By Chuck Hobbs, Esq – This week, conservative radio host Glenn Beck ripped President Obama’s alleged lack of belief in “American Exceptionalism” while deriding the president as a “better salvation Utopian Marxist in the White House.”
While considering Beck’s hyperbole, the phrase “Utopian Marxist” troubles me. While I am somewhat immune to the overuse (or misuse) of labels in political debate, at the root of Beck’s words is the idea that so-called Liberals are more concerned with using tax money to solve the problems of the have-nots.
I understand why Beck or anyone else in the upper tax brackets may feel this way. I remain at a loss, however, as to why those who struggle to make ends meet—be they poor or the “working poor”—line up in lock-step with such ideals.
Last year, then Florida Gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott ran on a platform that included his desire to reduce state spending on the Department of Corrections. Scott did not hide the fact that his budget proposals could end state jobs. In the largely rural North Florida panhandle, the prison industry often is THE industry—employing hundreds if not thousands of workers. Private businesses thrive off of the money earned by these state workers. One would think that voters in these counties would have opposed a candidate promising to disrupt their lives.Nope—Scott carried the rural panhandle in overwhelming numbers.
To me, this, perhaps, is the greatest “Jedi Mind Trick” in modern politics; the ability for wealthy supply-side economic adherents—those who believe in the “trickle down” principle that holds that freeing the wealthy from taxes will create a financial windfall for the less fortunate—to convince the poor and working poor that such theories are unquestionably in their best interest. Look around at most Tea Party events and you will not find the “lords of the manor” in overwhelming numbers, I promise.
As a small business owner, of course I find proposals to cut corporate tax rates appealing. Still, there is a part of me, the one that not only believes in the “Protestant Work Ethic” but also believes in Christian charity, that remains concerned “with the least of these.”
As such, on a gut level, I have no problem with some government based social programs designed to help those who cannot help themselves.Perhaps that makes me, too, a Utopian Marxist—at least in Beck’s eyes? Too bad I can’t get an audience with Beck to discuss the same.