The President summed up his economic priorities close to the top of his hour-long address. "This growing inequality isn't just morally wrong; it's bad economics," he told his Galesburg, Illinois audience. "When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country."
Then the heart of the matter: "That's why reversing these trends must be Washington's highest priority. It's certainly my highest priority."
Which is the problem. For four and a half years, Mr. Obama has focused his policies on reducing inequality rather than increasing growth. The predictable result has been more inequality and less growth. As even Mr. Obama conceded in his speech, the rich have done well in the last few years thanks to a rising stock market, but the middle class and poor have not. The President called his speech "A Better Bargain for the Middle Class," but no President has done worse by the middle class in modern times.
Yes, the same people that brought us this wonderful infographic are no doubt just terribly concerned about the the average wage slave. Please.
As I've documented many times before, this is nothing new, but it never ceases to be idiotic. The people who run the editorial board couldn't care less about the plight of anyone that's not in the 1%. The figures they cite may be correct, but to claim that because Obama presided over this, its his fault, makes about as much sense as blaming him for BP oil spill.
And speaking of Obama's socialist policies, the board even admits that the rich are doing better off than ever before. But I thought under Chairman ObaMAO, the wealthy would suffer the most? I mean, didn't every right-wing media outlet tell us incessantly that Obama's number one goal was to make the lives of the 1% absolutely miserable? I would think that would make Obama the worst socialist ever (as you may already have known) but I guess the WSJ is arguing that would make him the best socialist ever?
So, what's their solution for this inequality issue? Take a guess:
Mr. Obama would have done far better by the poor, the middle class and the wealthy if he had focused on growing the economy first. The difference between the Obama 2% recovery and the Reagan-Clinton 3%-4% growth rates is rising incomes for nearly everybody.What else? More tax cuts for the rich. Cause clearly, the solution to the problem of rich people having too much money, is to give them more money. That should help reduce inequality because Reagan.
House Republicans have put a check on Mr. Obama's most destructive economic policies, but the President could do more to help growth if he crossed party lines to pass tax reform the way Reagan did in his second term, or to work out a budget deal as Bill Clinton did in his fifth year.
By the way, notice how they also referenced Clinton in there? I know that after the Kenyan was sworn into office, conservatives suddenly discovered a new found admiration for Clinton, but just to refresh everyone's memories, Clinton passed what was called "the biggest tax increase in American history". And unlike Obama, he did so at the beginning of his first term. This should have caused an economic downturn that would make us yearn for the days of the Great Depression, and yet somehow, we managed to do pretty decently.