“A commitment to economic justice necessarily implies a commitment to the redistribution of economic resources, so that the poor and the dispossessed are more fully included in the economic system,” Ms. Blank, a noted poverty researcher, wrote in 1992....Boldface added.
“Redistribution is a loaded word that conjures up all sorts of unfairness in people’s minds,” said William M. Daley, who was Mr. Obama’s chief of staff at the time. Republicans wield it “as a hammer” against Democrats, he said, adding, “It’s a word that, in the political world, you just don’t use.”
These days the word is particularly toxic at the White House, where it has been hidden away to make the Affordable Care Act more palatable to the public and less a target for Republicans, who have long accused Democrats of seeking “socialized medicine.” But the redistribution of wealth has always been a central feature of the law and lies at the heart of the insurance market disruptions driving political attacks this fall.
The linked article is in the NYT, which does not omit the old story of Obama campaigning in 2008, running into "Joe the Plumber," and blabbing jovially about how he wanted to "spread the wealth around."
I love this sentence:
In the end, America’s political culture may have made it unrealistic to expect a smooth public reception for the law, no matter how cleverly the White House modulated Mr. Obama’s language or shaped his policy to minimize the number of losers.Let me paraphrase that for you: Obama had to lie to get the law passed.
When we the people don't want something, in a democracy that should work to stop it. We're voters, not some agglomerated "culture" to be softened and shaped. If we didn't want it, you shouldn't have done it. It's good that cleverness and manipulation did not overcome that reality. Of course, the law got passed, because people had voted in representatives who had the grandiosity to believe they didn't need to represent us, that trickily crafted policies and rhetoric would be enough. Fortunately, those representatives were wrong, and they richly deserve all the political pain they've got to go through now.