Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Memo to President: You’ve Lost the Middle Class

Dear Mr. President:

Good luck on your State of the Union address tonight. You may need it.

Oh, I know you’ve had a bump in your approval lately, from 41% to 45% approval overall. I know the economy has rebounded lately, with a 3.5% GDP growth rate in the last quarter. I know you are a master at shifting blame to Republicans not to your policies. And I applaud your message that you want to rescue the middle class.

But let’s be honest. You’ve lost the middle class.

The middle class judges politics by results, not rhetoric, No matter who sweet you sound, only 49% of Americans believe the economy improved in 2014, only 37% approve of your foreign policy, 80 % want you to create jobs, 75% want you to defeat the Islamic State, 50% want you fix the health care law, and only 31% think you’re headed in the right direction (latest WSJ. NBC News Poll).

The middle class, the great large majority in this country, is floundering with loss of income, declining net worth, wage growth, and diminishing hope. They want change, and it shows in the voting choices. Since your administration started in 2008, the Senate have gone from 57 Democrats and 2 friendly independents, to 44 Democrats and 2 friendly independents; the House from 257 Democrats to 188 Democrats; and your party now holds only 18 of 50 governorships, and 30 of 68 state legislative chambers.

You can’t ignore these number, Mr. President. You are losing, big time. And be mindful. You said the midterms were about your policies.

These numbers are not good signs, Mr. President. Working-class, middle class America no longer buys into your redistribution schemes. They are skewed toward the upper and lower classes. These schemes have produced the greatest income inequality in history. Keynesian schemes with government stimuli and grand social welfare schemes don’t work, if they ever did. The private economy and free enterprise, not government control and regulations, create jobs.

You have another problem as well, Mr. President. Americans believe in economic strength at home, and military and diplomatic strength abroad. They believe in patriotism and leading from in front not from behind.

Current consumer behavior reflects these beliefs. “American Sniper,” based on the memoir of a deadly sniper in Iraq, is drawing huge crowds in conservative smaller cities in middle America, in fly-over country, but not in the largely liberal big cities of the East and West Coast.

Mr. President, there is a revolt going on out there among pragmatic middle class Americans, who believe in America’s fundamental values. Pay attention, Nr. President, to the broad middle of the country – and their geographic, economic, and cultural beliefs. They are trying to tell you something, and it may not be what you want to hear – that middle Americans believe in self-sufficiency not government-dependency, in making room for the upwardly mobile middle class, not in lowering the boom on the successful upper class.

No comments: