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

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.


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

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