Monday, October 27, 2008

Socialist or Marxist, it's just a matter of degree

Obama, in a 2001 NPR radio interview, referring to the Warren Court during the civil rights era:

It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

So the problem is we, as a country, have not been able to break the restraints placed on government by the Constitution. Therefore, the government cannot provide for all of the needs of the citizenry.

This is very scary stuff.


Cousin Mark said...

I am not scared, and I don't think there is anyway that Obama can turn the U.S. into Sweden or the Soviet Union for that matter, even if he wanted to.

It seems like we are getting to desperation time on the Republican side. But don't take that view of mine as overconfidence, I'm still worried that we can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

J.R., can you refresh me on what level of taxation you support? You're a flat tax proponent right?

J.R. said...

I'm not concerned about the U.S. becoming the Soviet Union, but I do think Sweden is a model many on the left admire, so that one is more possible.

Taxation has historically run at a level of between 18% and 20% of GDP. That seems to be a rate that provides revenue and sustains growth, so I'm comfortable with that.

As to the flat tax, it sounds good, but the devil is in the details. It is easy enough to apply to wages, but business income must be defined and that leads us right back into tax complexity. The question of allowable expenses, treatment of capital expenditure, etc. jumps right back into the calculus.