t forget his motivations, here.
He’s working toward his own salvation because that depends on the ‘salvation’ of the world.
With THAT in mind, he MUST work with/for those who agree,
to save himself !
ARRRGGGHH !! God help us !!

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Cindy McCain is rich and has seven houses, and she and John adopted a Bangladeshi girl with a cleft palate as their own daughter, who is now 17 years old.

Barack Obama is rich and owns a Chicago mansion, gives $20K to Jeremiah Wright, and ZERO for his poor aunt in Boston, and ZERO for his dirt-poor half-brother in Kenya.

The Ego has landed, or maybe crashed.

Steve Z on October 31, 2008 at 5:25 PM

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 5:21 PM

I correct myself… the ‘salvation’ of the nation.
And it will require sacrifices, certainly NOT selfishness.
Creepy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wllj5urza-4

pambi on October 31, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Has Obama ever figured out that when rich people spend money to indulge themselves, it makes work and jobs for other less-rich people, who can spend their salaries on themselves?

Steve Z on October 31, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Yes, it was us selfish Americans that donated over $300 Billion dollars to charity in 2006.

Virginia Shanahan on October 31, 2008 at 5:46 PM

I heard something at work yesterday that I NEVER, EVER thought I would hear, especially from someone who had spent over 20 years in the Navy…one of the guys I work with mentioned that he had voted early, and he had voted for Obama because he’s “the lesser of two evils”. I had to do a double-take – and then, because I know better than to get into a political discussion with an idiot at work, I simply said, “Anyone who votes for Obama deserves what he gets.”
Upon further review, however, I guess I do understand how this guy can get snookered so easily. His 38-year-old daughter, her husband, and their three kids came out for a visit about two years ago…and moved into their house. Haven’t left yet. Don’t pay any of the bills. I guess he’s used to passing out free stuff.

uncivilized on October 31, 2008 at 6:11 PM

Maybe I missed it, but health care was not free in the 90′s. People had to pay for food and gas and housing. He talks about returning to the 90′s as if we have lost some basic government programs since then, just the opposite.

Obama is a hypocrite.

Terrye on October 31, 2008 at 6:28 PM

I think there is a huge opportunity to make real progress here in beating back this pernicious idea that’s been floating around the left since time began. McCain needs to articulate the exact point that Ed, and I think a bunch of other commenters, are making, because it is one that will resonate with both the right and the center, whether they are ideological or not. Even centrist people who are willing to pragmatically accept redistributionist ideas, to some limited extent, do not usually like them as basic principles, and that’s why McCain really has to jump on this.

I really hope someone in the campaign realizes this and they make this argument, because not only would it help in the election, it would help clarify, for the public, a huge weakness in the democratic ideology.

RINO in Name Only on October 31, 2008 at 6:41 PM

‘I shared toys/sandwich.’
The basic misunderstanding: ‘O’ chose to share, and chose with whom he wished to share. Imagine if his teacher had cut up his sandwich into 30 equal pieces to spread around the classroom. Removing choice from the equation (ironic considering he’s from the party of ‘choice’) breeds ‘selfishness.’ Putz.

TinMan13 on October 31, 2008 at 6:45 PM

All money is Obama’s is Barryland.

profitsbeard on October 31, 2008 at 6:45 PM

It is selfish, in the Randian sense — and thank heavens it hasn’t been completely obliterated in contemporary society, since everything we have as individuals and as a nation depends on it.

To strive to create, achieve, and profit is selfish. It’s just that anyone who makes the effort, without force or fraud, reaps the reward.

JDPerren on October 31, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Imagine the gall of someone who wants to take things away from you to use for THEIR OWN PURPOSES and, when you object, THEY call YOU “selfish.”

What could be more selfish than believing you have a right to MAKE everyone else do what YOU want?

Hypocritical, lying, thieving bastards.

Merovign on October 31, 2008 at 9:20 PM

What I find interesting is that the second man on the ticket for the Democrats has given less to Charity since 1998 than I have. And he is quite noticeably more “well off” than I am. He can afford it more than I can.
 
Their selfishness ends by spending OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY. Fie on them.
 
And the Pinocchio Press does not call them on it.
 
{^_^}

herself on October 31, 2008 at 9:25 PM

This still has me burning…”a virtue out of selfishness?” John McCain? Who sat in a hell hole for 5 1/2 years? Who could have been released for propaganda purposes, but who stayed because others had been there longer? Who has given his whole adult life to the service of his country? Obama? A pious megalomaniac.

deedledee on October 31, 2008 at 10:59 PM

Barack Obama is rich and owns a Chicago mansion, gives $20K to Jeremiah Wright, and ZERO for his poor aunt in Boston, and ZERO for his dirt-poor half-brother in Kenya.

Since she’s illegal, he kept his mouth and wallet zipped perhaps?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081101/ap_on_el_pr/obama_aunt_5;_ylt=Ap_7b9FwDS4SjBECJMeCwEjZa7gF

deedledee on November 1, 2008 at 12:39 AM

The ultimate essay on this topic, from Davy Crockett.

…Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose…

fred5678 on November 1, 2008 at 3:56 AM

listen up, dummy.

If you want to give away your own PB&J sandwich to a friend of yours who forgot their lunch, that’s cool. It’s called charity. It’s the conservative thing to do.

If the teacher comes and takes half of your sandwich and decides to give it, agaist your will, to the bullies that tease you endlessly about your dumbo ears, that’s socialism.

You don’t want me to give my money to others that I think need it. You want to tax me and “spread the wealth” to those people from whom you can bribe a vote.

That IS socialism, you big-eared, blue-lipped, stuttering, marxist, dummy.

A christian would prefer the bullies to have it.

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28).

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble (1 John 2:9-10).

fallicle on November 3, 2008 at 4:15 PM

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