The Obama Budget: No Workers Left Uncut

The cynicism of the bourgeoisie is matched by its intellectual decay and its arrogance. The current Obama budget proposed by the White House and the ruling Democratic Party machine promises $1 trillion in cuts cynically called “deficit reduction”, two thirds of which are in cuts. The crisis of capitalism today is that it cannot create wealth. Credit mechanisms and social spending aren’t working as they once did in previous crises. The capitalists’ answer for the crisis falls back on what they already know. What capitalists know is that they can cut variable capital, constant capital, apply technological innovation to the production process, they can con/convince other capitalists to invest, they can extend available credit in the hopes it will spur greater accumulation of capital or they can start a world war. Since the US government is the expression of a segment of capitalist class and an imperialist power, rather than the democratic expression of its “citizens”, it is understandable then that the Federal Budget proposed for 2012 strives to further all of these things. All the capitalists agree that workers must “share the pain” and be resigned to their fates. In the Obama budget the hostility of the regime to the mass of its worker citizens shows the reactionary political senility of the bourgeoisie in all its glory.

  • It creates “Economic Growth Zones” in the US as federal tax havens for businesses that take advantage of poor communities to exploit their labor power. These tax-sheltered areas aren’t unlike their counterparts the SEZs in China or the Maquiladoras in Mexico.
  • It contains a five-year “non-security discretionary spending” freeze. A spending freeze for five years on anything not related to the leviathan of the US imperialist war machine.
  • It freezes, or rather “maintains”, spending on Pell Grants (need based grants for students) It eliminates year-round Pell Grants to students while also eliminating graduate student in-school loan subsidies.
  • It consolidates 38 K-12 education programs into 11 programs. A further 13 education programs will be eliminated outright.
  • It cuts Community Development Block Grants by $300 million
  • It cuts funds for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by one-quarter or $125 million.
  • It cuts $950 million to states’ revolving funds for water treatment plants and other infrastructure. Say hello to a further deterioration in water quality and subsequent outbreaks of cryptosporidium and e. coli poisoning.
  • It calls on the congress for “corporate tax reform” which will lower the corporate tax rate further.
  • It calls in a cryptic fashion to “strengthen” social security. This means cuts to retirees, orphans, mentally ill and disabled.
  • It creates “pay for success” grants, so that if a poorly funded government program can be shown not to have achieved results it can more easily be cut.
  • Now compared to this the US military machine, will still be getting over $720 billion, while taking a paltry funding cut of $78 billion to be spread out over the next five years. (1)

All this comes from the political wing of capital that is associated with social welfare and “progressive” politics. While the other political wing of capital screams that funding for everything other than national defense is “communism”. It is the reverse of the rhetoric of the Democratic Party in loyal opposition to the previous Bush regime. Any appearance of opposition between the two parties is largely the result of the bitter factional fighting produced by the crisis of US power and the crisis of global capitalism. The solutions hammered out in their process of political theater and consensus making match the dominant will of the ruling class, harnessing it into an institution that pretends to be socially stabilizing and neutral force.

The US government has spent about $1.15 trillion dollars (and rising) on imperialist warfare since 2001. This is roughly equivalent to the amount asked for in cuts.

Even the bourgeoisie knows quite well that cutting spending itself does not cut their government debt. The purpose of the cuts is not to eliminate government debt but to cut spending on anything unrelated to the largest military machine that planet earth has ever seen.

The biggest single part of the budget goes to Medicare. A good deal of Medicare represents a massive subsidy to the health care industrial complex. Providing actual health care to those dependent on it is an afterthought.

In a capitalist society the pain of economic crises will always be shared, though only by the working class. The world bourgeoisie is nothing less than a dead weight on humanity a social class that will drag the world to its doom rather than see their power ever fail. Against this workers cannot wage a serious struggle in their own interests without their own revolutionary political organization, their own revolutionary party. As long as they are too ideologically cowed and fearful to break with the official bourgeois opposition to forge their own political program this will not happen. Successful struggles bring confidence to the class that reinforces its own strength allowing the struggle to spread. A prepared revolutionary party can give class content to the generalized demands for freedom that are all too easily co-opted and channeled into harmlessness and subsequently dominated and absorbed by capitalists.


(1) Office of Management and Budget. “The Federal Budget: Fiscal Year 2012”. Budget Overview.


I Really like and appreciate this article very much, specially the last paragraph. 'The world bourgeoisie is nothing less than a dead weight on humanity etc.' is excellently put, and can't be said often enough. Oh! Jesus! How sick some of us are of the bourgeoisie, and their endless yapping lap dog media. It seems impossible to get away from them - except of course on left communist web sites, of which there are all too few. But, you are right, with 'dead weight'. They are: dead and deadening with their endless wars: endless hypocrisies and lies:never ending pretend arguments between their different pretend grouplets: their continual whining on about freedom and phony democracies when all the time all they care about is their quick buck, and their next smart and clever way of outwitting some other smart and clever bourgeois gangster. (A bourgeois, profit stealing gangster of course, and therefore legal by their corrupt standards.) God how one loathes them. So thank you ICT for 'dead weight'. It provides something to think about.