"Don’t tell me words don’t matter!" ~ Senator Barack Obama
Dear Senator Obama:
You hate the word "socialism" when applied to your tax plan because you know Americans reject socialism as anathema to our values. Since words matter, let's take a closer look at what socialism is and how you and Senator Biden in your own words described your plan to the American people.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines socialism as:
"A theory or system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor."
It's not the property owners or the workers that get to decide what's "just and equitable." Socialism implies there is something inequitable about individuals earning wealth and transferring it to future generations as their legacy. It suggests that people who work hard, play by the rules and achieve success are not enlightened enough to give some of their wealth to help those who weren't as successful; therefore, the government must tax their wealth and give it away to others who had nothing to do with generating it in the first place.
That said, let's look at your words and those of your running mate:
"If I am sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say, I'm going to pay a little bit more? That's neighborliness." ~ Senator Obama to Bill O'Reilly in an interview aired September 8, 2008
BIDEN: "We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle class people." ABC NEWS, KATE SNOW: "Anybody making more than $250,000 is ..." BIDEN: "Is gonna pay more. It's time to be patriotic, Kate. Time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to get America out of the rut." ~ Senator Biden to Kate Snow in an interview aired September 18, 2008
"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too...My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." ~ Senator Obama to Joe Wurzelbacher in Toledo, Ohio on October 12, 2008
You and your running mate repeatedly said anyone who makes over $250,000, regardless of the fact the overwhelming majority of these people earn their money honestly and pay their taxes dutifully, are to be taxed more because there are people out there who aren't doing as well, regardless of why they aren't doing well. That's redistribution of income based on your perception of what is "just and equitable." Your words are like a clanging cymbal when compared to those of Thomas Jefferson:
"To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father's has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association--'the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.'"
What do regular folks think of redistribution of income? A June poll by the venerable Gallup Organization holds the answer:
"When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today's consumer, Americans overwhelmingly—by 84% to 13%—prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans."
The Catechism declares "A system that 'subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups to the collective organization of production' is contrary to human dignity." Nodding off during that lesson, were you, Senator Biden? Spare us the sanctimonious commentary about being "our brother and sister's keeper." Folks ARE reading their Bibles, and we see nothing in God's Word about Jesus feeding the five thousand by campaigning for a Roman food aid program, or drafting his commands to care for the poor into the Jerusalem Party platform. Jesus was speaking to Christians and His church, not the government, when He said to serve "the least of these." It was the early Christian church that shared voluntarily so all their needs were met. "Neighborliness" is an act of the heart, not an involuntary deduction from one's paycheck. It's not "patriotic" to "spread the wealth around" - didn't the Boston Tea Party settle that?