One of the most common talking points among the American Right is that Barack Obama is trying to turn the United States into a Socialist nation. The talking point is absurd on the face of it, but the U.S. media, being what it is, still treats the charge as if it were a point of contention that deserves serious consideration (as opposed to scornful ridicule).
But just how absurd is the notion? Well, let's examine the biography of a few of the very top Administration officials who will, supposedly, be overseeing America's transition from Capitalist economy to a Dictatorship of the Proletariat:
Head: National Economic Council, Larry Summers:
As a researcher, Summers has made important contributions in many areas of economics, primarily public finance, labor economics, financial economics, and macroeconomics. Some of Summers' early papers concluded that corporate and capital gains taxes are an inefficient form of taxation. Cutting the capital gains tax rate, Summers found, could help the economy grow. Later, while working in the Reagan and Clinton White Houses, Summers was able to lobby successfully for cuts in both corporate and capital gains tax cuts. One of Summers' prominent findings in labor economics is that unemployment insurance and welfare payments are a major contributor to unemployment, and therefore should be scaled back. Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geitner
After completing his studies, Geithner worked for Kissinger and Associates in Washington, D.C., for three years and then joined the International Affairs division of the U.S. Treasury Department in 1988. He went on to serve as an attache at the US Embassy in Tokyo. He was deputy assistant secretary for international monetary and financial policy (1995–1996), senior deputy assistant secretary for international affairs (1996-1997), assistant secretary for international affairs (1997–1998).Commerce Secretary (nominee), Gary Locke:
He was Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs (1998–2001) under Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Summers was his mentor, but other sources call him a Rubin protégé.
Treasury Secretary designee Geithner meets Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus on November 25, 2008
In 2002 he left the Treasury to join the Council on Foreign Relations as a Senior Fellow in the International Economics department. He was director of the Policy Development and Review Department (2001-2003) at the International Monetary Fund.
In October 2003, he was named president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. His salary in 2007 was $398,200.
Democrats criticized Locke for embracing the Republican Party's no-new-taxes approach to dealing with Washington's budget woes during and after the 2001 economic turmoil. Among his spending-reduction proposals were laying off thousands of state employees; reducing health coverage; freezing most state employees' pay; and cutting funding for nursing homes and programs for the developmentally disabled. In his final budget, Locke suspended two voter-passed, pro-school initiatives while cutting state education funding. That same state budget, though, had record-high allocations for construction projects.
Supported by the state's political left, former Washington Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge announced his plans to challenge Locke in the 2004 Democratic primary. Talmadge ended his campaign early for health reasons.
Defense Secretary, Robert Gates:
Gates has been a member of the board of trustees of Fidelity Investments, and on the board of directors of NACCO Industries, Inc., Brinker International, Inc., Parker Drilling Company, Science Applications International Corporation, and VoteHere, a technology company which sought to provide cryptography and computer software security for the electronic election industry. A White House spokeswoman has said Gates plans to sell all the stock he owns in individual companies and sever all ties with them if confirmed by the Senate.
I could go on, but there's really little point in it. Can anyone seriously believe that a president determined to bring Socialism to the United States would appoint those guys to his cabinet and advisory team? It's just a laughable suggestion.
The simple fact is that only a propagandist with complete contempt for the truth could suggest that Barack Obama has plans to turn the United States into a Socialist country. And the sad truth is that the mainstream media refuse to treat the charges with the contempt that they deserve.