As a response to Mitt Romney's 47 percent video, the Right has pointed to the video below as proof that Barack Obama is a communist.
Let's take note of a couple of things. First of all, this video is not newly discovered nor was it hidden. This was a public conference, not a private fundraising gathering.
More importantly, take note of how the last part of the clip about markets and innovation was conveniently left off of the version on YouTube. Taken in context, what he is saying isn't any different than what Bill Clinton was saying in 1998 as well.
I also don't think this is a gotcha! moment because the only people who are going to be pissed off about this are people that aren't going to vote for him anyway.
I guess what I don't understand about this video is the apoplectic reaction to the word "redistribution." Somehow it means communism. Or fascism. Or socialism. Or anti-colonial Kenyanism. Pick one and I guess it's right for whatever day it is.
But there's nothing wrong with redistribution when you consider that every organization (public or private) redistributes wealth when you think about it. The NFL operates under a profit sharing model where teams like Green Bay (owned by the city of Green Bay, a public entity) share profits through redistribution of wealth from larger market teams like the New York Giants or the Chicago Bears. This begs the question...are the owners of the NFL communists?
When we pay our taxes, that money is redistributed to the various sectors in public life that need it. These would include defense, b to the w. I hardly think anyone will argue that a member of our armed services not paying federal taxes because he or is she is in a combat zone is taking advantage of wealth redistribution or a moocher off of the government.
Of course, this doesn't mean that wealth redistribution isn't going on nor does it mean that there are ill effects from it. It most certainly is going on and we can clearly see by the inequality in this country that it is being redistributed upwards, not downwards, and this is the fault of the federal government to a large degree.