URLs du Jour

2008-11-01

We're pretty much in continuous "you can't say you weren't warned" mode here at Pun Salad.

  • Saint Mary Katherine of Ham noticed an element in one of Senator Obama's recent speeches:
    Exxon-Mobil announced that it had made the greatest profits of any corporation in the history of the world: $14 billion in one quarter. That's all your money. You are -- you are paying it at the gas station.
    Her response (in its entirety):
    Barack, once a person gives his money freely in a voluntary exchange of currency for a commodity, that money does not belong to him anymore. It's not surprising that the Prince of Redistribution does not understand this concept, but it is surprising that he openly talks about it, even in reddish states he'd like to win.
    Indeed. And I would bet that, if you tricked him into speaking candidly about government revenue, Obama would reveal the opposite attitude: That's not your money, kid. In fact, it never was. That's state money.

  • Senator Obama's non-candid words about taxation aren't quite that blunt, but almost. We keep coming back to Frédéric Bastiat's essay "The State", and its classic aphorism:
    The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.
    Here's Obama:
    "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."
    We'd never figure out how to make all those boats rise by ourselves. Certainly once we start sending a whole bunch more money to the state, they'll send it to just the right places to make that happen.

    Also, everyone will get a pony.

  • Progressives invented the term "trickle-down economics" to deride the idea that lowering tax rates on higher-income earners would benefit the economy as a whole. As Obama's remarks indicate, the "trickle-down" label is more honestly applicable to his own theory of government-induced prosperity: the main difference is that the state is the entity doing the trickling, rather than the free and private decisions of people spending their own money.

  • And a lot of people have noticed Obama's following statement:
    "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."
    In Obamaland, refusing to believe in Bastiat's "great fictitious entity" is selfishness.

  • Thomas Sowell is also unimpressed:
    After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis, is there going to be an even bigger gamble, by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth?

    Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.

    Professor Sowell wins the coveted Pun Salad Read the Whole Thing Award for this fine day.


Last Modified 2017-12-05 3:52 AM EST