The Poorer Middle Class; Obsession with Income Redistribution Is Destroying U.S. Productivity

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 15, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Poorer Middle Class; Obsession with Income Redistribution Is Destroying U.S. Productivity


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Obama's re-election prospects dim by the day. When it comes to all-important pocketbook issues, Americans quite simply are worse off now than they were when this administration moved into the White House. The Federal Reserve released its latest Survey of Consumer Finance on Tuesday, which confirmed widely held sentiment with hard data: Americans are poorer today than they were in 2007, when the Great Recession hit.

The difference between now and then is massive. The median household saw almost 39 percent of its wealth evaporate, and real income (that is, the amount adjusted for inflation) fell 7.7 percent. Only the old and the bottom 20 percent on the income ladder escaped the wealth destruction and income loss.

Much of the decrease in net worth can be ascribed to the housing bubble that burst before Mr. Obama took office. This was akin to a correction in the marketplace. However, misguided policies are preventing the economic growth needed to pull out of this slump. With Taxmageddon set to hit Jan. 1 as the George W. Bush tax cuts expire and businesses struggling under the weight of ever-expanding regulation from Washington, there's little hope for meaningful recovery any time soon.

To the delight of the class warriors, the rich saw the biggest decline in income, with a mean drop of 16.2 percent. The bottom of the ladder saw its income increase slightly, by $500. In other words, Americans saw the leftists' goal of reducing income inequality come true by making 80 percent of the population poorer. …

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