Politics

Struggling middle-class. How can that be after seven years of the Obama Administration?

“The mid­dle class have had a very dif­fi­cult 15 years. Me­dian wages are stuck; the economy is flat. And the mid­dle class have been suf­fer­ing on this,” said Jim Kessler, a se­nior vice pres­i­dent for pol­icy at Third Way. “I also think that, po­lit­i­cally, this election will be won or lost on how the mid­dle class votes.” WSJ 11-21-15

So in response the candidates, especially the Democrats, pander to the middle-class and are promising all kinds of tax cuts. How come nobody is asking why this administration is into its seventh year and the middle-class is still in such dire straights even when Democrats had full control of Congress for several years? 

Maybe if the administration had focused more on growing the economy and less on telling Americans what they are entitled to and giving them scapegoats to blame, we would all be better off. 

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Categories: Politics

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9 replies »

  1. My sense is one big reason we have not seen any real improvement in the economy is because our capitalist society is so determined to improve the bottom line that in order to keep costs down they continue to hire more and more part time workers in lieu of full timers as it allows them to avoid benefit costs. This is why so many are clamoring for a $15 per hour minimum. I know in the past you have indicated that the part time workforce is not composed of the main breadwinner but rather the youth. That was the case but a view of more recent statistics will reveal a bigger portion of that workforce is now comprised of a significant wage earner in the ‘modern family’ household. My close relative who has a masters degree and worked for 35 years as a full time employee but at the age of 56 became unemployed is now working 3 part time positions in his field with a professional degree because he cannot garner a fulltime position with benefits. This is a lousy scenario for someone who is now at a point where he should be building his retirement funds and yet because the profit incentive is the main mover in this economy he is relegated to a lesser position to just eke out expenses. Of course in his case at least the pay is above a hypothetical $15 minimum but yet how does one survive and so the beat continues until the have nots significantly outnumber the haves and then revolution sets in. My sense is perhaps the regulations should not be for a $15 wage minimum but rather a legislation that limits the percent of the workforce which can be part time. Of course this option means more government regulation while the Tea party group wants less.

    Bottom line there are no easy answers but I would not blame Obama for the problem in fact I agree with another of the bloggers who mention the obstructionist Republicans.

    Ultimately the answer is that we are very divided country right now and there is great vitriol. When a candidate for the highest office can make a statement that he saw Moslems cheering in Jersey City when the towers fell on 9/11 we have a big problem as he should be dismissed from further consideration for the job as he is either completely dillusional or perhaps he should start a new reality show ” the Worlds Biggest Liar”. Sometimes a man has to be vetted for truth but instead there are many singing his praises.

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  2. Maybe it is more of a local issue than federal. The President believes one of the reasons is segregation of classes but not just income but where each class lives. From an CNN article: “Such segregation has grown dramatically in recent decades as income inequality has increased. Only 42% of American families lived in middle-income neighborhoods in 2009, compared with 65% in 1970, according to a 2013 study by Cornell and Stanford university researchers.”. I think this to be true in my county. I have witness in my town people pressing politicians to by property even if it raises the taxes just to keep certian people out. It must have some impact when we go to extreme measures to isolate some to certain parts of the county and when property taxes become an issue, many start blaming those low income parts of the county. Atleast that is what I have seen in my county.
    Thanks
    Bobby

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  3. Mr. Quinn – you recently posted a request for more discussion on your blog – do you not realize that your readers are completely disgusted with your right-wing diatribes? – your blog is becoming very much akin to Rush Limbaugh and Faux Nuz – you are not stupid from what I have read each day – why then do you choose to totally ignore and acknowledge seven years of Republican obstructionism to try to render our president ineffective? – you ask why our president didn’t help our down trodden middle class? – it’s so obvious to any sane person and I’m certain that it is to you, too – Republicans vowed to oppose our president on each and every issue and effort immediately after his inauguration – Republicans refused to even vote on his initiatives to improve our economy in the Congress – most Republican governors refused to support the ACA to the detriment of their own citizens for purely political reasons – tell me the differences between the economies of 2008 and 2015 and then tell me your problem – despite the all out efforts of Teapublikkkans to f**k up everything and blame our president for it, our economy is thriving – just look at the slate of complete idiots and political terrorists that the Teapublikkkans are supporting for president and tell me that you are proud to be a part of that undertaking to destroy our great nation – you should be ashamed and, secretly, I am certain that you really are

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    • Mr Wilson, you always look for an excuse for this President and you keep blaming Republicans (with some justification). However, the opposition is always the opposition. What are Democrsts doing now that they do not control Congress? During the first couple of years Obama could have done anything he wanted and in the later years he still controlled at least one house. But more important is the fact he is so obsessed with his ideology he has failed to compromise, look for any middle ground. Rather, he finds scapegoats everywhere. Just like Sanders is doing now. I agree many Relublicans are obstructionist beyond a basic disagreement in philosophy, but that is not an excuse for an ineffective administration. Look at the big picture. What is significantly better that in 2008? Is it the Middle East, relationships with Russia, China or even Europe? Democrats pretty much point out the flaws in the economy for the middle class. Has SS been fixed, or the tax code? On the other hand, we have tons more regulation and oh yes, Obamacare that added 10 million into coverage, but did not make health care affordable for anyone, was poorly designed and is starting to unravel as we communicate (with no viable alternative on the horizon). The Administratiin has delayed, cancelled or failed to enforce many aspect of the ACA because they are unworkable. Although Sanders says a single payer system will save a family $5,000 a year. Do you seriously believe that? LEADERSHIP is lacking while excuses are abundant.

      By the way, did you vote in our tax poll?

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      • Mr. Quinn, I am sure that you have heard and seen Mitch McConnell dedicate all of his efforts and the efforts of all Republican congress members to “making this president a one term president”. That is not obstructionism “with some justification”. That is all out single-minded obstructionism without regard for the future or the security of our nation. You ask, “What are Democrats doing now that they don’t control Congress?” The answer is that they are opposing continuing Republican obstructionism in every way that they still can. Faced with a Congress absolutely and unwaveringly vowing and dedicated to opposing everything that our president tried to do, you write that our president “failed to compromise” or “look for any middle ground”. You ask, “What is significantly better than in 2008?” Just to list a few: 1) The DOW at nearly 18,000 v. 8,000 – 2) Unemployment at 5.0% v. 10% – 3) 64 months of private sector job growth – I could go on easily, but you know all of his accomplishments and refuse to acknowledge them. That is your “big picture” domestically. The Middle East is worse because Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq on completely false pretenses leaving a vacuum for ISIS to emerge and agreed to pull all of our troops out of Iraq before Obama took office. Bush and Cheney created unrest in the Middle East that will not be solved for decades and most certainly will not be solved by any current Republican White House hopeful. Any solution to that mess will require Democratic expertise and world view. Regarding “relationships with Russia”: Republican George Bush said of Putin: “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy”. President Obama is far from being that stupid. If you will admit that you and I have both read that our president is highly respected by both China and the nations of Europe. Social Security has not been fixed due to Republican obstructionism. The tax code has not been revised because Republicans will only act to support tax advantages for their wealthy sponsors at the detriment of our middle class. The fossil fuel sponsors of Republican congressmen have necessitated more regulation of the fossil fuel industries to preserve our planet. More than 18 Republican governors refused to institute the ACA in their states for purely ideological / political reasons to the detriment of their own citizens. There is “no viable alternative to the ACA” because Republicans have no solutions to any of our nation’s problems. You on the right keep saying “leadership” which is a meaningless and fact less statement with no specifics or alternatives. Republicans cannot win elections on their policies or principles. Therefore, they must resort to gerrymandering in Republican controlled states. They have enacted voter suppression laws in more than 22 states to prevent likely Democratic supporters from voting. Republicans oppose a path to citizenship for Latino immigrants only because they fear that these people may vote Democratic. Do you sincerely believe that our nation would be better served by having any of the irrational, ignorant and totally ludicrous Republican presidential hopefuls as president?

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      • As one may expect your view is naive. And you can’t seem to leave the past behind. Fact is this the worst and slowest recession recovery ever. As far as the middle-east goes, well, don’t believe me just read the papers, even those that have supported Obama from the start.

        From the beginning he ignored his own commission on fixing many things, including Social Security. So, no attempt to fix Social Security, no attempt to fix the tax system, tons more regulation, no dealing with corporate taxes, a malaise on the economy which is the real key to helping the middle-class, yet we focus on the big stuff like family leave, student loan forgiveness and the minimum wage affecting 2% of workers.

        Don’t you find it ironic that Clinton and Sanders are focused on the very things as problems that Obama has failed to address in the last seven years?

        No matter, it’s not up to us to judge; history will do that and if we are around in twenty years, we will see who is right.

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