Monday, June 22, 2009

Share Our Wealth! Redux

Over at Slate, Bruce Reed weighs in on Lamar Alexander's plan to distribute shares of General Motors to the taxpayers (see my friendly amendment to that proposal here).

Reed points out that the proposed distribution would make a pretty thin gruel (about $5 per taxpayer). What's interesting, though, is the way he describes Mitt Romney's support for the plan:

Mitt Romney, master of reinvention, is at it again. Now he's the new Huey Long. In 1934, here's how Long described his plan to cap millionaires' holdings in Standard Oil: "[Give] the balance to the people of America who own the balance of what the Standard Oil Company is worth!" Here's how Romney sells his share-the-wealth plan 75 years later: "Distribute the shares to the taxpayers of America, let them buy and sell amongst themselves."

It's worth reading the whole article for that. The portrayal of Rush Limbaugh as anarcho-syndicalist is just the cherry on top.

Not that I believe Romney constitutes a Kingfish-level threat to American capitalism or anything. Long was, by most accounts (and from footage I've seen), a fantastic orator and charismatic individual with an unassailable power base in his home state. I'm not sure Romney even has a home state, and listening to him run his yap is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

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