Obama vs Romney: Why Both Candidates Believe in Wealth Redistribution

The bipartisan word war continues. The Republicans are still reeling from the unfavorable reaction about Mitt Romney’s 47% gaffe but seem to have found a distraction that will take the glaringly negative spotlight from Romney to President Obama. This distraction comes in guise of a videotaped 1998 Loyola speech where the president said:

“I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot. How do we pool resources at the same time as we decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities.”

Capitalizing on Obama’s 14-year old video and on the Gallup polls' findings that most Americans (54%) think that the government is doing too much and that some problems should be left to individuals and business, Romney had been saying that he does not believe in redistribution on the campaign trails. 

Does Romney really believe that redistribution is bad? Not according to Romney’s RNC speech: “My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution. I grew up with stories of his family being fed by the U.S. Government as war refugees.”

That sounds like Romney believes in the inherent goodness of the American government to redistribute wealth to the needy through its social services programs so the downtrodden masses will have a “shot” for a better life. A belief that he double downed in his recent campaign trail speech:

“I mentioned my dad, my dad was born in Mexico of Americans parents living there. At age 5 or 6 there was revolution. They came back to the United States, and my dad had to get help, financial help, the government helped his family be able to get on their feet again. By the way, that’s the way America works, we have big hearts, we care for people who have needs. We help get them back. We help lift them up, but then we don’t make that a permanent lifestyle.”

Does this mean Romney and Obama believe in redistribution “at a certain level to make sure that everybody's got a shot?”  I believe they do.