American Elephants

A Better Bargain For The Middle Class? by The Elephant's Child

This was a busy week for the President. He made the same lengthy speech three times, in Illinois, Missouri and Florida, and gave an edited excerpt as his weekly address. He claims credit for all of his administration’s successes…um— brought us back from the worst recession of our lifetimes, saved the auto industry, took on a broken health care system, invested in new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil, and changed a tax code too skewed in favor of the wealthiest at the expense of working families.


They use to call it the “Big Lie” technique;  if you just keep repeating the same lie often enough, people will believe it. I don’t know, perhaps he really believes that he has fixed all these things. The recession was sharp, but it officially ended in June of 2009 — Wouldn’t know it, would you?

Why have we had such high unemployment? He never mentions that the real unemployment rate  ( U-6) is at 14.3%, nor the 15 million people on food stamps. That is supposed to be an accomplishment, for the administration has workers out trying to get more people signed up for food stamps. They get a bonus for every one they sign up.

The reason there is such high unemployment is technology that makes some jobs obsolete (remember he complained about ATMs ), global competition, growing inequality and the policies that perpetuate it. That’s just silly. His speechwriters should know better. There are always new technologies, and jobs building the new technology. There is always global competition, and growing inequality? Well, yes, there is growing inequality between the 20 million unemployed and the folks who are working.

From that he pivots to the new Bill of Rights, a litany of what government should give you instead of those old, tired rights like freedom of speech, religion, the right of assembly — all those rights that the Left doesn’t like because they are restraints on government. “The government shall make no law…” is anathema to a party that wants no limits on what a government may do.

They will make laws that assure you a good job that pays good wages, an education that prepares our children and our workers for global competition, homeownership for all, affordable health care that’s there when you get sick (there’s talk of having pharmacists taking over more of that since there’s going to be a shortage of doctors). A secure retirement. How do they do that?

The “secure retirement” is already disappearing. Social Security is rapidly going broke, and Democrats refuse to reform it. The health care system was the best in the world, and ObamaCare is decimating it. Premiums are doubling, Doctors are leaving the profession and many refuse to accept Medicaid or Medicare patients. Innovation has slowed. Many school systems are rejecting the ‘Common Core’ nationalized curriculum, and studies have long shown that pre-school education like Head Start is ineffective at improving student outcomes.

So larger government will set up programs, and this will somehow put more people in the middle class, which will grow out and create more jobs and eventually prosperity. The faith of the left in government programs never dies, but is perpetual. If a program does not produce, then another program is created on top to do it better, or do what the previous program didn’t or something like that. Perpetual employment for enlightened progressives, who create prosperity by progressing.

The only thing holding us back is Republican resistance to giving us lots more money to play around with, and their unwillingness to shake off their complacency and set aside their insistence on disagreeing with me.  They must end “their endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals.” Uh huh.


3 Comments so far
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Once again our President has spiked the football without any actual improvement or involvement.


Comment by Frost


A gallon of gas adjusted for inflation is about where it should be. Do you want the President to interfere in the markets and halt the exporting of oil and refined gas to get the price of gasoline down? If the XL Pipeline goes through more diesel will be exported to Europe and the supply of diesel will go down and the price will go up. This is simply econ 101 math.

Should we regulate how Wall Street prices oil which, changed a year ago, is now based on Brent crude which commands a $20 per barrel premium?


I believe the U-6 was a bit over 10% in 2004. What fantasy are you living in? Did you really believe that with the greatest crisis since the great recession we would have recovered this quickly with a reduction in government spending? Our private debt to GDP ratio is close to 300%. That is a lot of deleveraging to happen. Did you really believe the American people could continue to take on more private debt without something having to give?

Corporations are saying there is a shortage of 3 million skilled workers. What is either the Republicans or the Democrats doing to ensure workers have the training they need? Not filling these jobs is lost productivity that the next generation can get back.

When do we start to repair our infrastructure? When and how do we pay for it? Should we not pay for our infrastructure when rates at historical lows?


As the income gap has been increasing and private debt has been increasing at record levels why has the GDP continued to trend down over the past thirty years?

How much has the decrease in income been the result of global labor competition, automation, and less union membership?

I understand to the conservative there are two things that will free the free markets from their bondage taxes and regulations. If that is the case tell me what you believe the optimal effective tax rate should be and what type of regulations are we talking about that hurt American business?

At what point does a country competing on a global market quit chasing the tax rate reduction scheme to compete in the world?


Comment by Mark Baird

That’s pretty good, Mark: Ask questions (formed with incorrect information) about subjects that you obviously do not understand and then imply that you are not going to believe the answers you are given.

And why people should attempt to engage with you again?


Comment by Lon Mead

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