WASHINGTON - You won't find it in his campaign ads, but Barack Obama let slip his plans to become a modern-day Robin Hood in the White House, confiscating money from the rich to give to the poor.
The fracas over Obama's tax plan broke out Sunday outside Toledo when Joe Wurzelbacher approached the candidate.
Wurzelbacher said he planned to become the owner of a small plumbing business that will take in more than the $250,000 amount at which Obama plans to begin raising tax rates.
"Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" the blue-collar worker asked.
After Obama responded that it would, Wurzelbacher continued: "I've worked hard . . . I work 10 to 12 hours a day and I'm buying this company and I'm going to continue working that way. I'm getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American Dream."
"It's not that I want to punish your success," Obama told him. "I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too.
Then, Obama explained his trickle-up theory of economics.
"My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Critics said Obama let the cat out of the bag.
"It's clear that his main goal is redistribution of wealth, not growth," said Andy Roth with the anti-tax group Club for Growth. "He's perfectly happy to destroy wealth as long as he can redistribute it."
Obama has been meticulous, Roth said, to conceal the "socialistic" nature of his tax plans. "But every once in a while, he lets it slip," he said.
Republican candidate John McCain yesterday charged that Obama's comment was telling.
"This explains how Senator Obama can promise an income-tax cut for millions who aren't even paying income taxes right now," he said in Pennsylvania.
"My plan isn't intended to force small businesses to cut jobs to pay higher taxes so we can 'spread the wealth around.' My plan is intended to create jobs and increase the wealth of all Americans."