Obama:Courts to Redistribute Wealth

*Obama: ‘Theoretically’ OK for Courts to Redistribute Wealth
by James Pethokoukis October 27, 2008

Back in 2001, *Barack Obama gave an interview to a Chicago public
radio station in which he talked about using the Supreme Court, the most undemocratic of the three branches of government (nonelected, lifetime terms), to “spread the wealth.”
Some rough excerpts:

The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution
of wealth, the more basic issues of political and economic justice
in this society, and to that extent, as radical as, I think, people try
to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical; it didn’t
break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution….

One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was
because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I
think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and
community organizing activities on the ground that are able to
put together the actual coalitions of power through which you
bring about redistributive change, and in some ways, we still
suffer from that.

You can craft theoretical justification for it legally, and any three
of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing
about economic change through the courts.

Well, at least no one can say this election isn’t about anything.
Clearly, what it’s about is two different philosophies concerning
the best way to structure an economy. (And more and more,
I think the financial markets realize this.)

Keep in mind, now, that every Obama economic adviser I can
think of—*Warren Buffett, *Austan Goolsbee, *Jason Furman,
*Robert Rubin, *Lawrence Summers, *Jared Bernstein—thinks
that we need higher income and investment taxes to deal with
income inequality and that tax rates would pretty much have
to double before they would hurt the economy.

So Obama’s comments reflect a core belief system that he’s
apparently held for years and continues to hold.

Names preceded by * Members Of Council on Foreign Relations

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