Is Obama A Socialist?

This blogger was out-and-about doing some shopping and was listening to that paragon of truth, Rush Limbaugh.  Per usual, he was pontificating on the evils of President "Barry Hussain Obama" and his "Socialism."

How true is the claim that Obama is a "Socialist?"  According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor, Obama is adhering to the policies of John Maynard Keynes, the English economist who advocated vigorous government involvement in the economy, from regulation to pump priming.  Is this "Socialism"?

"Socialism suggests getting rid of capitalism altogether," says labor historian Dr. Rachleff. "Mr. Obama is not within a million miles of an ideology like that."  Also, to quote the article, "For what it's worth, socialists deny that Obama is one of them – and even seem a bit insulted by the suggestion."

A case is made that Obama's actions of returning corporations that were taken over during the financial crisis to private ownership as they became successfully restructured shows he is not a socialist.  Also, General Motors has testified that the government, during this process, did not impose sweeping mandates as some have charged.  Ironically, it was under President Bush that AIG was taken over.

The takeover of an ailing company whose collapse might ruin the US economy is not socialism, says Van Gosse, a Socialist and historian.

As for the assertion that Obama is pushing through policies that redistribute income from rich to poor, to some extent that is happening, says economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com.  Zandi further states, however, that even though there is certainly a redistributional aspect to Obama's actions, the changes are taking place at the margins.  There is not a sea change.

Tom Cronin , a presidential scholar, states that FDR was also labeled a socialist by some but, in retrospect, he was someone who helped capitalism survive.  He suspects that Obama and his appointees are firm believers in the free-market system. But, he adds, "It's a free country, and people can say what they want about their president."

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