It’s a little bit frustrating that President Obama feels the need to talk in these sorts of terms:

CARTAGENA, Colombia—President Barack Obama argued Sunday that his calls for wealthier Americans to pay a greater share of taxes aren’t about sharing the wealth, but about getting the American economy on a path for solid growth.

“That is not an argument about redistribution. That is an argument about growth,” Obama said in response to a reporter’s question at a news conference in Colombia. “In the history of the United States, we grow best when our growth is broad based.”

A major purpose of government is taxation and redistribution (not just from the rich to the poor). That’s just a fact. I know the term has now been dragged through the mud for awhile by the GOP, and I know that the campaign is heating up. But is Obama really ready to give up on a rather basic reality which, when deployed with forethought, can be politically effective?

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Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.