Americans Say Obama Has Not Helped Middle Class
A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that, despite all the talk, President Obama will not be remembered as a champion for the middle class. According to the survey, 66 percent of Americans believe that the administration’s economic policies since the recession have helped the wealthy. 72 percent believe that the policies have not helped the middle class.
It’s not difficult to imagine where Americans are getting either of their opinions, even though one of them is rather misguided. Obama’s policies have certainly not been geared towards helping the “wealthy,” although there is no academic definition of what any of these class divisions really mean. At every turn, Obama has used the wealthy to prop up his policies, ostensibly geared towards the middle class. This perception, however, survives for one very simple reason: wealthy people do not depend on government policy to determine their fortune. Put anyone short of Karl Marx himself in the White House, and they’ll do just fine.
On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence to back up America’s opinion on how little this administration has done to boost the middle class. We have a lower median income in the United States today than we did in the year 2000. That’s not adjusting for inflation. The average American is making 3.9 percent less today while the value of a dollar has only shrunk.
The problem with Obama’s policies aren’t that they have been geared towards the rich. It is that they have been geared towards the poor. He has expanded the welfare state with every turn of the screw, put us on the first brittle steps towards socialism with his healthcare law, and has pushed for regulations that have hurt no one like they have hurt the average American worker.
Make no mistake about it, Obama inherited a mess. Not that it was a mess of George W. Bush’s construction, but it was a mess nonetheless. And while one can argue about the wisdom of all the bailouts, Obama kept us from a healthy recovery by denying the very philosophy that would have taken us there: freedom.
Obama came to office with a hatred in his heart for capitalism. Reaganomics, to be specific. Like most Democrats, he wanted to pull us out of our slump not by letting the free market do its thing, but by throwing tax money at it. At a time when CEOs, investors, and small business owners should have been taken off the government leash, he went in and tightened the collar. When corporate tax rates should have been slashed, he fought to raise them. When companies looked for ways around his regulatory zeal, he shamed them and called them out as unpatriotic.
The middle class is still hurting, but so many Americans will still pull the lever for a Democrat in 2016. The rich don’t care. They’ve long realized that they are going to get theirs regardless of what’s happening in D.C. Those who need favorable government influence (which is to say, as little influence as possible) to recover, though…they might be waiting a long time.