Our sitting president seems to have a different view of economics than most. Perhaps it is his socialist upbringing. Maybe it stems from the fact that he taught Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” in his Chicago law classes. I suppose it could be blamed that he has never had a job that required anything other than getting the absolute most you can out of government.
Many remember President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policy. This centered on being friendlier for business and innovation without government interference. That entailed lower taxes for both business and worker. The result was an unprecedented flow of cash to government coffers and created an economic boom that subsequent presidents through Bill Clinton rode on the coat tails of. I did not say “trickle down” is an economic theory because it has been proven time and again to work. That makes it fact, not theory.
President Barack Obama’s theory appears to be “trickle up.” In other words, if you inject enough government money into the lower income sectors of the economy it will somehow make its way into the economy as a whole. Remember his 2008 campaign statement “To each according to need from each according to ability?” Perhaps Jeremiah Wright said it more clearly as “White man’s greed, black man’s need.” Many would say this is socialism. So let us see how “trickle up” has worked.
A recent Pew Research study showed that about 50 percent of Americans consider themselves to be middle class. The same poll in 2008 showed slightly over 70 percent considered themselves to be middle class. The categories of upper class and upper middle class also declined slightly, which means the move from middle class has been downward. Keep in mind, this poll shows the results of self-determination. The people polled place themselves into a category. Citizens are definitely not feeling better off.
Of course liberals will come up with a plethora of reasons for this. “Obama inherited the Bush recession.” True, but with normal economic policies recessions historically only last 18 to 24 months. We are now six years into Obama policies. Every action Obama has taken flies in the face of economic sanity, extending the “Great Recession.” This is eerily similar to Roosevelt’s Great Depression, where most honest economists admit that Roosevelt’s policies added at least three years to the depression.
“Obama had to deal with the housing crash.” True again, but bailouts to banks and FNMA did nothing to help that problem. Neither do higher taxes, extended unemployment benefits, or any other government “aid” program. “Wall Street is booming.” Right again. Wall Street is booming for two reasons. First, as bad as the economy is here, Europe is worse. A huge amount of European money has flowed into U.S. securities. Second, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low for several years. That has spurred leveraged Wall Street speculation and set the stage for a potential bond bubble that could make the housing bubble look like a soap bubble in a swimming pool.
Business is now looking for a way out of the U.S. to avoid the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Obama has forgotten that people and businesses act in their own self-interest. Just as they flee states with high taxes, they flee countries in the same manner. Every week in the news, all you hear of another large corporation buying or merging with a foreign company. It is simple then to move your headquarters to that country, paying U.S. tax only on what is sold in the U.S. instead of on total revenues.
In that vein of self-interest, about 48 percent of American citizens now receive some form of federal aid. This does not include FHA and VA house loans, government contractors, or those who receive state or local retirement pensions. Experts believe that if that figure reaches 50 percent, self-interested voters will keep Democrats in power until we can no longer afford to pay for the freebies. Do you think the number of 5 million illegals Obama is rumored to plan on pardoning is by accident? That puts us perilously close to 50 percent.
Obama has acted to create more government dependence than any other president. He has done that while creating more deficit spending that all of his predecessors combined. Part-time work is the new full-time employment. Minimum wage is now treated as a “living wage” and “must be increased” as if that will solve anything. How is “trickle up” working for you?
Tom Riggins is an LVN columnist and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.