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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