In the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, I would like to offer an educational opportunity free of charge and equally available to everyone. The course is entitled "Remedial Literature 101," or "Classics for Dummies."
Throughout the duration of this course, we will be discussing the liberal misinterpretation and misapplication of several well-known pieces of literature. Let's jump right in, shall we?
Today's lesson is over the classic story of Robin Hood, a tale that dates back as far as the 15th century and has been retold hundreds upon thousands of times. The recurring theme, according to liberals, is the layman who outsmarts the system in order to "rob from the rich in order to help the poor." They then apply that theme to governance, claiming that by instituting a progressive tax scale and forcing the rich to pay "their fair share," they are in effect becoming modern day Robin Hoods. "Take from the rich to feed the poor!" is their rallying cry, and they pat each other on the back each time they implement a new government program at taxpayer expense.
To find the misinterpretation here, one does not need to read the Robin Hood legends or even the Cliff's Notes. One needs only to go as far as Walt Disney's animated feature of the same name.
Prince John - evil, greedy Prince who taxed the people unfairly to further his own ends
Sheriff of Nottingham - corrupt government official who ensured that taxes were collected
Robin Hood - saves the people by taking back their own tax money from the corrupt government
In the story, there is a corrupt government represented by a greedy Prince and his Sheriff enforcer. (It's not too great a stretch to see the federal government and the IRS in these roles.) With the help of the Sheriff, the Prince unfairly and excessively taxed the people - much like in the United States where the "rich" can expect to pay up to 35% of their income in federal taxes alone (total tax rates of the top 1% of earners can easily exceed 50%) while others pay no taxes at all. Last year the top 1% of earners had 19% of the income and 37% of the tax burden. The top 10% of earners shouldered 68% of the tax burden.
Enter Robin Hood, the savior of the people. But instead of robbing from the rich to help the poor as liberals like to claim, he does something quite different. He robs the government of its unfairly accrued tax revenues and returns the money to the poor. The poor who are only poor because of the unfair tax burden placed upon them by the corrupt and greedy in the first place...
Rather than a large government with plenty of tax revenue (which is, in theory, to be used to take care of the poor), Robin Hood advocates the money and the power remaining in the hands of the people. Progressive taxes and liberal policies fly in the face of Robin Hood, and yet progressives and liberals still insist on claiming his motto as their own. This is clearly a misapplication of the original story.
The real Robin Hoods are the people advocating the rewriting of the United States tax code and the implementation of a fair tax, not the ones trying to take more from those who are already paying the lion's share.