Thursday, October 23, 2008
Is Obama a Socialist?
So asks Scott Johnson at Powerline. This shouldn't surprise me because the guys at Powerline do write some positively insane things and really do seem smitten with conspiracy theories. But, one way to determine whether Obama is a closet socialist is by looking at his proposed policies. What do we find? He wants to raise taxes! Though, if we recall Milton Friedman's old saw, Spending=Taxes. He wants to institute a pigovian tax on carbon emissions to correct for negative externalities, like that other well known communist Greg Mankiw, oh wait, he was Bush's CEA Chair. He wants to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program inspired by Milton Friedman's proposal of a negative income tax. These are all center-left positions, not the onset of a new wave of socialism. If you want to see socialism in action just look at what's happening with the current administration and the financial bailouts, as Brad DeLong put it: