Why are Democrats talking about income inequality in the 7th year of Obama?
Did you catch Senator Bernie Sanders on the Fox Sunday Show? Or Governor Martin O'Malley on NPR?
It's a bit strange, but they are talking about the state of the middle class and the nation's inability to create good-paying jobs. They say that the jobs are going overseas and that wages are under siege.
They say all of these things in the seventh year of "hope and change" and after six years of a U.S. Senate Democrat majority (2009-15).
Am I the only one who finds all of this a bit surprising?
Of course, it's been tough for "income inequality" under President Obama, as we see in W. James Antle III's post:
Early in the State of the Union address, Barack Obama asked, “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”
What he didn’t mention is that income inequality has actually worsened since he has been president. It is not necessarily easier for Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis to get ahead by working hard and playing by the rules.
Don’t believe me? Let’s consult that notorious spewer of right-wing talking points, The New York Times: “Income inequality in the United States has been growing for decades, but the trend appears to have accelerated during the Obama administration.”
Income inequality may be even worse under Obama than George W. Bush. Emmanuel Saez, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, memorably found that the average income of the top 1 percent grew by 11.2 percent in real terms since 2009. The bottom 99 percent saw their incomes decrease by 0.4 percent.
That means 121 percent of the income gains from the Obama recovery went to the wealthiest during the period Saez examined. The top 1 percent took in 65 percent of the income gains when the economy was expanding under Bush from 2002-07, only 45 percent during the Clinton economic boom from 1993 to 2000.
It almost makes you wonder: who is the president of the 1 percent?
Even Mitt Romney can’t help but notice.
“Under President Obama the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty in American than ever before,” he told the Republican National Committee.
Mitt of the “47 percent” fame now sounds like another Democrat he once ran against, Teddy Kennedy, railing against Ronald Reagan’s economy during the Decade of Greed.
Median household income was down 4.4 percent from the end of the Great Recession to 2013.
By the end of 2012, corporate profits were at an all-time high and wages as a percentage of the economy a record low.
To be fair, it's not all President Obama's fault. However, it would be nice if some of these Democrats would at least identify the name of the guy sitting in the Oval Office.
Candidate Obama ran for office bashing President Bush on the state of the middle class. My guess is that a lot of middle-class Americans wish that they had that economy back.
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