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U.S. President Barack Obama offered a vision of class warfare, tax hikes, new regulations and more government spending in his fourth State of the Union address on Tuesday – adding policy specifics to the doctrine of rhetorical fluff he unveiled last month in Kansas.

He also took credit for modest – and belated – improvements in the U.S. economy, despite the fact that his failed 2009 stimulus ushered in three years of economic stagnation.

“The state of our union is getting stronger,” Obama said, pointing to recent declines in the nation’s unemployment rate and positive growth forecasts for 2012. Still, Obama apparently believes that he hasn’t sufficiently “spread the wealth around” – which is why he’s pledging to do more to fundamentally uproot the free market in an effort to enforce this Marxist world view.

Obama said that many Americans no longer believed in “the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college and put a little away for retirement.”

“The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive,” he said.

We agree … although after three years it has become painfully clear that Obama’s anti-free market policies are killing the middle class, not promoting that dream. Nonetheless the mainstream media gushed over his rhetoric, with one CBS analyst referring to Obama’s speech as “optimistic populism.”

We call it socialism. And while Obama kept invoking the mantle of “fairness,” he refuses to acknowledge the fact that the American definition of that term is rooted in equal opportunity – not radical wealth redistribution aimed at perpetuating the dependence economy.

After all, when you remove the incentive for people to make money and pursue their ideas – you remove wealth from the economy and innovation from our lives.

As evidence of his commitment to such a disastrous course, though, Obama proposed a new tax hike on millionaires, $200 billion in new stimulus spending  as well as even tighter government regulation of our financial markets. At one point he even proposed hiring new government regulators to file trade lawsuits against China – the nation that is bankrolling most of our deficit spending.

Really, Obama?

Aside from the lunacy of threatening our national banker, not even the script writers of The West Wing (which once set the bar for “optimistic populism”) ever backed a millionaire’s tax – arguing that it would take money away from the first generation of retiring black millionaires.

Surprisingly, there was one part of Obama’s speech we liked – his promise to sign a bill banning insider trading by members of Congress. Of course let’s be honest … what does it say about our country that such legislation needs to be passed in the first place?

Obviously, we hope that this is Obama’s final State of the Union address … although as we’ve made clear on numerous occasions we are less than thrilled with the two Republican frontrunners vying to replace him.

While the rhetoric emanating from former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would imply a stark contrast between their visions for this country and the command economic manifesto laid out by Obama on Tuesday night – the truth is both GOP frontrunners have embraced some of Obama’s most radical policies, including the notion that the government can compel individuals to participate in a particular marketplace against their will.

We also remain thoroughly disappointed with the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, which continues to pursue a path of appeasement in dealing with Obama.

Pic: via Daylife