Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wealth Redistribution, Socialism, Hypocrisy and Campaign Bull

I have been writing commentary and responses to the negative YouTube videos I have been sent about Obama's tax plans. Most of the videos out on this have the comments either cut off or moderated pending approval. This is kind of funny when the videos are going off about someone (Biden) being asked and supposedly tough questions and supposedly dodging them.

I thought Biden's answers were good. I suspect that most people were not even listening to the answers- instead simply enjoying seeing the "tough" questions that they are hung up on being asked and then Biden being miffed about it. They don't seem to realize that Biden was the victor and beneficiary of that exchange. I realize that this is a highly subjective issue. People see what they want to see.

Here is what I see.

First, when Bush wanted to implement his tax cuts for the wealthier American citizens and businesses, McCain opposed it and voted NO (neaux).
McCain said it would hurt the middle class and the less fortunate. Go check the voting records.

Now that Obama seeks to essentially roll those tax cuts back and instead give them to the middle class and less fortunate (ironically, like Joe the plumber) suddenly Obama is a commie according to the incoherent, inconsistent, irrational, insult to the intelligence McCain- Palin campaign and right wing America. Whatever. It doesn't wash.

Secondly,

AMENDMENT XVI

Passed by Congress July 2, 1909. Ratified February 3, 1913.

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. The income tax is collected yearly on a percentage basis. The higher the earnings, the higher the percentage collected from them. This changes article 1 section 2.

So, we have had a progressive income tax in America for many years. That's the way its been done for a couple of lifetimes- so this charge of socialism and the evils of wealth redistribution and revolutionary radicalism against Obama regarding taxation doesn't really sound so apocalyptic after all. Anybody that believes Obama is a total communist obviously has not really read the Communist Manifesto. The best one can come up with is a few quotes by Karl Marx that seem to parallel some quotes by Obama. I can produce quotes from any American leader in the last 200 plus years that parallel ideas by any other notorious dictator from Saddam to Stalin to Hitler. So what.

For the record... communism, capitalism.... whatever... they are both worldly systems flawed by fallible humanity and self interests and vested interests and neither really more or less evil than the other. I have seen no convincing evidence that God is a capitalist. In fact, as C.S. Lewis observes, one may find within the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, concepts that in todays world would absolutely be considered Utopian, overly idealistic, unrealistic, leftist and possibly even communist. Now get this straight, I am neither capitalist or communist- both systems are worldly and ultimately doomed to failure by human factors... not to mention the natural cycles of history and/or God's intervention and plan for human history. So, ultimately this whole subject is something that I am scarcely interested in and only commenting on to challenge others to think outside the box.

Now, as far as all this hullabaloo about wealth redistribution people seem to have forgotten what Sarah Palin did in Alaska:

Palin’s criticisms of Obama’s “spread the wealth” remarks are ironic to put it nicely and plain old campaign Bull in the street vernacular. She recently characterized Alaska’s tax code in a very similar way. Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans “share in the wealth” generated by oil companies:

And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.

In fact, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) program, which manages the redistribution of oil wealth in Alaska, brings in so much money that the state needs no income or sales tax. In addition, this year ACES will provide every Alaskan with a check for an estimated $3,200.

Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it

Perhaps the McCain- Palin ticket sees some important distinction between what Obama is talking about and what Palin has done to redistribute wealth in Alaska that I am missing it and I need a far greater intellect to tell the difference. However, I submit that it is at least possible that McCain and Palin are simply trying to win a campaign and are in fact self contradictory- and that seeing that only requires the analytic skills of say... a sincere fifth grader with a speck of curiosity, objectivity or self critical analysis.









15 comments:

Anthony said...

No one has said, including McCain, that he will be ANYTHING like Bush. The question is simple.

Who do you trust MORE to run our nation in these times?

My answer is simple, is yours?

Scott Starr said...

Anthony, yes it is very simple. I trust neither one fully- but the senator from Illinois more... much more.

As to being like or not being like Bush...

McCain has only recently, like some other folks I know, admitted that being like Bush was not necessarily a good thing. Also, as has been noted ad nauseum, Mr. McCain voted with Bush a whopping 90 plus percent of the time, not including on the Bush tax cuts as I noted. But, most importantly Mr. McCain has spent an inordinate amount of time slinging mud and talking about Joe the everloving plumber and let's just say not quite enough talking about what he will do differently than Bush... or even what he'll do differently policy wise that his opponent. His campaign strategy has been dismal.
I admit it isn't over yet- but it does not look good for the Senator from Arizona.

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