Spreading the wealth

Wow.  I'm getting a little tired of all McCain's silliness about Obama's “spread the wealth” comment meaning that he's a socialist and will be the “redistributor in chief.”  We are simply talking about progressive taxation here.  A commonsense notion championed by, among others, that radical socialist, Adam Smith.  My favorite response to McCain comes from Jonathan Chait.  Short version: redistribution is called government.  Longer version:

John McCain today:

“That’s what change means for the Obama administration. They’re
redistributing. It means taking your money and giving it to someone
else.”

Need I point out that literally having every any government at all
involves taking somebody's money and giving it to somebody else? Even
the more restrivtive definition of redistribution — using government
to create a less unequal distribution of wealth — has been going on
for a century. If McCain is really opposed to redistribution, then that
means he thinks the rich should get back a dollar in spending for every
dollar they pay in taxes.

And here's Ezra Kleins take:

It's been odd watching the McCain campaign warn darkly against
redistribution. Redistribution — which McCain says “means taking your
money and giving it to someone else” — is what the government does.
It collects taxes and uses them to buy things, or give people money.
Put even more simply, it collects revenues and then distributes them.
As such, I rather like Jon Chait's summary of the McCain campaign's recent message: “McCain: Obama Wants to Have a GOVERNMENT in WASHINGTON!”

My favorite, is this completely nutty Florida news anchor who quite seriously accuses Obama of being a communist in an interview with Biden.  When she quotes Marx to Biden, he quite clearly (and with good reason) thinks the interview most be some sort of joke.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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