With the Republican presidential primaries in full gear, one thing must be made clear to the various candidates as well as their supporters. For years on end, President Barack Obama has been interchangeably called a Marxist, socialist, Leninist, communist, Stalinist, fascist, Maoist and other things not worth mentioning. While I personally disagree with his economic policies, one of the main reasons that I am no supporter of his reelection, this madness simply must come to an end. For starters, no single person can be all of the above at the same time; each ideology is a socioeconomic and political construct that is totally inconsistent with the other.
Furthermore, while the president has had a horrid record regarding fiscal policy, he has done nothing to seriously restrict our constitutional rights and liberties. Partisan radicals of any stripe can easily come to the conclusion that their status as free individuals is about to come to a tyrannical end at any given moment; after all, Alex Jones does have an audience, right? However, these fringe activists are to be ignored, not exemplified or followed.
So, where does this leave President Obama’s financial philosophy? As I have said in the past, he appears to legitimately believe in the concept of social justice, which is rooted around the notion of wealthy taxpayers subsidizing poor ones for the sake of moral fairness. However, put into practice, his ideas translate to, more or less, modernized Keynesian school economics. For those unfamiliar with it, Keynesianism holds that the government can stabilize the economy during hard times by infusing it with capital financed by higher tax rates for higher earners. More often than not, these are accompanied by tax cuts for the non-wealthy in order to spur mass growth in the market.
To say that Keynesian economic measures are good or bad ideas depends entirely on your point of view. Fiscal conservatives tend to abhor the mere mention of John Maynard Keynes, while their left-leaning counterparts appreciate the man greatly. In any case, for the sake of a remotely sane national discourse, let us just describe the president’s opinions as they are, not how scheming public officeholders, buffoonish pundits, or talk radio entertainers perceive them as being.
In the end, the American political process will surely thank us for this.