While discussing the comments of various bloggers to the now out of the closet tax policy of President Obama, Roger Kimball reminds readers of the genesis of what drives much of the present administration’s policies that have consumed the political debate of the last six months. Having been an avid reader of The New Criterion since its inception, I’ve always found Kimball’s writing a good place for opinions on a variety of literature, art, and history topics that have not been poisoned by post modern fascism and its titular dictator, the Modern Language Association. Kimball’s article may be one of the most important discussions of the differences raging between conservatives and liberals today. It’s a must read.
Here are some of the highlights:
it doesn’t matter that increasing taxes on successful people will not bring in much dough. What matters is punishing success, not filling the treasury.
No one should be surprised at this. Whatever else you can say about Obama, he has never made a secret of his redistributionist philosophy. Economics for him is not about the creation of wealth. It is about 1) the redistribution of wealth and 2) penalizing those who have had the temerity to succeed.
… The bottom line is that when Obama invokes “fairness,” he wants us to feel guilty about economic success. This is the secret of his appeal to the socialistically inclined…
Behind this redistributionist fantasy, I noted, is not only the rancid ideal of an egalitarian society. There is also a rage against success and the wealth that it brings in its wake. That rage is a prime emotional ingredient in the liberal worldview.
Quoting James Piereson, Kimball pegs this “rage against success” as a form of Punitive Liberalism:
Pierson’s great insight is to stress the punitive, the chastising side of this orgy of guilt [liberal guilt about American prosperity]. Liberals like Obama come telling us they are making a better world; they omit to mention that what they mean by “a better world” is a world that is distinctly worse for certain groups, in particular groups that liberals decided had hitherto been unfairly privileged [i. e. the upper middle class, or as Dick Gephardt called them, “the winners of life’s lottery”].
Please read this whole article. It lays open not only the redistributionist agenda of the Obama administration but also the penalizing motives that drive their efforts on policy such as health care, Cap and Trade, and Stimulus spending.