When Barack Obama explained to “Joe the plumber” that his tax policy was “spreading the wealth” the McCain campaign immediately determined that Obama is a Socialist. Both McCain and Palin are insinuating this at campaign stops. While Obama could have used better verbiage to explain the progressive income tax structure in the U.S., calling Obama a Socialist is a bit of a stretch.
Tax policy, by definition is about redistributing wealth, or more accurately income. We don’t discriminate as to who gets police or fire protection or public education based on the taxes they pay. The issue Obama is addressing is about fair taxation.
Merriam-Webster online describes socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
My first thoughts are that:
- Neither McCain nor Palin understands the definition of socialism.
- Their campaign doesn’t think that the American public understands socialism.
- All of the above.
Sure Obama could be called a Socialist for voting for Bush’s $700 billion bail-out, but then so could McCain. And why has one of the world’s foremost capitalists, Warren Buffet, endorsed Obama?
This smacks as desperation by the McCain campaign. It’s bad campaign strategy. It may solidify the base, which they already have, but that’s about it.