So, I hear all the time that "Obama is a socialist." So before I go into why, I think we should properly define some words:
Socialism, in it's raw form is the public ownership of the means and ways of the production of goods and services. The most basic example of this would be, government harvests food, processes food, and sells food to consumers. It is the only producer in the market (realistically there is no true market in Socialism).
Mr. Obama is NOT a Socialism by definition because Mr. Obama has never advocated the government ownership of private companies. Hugo Chavez is a socialist, because he has actively nationalized companies into state-owned entities. Sweden is partially socialist, it's oil industry is state-owned and run and it has a government owned/run healthcare system. Many European States are, what is called Social Democracies, in that the primary focus of governments in these countries is the welfare of their citizenry.
The United States is decades behind Europe in this area, and for now, the progress towards a European Model is going to move at a snail's pace.
Now, if you're actually curious about what the United States Socialist Party believes in, you might want to look over their viewpoints @ http://socialistparty-usa.net/principles.html. and compare them to the views of The Democratic Party @ http://www.democrats.org/. When you compare the platforms, they are NOT the same thing, and President Obama IS NOT aligned with the Socialist Party or any arm of them.
Now I will concede one or two things about Democrats. There are some Democrats who believe in SOME Socialist ideas, such as nationalized health care in the form of a single-payer system. And there are Democrats who would nationalize other arms of the economy to create better equality for all. But having a few socialist ideas which they genuinely believe are good ideas does not mean they are 100% Socialist, nor do I believe that Republicans who embrace some Fascist leanings are 100% Fascist.
Like with all political ideologies, there is no good or bad in any of them, in that ideas in their raw form are neither moral or immoral. Morality is subjective to the culture in which ideas are judged. In one way, this society may say "Yes, state ownership for everything, for we, the people." And others may say "Hands off my money, the state is looking out for our well-being by directing everyone's personal behavior." Just as with Dictatorships, Monarchies, Oligarchies, and other authoritarian forms of government. If you have a strong, just, fair leader...technically...anything can be used for the progress of the greater good. It's just rare to see, as human nature tends to be selfish and corrupt when power is injected into their being.