Obama Says We’re Not “Takers” As He Seeks to Enshrine Taking


We all know that wealth redistribution is the sine qua non goal of lefties the world over and has been throughout time immemorial.  No need to rehash why, and why it is a terrible idea, here. 

What I do want to touch on briefly is how the lefties are moving on to something that should be the DEFCON 5 for those interested, and thus standing vigilant over, our liberties.  For the past four years, lefties have hidden their goal behind the patently ridiculous argument that wealth redistribution had economic benefits in which we all share.  This is poppycock but that is how they advanced the notion, because they didn’t want the rest of us to see their real motivation. 

The most famous of this ruse in action was then-presidential candidate Obama’s interaction with Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher, where he insists that we all do better when we spread wealth around.  (Again, we don’t, but that is not my point here.)  We’ve continued to hear this theme over the years, such as in when Nancy Pelosi says that unemployment benefits create jobs.

Now, however, lefties are moving on to the real deal, and the best that can be said is that at least the economic nonsense may take a back seat.  That is hardly a consolation as the next phase is the enshrining of “taking from the making” into the fabric of life.  This is done through the concept of “positive rights.”  Michael Kinsley gives you the primer:

The president’s second fascinating gloss on the concept of rights has to do with negative and positive rights. In the U.S., when we think of rights, we think mainly of negative rights: rights against the government. The Bill of Rights is largely a list of things the government may not do to you. It may not prevent you from having your say, or praying to your own God, or living unbothered in your own house. It may not discriminate against you on account of race, religion, and so on. But it has no positive duty to feed or house you.

There is another view of “rights” that sees them in positive terms, as obligations of society to all its citizens. The right to education, to food, to a job, to health care, and so on. These are the kind of rights that engage Obama.

While it sounds good on the surface, there is a reason that “positive rights” were not part of our founding as a nation and have, throughout time, not been a key concept of constitutional design, at least not in parts of the globe where freedom and liberty are valued.  This is because “positive rights” are a recipe for the destruction of free societies. 

The reason is simple: negative rights don’t cost money, positive rights cost money.  It doesn’t cost you or me any tangible resources to allow our fellow citizens to speak their mind, worship their god or live unmolested in their home.  But when you have a positive right to a home or to food, that has to be paid for with actual money.  Who pays for that?  We do.  The government has no money of its own, it can only tax or borrow or confiscate. 

So, we wind up paying, always.  Someone has to have a home, because it is their right, so we have to pay for it.  What is yours – your money, your property, your business – becomes secondary because people have rights to things and these things cost money.  Standing up to confiscation in any form – excessive taxation, trampling of creditor rights (see Chrysler bailout) or outright confiscation – is recast as denying your fellow citizens’ rights. 

Now what it is yours is no longer yours.  Someone else has a right to what is yours.  “Taking” is now not only not taboo, not merely virtuous, it is imperative.  That is where Obama and his ilk are taking us.

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  • Roy_Bean

    They tell a lie and keep repeating it until people think its true, a tactic that had some success in central Europe about 80 years ago.

  • Spartacus

    Of course he’s not.

    Hypocriticus Africanus, an evolutionary anomaly eventuated by the inopportune union of a fake and a flake.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    He’s been a “taker” his entire life and always will.

  • HG

    I can’t recall ever seeing this President with his hands in his own pockets.

    • Guest

      I can’t recall HorridGas posting anything besides a Republican talking point or baseless caricature.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Chicago Politics 101: Fan the flame of resentment, toss them some scraps, get their vote. If it all falls apart sometime in obama’s life time, where will he hide? If he were smart he should spend the next four years working on solving the real problems instead of creating more expensive entitlements

    • Wayne

      Agreed. But if it all falls apart it will be the Republicans fault. No matter when it happens.

  • LastBestHope

    NEWT SAYS….that Obama’s inauguration speech offers a “fuzziness that marks the foundation of a new, effective GOP strategy.”

    “Gingrich, the former Georgia representative said President Obama’s lack of clarity gave Republicans much fodder as his new term begins.

    “For instance, he talked about how children need to feel safe. One left-wing reporter asked me if it was a call for gun control. I said that it was a call for armed guards in schools. He wasn’t clear.”.

    “To conservatives, we have a choice,” he added. “Because he talked about having a
    good work ethic, I’d say: ‘Let’s reform unemployment compensation, with a
    requirement that you educate yourself so you can get a new job — because we
    should not be paying people to do nothing’ — and we can cite it as being a part
    of Barack Obama’s agenda.”

    Gingrich likened the 80 percent of the president’s speech to words that might have been spoken by former GOP President Ronald Reagan.

    “I’d say, ‘Let’s look at this speech and underline everything you agree with,’” he said. “If Ronald Reagan had given this speech, and you read it — and, not knowing who gave it — you could see that it was almost identical to something he would have said.

    “But 20 percent is goofy left-wingism — and we’d cheerfully fight him on that. The whole section about climate change is nonsense. The great energy revolution we’re living through is called ‘oil and gas.’”

    “There are portions of his speech that we can totally support,” Gingrich added — and embracing those sections, in particular, “would totally confuse Obama and the Democrats. That’s not quite what the Left expects.”