Class Warfare and Obama’s Sudden Progressivism: Political Ploy?

December 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Since the start of Occupy Wall St.,income disparity has been the topic of conversation, from the media to politicians. Politicians use i  for votes, masquerading as if they are championing for the people, and the media, not expecting them to report real news, use it to boost the number of views.

……..More

Now we are a year out from the 2012 elections and what better springboard for the President (and Democrats) to use to boost falling approval ratings and win the elections.

While is the strategy is a winning one, it’s a dangerous one as well.

The 2008 bailouts (signed and enacted by the former president) were a gift for the President.

The bailouts were a transfer of wealth (Troubled Asset Relief Program, or “TARP,” where federal funds and private investment purchased mortgage-backed securities)  to financial institutions and the real load was dumped on the people. Bankers were also rewarding themselves (because, of course, they did such a great job) with million dollar bonuses while crying for help from the government. In AIG’s particular case, who was bailed out with about $80 billion and the U.S. Treasury purchased an extra $40 billion in stocks, executives received $165 million in bonuses.

Obama responded with a $800 billion or so stimulus, a third of which were tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000, in hope of boosting the economy and putting money back into the hands of people. The stimulus passed in the Senate with 61 votes, overcoming the 60 votes needed to overcome filibuster.

This was the start of class warfare in my belief.

When the President proposed his jobs bill, the American Jobs Act, that was the start of his 2012 campaign. The jobs bill is paid for with a 5 percent surtax on any income over $1,000,000.

Opponents reject the idea of raising taxes, especially specifically on the “job creators,” and wholly reject the idea of another stimulus. Proponents point out the massive wealth incurred at the top in the last 10 years, thanks to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, and the extension of it in 2010, and believe who better should fund a jobs bill in trying times.

The argument is a legitimate one but the concentration of wealth at the top has been going on for about 30 years, not 10 years. In Kevin Philip’s book The Politics of Rich and Poor, he writes about the “heyday capitalism” and conservative economic policies under former president Reagan. From 1977 to 1988, the average family income for the top 1% doubled, while the first 7 deciles of income lost or gained no more than $2,000. Wages stagnating and inflation rising is not a new scenario.

With the addition of the Bush tax cuts, the case for taxing the wealthy to boost the economy sits well in the minds of the working people–and works out for the President.

Democrats, hobbled by corruption itself, with the exception of the Progressive Caucus, have always been reluctant to address income disparity and corruption because there would be a conflict of interest; just look at the President’s campaign financing in 2008. But playing the populist role couldn’t be played at a better time. Unemployment is hovering around 9%, companies are making record profits, and the President’s opponents only solutions are cutting taxes and cutting entitlements (I personally don’t like the term “entitlements” so when I use the term, I am referring to unemployment benefits, medicare, medicaid; services referred to as the “social safety net”).

Class warfare is an open door for Democrats, and the President capitalized on it last week by invoking Teddy Roosevelt, Progressive leader and former president, in his speech in Kansas.

Here are two excerpts from the speech:

In the last few decades, the average income of the top one percent has gone up by more than 250%, to $1.2 million per year. For the top one hundredth of one percent, the average income is now $27 million per year. The typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her workers now earns 110 times more. And yet, over the last decade, the incomes of most Americans have actually fallen by about six percent.

And:

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If only we cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everyone else. And even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, they argue, that’s the price of liberty.

Liberals went crazy. They’ve been charging the President for playing the middle since his inauguration–and they are right.

But is this political talk or genuine? Where has he been for the past 3 years? Will the President’s populist talk bring reluctant voters to the polls?

We’ll have to wait til November.

I invite you to join the conversation and subscribe to Minds Alike, follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me at realmindstalk@gmail.com

Now we are a year out from the 2012 elections and what better springboard for the President (and Democrats) to use to boost falling approval ratings and win the elections.

While is the strategy is a winning one, it’s a dangerous one as well.

The 2008 bailouts (signed and enacted by the former president) were a gift for the President.

The bailouts were a transfer of wealth (Troubled Asset Relief Program, or “TARP,” where federal funds and private investment purchased mortgage-backed securities)  to financial institutions and the real load was dumped on the people. Bankers were also rewarding themselves (because, of course, they did such a great job) with million dollar bonuses while crying for help from the government. In AIG’s particular case, who was bailed out with about $80 billion and the U.S. Treasury purchased an extra $40 billion in stocks, executives received $165 million in bonuses.

Obama responded with a $800 billion or so stimulus, a third of which were tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000, in hope of boosting the economy and putting money back into the hands of people. The stimulus passed in the Senate with 61 votes, overcoming the 60 votes needed to overcome filibuster. This was the start of class warfare in my belief. When the President proposed his jobs bill, the American Jobs Act, that was the start of his 2012 campaign. The jobs bill is paid for with a 5 percent surtax on any income over $1,000,000. Opponents reject the idea of raising taxes, especially specifically on the “job creators,” and wholly reject the idea of another stimulus. Proponents point out the massive wealth incurred at the top in the last 10 years, thanks to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, and the extension of it in 2010, and believe who better should fund a jobs bill in trying times. The argument is a legitimate one but the concentration of wealth at the top has been going on for about 30 years, not 10 years. In Kevin Philip’s book The Politics of Rich and Poor, he writes about the “heyday capitalism” and conservative economic policies under former president Reagan. From 1977 to 1988, the average family income for the top 1% doubled, while the first 7 deciles of income lost or gained no more than $2,000. Wages stagnating and inflation rising is not a new scenario. With the addition of the Bush tax cuts, the case for taxing the wealthy to boost the economy sits well in the minds of the working people–and works out for the President. Democrats, hobbled by corruption itself, with the exception of the Progressive Caucus, have always been reluctant to address income disparity and corruption because there would be a conflict of interest; just look at the President’s campaign financing in 2008. But playing the populist role couldn’t be played at a better time. Unemployment is hovering around 9%, companies are making record profits, and the President’s opponents only solutions are cutting taxes and cutting entitlements (I personally don’t like the term “entitlements” so when I use the term, I am referring to unemployment benefits, medicare, medicaid; services referred to as the “social safety net”). Class warfare is an open door for Democrats, and the President capitalized on it last week by invoking Teddy Roosevelt, Progressive leader and former president, in his speech in Kansas. Here are two excerpts from the speech:

In the last few decades, the average income of the top one percent has gone up by more than 250%, to $1.2 million per year. For the top one hundredth of one percent, the average income is now $27 million per year. The typical CEO who used to earn about 30 times more than his or her workers now earns 110 times more. And yet, over the last decade, the incomes of most Americans have actually fallen by about six percent.

And:

Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there’s been a certain crowd in Washington for the last few decades who respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. “The market will take care of everything,” they tell us. If only we cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everyone else. And even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, they argue, that’s the price of liberty.

Liberals went crazy. They’ve been charging the President for playing the middle since his inauguration–and they are right. But is this political talk or genuine? Where has he been for the past 3 years? Will the President’s populist talk bring reluctant voters to the polls? We’ll have to wait til November.

I invite you to join the conversation and subscribe to Minds Alike, follow me @BAdetiba , or e-mail me at realmindstalk@gmail.com

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