Monday, October 27, 2008

We're All Distributionists

Over on Drudge, Rush, Hannity etc., a lot is bring made of this interview from 2001 with State Sen. Barack Obama on a Chicago radio station. In it, Obama says that one of the failures of the civil rights movement is that it failed to bring about "distributive change" and "redistribution of wealth". The reason it failed, he said, was that the movement focused on litigation, not legislation; courts are limited in how dramatically they can shift away from society at large.

Based on the interview, as well as statements from such luminaries as Sarah Palin and John McCain, it's clear that the "redistribution of wealth" Obama is referring to means a fairly standard slate of liberal ideas, such as a progressive tax structure (i.e., one where the rich pay a higher rate than the poor).

All but the most economically-conservative support the idea of a progressive structure. Obama happens to be in favor of one that is more progressive than the one McCain, President Bush and the Republicans favor. How this makes him a socialist or crypto-Marxist is beyond me.

McCain accused his opponent of supporting a "giveaway" for some while raising taxes on others because the tax cuts that Obama advocates for the working poor are refundable, meaning that, if the cuts result in your total taxes due being less than $0 (or they are less than $0 already), the gub'mint will cut you a check. This idea of refundable tax cuts/credits was first instituted as the "Earned Income Tax Credit" (EITC), which aimed to help out poor folk with jobs. It was signed into law by Republican Gerald Ford.

And who was the crypto-Marxist who, while signing into law a bill which expanded the EITC (i.e., increased the size of checks given to the working poor, like Obama wants to do), called the EITC "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress"? That's right! Ronald Wilson Reagan.

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