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Obama’s Wealth Redistribution-Based Fiscal Policy: Rob From Poor to Give to Rich

02.13.11

Already looking ahead to 2012′s fiscal budget, President Obama is proposing a major cut to heating subsidies for the poor to help aid them against rising energy costs.

This is just infuriating. It’s hard to argue against the fact that our country is further becoming a plutocracy when the top one percent of earners control nearly 34 percent of our nation’s wealth and when even the Democrats cut programs that help the poor while continuing to extend tax breaks to the one group of Americans who were hit the softest by the economic recession.

I still don’t get how anyone can swallow the rhetoric that the rich needed a tax break while we have a surging debt and deficit in the trillions. Sure, everyone would love to pay less in taxes; but it was passed off as if it would be un-American to do otherwise under the guise that if you give more money to the rich, they in turn create new jobs for everyone else. It’s a wonderful thought that many of the rich love to taut, but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

And now here we are.

Why isn’t it un-American to let families freeze in the winter because they have to choose between food and heat? Why are both parties so quick to throw the poor under the bus while ensuring that the rich keep even more of their money? Is $2.5 billion – which amounts to merely 0.21 percent of this year’s federal deficit – going to make us more fiscally solvent to the point that it’s worth affecting millions of lower-income families? And that’s more important for our economy – and our people – than raising taxes on the richest two percent of Americans by under five percent?

While the Obama Administration points out that these cuts reduce the budget back to 2008 levels; which sounds respectable and all but with average gas prices higher for the month of February 2011 than they were in February of 2008, energy costs are on their way up while unemployment stays above nine percent. Not a great climate to justify cutting assistance for rising energy prices.

I’m sure there are also plenty of other costs that will be added to our bottom line by cutting this $2.5 billion. The added stress on families coupled with either going without heat or going without food for some who simply cannot afford both could add to health care costs as the toll on their bodies makes them more susceptible to illness or injury. And with less assistance for their necessities (which just goes to the energy companies anyway, not directly out into the backbone of our economy that is supposedly built by small business) that’s less money going into the economy for local businesses and vendors. I’m sure that’s always the case when people have less assistance; however, it’s worth looking at to determine just how financially prudent this cut is when it only affects poor Americans in the midst of a deep recession that disproportionately affects poor Americans.

Not to say that the rich always have to foot the bill for all things. Don’t misunderstand this as me being in favor of taxing the rich every time the rest of the population wants something. This is about fairness. And when the rich enjoy billions of dollars in tax relief while basic necessities like providing adequate heat are taken away from the poor, that’s wrong. That’s un-American.

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4 comments

  1. Our tax code is ridiculous. When you have rebel-billionaires that blatantly say they are not paying their share, you would think it’s time to maybe take a closer look at things… This is old, but still relevant: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/taxes-warren-buffett-and-paying-my-fair-share/


    • It’s absolutely ridiculous. And yes, I love Warren Buffett, hence his quote on my FB profile.


  2. Well, you know, I don’t normally chime-in on political commentary, mostly because:

    #1 it has a tendency to further polarize, which doesn’t help

    #2 I’m just preachin’ to the converted

    But, in this case, I must raise my hand and declare strongly, “I agree!”

    If trickle-down worked, I’d vote for it. I’m not so attached to an ideology that I can’t be flexible. So let me repeat that:

    If trickle-down worked, I’d vote for it.

    I really want to give the President my support. And, I’m concerned. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. And, I’m concerned. I want to reserve judgment until he’s had a full term to make accomplishments. And… you guessed it, I am am *very* concerned.

    { twitter = danenow }


    • Always love when you do chime in, Dane, so thanks for sharing.

      I feel your concerns, too. Especially now with his 2012 budget out there that actually looks to increase spending in many in cases – Education, which I tend to like, but also in Defense, which is just the opposite of what we need to be doing right now. He’s proven to be more politically savvy than most, though, so I’m going to cautiously watch to see what his play is here. And hope for the best.



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