The Party of the Poor?

It’s been said many times that if you repeat anything loud enough and long enough sooner or later it becomes regarded as the truth. It’s a wise proverb and one which history has proven valid an innumerable number of times.

For example; ask just about anyone on Any Street in America, “Of the two political parties which is the one that tends to favor the poor?” Or, “Which one tends to favor the rich?” The answers you’ll get are entirely predictable, “Democrats are the party of the poor, Republicans of the rich.” It’s been stated, in fact drubbed into us, so loudly, for so long that these statements and beliefs are de facto truth in the USA. But statistics have no agenda and do not lie. Does an analysis of evidence, facts and statistics bear these beliefs out to be true?

The United States has begun the seventh year of leadership under the most liberal of Democrat Presidents the Oval Office has ever known. Further, this president had control of one or both Houses of Congress for all of his first six years in office. Thus it’s entirely accurate to state that the policy results in America today are thoroughly the result of Democratic Party rule. Has all this implementation of Democrat ideology and policy initiative benefited the poor, made fewer poor, and been detrimental to the wealthy similarly making fewer of them as well? An objective analysis of the data leads to but one inarguable conclusion – not so much.

Under the first six years of the Obama administration the rich have gotten very rich, the poor have gotten very poor.

In 2012 the federal government (re)defined poverty as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four. Today the number of Americans living in poverty is not only at alarmingly high numbers, it has persisted at rates never before seen in the post-Depression era. The number of impoverished has steadily grown during the Obama presidency. According to data published by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Dept. of Labor in the first five years of the Obama presidency the number of Americans living at or below the federal poverty line was:

- 39.8 million in 2008

- 43.6 million in 2009

- 46.2 million in 2011

- 46.2 million in 2012

- 46.5 million in 2013


Numbers for 2014 are not yet finalized and published, but estimates are that the number will be right around 50 million. 50 million Americans now living beneath the poverty line. Under President Obama the poverty level in America has broken a 50-year record.

Of course as the number of poor and impoverished continues to swell the numbers receiving some form of means-tested welfare has been rising as well. The number of Americans on federal welfare assistance has climbed every year of the Obama administration and will hit yet another post-Depression peak when the 2014 figures are released. Under Obama the number of Americans on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; formerly and often still referred to as “food stamps”) has also grown to and remained at record-setting levels. As of last summer an astonishing 46,225,054 U.S. residents were on food stamps.

This is a party and policy agenda that “helps” the poor, that “cares about” the poor? A more appropriate way of looking at it would be to say “Obama so loves the poor that he’s made millions more of them.”

But how about the rich? If Republicans are the party of the rich it would stand to reason that the rich should be faring poorly (no pun intended) under the Obama regime, but is that really the case? Once again, not so much.

The past six years have been very, very kind to the rich and ultra-rich in America. The Obama presidency has fostered an explosion in the number of millionaires within our borders and has bloated the bank accounts of the ‘already-millionaires’ in ways the George W. Bush presidency could hardly have imagined. (Or any other presidency for that matter.)

According to non-partisan wealth research and data firm WealthInsight, America added 1,000 millionaires per day or 1.1 million new millionaires during the first three years of Obama’s presidency. The pace for those entering the ‘now-we’re-rich’ ranks has not relented in the three years hence. And those at the top of the already-filthy-rich-and-getting-richer pile have fared even better. Though he loves delivering swelling messages about the poor and middle classes and the need for government to do more to help those struggling millions, the facts are that while the lower classes continue to miser away on penny-pinching budgets, the economy on Obama’s watch has heaped huge windfalls on the already-rich.

The Obama economy has brought about the most number of households that report a net worth of five million dollars or more in U.S. history and also the largest number of households to report a worth of twenty five million dollars or more. The rich are getting very rich indeed.

According to CNN Money, the number of households in the United States that have seen a net worth of one million dollars or more stood at 9.63 million in 2013, up by 600,000 from 2012. At 2008, the end of George W. Bush’s presidential tenure, the millionaires’ list stood at a now-paltry 6.7 million. In 2014 the Obama economy created 496,945 new millionaires. That’s last year alone!

No objective analysis of publicly-available data can lead to any other conclusions. Six years of an uber-liberal presidency has not helped the poor and lower classes nor has it harmed the rich and upper classes. It has done the exact opposite. We now have more poor and impoverished -- historically high numbers of them; and we now have more wealthy and folks with money to burn -- historically high numbers of them, too.

So where does the notion of “Democrats are the party of the poor” and “Republicans are the party of the rich” come from? Well, if you repeat anything often enough it comes to be regarded as truth. If you repeat anything often enough it comes to be regarded as truth. If you repeat anything often enough it comes to be regarded as truth. If you repeat anything often enough it comes to be regarded as truth.