The Fallacy of Obama's New 'Class Warfare'
There's been a very different war brewing for some time...
President Obama’s plans to reduce the national deficit by increasing the tax liability of the nation’s wealthiest citizens has been met with great resistance from Republicans who have denounced his efforts as a new form of “class warfare”.
Give me a break, ‘cause I sure need one.
House Speaker John Boehner chided his boss’ efforts: “Pitting one group of Americans against another is not leadership.” President Obama very quickly responded closing the liability gap between wealthy citizens and the working class when it comes to taxes is not forcing division, but rather a matter of “math”.
The class warfare canard is not only terribly false, but it’s also old. The term first made waves on American soil in the 1950’s and 1960’s, during which folk attempted to push a political agenda that served the needs of the upper class-sound familiar? The propaganda machine suggested that interest in the development of social services was actually a growing communist movement.
The use of the term 'class warfare' here is dangerous propaganda, selected for no other reason but to effect a visceral reaction from those who lack the ability or the willingness to sort through their true frustrations with the current administration. It's right up there with "Obamacare" and "Social Security is a Ponzi scheme." It is empty, false and, sadly, able to captivate and energize those who would find fault with President Obama for calling the sky 'blue' and remarking that all days end in 'y'. I say that not as a hopelessly devoted Obama supporter, but as someone who simply recognizes that the methodology used to take shots at this man is less about exposing people to the truth than it is about getting him out of the White House by any means.
I find it highly unlikely that increased tax liability for the rich will cause them to go to war with the lower classes; however, I do think the most cursory glance at the state of affairs in this country would reveal an existing form of class warfare. It feels like the poor and middle class people are certainly at odds with the government to whom they pay a significant portion of their income via taxes. And when these tax dollars do not make their way back into our communities so that we may enjoy clean streets, paved roads, access to quality healthcare, etc., that certainly brings to mind the concept of an assault.
Is it not class warfare when those at the bottom and in the middle are forced to suffer the nation’s abysmal public school system, while their more privileged counterparts have access to top flight institutions that further their ability to develop generational wealth? Does not the difference in the prosecution and incarceration of ‘corporate’, white-collar criminals and those who are from more modest backgrounds not make you feel like certain people here are under siege?
The tensions between the upper and lower classes in this country will likely continue to grow. However, that isn’t because the latter may find themselves forced to share in the burden of bailing the United States out of financial ruin. Rather, those at the bottom of the capitalist food chain who have suffered so greatly at the hand of both the government and the big businesses that were given carte blanche to stack money at the expense of the small guy for many years have been hit extremely hard by the current state of affairs in this country. These people are angry and while many are channeling that frustration in bizarre ways (see: the Tea Party), others are taking note of the political uprisings that have taken place in Egypt, London and other parts of the world. Instead of accusing President Obama of stoking a fire, his detractors would do better to recognize the ways in which his attempts to hold wealthy Americans more fiscally accountable may actually be putting fires out.