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Marx vs. Obama: Battle to…oh wait…Obama’s Forfeiting

December 8, 2010

On Monday, President Barack Obama announced a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. While most Democrats were hoping for an extension of the tax cuts for all but the wealthiest two percent, Republicans managed to get President “Compromiser” Obama to fail the needs of the American people. The argument for increasing taxes to Clinton-era rates for the top two percent of the country is that 1) they can afford it 2) it’s the fair thing to do and 3) the country desperately needs it. Along with the fact that the divisions between classes have become gaping chasms, the middle class is being destroyed.

With all of this capitalist stuff going on, one has to wonder what Marx would say about it. I believe that Marx would, along with a majority of the progressives in the country, be upset with Obama for not ending tax cuts for the rich. This is because Marx feels that the best option would be a strong progressive tax. Although we have a progressive, or graduated, tax in place now, due to the difference between classes, the payment by the upper class needs to be raised.

In a non-communistic and civilized society, where every person is not given the exact same amount, each person should pay a percentage that would correlate to how much excess he or she has. “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax”, in Marx’s opinion, would be applied “in the most advanced countries”. Seeing as Marx is so in favor of a robust progressive tax, he would have also disliked Bush for enacting tax-cuts. But, in my opinion, I think he would be even more upset with Obama because he had the opportunity to fix a situation and passed on it.

For the country to be successful, for us “to win the battle of democracy”, the middle class needs to become the ruling class. If the bourgeois class continues to become wealthier and more powerful while the proletariat becomes poorer and weaker, our society is headed into chaos. I think Marx would agree with me when I say that it was wrong of President Obama to make life easier for the upper, wealthy, and always-ruling class.

  1. mbhilton permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:26 AM

    There’s only one problem with taking the side of Marx…it always backfires. I agree that the idea of a Marxist communism is sound and actually a pretty decent way of life, but the hard part is getting there without becoming the communist nations that have appeared so far in real life. While I am in no way arguing that the wealthy should have to pay more taxes, they also have a lot more responsibilities to take care and expectations that they have to meet, all of which require money. So while I agree that they should have to pay more, we often overlook these other things because we are blinded by the gaps in our income.

  2. adamarcher permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:41 AM

    The simple beauty of capitalism in America is that nine times out of ten, when a person becomes a wealthy member of the “bourgeois” they have earned it. And because of the rules of the game of capitalism, they have earned it in a responsible and noble way. Is not the entire premise of the free market system that the only way to make money is for two or more people to enter into an agreement in which each gets what they want, thus benefiting both of them? The vast majority of sucessful capitalists are those who activly make the world a better place through their commerce and innovation. Are these the people that we want to punish by taking away the hard-earned fruits of their labors? I would argue that not only is a graduated income tax wrong on a material applicatory level, as mbhilton said – “they also have a lot more responsibilities to take care and expectations that they have to meet, all of which require money”- but also wrong a moral and ethical level. Everyone should pay the same percentage on their earnings, regardless of income.

  3. pohlkev permalink
    December 9, 2010 10:37 PM

    I agree with you that Marx would most likely be in favor of a graduated income tax whereas the wealthy pay a greater percentage in taxes on their earned wages, but I also think this could be taken a step further. According to Marx, the bourgeoisie continually exploit the Proletariat for their labor. Modernization and industrialization promote greater competition amongst the Proletariat, causing them to work harder and harder for the lowest possible wages. And then on top of it all, the few wages that they do receive are taxed by the government. Due to this continued exploitation which naturally occurs in a capitalist society, a communist revolution of the proletariat is unavoidable and for the future of capitalist economies. The example of President Obama refusing to raise taxes on those who can afford it when the country is experiencing tough economic times, despite cries from those of his party and the people of the proletariat is one further example of bourgeoisie exploitation and would be considered by Marx to be another step towards the incoming Communist Revolution.

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