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Obama has called the restoration of the middle class the defining issue of our time. He said in a “60 Minutes” interview Dec 11 “we should be building a broad-based middle class ….”
All politicians say they’re for the “middle class,” Some call it the “working class.” But what is the middle class? No one knows precisely. It has been defined in several ways over the years.
Almost everyone thinks he or she is in the middle class. Even though we’re supposedly a classless society.
When Democrat candidates talk of helping the “middle class” or “working class,” they refer more generally to blue collar workers—as if white collar workers did no work.
The most recent federal figures on poverty levels range from a one person family having $16,335 to a family of eight having $56,445. Some in poverty might well be seen as making middle class income.
Today the Democrats, with aid from some news media, are presenting a distorted picture of a nation where “median incomes” have remained a straight line for scores of years while incomes of the rich, particularly in the past couple of decades have rising sharply.
A recent CNNMoney.com article included just such a chart. Incomes for 90 percent of Americans have been stuck in neutral, the story said. Other liberal media carried the same story.
Progressive Elizabeth Warren has her definition. She has been the Chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversees TARP (Toxic Asset Relief Program) and is the Leo Gottlieb Professor at Harvard Law School. A darling of the liberal left, she now wants to be the next Democrat Senator from Massachusetts.
She has written: “The crisis facing the middle class started more than a generation ago. Even as productivity rose, the wages of the average fully employed male have been flat since the 1970s.
“Pundits talk about ‘populist rage’ as a way to trivialize the anger and fear coursing through the middle class,” she wrote. “But they have it wrong. Families understand with crystalline clarity that the rules they have played by are not the same rules that govern Wall Street….They understand that their economic security is under assault and that leaving consumer debt effectively unregulated does not work.”
You would think she has just huddled with the Wall Street occupiers.
“America today,” she continues in her Dec. 11 op ed piece in the Huffington Post, “has plenty of rich and super-rich. But it has far more families who did all the right things, but who still have no real security….Tens of millions of once secure middle class families now live paycheck to paycheck, waiting as their debts pile up and worrying about whether a pick slip or a bad diagnosis will send them hurtling over an economic cliff,” she sobbed.
That’s the ironclad leftist view of middle class woes. And, if she should exercise an ounce of honesty, she would lay blame at the feet of Barack Obama, certainly in the past three years.
Examining Census Bureau data, the picture is much different from that depicted by liberal Prof. Elizabeth Warren. The middle incomes listed for 1970, ranged from $3,638 to $10,276. But in 2000, the middle household incomes ranged from $17,920 to $52,174. The Census put incomes per capita in 1970 at $15,920; in 2000 at $28,293—a sizeable increase, not the “flat” income Warrant contended. In 2010, Obama’s recession pulled per capita income down to $26,487.
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