I know, I know. We're not socialist.
I know, I know. The democrats are not for socialism.
And I know, I know, the republicans cannot gear up the gall to call them that.
But if you look at government spending as a percent of the economy, you'll realize that (bar times of war) the overall trend in government spending has been to go up.
The problem is this chart only shows FEDERAL government spending and does not include state and local spending as well. If these are considered, overall government spending is at about 37%.
So the question I post to all you aspiring, junior, deputy, official and otherwise economists out there is, fine, we may not be socialist now, but if the democrats and Obama were to have their way (which they will) will you admit we WILL be a socialist nation?
This debate rages between me and my Obama supporting friends. That I am a "fool" a "moron" to suggest we're going to become a "socialist" nation. You fool, you do not know of what you speak. To which I respond "yes, the one economist in the group does not know what he's talking about. Oh sure, the sax player and the admin assistant and the lifetime student in journalism, they know what they're talking about when it comes to taxes and fiscal policy, but I am the moron of the group when it comes to these things." But that doesn't change the fact at what point, what level of government spending is a country deemed a socialist nation?
It's an important question to ask because if the republicans are "going to get tough" like they say they are, are they going to gear up the gall to call the democrats what they technically and economically would be considered; socialists?
This would be a brilliant PR campaign. They wouldn't be lying. They would be calling the democrats what they are. And (for once) they could make a clear, distinguishable difference between them and the democrats (not to mention a track record that will be against everything Obama does from hence forth and will come in handy come 2012).
Of course, relying of the current strategerists in the republican party to realize and recommend this would be like them fielding a candidate like Reagan again. But one can hope.