Last week, we had CATO's Dan Mitchell on The Daily Circuit to talk about the GOP candidates' claims that President Obama was turning America into a "European-style welfare society."
On Thursday, we'll have a counter-argument from Alice Rivlin, senior fellow of economic studies at the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Conservative and independent thinkers point to the president's ideas on taxes as the redistribution of wealth and his policies on government programs as furthering an entitlement society.
"The distribution of income and the impact of our tax code on it ought to be widely discussed," Rivlin said in a Brookings piece. "According to the most recent Congressional Budget Office numbers, since 1980 the portion of pre-tax income earned by the median quintile of the population has gone from 16 to 13 percent. The portion earned by the top five percent has gone from 21 to 32 and the top one percent from 9 to 19. The increase in the concentration of wealth at the top has been even more dramatic. Meanwhile, the tax laws have shifted in favor of the high rollers."
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have both revived the "socialist" critique about the president. But is it true? Is President Obama making the US more like a European economic state?
Video: Alice Rivlin on the debt ceiling
Rivlin is disappointed with the position on both sides regarding entitlement and tax policy.