Income inequality is worse under Obama
The president is getting dangerously close to leaving a legacy of soaring corporate profits and slumping wages.
Americans today are very worried about income inequality.
A Gallup poll this month found that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. The disappointment goes across party lines -- 54 percent of Republicans are dissatisfied, as well as 70 percent of Independents and 75 percent of Democrats.
And a growing number of people are worried that they can no longer get ahead simply by working hard, suggesting that inequality is becoming more entrenched.
As Paul Krugman argues, this gives Obama a pretty strong mandate to focus on reducing inequality.
But of course, income inequality has actually gotten much worse under Obama's watch. In Obama's 2013 inaugural address, he argued that "our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." But during his presidency, this is precisely what has occurred.
U.S. median household income in June 2013 was 4.4 percent below where it was in June 2009, when the recovery began.
Meanwhile, the top one percent of Americans -- those earning above $366,623 a year -- have taken 81 percent of the fruits of the recovery. And the top 0.01 percent -- earning about $8 million a year -- took an astonishing 39 percent of the growth.
Indeed, Obama is getting dangerously close to leaving a legacy of soaring corporate profits and slumping wages; climbing stock prices and high unemployment; and a recovery for the ultra-rich, and not much else for everyone else.
This began during the crisis itself. Both Republicans and Democrats chose to bail out the well-connected financial industry that caused the crisis, but help has been much less forthcoming and transient for the unemployed and a squeezed middle class.
Now none of this is necessarily Obama's fault alone. The trend toward greater income inequality began way before Obama took office; the Great Recession took a deep toll on the 99 percent; and for much of Obama's presidency, his economic proposals have been blocked by an intransigent Congress. Furthermore, Obama has significantly expanded the safety net of the welfare state, a move that at least provides temporary assistance to the poor, but is not a long-term solution to income inequality like stronger job creation.
Still, there's obviously more work to be done. This involves Congress agreeing to ideas that both Republicans and Democrats can embrace, a rather difficult task, but not an impossible one. These could include increasing and extending tax breaks for businesses that hire new workers, the streamlining of costly regulations on small businesses, spending on improving the nation's infrastructure, and raising the minimum wage (surprisingly, yes, Republicans do favor it).
Fortunately for Obama, Congress has recently shown some signs of compromise by finally managing to pass a budget. But whether he can use this new atmosphere of conciliation to ramp up growth and opportunity for the middle class remains to be seen.
More from The Week
- 10 myths that could ruin your retirement
- What most people get wrong about macroeconomics
- The big problem with Candy™ Crush Saga
THEY DO EXIST!!
Take a look and see what happened in Wisconsin since a republican conservative took over!!!!
He has money in reserve and is giving money back to the people in the form of a tax break and unemployment is at a low!
Wake up! Socialist society doesn't work people!
Every promise Obama has made has turned into a travesty for the American people, illegals are doing great, Americans are paying the price.
His healthcare act sucks, his financial plans suck, his leadership sucks, he has no idea what he is doing. He has never submitted a budget in the five years being in office. A budget to operate the government is a vary important tool, and it allows adjustments to pull back funding for abused areas and misused areas of government.
Obama has no idea how to lead, budget, or accomplish his many promises he stated during his campaigns.
He had all the answers now he cant find them.
If you voted for Odumbo, how do you like his "change" so far. I hope all those that voted for Odumbo see the price they will pay today and after he is out of office. But don't forget as you work your butts off, he gets to go to Hawaii and play thousands of dollars of golf at your expense.
When is your next two week vacation to Hawaii?????? LOL enjoy the ride with this idiot.
It is hard for me to believe that there are people who still think Obama is doing a good job for this country. It is really amazing that liberals will shout down any criticism of this totally inept president.
He ran on a platform of lies and is still able to fool a large per centage of the US population. Anyone with any common sense should have been able to see that we are on the brink of economic ruin and yet this idiot was voted back into the White House by imbeciles who would not admit the facts. Only the super rich will survive this fiasco.
rich people do not make others poor. The economic policies of Obama make people poor. When you force working people to pay for the health care of anyone out there who chooses to not work you make them poorer. When you have to sneak taxes and charges into our everyday lives you make us poorer. Telling the uneducated that it's the "rich" who are to blame is just a smoke screen to take their attention away from him. There are two types of Americans who will disagree with me. The uninformed. They just can't believe their government would do anything negative to them. The others are those who no matter what they see will continue to blame rich or republican or just about anyone else for the problems of our country. These people are dead to the intelligent people of this country but we will always have them with us.
I've seen poor people pull themselves up for a better life but I've seen more sit back and live off the crumbs the government gives them. They drank the kool aid.
Just another proof positive item the Osama is by far the worst and most stupid this country has ever had. Get rid of both self-serving parties and start over with the constitution as the footing.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.00. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -0.30. The stock market is on track for a subdued start as futures on the S&P 500 trade within a point of fair value. The S&P 500 futures have maintained a four-point range throughout the night and have largely ignored a modest rally that is taking place in Europe at this time. The divergence should not be too surprising considering U.S. participants are showing some caution ahead of the latest FOMC ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'