If you haven’t seen it already, Sarah Palin is openly accusing Barack Obama of advocating socialism based on his off-the-cuff comment to “Joe the Plumber” about his desire to “spread the wealth around.”
Granted, no major-party presidential nominee — particularly one leading in the polls — should ever be that sloppy with his words, but Obama was merely referring to his tax plan, which would allow the Bush tax cuts for the top level of income-earners to expire, hardly a Marxist concept.
Still, Palin is now hurling the S-word around in her speeches and defended the accusation to reporters this morning by saying: “There are socialist principles to that, yes. Taking more from a small business or small business owners or from a hard-working families and then redistributing that money according to a politician’s priorities — there are hints of socialism in there and that’s why I don’t fault or discredit Joe the Plumber for bringing that up, asking if that is socialism.”
But wait. If this is Palin’s definition of socialism — taking more from business and redistributing “according to a politician’s priorities” — then isn’t she herself guilty of running a socialist government in Alaska? After all, she is the same Governor Palin who in 2007 pushed a gigantic increase in the state’s oil profits tax through a Republican-dominated legislature, a move that brought in $6 billion in new revenue.
And what was done with that money? Well, as the Seattle Times put it (before Palin emerged as a national figure), “While many other states are confronting big budget deficits because of the troubled economy, Alaska officials are in the enviable position of exploring new ways to spend the state’s multibillion-dollar budget surplus.”
In other words, the extra money that Palin took from businesses was spent according to the priorities of Palin and other Alaska politicians. Isn’t this exactly what she’s accusing Obama of wanting to do? Here’s a clip a Palin bragging about her windfall profits tax, again, from before she landed on the national ticket.