Ed Driscoll

Obama's Kinsley-esque Gaffe: 'You've Made Enough Money'

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File this one away for 2012, or perhaps simply this fall, as Democrats are preparing to run on their record (such as it is) on the economy. Ed Morrissey, and in the video above, Mark Levin, catches the president saying, “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

As Ed writes:

Via News Alert and Breitbart TV, consider this Share the Wealth 2010. Barack Obama went off the TelePrompter in his speech to a Quincy, Illinois audience about Wall Street reform. After saying that Democrats don’t begrudge success that’s “fairly earned,” Obama then ad-libs — and reveals more about himself than he probably wanted:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.

Compare that to his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Now, we’re not doing this to punish these firms or begrudge success that’s fairly earned. We don’t want to stop them from fulfilling their responsibility to help grow our economy.

He should have stuck with the TelePrompter. The President doesn’t get to decide when people have “made enough money.” In fact, as the radio host notes, that’s a statist point of view. Furthermore, the responsibility of an entrepreneur isn’t to “grow our economy,” core or otherwise. It’s to grow his own economy. In a properly regulated capitalist system, the natural tension of self-interests create economic growth through innovation and efficient use of capital and resources.

Put simply, a free people work for themselves, not for the government. Barack Obama seems to have a problem understanding that.

Of course. This is a man whose biographer wrote in 2007:

“[Obama] always talked about the New Rochelle train, the trains that took commuters to and from New York City, and he didn’t want to be on one of those trains every day,” said Jerry Kellman, the community organizer who enticed Obama to Chicago from his Manhattan office job. “The image of a life, not a dynamic life, of going through the motions… that was scary to him.”

Obama’s wife echoed those anti-business sentiments in early 2008:

“We left corporate America, which is a lot of what we’re asking young people to do,” she tells the women. “Don’t go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse. Those are the careers that we need, and we’re encouraging our young people to do that. But if you make that choice, as we did, to move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry, then your salaries respond.” Faced with that reality, she adds, “many of our bright stars are going into corporate law or hedge-fund management.”

But what exactly is that “certain point?” I think we can safely assume that it’s at least one dollar over $5.5 million, which the president earned last year.

I wonder if he will pass on his advice to the city of San Francisco, where according to the Chronicle, “More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco’s nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year — a number that has been growing steadily for the past decade.”

(A decade which hasn’t been remarkably disastrous for the rest of the city, as Greg Gutfeld notes in his Wednesday Gregalogue.)

Related: “So, who wants to be the first one to tell Oprah?” Meanwhile, from a nation even further down the commuter train to serfdom than America, Brian Micklethwait observes “the unintended consequences of President Obama.”

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