Is Barack Obama A Socialist?

Of course he is — it was obvious to me all through the 2008 campaign, and the more I learned, the more clear it became (the Joe the Plumber incident was a huge tell). Now Paul Mirengoff makes the case that he was at least through 1996, and even up until the election. So why would he suddenly not be one upon entering office? The next installment will address that question. I think I can guess the answer.

[Update in the afternoon]

With regard to the comments about how the GM bailout somehow (illogically) proves that Barack Obama isn’t a socialist (as though simply having a political belief completely relieves someone from being politically pragmatic), the GM IPO isn’t as big a deal as some might make it:

Look, no one is rooting for GM to fail, or for thousands of autoworkers to be laid off, or for the taxpayers to lose their entire stake in the company. But it is just ridiculous to start popping champagne corks left and right over the fact that an industrial problem child like GM managed to put its pants on today without falling on its face. Let’s hope the company continues to see sustained profitability and that the losses to taxpayers from the auto bailouts end up being small. But the defenders of those bailouts who are now calling them a “success” haven’t even come close to proving their case.

There’s a lot more at the link.

104 thoughts on “Is Barack Obama A Socialist?”

  1. No, the real reason is that the agriculture industry lobbies for it to provide additional market.

    I find it quite amusing that the people pathetically attempting to defend the president against the charge that he’s a socialist have to completely ignore his life history as laid out by Dr. Kurtz, and are reduced to saying, “he hangs out with rich people,” or “he didn’t get as much socialism as he wanted.”

  2. buy a paygo cheapie clunker phone

    Which, by the way, are a hell of a lot less “clunky” than just a few years ago. The market at work.

  3. Chris, (1) food stamps weren’t about giving poor people the means to eat. They were given to poor mothers with small children, because it was recognized to be very difficult to simultaneously work for your food and take care of your young children. It was never meant to be a direct charity to someone who could damn well earn his own living. (And if you are disabled, that’s what Social Security Disability checks are for, and Medicaid to cover your medical expenses.)

    I agree in recent years Democrats have perverted the program. I hear young Wall Street brokers out of a job, but otherwise perfectly able-bodied with no dependents, can get them now. I find that disgusting. I don’t necessarily disagree that mothers with young children should get a break (although I fear the moral hazard), and the disabled, or handicapped, or retarded, very old who outlive their savings, et cetera — all of whom make up a very small percentage of people.

    But when it comes to young able-bodied men and women, I subscribe to a stark philosophy: work or starve. And as far as I’m concerned, you can add in medical care and any other good or service provided by others to that diktat: work for your medical care, or do without. And so on.

    (2) So what? What you don’t seem to understand here is that there MUST be a connection between the quality of healthcare you get and how hard you work to get it, just like there’s a connection between the quality of food you eat and how hard you work to get it, or the quality of your housing and how hard you work to get it. That’s the only way human beings function. You must connect the size of the reward to the amount and quality of the work. Otherwise, the system stops working, and you just end up with everyone trying to parasitize and cannibalize everyone else, cf. Soviet Union, history of, Comunist China, under Mao, descent into starvation and chaos, Zimbabwe under Mugabe, transformation from bread basket to basket case — and on and on and on. Having to drive 60 miles to get to a hospital that will take you if you’ve got no insurance is excellent motivation to get a job and stick to it, even if you don’t like it very much.

    Your prescription, that someone who’s worked like a dog and someone who hasn’t given the matter the slightest thought should have exactly similar access to the best possible health care is a sure-fire, time-tested recipe for destroying the entire system, leaving everyone with nothing. Not for me, thanks. If you feel strongly about charitable giving to ensure the medical care of others, you can write your own checks to whomever you please. But you won’t be commanding what I do with my resources, if I can help it.

    (3) Do, please, go on. Find all the incredibly rare diseases that afflict 1 out of 100,000 young people. Now add up the cost of treating such a disease. Yike! Er…and now divide by 100,000, of course, since almost nobody is going to get it — and add that tiny premium (as much as $20, maybe!) to the cost of the catastrophic/trauma coverage.

    That is, you’ve totally missed the point. The point is that young healthy people are healthy, duh. They don’t need massive comprehensive healthcare, and, since they’re (with some exceptions) not idiots, they feel relatively free to opt out of them, in part because they know they can always get one later through their employer, if they need it.

    Now you might raise the point (as the Obamabots do) that one reason to get the young people into the health care business nevertheless is to spread the costs around a bit, over a person’s life, so that you pay more in premiums than you absorb in costs when you are young, and then when you are old you consume more in costs than you pay in premiums — just so your old age isn’t burdened with very large premiums.

    Well, fair enough. And, believe it or not, people actually think of this all by their lonesomes. This is why “whole” life insurance exists. But there’s the thing: right now, the fact that health insurance comes through your employer means you don’t have to worry about buying it much before you need it — you can just wait until you “settle down” in a permanent job in later years. It will be issued to you. (Of course, then you need to start worrying about losing the job, and with it your insurance.)

    The rational response would be to simply let people buy insurance as individuals, with the same favorable tax break you get through your employer, so you could pick the plan you wanted, not your CEO, and you could keep it wherever you went, and both you and the insurance company have an incentive to buy the plan early, when you are young, to spread out your lifetime costs. Clearly any insurance company in this game would offer you a discount on your premiums if you enroll young, just like they charge less for life insurance when you start young. Problem solved! And you don’t need any stupid heavy hand of government mucking things up.

  4. let us bear a few other facts in mind…

    Which I did of course, but your enumeration is welcome.

    In saying salt water I was being my typical self. It and the other one use items I paid for are of course sterile and there is a cost associated with that. While important, it’s not a major percentage of cost regardless of what some might claim (keeping the process sterile is an additional cost as well, but also not a major component of cost.)

    As I pointed out, those other costs you mentioned have a line item on the bill. The bill is in fact, not line itemed because it does not itemize those factors you’ve identified (and would likely cause an uproar if they were.) Only a dweeb like myself is actually interested in such things.

    …there MUST be a connection between the quality of [anything] you get and how hard you work to get it

    You must be some kind a anti-commie nut or sumptin’.

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