Interesting article by Tim Carney in the Washington Examiner about Obama's concern about income inequality and how he indicts his own policies by making that point:
Median household income has fallen by 5 percent since 2009 - when the recession ended and Obama came into office - as the Wall Street Journal pointed out after Obama's speech. But corporate profits and the stock market keep hitting record highs.
How does Obama think these are points in his favor?
If he's using this data to prove he's no Marxist, fine. Point granted. But Obama seems to think that middle-class and working-class stagnation under Obamanomics somehow calls for more Obamanomics.
The unstated premise is this: More government means more equality, while the free market favors the rich and tramples on the rest.
Liberals and mainstream journalists believe this, but so do some Republicans. When Mitt Romney dismisses the lower 47 percent of earners as hopelessly liberal, he's buying the notion that free enterprise is a system for the wealthy.
But Obama's own facts help undermine that: Government grows, the wealthy, the big, and the well-connected pull away, and the rest of us struggle.
One reason: Obamanomics leans heavily on trickle-down economics. How does Obama promise to create jobs? With more loan guarantees to sell jumbo jets and more subsidies to make solar panels - taxpayer transfers to the big companies with the best lobbyists, with some crumbs hopefully falling to the working class.
Also, Obama's regulations crush small businesses, protecting the big guys from competition. This hurts Mom & Pop and would-be entrepreneurs, but it also hurts the working class. New businesses are the engine of job growth, but new business formation has accelerated its decline in the last few years, hitting record lows.
This gives Republicans an opening to explain that they can deliver on Obama's promises of helping the middle class and the working class, but they can do it by reversing Obamanomics - cutting everyone's taxes, undoing the most onerous regulations, ending trickle-down corporate welfare and so on.
Call it free-market populism, or libertarian populism.
The decline of the middle class has been going on for more than 30 years, so it's not all Obama's fault. But having made no bones about wanting to redistribute wealth - raising taxes on the rich, passing Obamacare (which transfers wealth from the healthy to the sick), and develping other policies that take from someone to give to someone else - the president pronounces himself guilty by showing how those policies have utterly failed.
Obama's economic speeches last week were met with almost universal scorn on both the right and left because he offered absolutely nothing new to spur growth and create decent jobs - "stagnation under Obamanomics somehow calls for more Obamanomics" as Carney puts it. He is calling for more growth and less emphasis on deficit reduction. Unfortinately, he hasn't altered his philosophy. His ideas on how to "grow" the economy haven't worked in 5 years of trying. And now we need more of the same?
It's going to be a long time recovering from these policies that are about to be exacerbated by the implementation of Obamacare.