Recently, the right wing has seized on Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) admission that he wants to “spread the wealth around” as evidence that his tax policies are somehow socialist, communist, or Marxist. Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) compared Obama’s policies to those of Cuba, saying, “Where I come from, where I was raised, they tried wealth redistribution. We don’t need that here, that’s called Socialism, Communism, not Americanism.” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said, “You want to talk about socialism. You put these people in office, it’s batten down the hatches and watch out.” The media have also piled on, with WFTV Orlando’s Barbara West asking Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) during an interview, “How is Sen. Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?” Fox News’ Sean Hannity said Obama has “doubled down on socialism for America,” while Bill O’Reilly admitted that he “wouldn’t have said the Marxism thing” but that Obama nevertheless espouses “quasi-socialism.” All of these conservatives, however, are distorting the Obama plan, which simply makes the American tax system slightly more progressive — an idea that the American public solidly supports.
From The Progress Report