I’m a Socialist, He’s a Socialist, She’s a Socialist, We’re A Socialist, Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Socialist Too?

I’ve had to chuckle a bit at all the talk of socialism over the past few days.

I thought: Hey, aren’t we already a bit socialist anyway?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t our federal government just basically take over our financial system, and under a Republican president no less?

Don’t we already garnish a portion of the wages of working stiffs like you and me and funnel it toward a fund from which we provide health care (Medicare) and financial support (Social Security) for the elderly?

Aren’t I personally part of a system that takes your money–yes, YOUR MONEY–and pools it to provide a vast fund for the health care of our nation’s veterans, you know, the ones who as President Lincoln said, “hath borne the battle” and therefore we have a moral obligation to support?

Don’t we already “share” ownership of a lot of things in this country and pool and redistribute the money for various purposes?

Don’t we all benefit from that at one time or another?

Does raising the top marginal tax rate from 35 to 39.6 percent (which is what it was under President Clinton and what it would be if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire–tax cuts which Senator McCain initially opposed before he had to cuddle up to the far right wing of his party in order to get the nomination) make Senator Obama a socialist?

Did the 90 percent top marginal tax rate which was in effect in the 1950s under war hero and Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower make him a communist? For that matter, what about Teddy Roosevelt? Haven’t I warned you all before about longing too much for “the good ol’ days?”

Isn’t there something called the Alaskan Permanent Fund? Sarah? Sarah? SARAAAAH?

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.

–Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in an interview with New Yorker magazine several weeks BEFORE being nominated for Vice-President

Collectively? Share in the wealth? That’s what I thought.

Look, I’m not a big “fan” of progressive taxation (I’m more of a flat-earth, flat-tax man myself), but I do understand the arguments for it (for a conservative, pragmatic defense of it, click here) and it has been around since, like, 1913, so isn’t the same system we’ve been living under for a long time?

Don’t you think real socialists over there in Europe and other genuinely un-American places like that laugh at us derisively for saying things like we have in the past week? You betcha they do.

So do you think we can chill out a bit on this whole socialist thing and get some much-needed perspective? Yes we can.

And for those who had the misfortune of being born a little too late, here’s a little ditty you won’t get out of your mind for the rest of the day. Just substitute the word “socialist” for “Pepper” and you’ll be good to go.

  1. cg

    Yes, our government has had some socialist programs for some time now. But too much of anything – even things good for us in moderation – is bad.

    So, everything in moderation, including government… Right?

    The Dems want socialism in excess, and I see that as a major problem that will be very damaging to our economy and our nation as a whole.

  2. Mike the Eyeguy

    Oh yes, of course, moderation in all things, as always.

    I guess the point I was attempting to make was that with the proper historical context, cries of “Socialism!” with regard to an increase of 4.6 percent on the top marginal tax rate sound rather silly. Just like a lot of things that both sides say in those political ads.

    I made a lot of money in the 90s when those “tax and spend,” economy-damaging Dems were in the WH. You see, it’s right over here…I think…well, maybe I put it over here….hmmm….that’s odd…


  3. Stoogelover

    Well, yes, if you’re going to put it like THAT, I suppose we’re socialist, but we prefer not to use that particular term to describe ourselves!

  4. Mike the Eyeguy

    Whatever you say, comrade! 😉

  5. michigancutie

    I think this is the first time I’ve acutally commented on your blog!

    I am one of the ‘unfortunate’ souls who was born too late for your commercial, and I certainly am not expert in history OR politics…but…

    I am one who has been frightened by some of Senator Obama’s plans, because I think it gives way too much control to the President and the government in general. I personally think that that Bailout is a crazy plan–Especially when the next week the recipients threw an extravagant retreat, costing almost a half million dollars. If I personally invested in a high risk venture, hoping to win big but then lost, I don’t think anyone would come running to offer me a bailout. I am more interested in personal responsibilty. I fear that this bailout has set a precedent that if a large company is going to go under and cause the market to plummet that the govt will bail it out. I am also concerned b/c there is nothing that says that the govt has to sell these assets they’ve bought back at any time, so will our banking system permanently be government owned? Scary.

    I also think that most conservatives don’t really care for the Medicare, and Social Security plans as they are currently run. Like I just said, I’m more about personal responsibility. Why do we expect that govt has to support us when we get older? Why can’t workers save their own money? It’s too much fun to spend it now instead, while we’re working, right?

    Finally…I think that your quote by Sarah Palin is not the same kind of ‘sharing’ as Obama’s tax plan. Obama wants those with more money to cough it up so that everyone else can live like they have more money than they do? Is that right? I’m certainly not rich, but I don’t expect anyone who has more money than me to give me some just so things can be more fair…so we can ‘spread it all around.’ Palin was talking about their natural resource system, I think. She’s not talking about sharing tax dollars that come in, but rather revenues that come in from the state’s natural resources. I had a friend in college who was from Alaska, and every year she got a check from the state of Alaska for her share of that year’s oil revenues. Not the tax money that richer people paid in.

    Sorry for the long comment; I just wanted to put in my 2 cents. Am I wrong?

  6. Mike the Eyeguy

    Thanks for the first time comment.

    I can’t really address all that, so I’ll just simply point out that those “revenues that come in from the state’s natural resources” as you termed them are in the form of levies and taxes that the State of Alaska imposes on oil companies. Those proceeds go toward funding the state government’s activities and enable it to cut a $3,269 (2008) check to every man, woman and child in the state who is not a convicted felon.

    If that’s not “socialism” prima facie or “spreading the wealth,” if you will, then I don’t know what is. Read the article that I linked above for more.

    We’re all on the take, mc. Every last one of us.

  7. swallison

    Well you addressed several things I’ve been thinking about. I was surmizing that the proposed tax plan by Obama was not so much an example of Socialism but rather a small adjustment of the current code, a slight tweaking of the system. Had wondered how it compared to the tax rates under Reagan and Clinton and you have answered that and basically confirmed my hunch. Actually why would it not be considered to follow along the lines of another great American philosophy that doesn’t received much press but which must certainly be in our bones, Pragmatism.

  8. Mike the Eyeguy

    Hey, sa, good to hear from you again. Dang, you’re up late.

    Ah yes, pragmatism. That would be the thing that has led previous Republican presidents, like Reagan and Bush 41, to raise certain taxes as the situation warranted.

    Pragmatism is why I’ll be voting for a Democrat in a presidential election for the first time in my life.

    Pragmatism is why the Crimson Tide unexpectantly came out throwing early the other night; to soften up the UT D for a very effective running attack later in the game. 🙂

  9. swallison

    The Crimson Tide is great this year. Congratulations to them and I hope they win out.

    Several years ago when UT fumbled in front of the goal line on the way to what probably would have been a deciding touchdown, it was hard for us UT fans to take. But, I readily admit that the fumble was due entirely to the virtue of the Alabama defender who seemed to appear out of nowhere, like a rocket, with a perfectly timed and placed hit. It was an athletic moment of great beauty.

  10. Mike the Eyeguy

    Thanks, we Tiders appreciate those well wishes.

    Roman Harper’s “Rocky Stop” is a good memory for us. I just remembered, the guy who fumbled that ball was Arian Foster, wasn’t it? That poor kid has sure had a problem hanging on to the ball over the years.

    Come to think of it, he must be a “socialist.” You know, all that “sharing the ball.”

Comments are closed.