Interestingly, Olsen is reportedly from Wisconsin, the state that Gov. Scott Walker ignited with his anti-democratic view of economic equality.
As a reminder, Pres. Obama and the Democrats did not mount any economic message for the 2010 midterms. Then after getting their… um.. hats handed to them in December, Pres. Obama made a deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts. Now that candidate Obama is on the campaign stump, however, he says he won’t extend them again.
Of course, now that Pres. Obama’s own political future is on the line he’s sounding like a class warrior who has religion. One by one on cable, the talking heads proclaim he’s “back,” his message is winning, etc.
It’s not hard to believe Pres. Obama’s populist message, conveniently timed and politically motivated, is winning. The message to back up the middle class and working stiffs, one that I’ve been drilling home for years, is always a winner. It’s just unfortunate that Mr. Obama only finds it when his own fortunes need a lift.
It’s also why I laugh out loud when David Axelrod or team Obama go after Mitt Romney, making the argument that slick Mitt will say anything to get elected. If that charge sounds familiar it should. Yes, Mitt Romney is a Wall Street jackal. Obama’s not in that league, but he doesn’t have any problem taking campaign contributions from those who are. You decipher the difference.
Ronald Reagan started sapping the American dream in the 1980s, which lasted for 12 years.
The Bush tax cuts and two wars off the books in the 2000s did the rest.
When Pres. Obama came into office, the economic die was already cast.
Unfortunately, Obama chose to hire Tim Geithner and Larry Summers, the latter the man who convinced Pres. Bill Clinton to dismantle Glass-Steagall, though when Clinton finally signed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, Congress had passed it with a veto proof majority. An apology from Clinton is hardly enough, but you would have thought Barack Obama would have learned before entering office what these actions had wrought. Instead, he doubled down on known economic quantities and friends of the establishment, moneyed class. People who helped the economic crisis occur.
Elizabeth Warren offered Pres. Obama a glimmer of hope and a way out of the mess Geithner and Summers had made of his economic message. Unfortunately, Tim Geithner had no intention of letting her gain power and Obama had no intention of using his presidential clout to make sure the woman who understood the financial plight of we the people had any.
From Confidence Men, the book that sent the White House into swift damage control, by Ron Suskind:
“… Only those in his inner circle at Treasury, though, can read what’s behind that expression: a string of private efforts across the past year to neutralize Warren. The previous fall, Geithner huddled with top aides to develop what one called an “Elizabeth Warren strategy,” a plan to engage with the firebrand reformer that would render her politically inert. He never worked out a viable strategy–a way to meet with Warren without drawing undesirable comparisons–and so, like the president, he didn’t.
What the Treasury Department did do, unbeknownst to Warren, was embrace demands from the banking industry to create a bureau under the condition that Warren would not be allowed to lead it. [...] The industry managed to get the proposed agency shrunk into a bureau that would live under the auspices of the Federal Reserve…
It may seem like all of the events currently swirling are unrelated and happening separately, but as days and weeks pass there is a common thread running through them all and it’s not going away.
After-tax income for the highest-income households grew more than it did for any other group. (After-tax income is income after federal taxes have been deducted and government transfers—which are payments to people through such programs as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance—have been added.)
CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by:
- 275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
- 65 percent for the next 19 percent,
- Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
- 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.
The title to this piece has been changed.