(Centennial Fellow) Give at least this much credit to the liberals "progressives" (LPs) in the Democratic Party: they don't let little things like losing 63 seats in Congress discourage them.
For LPs, a Robin Hood tax policy – one that extracts higher taxes from the successful and industrious and spends it on expensive social welfare programs for the slothful and underachieving – is an article of faith that cannot be compromised.
(No one in the political mainstream disputes the need for a "safety net" to help those who are disabled and truly in need, but for LPs, turning the safety net into a hammock is political strategy, not an economic one. If more people depend on government, then more people will vote for the party of dependency.)
Showing for the first time a Clintonesque inclination to put his desire for re-election ahead of his desire to transform America into just another declining economy run aground by bloated social welfare programs, President Obama recently agreed to forestall for two years a return to Clinton-era tax rates. The LPs came completely unhinged.
OK, even more completely unhinged.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, the goofiest man in America with a microphone, sanctimoniously blathered to his infinitesimal audience of economic illiterates that the erstwhile messiah is not simply wrong but "g**-d***** wrong."
Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said, Obama "has shown a complete refusal to fight Republicans throughout his presidency . . . and millions of his former supporters are now growing disappointed and infuriated by this refusal to fight."
Refusal to fight? Perhaps Obama doesn't fight well or doesn't fight smart, but from the perspective of anyone to the right of Howard Dean, Obama certainly doesn't appear to pull many punches.
He ignored public opinion to ram ObamaCare down our throats. Before the election, he told Hispanic voters, in unpresidential fashion, to "punish their enemies" (read: vote against Republicans). Even after reaching agreement to extend the current tax rates, he referred to Republicans in Congress as "hostage-takers."
Now the LP faction that propelled him into office muses about a primary challenge in 2012. This is all just so much talk. Democrats will oust the first black President about the same time the Nobel Committee honors Sarah Palin.
Obama, they say, is "demobilizing the troops and demoralizing the public" – still ignoring that "the public" isn't whacko liberal – because he's finally recognized that he'd better knock off the bigger government, higher taxing, more intrusive, debt-exploding poppycock if he has any desire to salvage a second term.
It's hard to say who is more devastated: the Left, by Obama's compromise with political reality, or Obama, by the realization that even he can't sell the Left's socialist agenda to mainstream Americans.
For the Left, class warfare is a rare battle worth fighting. The evil rich – job creators, entrepreneurs, investors – must be punished by higher tax rates that take money away from job creation and innovation and give it instead to government bureaucrats.
So many liberal progressives make a career working for government or for nonprofits that rely on government, they fail to grasp that the middle class cannot prosper without someone creating middle class jobs – not on yet another extension of unemployment benefits.
They ignorantly seem to believe that the evil rich stash their cash under a mattress. Any other investment – whether in a bank account, the stock market or back into their business – generates more jobs and, hence, more tax revenue.
If growing government truly bolstered the economy, then our economic engines would be roaring after the trillion-dollar stimulus enacted by Obama and the Democrats in February 2009. Instead, job creation is stagnant as employers cautiously weigh impending tax increases, direct and indirect costs of ObamaCare, and uncertain implications of the Federal Reserve's Monopoly money policy.
As Ronald Reagan said, "The problem with our liberal friends . . . is that they know so much that isn't so." Fortunately, the rest of us still have a vote.
Centennial Institute Fellow Mark Hillman served as Colorado senate majority leader and state treasurer. To read more or comment, go to www.MarkHillman.com.