By Noel S. Williams

In recent times, two presidents come to mind as being smart and slick: Nixon and Clinton. Both were problematic. Given the misguided blame for our current economic upheaval, Barack Obama is on the verge of ascending to the presidency. He’s smart, slick and socialist – and that’s downright dangerous.

Obama’s socialistic proclivities were cleverly concealed in his so-called middle-class tax cut proposal, which is fraught with spurious claims. For example, he proposes to reduce taxes for 95 percent of working families by creating refundable tax credits even for persons with no income-tax liability. That’s a big redistribution of wealth, since over a third of Americans don’t pay income taxes.

Obama thought he’d cleverly tricked us with his highfalutin jargon, subterfuge on capital gains taxes and convoluted tax credits. Then, he met your average Joe.

Confronted by an ordinary citizen not easily swayed by effete Ivy League charm, Obama had one almighty Freudian slip. When he got up, his veil of deceit was in tatters and his middle-class cloak was in shreds, revealing the dastardly dagger of socialism underneath.

In an instant, Joe the plumber was able to do what the mainstream media couldn’t or wouldn’t: elicit Obama’s socialist agenda to redistribute wealth. Obama’s surreptitious plans had been concealed in a labyrinth of refundable tax credits, which for many with no income tax liability will actually be welfare checks masquerading as tax cuts. Toe-to-toe with stalwart Joe, the Ivy Leaguer was laid bare and blurted his true socialist agenda to “spread the wealth around.”

Such precepts are right out of the pantheon of socialist ideology that has constrained many nations in the chains of poverty. It’s a restatement of the slogan popularized by none other than Marx: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Sounds nice, but it goes against human nature – with no incentives or spirit of competition, everyone ends up being needy.

Socialists, especially the smart and slick ones, always know what’s best for us. Their superior intellect leads them to a socialist utopia. If only we average citizens cooperated by forgoing all initiative to stand out and better our lot, socialism could then revel in cooperative mediocrity; it would be the panacea for all societal ills.

Socialist idealism may have a fabled tradition in community organizations, insular school halls and ivory towers, but it’s truly make-believe for Joe the plumber and me and you. I’m not as smart as Obama, but I know socialism never works because it’s at odds with human nature. I know spreading the wealth never creates wealth. I know raising taxes is not ideal in a recession. I know no poor person ever gave me a job.

The corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 35 percent – the second highest in industrialized nations. According to data released by the Congressional Budget Office in 2007, the top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 86.3 percent of all federal income tax. How much more can we spread the wealth before incentive for making it dwindles?

Sure, Democratic capitalism during times of tumult needs some transitory regulation. It’s probably the worst system except for all the rest, but socialism has continually proven to be the worst of the rest.

Carter was smart; Nixon and Clinton were smart and slick; Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan were a bit cognitively challenged, but surrounded themselves with clever people. The former represented mostly failed presidencies; the later exhibited better judgment and were mostly successful. In which group would you put Obama or McCain?

We barely survived smart and slick before, I sure don’t want to tempt fate with someone who’s also a socialist, someone who says raising the capital gains tax is “fairer” despite the deleterious consequences for revenue generation.

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