The Washington Post

Obama sees himself as Robin Hood

After the sighs and the eye-rolling have stopped, it is worth examining the president's lame characterization of Mitt Romney's economic philosophy as "Romneyhood."  Obviously President Obama sees himself as Robin Hood, and he is trying to call people's attention to that by saying Mitt Romney is the opposite.

Obama believes in the power and wisdom of the elites who run government so fully that he believes government should pick the winners and losers, regardless of people's hard work, courage in taking risks, natural intellect and perseverance. After all, according to Obama, if a serf started a successful flour mill, he didn't really build it, he didn't deserve credit for it and he shouldn't be allowed to dispose of the profits however he wants.  The distribution of the mill's proceeds, including what the miller takes, should be up to Obama.

Hence Obama's belief that the top 20 percent of income earners pay too little income tax (94 percent of all individual income taxes) even though they make a fraction of that much of the total income. Would Robin Hood have believed that nearly 50 percent of those who file income tax returns should pay no income tax, and, in fact, that many of them should actually get more back from the government than they pay in?  Robert of Locksley (I think Robin's real name) sought to protect the common folk from a crooked sheriff (the government) who wanted to confiscate their meager resources. The Sheriff of Nottingham was the "taker" in the Robin Hood legend. He was the government as Obama wants it to be.  

Today's Robin Hood — as Obama sees himself — is a figure who enforces the right of the government to take from those who work and who succeeds to give to those who don't; he is the one who decides whether you get taken from or given to. Obviously, he wants to take more so he can give more to those whom he favors. 

This is a good setup for the Romney campaign. It should be able to find a way to illustrate the "take it" mentality of a government led by Obama vs. the "make it" approach that Romney has for America. Plenty of Americans still want a chance to make it, and as they work to succeed, their foe is Obama, not Romney.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.