Obama Hood and the quest for Morality…

Posted on October 6, 2010 by

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Is Obama playing Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving tax cuts to the poor?  Will he be seen as a hero or a villain in this story?  What determines a super hero from a villain can’t simply be answered from a political ideology or point of view, but sole from a moral standpoint of the people the hero protects; for only they can decide who’s deemed worthy of this title.

As a self-proclaimed democratic society, we as Americans have a moral responsibility to do what is best overall for our nation and it’s people.   This country once held true to the very famous words of the Statue of liberty which states,

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”


Today, this statement almost sounds hypocritical when we look at the facts that there are an estimated 2.3 to 3.5 million homeless people in our nation, a 9.6% rate of unemployment, and approximately 46.3 million Americans without health insurance.  As a nation we must attempt to make morally responsible selfless decisions for the improvement of our country.

Facts, homeless(http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/526/homeless-facts.html)

Unemployment(http://www.tradingeconomics.com/Economics/Unemployment-rate.aspx?Symbol=USD)

Health insurance(http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/cdc-number-americans-without-health-insurance-coverage-increases)

One of the hottest and most heated debates of today is over the renewal of the Bush tax cuts, which were instated in 2001 and are currently set to expire December 31st, of 2010.   At first glance, these tax cuts may appear as something great for our nation, but the question is, are they morally responsible and should we approve of their renewal?

Currently the Bush tax cuts are applied to everyone, of any class and income bracket.  What the democrats and president Obama are proposing to do for the future renewal of these tax cuts are however, slightly different.  The Obama administration is planning to continue the tax cuts for anyone who is currently making less than $200,000 (single)/$250,000 (couple) a year.  Although the minority 1% of the population who is effected by the tax increase is absolutely outraged, along with the GOP and the Tea Party advocates.

Both sides are arguing for what they believe is to be the most morally responsible policy.  The GOP and Tea Party advocates are proclaiming that either everyone, or no one should get the tax cuts.  My question is then, is that morally better for them (the wealthy 1%), or for the over all population?

A helping aid in understanding the frustration of this 1% minority is presented in Ronald Dworkin’s book, Is Democracy Possible Here? Although his book was published in 2006 his ideology is still relevant.  He state’s the conservative argument in his chapter on taxes by saying,

“It’s your Money.  This is emotionally the most potent of the arguments that conservatives make for low taxes,”  “It’s there money, and government has no right to take it from them and give it to others,” “by stealing from the prosperous and giving their money to the poor” (Dworkin, 123).

This argument plays along the themes of Robin Hood, making another good point that the rich are being forced to be charitable.  He also raises the argument that perhaps the government isn’t spending the tax money appropriately or in regards to how the nation feels it should, specifically the 1% minority.

Maybe it will help to see what type of figures they are arguing about.  Collectively the tax cuts save all citizens approximately 4 trillion dollars.  That equates to 3 trillion for the less wealthy/poor, and 1 trillion for the wealthy (Tony Robinson, Professor of political science, UCD).

Here is nice breakdown of how “Obama Hood” is spending our tax paying dollars.

(http://www.qooglesearch.com/?source=rmac&said=2129&ref=http://www.madnessletters.com/2009/02/27/robin-hood-theory/)

I can certainly see problems with that spending budget, which makes it a difficult decision as to wheatear morally the 1% should be taxed or not.  On one hand they may find better ways to stimulate and help the growth of the economy by spending their money themselves, but on the other, they could choose to be selfish and greedy.

Personally, I would argue that it is justifiable to tax the rich more than the poor because they tend to be the one’s who are more so, benefitting from the results.  They have better roads, schools, healthcare, police force, homes, active life styles, etc.  It’s easy to say starve the beast when you yourself won’t be the one starving.  Although no one likes to get taxed on their hard earned money, it’s a necessary evil, which we morally should choose to feed.  I wouldn’t praise Obama as a hero, or as Robin Hood, but I will commend his attempt at a moral equality for the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  For we must collectively heal our nation so that in turn we can help to heal others.  I for one still believe in Hope, and Change, not though the government, but through the people.  Those who need, not necessarily deserve the tax break, should be the ones getting it, because morally as a caring nation it’s the right thing to do.  When our brethren fall down we must pick them up.

Necessary side note**

The newly added issue to this debate is that the decision for this extension is being delayed until after the November 2nd election.  This is probably in the best interest of the government, to make sure that there is enough time to decided which policy is best, but here is a great short video which sums up this new current issue.

Here is the link to the video – (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6903103n)

Recommended Added link

I didn’t have enough time to elaborate on this article, but it was interesting.  It’s an article about Beck’s view of “Obama Hood”

(http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,594182,00.html)

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