Thursday, September 11, 2008

The "socialist" canard

Your campaign issues are pretty well covered in the writings of Karl Marx and most have been pretty well refuted. the one basic issue which Marx and Obama total agree on "From each according to his ability to each according to his needs", which your guys calls "neighborliness" is the only issue your guy is running on. That is what a "community organizer" does, spread the socialist word.

The above is a comment from my conservative friend jimmyk who blogs at but, that's just my opinion. I find it interesting and perturbing at the same time, this sentiment that Democrats in general are “socialists.” Most people who level that charge don’t even know what socialism is and just equate it with any and all government welfare programs.
At least jimmyk can accurately identify the quote “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs" as coming from Marx. In past surveys, most people have assumed the quote comes directly from the U.S. Constitution. So should those people be aghast that it actually comes from Marx?
No, not really. Not if you know what the real inspiration for the quote was (which didn’t even originate with Marx). It might upset jimmyk to learn this, but the quote was inspired by a couple of passages from the New Testament:
…the inspiration for this slogan lies in Christianity. An earlier exposition of the idea is found in the Bible, in Acts of the Apostles. Luke describes the organization of the first Christian congregations following the death of Jesus:
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45)
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34-35)

Oh my! I guess this means that Jesus' disciples were all a bunch of Communists!!!
But that doesn’t mean that Obama and the Democrats are proposing anything of this sort. In fact, Obama’s economic plan and tax proposal recently got a thumbs up from Business Week Magazine in a head-to-head comparison with John McCain’s plan.

According to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, two Washington think tanks, this round goes to Obama. The TPC took a look at the various tax proposals put forth by the two candidates and estimated that Obama's plan would lead to a boost in aftertax income for all but the highest earners, while taking a smaller bite out of government tax revenues than would McCain's plans.
Len Burman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.
Under McCain's proposals, by contrast—including an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, a corporate tax cut, and a larger reduction in estate taxes than Obama would support—far more of the benefits would go to the top. If his plans went into effect in 2009, married couples in the bottom fifth of the population would see aftertax income go up just 0.2%, while those in the next quintile would see a 0.7% hike. But those in the top quintile would see a bump up in aftertax income of 2.7%.
"It's just flat wrong" to say people would do worse under Obama, says Burman. "Most lower- and middle-class people would pay less taxes under Obama than they would under the proposals being put forth by McCain."

So, most people would end up paying LESS in taxes under Barack Obama than they would under John McCain. Let that sink in for a minute.
If you are planning to vote strictly out of self interest, then unless you make more than $250,000 per year, you are better off voting for Obama.

Now let’s look at some of the other things Obama is proposing to do.

* Provide a "Making Work Pay" Tax Cut for America's Working Families: Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family.

There’s a $1,000 tax credit I will be eligible for. That should help make up for the disparity in the way Social Security taxes are paid. Social Security taxes are capped at $102,000. That means if you make less than $100,000 per year, then 100 percent of your income is taxed for Social Security. But if you are rich like Donald Trump or John McCain, then you only have a tiny smidgen of your total income taxed for Social Security.
* Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit provides too little relief to families that struggle to afford child care expenses. Barack Obama will reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses.

Another tax credit I would be eligible for. Making child care more affordable is one of the best ways to help struggling two-income families during these hard times (i.e. the Bush years).
* Make College More Affordable: Barack Obama will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university. Recipients of this credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of public service a year.

My kids are only 5 and 2, but I am already worried about how I am going to pay for them to go to college. It would be nice if the country wasn’t swamped in debt by the time they are ready to go off to school. But John McCain wants to keep flushing billions of tax dollars away in Iraq while also trying to start a new war in Iran.

* Create a Universal Mortgage Credit: The current mortgage interest deduction excludes nearly two-thirds of Americans who do not itemize their taxes. Barack Obama will ensure that anyone with a mortgage, not just the well-off, can take advantage of this tax incentive for homeownership by creating a universal mortgage credit. This 10 percent credit will benefit an additional 10 million homeowners, the majority of whom earn less than $50,000 per year. Non-itemizers will be eligible for this refundable credit, which will provide the average recipient with approximately $500 per year in tax savings.

I’ve got a mortgage, so I can get another tax credit.

Enact a Windfall Profits Tax to Provide a $1,000 Emergency Energy Rebate to American Families:Barack Obama will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills. This relief would be a down payment on Obama's long-term plan to provide middle-class families with at least $1,000 per year in permanent tax relief.

Ooooh! A $1,000 rebate from the robber baron oil companies! Count me in. It’s just like what Sarah Palin did in Alaska, except it will be for the whole country.

OK, so I must have missed all the “socialism” in there. All I saw was that I will personally be doing much better under an Obama administration than I would under a McCain one. What about you, jimmyk?

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