Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is Obama Really Socialist?

Yes, he is.

From Peter Ferrara, at Forbers, "Is President Obama Really A Socialist? Let's Analyze Obamanomics":

President Obama says that income taxes must be raised on the rich because they don’t pay their fair share. The indisputable facts from official government sources say otherwise.

The CBO reports based on official IRS data that in 2009 the top 1% of income earners paid 39% of all federal income taxes, three times their share of income at 13%. Yet, the middle 20% of income earners, the true middle class, paid just 2.7% of total federal income taxes on net that year, while earning 15% of income. That means the top 1% paid almost 15 times as much in federal income taxes as the entire middle 20%, even though the middle 20% earned more income.

Moreover, the official data, as reported by CBO and the IRS, show that the bottom 40% of income earners, instead of paying some income taxes to support the federal government, were paid cash by the IRS equal to 10% of federal income taxes as a group on net.

Any normal person would say that such an income tax system is more than fair, or maybe that “the rich” pay more than their fair share. So why does President Obama keep saying that the rich do not pay their fair share? Is he ignorant? Wouldn’t somebody in his Administration whisper to him that he is peddling nonsense?

The answer is that to President Obama this is still not fair because he is a Marxist. To a Marxist, the fact that the top 1% earn more income than the bottom 99% is not fair, no matter how they earn it, fairly or not. So it is not fair unless more is taken from the top 1% until they are left only with what they “need,” as in any true communist system. Paying anything less is not their “fair” share. That is the only logical explanation of President Obama’s rhetoric, and it is 100% consistent with his own published background.

Notice that Obama keeps saying that “the rich,” a crass term implying low class social envy, don’t “need” the Bush tax cuts. That is reminiscent of the fundamental Marxist principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

Good tax policy is not guided by “need.” It is guided by what is needed to establish the incentives to maximize economic growth. The middle class, working people and the poor are benefited far more by economic growth than by redistribution. That is shown by the entire 20th century, where the standard of living of American workers increased by more than 7 times, through sustained, rapid economic growth.

But President Obama’s tax policy of increasing all tax rates on savings and investment will work exactly contrary to such economic growth. It is savings and investment which creates jobs and increases productivity and wages. Under capitalism, capital and labor are complementary, not adversarial, exactly contrary to the misunderstanding of Marxists. More capital investment increases the demand for labor, bidding up wages to the level of worker productivity, which is enhanced by the capital investment.
Continue reading.

FLASHBACK: See Jonah Goldberg, at Commentary in 2010, "What Kind of Socialist Is Barack Obama?" There are a lot of different terms at stake here. Ferrara explicitly places Obama's consistent redistributionism within the Marxian class-struggle paradigm. Goldberg sees Obama more in terms of the stagnant European variety of democratic socialism. Personally my sense is that the only thing holding Obama back from a truly Marxist public-ownership-of-the means-of-production model are the enormous liberty restraints in the American constitutional system and political order. Obama knows this, of course. He knows that the left must chip away at these liberty restraints piecemeal to bring about the socialist utopia. You bore through the institutions over the long haul, and it's working. The monstrous ObamaCare health collectivization is the tip of the iceberg. The November reelection provides the chance for Democrats to consolidate their gains and push FORWARD toward the communist future! More than ever before, it's all about class warfare and raising taxes, and the president barely hides his disdain for the free market anymore. It's really a lot.

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