Will Barack Obama Make the US Socialist?
Will Barack Obama make the US socialist? Let me peer into my crystal ball. Oh yeah, it is in the shop. Well, without my crystal ball, I can only comment on what Barack Obama has said. It is true that during the campaign Barack Obama espoused several socialist views.
Individuals that follow politics are familiar with the term "socialist". However, many other people may not be. Webster Dictionary (2008) defines 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." Does Barack Obama's statements meet the definition of Socialism?
"My plan will spread the wealth around." Barack Obama
Barack Obama made this statement in a conversation with "Joe the Plumber". Reading Barack Obama's plan offers some insight into his meaning.
"Barack Obama will ask the wealthiest 2% of families to give back a portion of the tax cuts they have received over the past eight years to ensure we are restoring fairness and returning to fiscal responsibility." Excerpt from BarackObama.com.
"Wealthiest 2%" is defined as anyone making over $250,000 a year. Certainly, in the short term, raising taxes would raise additional revenue.
How would this additional revenue be used? Barack Obama sets forth many objectives. Among these are implementing a $500 tax cut for workers or $1000 tax cut for working couples, provide tax credits to reduce the cost of healthcare, and increase tax credits for college.
Many people recognize this policy as redistribution of wealth. They do not see this as socialist. After all, socialism is the government "ownership and administration of goods." (Webster, 2008) Many people, including our media, do not considered wealth as goods. Economics shows us that wealth is a good in the financial market.
By definition, President Obama does want to implement some socialist policies. These policies alone will not make the United States socialist. They will begin us down the path to socialism. American reaction and future elections will determine if we continue down this path.
Mid Year Updates
I originally started this post, short after President Barack Obama's election. It has now been seven months since President Obama took office. Actions speak louder than words. So what have President Obama's actions, over the last eight months, tell us about his intentions.
President Obama's Health Care Reform Intentions
Universal Health Care is in the works. There has been much ado about whether the current Health Care Reform Bill will lead to universal health care or not. The final bills have not been created. At this point, we can only watch what Congress is doing and report. President Barack Obama's multitude of speeches and public appearances do offer insight into his goals.
During a speech to a conference of the AFL-CIO, President Barack Obama stated:
“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.” (Obama in ‘03 (Uncut): I’d Like to See a ‘Single Payer Health Care Plan’, 2004)
Ofcourse, this is just one quote from Barack Obama. It is from six years ago, there is a chance that he could have changed his mind. However, I was unable to find any evidence of him changing his position. I found evidence of President Obama changing his approach, changing his tactics, changing his strategy. But, I was not able to find one of his actually changing his mind.
Obma on Universal Health Care
- Barack Obama on the Economy
Barack Obama listens to Americans as he conducts his town meetings. And, it is clear that many people are suffering because of the bad economy. Obama commented on the poor state of the economy by saying,...
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