Barack Obama, Capitalist

Let the man make a buck, as long as he pays the top marginal rate.

 
 

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago in Chicago, April 24.

 
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with youth leaders at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago in Chicago, April 24. PHOTO: REUTERS

Poor Barack Obama. The fellow governs for eight long years as the most progressive President since LBJ, and now his former left-wing fans are upset that he wants to enjoy the fruits of capitalism as a private citizen.

Our liberal friends are disappointed—the tone is more sorrow than anger—that the former progressive hero has decided to give speeches for big money. One reported payday was $400,000 from the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and there may be more.

Senator and progressive ethicist Elizabeth Warren took a shot at Mr. Obama in an interview with the Guardian published Monday, saying that he and other politicians are out of touch with “the lived experiences of most Americans.” The left-wing press is fretting that the former President is either tone-deaf or cashing in on his former office, or some other quality they usually associate with greedy Republicans. 

But why begrudge the man his right to make a living? Mr. Obama is a relatively young man with two daughters to put through college, and speech-making is something he knows how to do. There’s also some rough justice in Mr. Obama experiencing the bite of the high tax rates he imposed on everyone else. If he wants to appease his critics, Mr. Obama can always write a check to the U.S. Treasury for whatever he saves from the coming Republican tax cut.

Appeared in the May. 02, 2017, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/barack-obama-capitalist-1493680288

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