Socialism: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Portrait of Obama

Not a socialist.

Since he announced his first campaign for president and to this day, Barack Obama has been called many things: a Kenyan, a Muslim, a traitor and even an ape.   While most of these claims are demonstrably false on their face to all but the blindest zealots, there is one that might require more than thirty seconds to disprove to a rational individual.

That is the claim that he is a “socialist.”  As Rachel Maddow has said, if he is, he is “the worst socialist EVER!”  Let’s look at the evidence.

The Big Picture: If our country were moving toward socialism, several trends would be obvious: government employment would be increasing in relation to the total population; corporate profits would be shrinking; the value of these corporations’ stocks would decline while their share of tax revenues increased; and more typically private sector functions would be replaced by government agencies.  In fact, for every case, the reverse is true.

But what about Obamacare?!?  The centerpiece of the socialist claims is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which has become to be known as Obamacare.  Again, let’s look at the facts.

So, every time someone says that President Obama, whose polices reflect the centrist GOP positions of the past, is a socialist, both Karl Marx and Theodore Roosevelt spin in their graves!

Correction: I have become aware of two small errors in this post.

  • A friend who is a doctor at a VA hospital informed me that while government doctors at military and VA hospitals provide service directly (i.e., “socialized medicine”). Tricare is, in fact, an insurance program more akin to Medicare.
  • I omitted another form of socialized medicine: emergency rooms. Those without insurance are treated and the bills are paid by the government. This was part of Mitt Romney’s health care plan in 2012, and would be eliminated if the states would fully implement the terms of Obamacare.

[1] Many of these points are in a very informative summary from Forbes, which can be found here.

[2] “…neither the federal government nor any state requires all households to protect themselves from the potentially catastrophic costs of a serious accident or illness. Under the Heritage plan, there would be such a requirement.”  p. 6.

[3] “First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar.”

[4] “Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation.”

[5] Wayne LaPierre: “First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools. That means no guns in America’s schools, period … with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel….  We support restoring full and perpetual funding for the National Instant Check System, which was the product of this Association’s determined effort.” [Emphasis added.]

Crossposted from my blog at All American Politico.  You should check out the site. The opinions span the spectrum.

Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons.