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|Obama's class warfare deception
By Mark Alexander
Back from his latest exotically expensive taxpayer-funded vacation in Hawaii, Barack Obama was greeted with news that fewer than 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he's doing. Lamenting his abysmal ratings, Obama said, in an interview with the New Yorker, "There's no doubt that there's some folks who just really dislike me because they don't like the idea of a black president." Yes, the man who twice duped voters into electing him used Martin Luther King Day to confirm that King's legacy in the White House is a race-baiting political hustler.
But racism is taking a back seat to classism ahead of Obama's fifth teleprompted State of (Dis)Union address this week, which is why he, with family in tow, posed for photo-ops in a Washington, DC soup kitchen line "in honor of" MLK Day.
Oh the irony -- on Obama's watch, soup kitchens are among the few enterprises that are thriving.
Obama has vowed to make class warfare, specifically "income inequality," the focus of the 2014 midterm campaign, declaring it the "defining challenge of our time." He promised to focus on income disparity "for the rest of my presidency," and warned of "a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America's basic bargain -- that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. ... The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream."
What he didn't mention is the inconvenient truth that income inequality has increased more during his presidency than that of any predecessor, though predictably his administration spokesman, Jay Carney, blamed Bush.
Obama is recycling this perennial rhetorical theme from his 2012 SOTU, when he declared, "The defining issue of our time is how to keep that [upward mobility] promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."
Of course, this is merely an attempt to redirect; to politically pivot from the plethora of epic failures in his domestic and foreign policy and programs over the last five years, most notably his signature Obamacare debacle and his dangerous Middle Eastern follies.
His plan is to heat up some class warfare -- the most reliable of the Democrats' populist playbook ploys -- by fomenting division among Americans, separating our nation into voter blocs based on income, and convincing his soon-to-be aggrieved constituency that they must depend on the Democratic Party for their salvation.
Remember Obama's declaration, "Our individual salvation depends on our collective salvation." His obsession with collectivism and class warfare is the result of his lifelong Marxist indoctrination.
Just prior to the 2008 election, Obama made his political objectives clear with this infamous insight to "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher: "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
And who can forget Obama's explanation of "shared responsibility," and his suggestion that conservatives will be "accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared, I shared my, uh, I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich." But Obama's notion of "redistributive justice" is not about sharing; it's about confiscation and reallocation, which has a lot of face appeal to his statist constituencies. Indeed, as avowed socialist George Bernard Shaw smugly declared: "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
Though Obama will no doubt succeed in rallying his most loyal lemmings behind this latest class warfare con, the unfortunate truth is that the "income inequality" he laments is the direct result of his failed economic policies.
But the hard truth is that any "dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" is the direct result of Obama's failed $6.6 trillion "economic recovery plan," every dime of it borrowed from future generations.
Recall if you will Obama's characterization of debt added by his predecessor: "It's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic." Obama has saddled Americans with 50 percent more debt than George Bush, and he did not have a 9/11 attack and recovery, and Demo-fabricated mortgage crisis to resolve.
The primary reason for the median income decline is that the real unemployment rate for the Obama recovery subterfuge is now over 13 percent, which is shaping up to be the "new normal" unemployment rate. Median household incomes have fallen over the last five years, and the only way to keep the economy afloat under the weight of our soaring national debt is to inflate it -- which is to say that all incomes, adjusted for inflation, will continue to drop.
And the primary reason for the record income disparity is that equity markets have doubled in value since 2008, which has sharply increased the net worth of Americans who own stock -- at least on paper. Of note, while most of that equity is held by the top quintile of income earners, most working Americans who have profit sharing plans and/or pensions also own equity through those plans.
And regarding Obama's job-killing minimum wage rhetoric to fight poverty, Terence Jeffrey notes that since Lyndon Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America" five decades ago, "there has been only one three-year period when [the number of those considered impoverished] persisted above 15 percent" -- 2010, 2011 and 2012 (and probably 2013 once the data is in).
That is Obama's economic legacy.
Five decades later, it is now clear that the best thing politicians can do to reduce poverty is to encourage people to finish their education, get married before having children, and get a job. Cato Institute researcher Michael Tanner notes, "Nobody in America is poor just because someone else is rich. ... The academic literature is very solid on what it takes to stay out of poverty. Number one, graduate from school. Number two if you're not married, don't have a baby. Number three, get a job, and stick with it."
Of course, for tens of millions of Americans who would like to work, getting a job has become much more difficult under the Obama regime.
As for the notion that income inequality impedes upward mobility, economic researchers Rea Hederman and David Azerrad conducted an exhaustive study of the relationship between income and opportunity and found that "how much the top 1 percent of the population earns has no bearing on whether the bottom 20 percent can move up."
Amid all Obama's classist rhetoric, it's worth noting that only one person in our nation qualifies as the "richest American," which means that, as of this writing, there are 317,409,123 poorer Americans. What I mean to convey by this is that "rich" is relative. Obama will tag the top 1 percent of income earners as "the rich," but the top 50 percent are rich, according to the bottom 50 percent.
As our nation continues its predictable free fall down the Index of Economic Freedom, it has become clear that Obama's economic policies are willfully destructive. If he and his Leftist NeoCom cadres really wanted to improve the economic condition of every American household, particularly those in the bottom 50 percent, they would abandon their "useful idiot" schemes fronting "income equality" themes, and devote their full attention to free enterprise and economic productivity unbridled by government taxation and interventionist regulation, which would improve the standard of living for all Americans.
But alas, they won't.
Nineteenth-century historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed, "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." A century later, Winston Churchill wrote of equality, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. … Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy."
As economist Thomas Sowell concluded in his four part series, "The Fallacy of 'Fairness', "As with most equalization crusades ... it is about equalizing downward, by lowering those at the top. ... Fairness as equal treatment does not produce fairness as equal outcomes. The confusion between the two meanings of the same word has created enormous mischief, much of it at the expense of lagging groups, who have been distracted from the things that would enable them to catch up. And whole societies have been kept in a turmoil pursing a will o' the wisp in the name of 'fairness.'"
And Obama asserts that "fairness" will be his focus "for the rest of my presidency."
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.