Obama wants to be seen as Robin Hood, tax like King John

The Hill gives this  headline to the president’s upcoming proposals: “Obama plays Robin Hood.”

It’s a favorite leftist conceit, this redistributionist ideal of Robin Hood, and it’s most useful to them without any examination of who the “rich” were he stole from. I wrote about it in a newsletter discussing leftist opposition to private charity:

[To leftists] the legend of Robin Hood [is] useful in a fleeting impression, not in the whole story. E.g., Robin Hood is remembered because he “stole from the rich and gave to the poor,” not that he stole back from a corrupt, tax-hiking, criminal government.

Last June George Leef posted a discussion of the truth about Robin Hood. Here is a snippet from his link:

Not only can we see that that the Peasants’ Revolt was a battle between the productive class of commoners and the specifically political class that fed off their production; this division of sides was also clear to the rebels themselves:

“They were emphatically not a rabble,” writes Schama:

En route [to London], their targets had been carefully selected: estates belonging to tax collectors or prominent members of the royal council.… Any document bearing the green wax seal of the Exchequer was marked for destruction. It was an army that knew what it was doing.

If the Peasant’s Revolt had been a class war in the Marxist sense, we would have seen the so-called peasants targeting wealth in general. Instead, we see a rebellion led by an emerging bourgeoisie targeting the machinery of the oppressive State. …

As advocates of such voluntary exchange, we too often resist Robin Hood’s rob-from-the-rich morality, as we resist any talk of fundamental conflicts of interest between different classes. But the targets of Robin Hood and his merry men—like the targets of the Peasants’ Revolt—were rich from plunder, not production.

Like the radical liberals of the nineteenth century, the “peasant” rebels of the 1300s—when Robin Hood’s exploits fired the imagination of an oppressed people—recognized that their enemies were the tax collectors, legislators, and all other members of the political class.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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