The electoral effectiveness of Romney Inc.'s new offensive against the old bugaboo of "redistributionism" would, in any normal presidential contest, play out like a national IQ test. Are voters really so dumb that they don't, or can't, understand that every tax dollar collected by government and then reallocated--up, down, or laterally--is by definition a redistribution of income?
One hopes that in a "normal" campaign our bright electorate would feel uncompelled to ponder this non-puzzler ... one hopes ... but alas there's no need to hope, because this contest is already over. The electorate's answer to the quiz question is by now superfluous.
We still deserve, however, to hear Mitt Romney's answer. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus writes in Politico that "This tape recording"--the one exposing the president as an uncloseted Trotskyite--"has made clear what Obama wants." Yet Priebus never really spells out what it is that Romney wants. Or, put another way, How does Romney define redistributionism?--or better yet, What alternative to redistributionism is Romney offering?
If he's a purist on this--as he should be, since his party demands purism on every issue these days--then Romney must be ideologically opposed to all taxation. All of it. Every last dime of it--hence every last bit of government--because all taxation is only redistributionism.
Good enough. But is that, in turn, not Karl Marx's communist dream?--the natural abolition of government?
You undoubtedly think this an example of reductio ad absurdum. OK. Again, good enough. My next question of Romney would be, then, At what precise point, Comrade, would you interrupt Marx's communist dream?