No man can know the heart of another, so it is impossible to say with 100% certainty that Obama is a socialist.
In a 1991 interview with a Chicago NPR station, Obama lamented that a casualty of the Civil Rights movement was that the United States Supreme Court had not “broken free of the constraints of the Constitution” and assumed the authority to “redistribute the wealth” and that redistribution is a cause that should be taken up by the legislative branch of the federal government.
More recently, Barack Obama spoke to average American Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Worzelbacher and said, “I believe we need to spread the wealth.” This is not conjecture nor is it speculation. It is Obama in his own words and his own voice caught on tape and played over and over again.
By coincidence another article asking the same question as this was published today. Donald J. Boudreaux (2008) writing in The Christian Science Monitor set out to answer the question. In the strictest sense of the word socialism Obama is not a socialist. But you have to pattern your definition solely based on the dictionary definition as the government ownership of “the major means of production and finance” and ignore fringe interpretations.
Honestly, Obama has not openly advocated government take-over of manufacturing and banking institutions. No, Congressman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has the franchise on government ownership. But Obama is advocating a fringe version of socialism in which guidelines for running the economy are put into place.
This kind of socialism, which could be labeled “Obamanomics” does not believe in the rewarding of individuals for their entrepreneurial efforts, rather, that wealth is the result of the collective efforts of all members of society and that all members of that society should share in that cumulative wealth. Boudreaux (2008) describes Obamanomics as an ideological parasite that sucks the entrepreneurial energy out of the free-market. It currently runs rampant across Europe and has the potential to “cross the pond” to America.
Perennial socialist candidate for president Norman Thomas has openly conceded that Americans would never accept socialism wholesale, however, when socialism is repackaged under the label of “liberalism” with all of its government-provided entitlements Americans, “will adopt every fragment of the socialism program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened” (Boudreaux, 2008).
The free-enterprise system demands that whoever harbors an entrepreneurial spirit should be allowed to reap the rewards of his or her own efforts. It also demands that every able-bodied person should contribute to society by having a job and doing that job to the best of his or her ability, paying taxes and not relying on the government for a living.
Obamanomics, on the other hand tells everyone to stay home and wait for the government to send you a check to pay your bills even though you don’t have a job or don’t make enough money to be required to pay federal income tax. Obamanomics increases taxes on those who already support the federal tax bill. According to the IRS, those who are in the top 10% of wage earners in America already pay 47% of the revenues collected. Obamanomics want to increase the share of the top 10% while making the rest of us pay less in taxes. Doesn’t seem fair does it?
Sure it does, Mr. Carson! Those who make more should have to pay more.
Sorry cousin, it doesn’t work like that. You see those who make the most already pay the most. The American income tax system is graduated already. Those who make more already do pay more. But Obama doesn’t care. He wants to take even more money away from those who have earned it and give it to those who didn’t.
Socialism has already been tried. “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” is straight out of Karl Marx. It was tried in the former Soviet Union (the second “S” of USSR stood for “Socialist”) and it failed because no government can corner the market on knowledge and ingenuity. Socialism deprives the people of their freedom to choose what and how they want to innovate and expand and improve. Socialism is also a precursor to tyranny. Socialism looks and sounds good on paper, but when placed into practice it is revealed as a dysfunctional and morally cruel economic system. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, the late Robert Heilbroner, a staunch socialist all his life, conceded the tragic failure and oppressiveness of socialism.
To bring this home on a personal note: I am not a rich person. I want to be, but currently I am not. I believe in the American free-enterprise system that made the United States of America in to the greatest personal wealth generator this world has ever known. The innovations and inventions of this world came from the minds of those who live in America, who are always looking for ways to improve anything and everything. “It may work, but I want to make it work better” is the mantra of the entrepreneurial spirit. Anyone in America can make a personal fortune by making something better and that requires work. Work drives free enterprise. Welfare drives socialism.
Everyone in America – in the world wants to be rich. The best way to attain that goal is to work for it. Americans who want to lie around all day and watch TV are the unpatriotic ones as are the politicians who promise government entitlements. Government entitlements aren’t patriotic – they’re socialist. People who lounge around all day and leech money off the government, when they’re perfectly capable of working, are a burden to society. They are lazy, worthless, thumb-sucking crybabies with out a shred of decency or shame. These people are the dregs of society and they produce nothing. They are leeches and need to be ferreted out and exposed for the slugs they are. These are the people who will be voting next Tuesday and they will be voting to broaden the scope of government entitlements. They will be voting to give handouts to people who don’t deserve them. They will be voting to raise everyone’s taxes. They will be voting to increase the national debt. They will be voting to cut, run and surrender Iraq to al-Qaeda and other nations that want to do America harm. They will be voting to eviscerate our military because they are stupid fools who believe that peace is just the absence of conflict. They will all be voting for Obama because they are too stupid to check things out for themselves and they just let NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC and CNN tell them what to think.
I want to be rich by working for it and earning it – not by having the government give me a $10 million share of Bill Gates’ fortune. Thomas Payne once said, “that which we achieve too easily we esteem too lightly” and I believe that. Socialism cannot work because the lazy, worthless slugs who receive their Obamanomic Equalization Check will squander it on stuff they don’t need or can’t afford. Sure that’s their right – everyone has the right to be stupid, just look at California’s state supreme court.
But having the government confiscate all the wealth through unfair taxation and then giving it to people who didn’t earn it is morally reprehensible and it violates the basis of the free enterprise system and it makes America a weak nation. Every patriotic American should be offended – incensed even – at the notion of wealth redistribution in the greatest economic powerhouse nation in the world.
It just goes to show how gullible some people can be.