In his column today, “Socialism? It is already here”, George Will makes the point that spreading the wealth is nothing new. That is what any government action does that takes money from some people and gives it to others.
George Will argues, “The supreme law of the land is the principle of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs.” He gives the example of the protectionism provided the sugar industry. “Sugar import quotas cost the American people approximately $2 billion a year,” writes Will, “ but that sum is siphoned from 300 million consumers in small, hidden increments that are not noticed. The few thousand sugar producers on whom billions are thereby conferred do notice and are grateful to the government that bilks the many for the enrichment of the few.”
It struck me as phony that the Obama’s remark about spreading the wealth was treated as if it was a major revelation revealing Obama’s socialist, if not Marxist, ideology. In my post of November 7, “If Obama is a Socialist…So was Ronald Reagan” I made a point similar to what Will makes in his article today. Spreading the wealth is not new.
Will is critical of the conservative’s attempt to pin the socialist label on Omaba. “Hyperbole is not harmless; careless language bewitches the speaker's intelligence.” And he says, “if conservatives call all such spreading by government ‘socialism’, that becomes a classification that no longer classifies: It includes almost everything, including the refundable tax credit on which McCain's health-care plan depended.”
I think Will is right.