With Friends Like This (Part III) . . .

Obama may wish that people stop trying to help him, particularly his Vice President. With Al Sharpton and Castro (here) endorsing his health care plan as a victory of socialism, Obama is insisting that this is not a wealth redistribution system. Now, Joe Biden has triggered another firestorm with comments that seem to agree that Obama is actively redistributing the wealth. I doubt this is the debate that the White House wants to have in the wake of the health care passage.

In the latest interview, Biden states “If you call that a ‘redistribution of income’ — well, so be it. I don’t call it that. I call it just being fair — giving the middle class taxpayers an even break that the wealthy have been getting.”

American policy has long rejected redistribution of income as a goal, particularly in tax policy. There is no question that all taxes are likely to have redistributive effects. However, here Biden is saying that redistribution is a purpose. Once again, Biden may be credited with simply being honest (a trait I admire).

Here is the question for the day: should redistribution of wealth be an active goal to shift money from the upper to the middle classes?

11 thoughts on “With Friends Like This (Part III) . . .”

  1. Very much agree with Buddha on this.
    It’s not a “redistribution of wealth”, as teabaggers and their ilk would like us to believe. It’s a redistribution of the tax burden from those who pay too much to those who should be paying more but have seen their tax bills decline in recent years.
    The very wealthy will still be very wealthy, the middle class will still be middle class and the poor will still be poor. But the poor and a lot of the middle class will find it a little easier to get health care.

  2. Former Fed,
    You hit the nail on the head. All taxation is a “redistribution of wealth”. Biden, et al are all right, but the media just loves to frame it as a class war when it actually rebalancing the taxes in the favor of Main Street.

  3. First, Biden said: “I DON’T call it that.” (my emphasis)

    Second, IF Biden had made the implied, “third rail” utterance and assuming that Dean said the same, there’s a good reason.

    Whatever “controversy” that blooms here was very likely hatched to obscure a WORSE problem with his “reform” That would be the realization of the REAL direction of wealth flow: from taxpayer to private health insurance ghouls.

  4. Look, Mr. Turley, you’re framing this issue in a manner that is worthy of Fox News. There is constantly “wealth redistribution” in this country, but it usually is going from the bottom up. I can think of many examples: the bank bailout, tax loopholes, no-bid contracts, etc. etc. Any government spending is wealth redistribution, but it is only called this when it goes to social services like social security or medicare. As Warren Buffet put it: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmoney/26every.html?ex=1322197200&en=0cf877b05b918674&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

  5. This would not be an issue if

    1) Taxes were proportionately fair AND paid. The Tax Code is a joke full of loopholes for the wealthy and the corporate. We should have a tax code that runs about three lines. Either a flat tax or a sales tax that EVERYONE pays upfront. Keeps administrative costs to a minimum and ensures equity. It’s not that the wealthy are wealthy that pisses most people off. It’s that they often cheat to both get it and keep it. Take some of the cheat out of the equation and ditch the current tax code and half-assed enforcement measures that let the big fish off the hook. You make lots? You should get taxed at the same rate the guy washing dishes makes. Period. And payment should be mandatory. Don’t pay, go to prison – be you John the Carpenter or Timmy the CFO of Weasels, Inc. If you don’t like it, leave the country.

    2) We quit buying the K St. bullshit line about health care should be a monetized commodity dictated by capricious market forces instead of a human right dictated by public trust and pursuit of the common welfare.

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