Ask a group of teenagers how to get rich and a significant share will say to win the lottery. The truth is that NOT buying lottery tickets and instead saving the ticket money is a far better approach. That, and hard work, are much more likely to get you there. Of course, that’s how many of the rich got that way, but President Obama now refers to them as “society’s lottery winners”. No doubt this description serves his redistributionist policy agenda by appealing to the ignorance of his base. I am tempted to say that his use of the phrase is a testament to his own ignorance, as his only real experience is in the political realm, as opposed to the world of actual production and wealth creation.
Thomas Sowell offers remarks on Obama’s smug characterization of the wealthy, highlighting the President’s disingenuous assertion that redistributionists merely “‘ask from society’s lottery winners’ that they make a ‘modest investment’ in government programs to help the poor.” Sowell notes that “asking” is not what the U.S. government will do:
“Despite pious rhetoric on the left about ‘asking’ the more fortunate for more money, the government does not ‘ask’ anything. It seizes what it wants by force. If you don’t pay up, it can take not only your paycheck, it can seize your bank account, put a lien on your home and/or put you in federal prison.“
Sowell also decries Obama’s continued abuse of the term “investment”. Everything is now an “investment”, whether it pays for consumption or new physical capital. You can feel Sowell’s frustration:
“... please don’t call the government’s pouring trillions of tax dollars down a bottomless pit ‘investment.’ Remember the soaring words from Barack Obama, in his early days in the White House, about “investing in the industries of the future”? After Solyndra and other companies in which he ‘invested’ the taxpayers’ money went bankrupt, we haven’t heard those soaring words so much.“
In The World According to Barack, wealth is created by luck, the government merely requests the cooperation of those paying the vast bulk of federal taxes, and redistribution itself and the consumption it pays for is “investment”.