Friday, March 20, 2009

"Obama Is No Socialist"

So says Alan S. Binder, Princeton professor of economics and public affairs, in today's WSJ opinion page. Link.

To avoid a line-by-line destruction of this article, we'll quote sparingly. First, Binder deceives with his own definition of socialism:

Socialism means public ownership and control of businesses, right? So which industries does the president propose to nationalize?

What should we call it when policies push businesses out of business and create an environment where only the government supplies the goods or services? Had Obama said he was going to nationalize an industry, we'd have far more yelling "Socialism" than we do now and he would have had less of a chance to get his vision passed.

Just because Democrat policies are wrong and fail every time they are tried doesn't mean Democrats are not smart.

We suppose Binder would ask us what our definition of Socialism is. We draw a line, with "Full Government Control" at the right end, and "Limited Government as our Founders Envisioned" at the left end. If a policy requires more taxes from the masses, or less market-based options for the masses, or an unfriendly investment environment for the masses, then we move our pen closer to the right end and call that policy socialist.

Binder's definition at the beginning of his article casts the rest of his text as flawed. He summarizes:

So where does all this leave us on the road to socialism? If Mr. Obama is able to get all of these proposals through Congress, the U.S. will have a fully private banking system, propped up with temporary government support; a uniquely American health-care system that covers virtually everyone; and a somewhat more progressive income tax.

If this is socialism, then let's make the most of it.

From our reading, we assume Binder thinks:
1) If 100% of the banks aren't owned by the government, we don't have socialism. (para 3)
2) Government mandated health care is a right, (para 4)
3) therefore, the US should have a health care program like Canada or the UK. (para 5)
4) The taxes to pay for health care are marginal. (para 6)
5) The richer you are, the less you'll pay for health care. (para 7&8)
6) Returning to the Clinton tax rates is ok, (para 10)
7) because maybe we'll have another 1990's-like economic boom. (para 11)
8) "a uniquely American health-care system" requires government management (para 12)

In short, this is an Ivy League Elite defending the leftist agenda of an administration staffed with Ivy League Elites.

This article is written in a vacuum.

His line about national health care costing less for the rich ignores the higher income taxes, capital gains taxes, national debt and other Obama burdens that the rich will suffer alone. It also assumes it will work.

While he gives a poor definition of Socialism, he speaks to, but fails to define, Middle Class or the Rich. Intentional, given that most readers of the WSJ could find themselves in either category?

No reference to history and no reference to the future. History shows commies will take what they can, when they can. Binder does not consider applying this to Obama's trillion dollar grab nor to Social Security, the War on Poverty, etc.. History also shows that socialist policies fail, and liberals' solutions to these failures is to pile on more socialist policies until they bankrupt their country or are driven from power.

We have three assignments for Professor Binder.
1) Identify the part of the Constitution that justifies health-care for all.
2) Justify your confidence of a national health care program with a national initiative authored by Democrats that worked.
3) Look at the decisions President Obama has made. Then, using our definition of socialism, identify which of those decisions increased government power, scope or control, and how many reduced these measurements.
Beware, we will grade objectively. This isn't the Ivy League.

UPDATE 9.11.09: Linked by Doug Ross. Thanks!

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