Ron Paul: Obama's not Socialist, he's Corporatist

Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) is a consistent critic of large government, as well as government intervention, and in a rather scholarly and nuanced sort of way. A prime example is his latest blog post, where he disputes the common complaint that President Obama is socialist and instead argues, more pointedly, that he’s in fact corporatist.

From Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk:

“A careful examination of the policies pursued by the Obama administration and his allies in Congress shows that their agenda is corporatist. For example, the health care bill that recently passed does not establish a Canadian-style government-run single payer health care system. Instead, it relies on mandates forcing every American to purchase private health insurance or pay a fine. It also includes subsidies for low-income Americans and government-run health care “exchanges”. Contrary to the claims of the proponents of the health care bill, large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were enthusiastic supporters of many provisions of this legislation because they knew in the end their bottom lines would be enriched by Obamacare.

“Similarly, Obama’s ‘cap-and-trade’ legislation provides subsidies and specials privileges to large businesses that engage in ‘carbon trading.’ This is why large corporations, such as General Electric support cap-and-trade. To call the President a corporatist is not to soft-pedal criticism of his administration. It is merely a more accurate description of the President’s agenda.

“When he is a called a socialist, the President and his defenders can easily deflect that charge by pointing out that the historical meaning of socialism is government ownership of industry; under the President’s policies, industry remains in nominally private hands. Using the more accurate term – corporatism – forces the President to defend his policies that increase government control of private industries and expand de facto subsidies to big businesses. This also promotes the understanding that though the current system may not be pure socialism, neither is it free-market since government controls the private sector through taxes, regulations, and subsidies, and has done so for decades.”

Dr. Paul explains that referring to Obama as socialist is not only lacking in accuracy but, almost more importantly, it’s a less persuasive argument. Complaining about his socialist leanings weakens criticism of White House decisions that push in favor of increased government control over corporations, which he still finds worthy of reproach.

It’s an interesting concept and worth reading in its entirety in his Texas Straight Talk blog post on socialism versus corporatism.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning