With the reelection of President Obama secured, Washington Post economics reporter Zachary Goldfarb finally identifies “the bedrock belief that has driven the president for decade” (or Obama’s “driving force,” per the web edition). That bedrock belief is that the power of the federal government must be used reduce income inequality in America. According to Goldfarb, Obama formed this belief as a child and young adult living abroad, where he observed, in Obama’s words, “the vast disparity in wealth between those who are part of the power structure and those who are outside of it.” (Apparently, Obama has been unable to distinguish the situation in the U.S. from that of Indonesia in the 1970s).
Conservatives have advanced this theory of what makes Obama tick since he became a serious candidate for president. But the media and others who make it their business to cover for Obama have insisted that he’s really a mainstream pragmatist. But now Goldfarb admits that the President’s pragmatism is just an approach to governing, “beneath” which lies his “consistent and unifying” desire to see income redistibuted.
Goldfarb acknowledges, for example, that “although [the stimulus legislation] was not sold or viewed as an attack on income inequality, it was precisely that.” So was Obamacare which, says Goldfarb, “takes a shot at addressing income inequality by imposing new taxes on the wealthiest Americans.” Goldfarb points to a study that estimates that Obamacare will add $400 to $800 to the disposable income of people in the lower middle class and below. The source of that money is “surcharges [on] upper income earners.”
As Goldfarb recognizes, however, these policies and others like them will not redistribute enough money to make satisfy Obama. Thus, according to Goldfarb, Obama looks to education to accomplish large-scale redistribution over time.
This may be partially true, but not in the way that Goldfarb describes. The measures Goldfarb mentions — e.g., at least one year of college for every American student — are laughable as means of bringing about income redistribution.
More likely, what Obama really has in mind is a leveling of the education system through national curriculum requirements and the use of regional bodies, dominated by cities and minority-dominated suburbs, to control local education. Stanley Kurtz has plenty to say about this in, Spreading The Wealth: How Obama Is Robbing The Suburbs To Pay For the Cites, his must-read guide to Obama’s second-term agenda. Kurtz shows how the federal government can empower regional bodies by conditioning federal grant money on their creation. Such regional bodies can then push for regional “revenue sharing,” consolidation of school districts, and other measures consistent with Obama’s redistributionist agenda.
But whatever his precise means, Obama’s underlying objective can no longer be doubted. Just as the “wing-nuts” have said all along, the President’s bedrock goal is income redistribution.