Does the president know what the middle class is, or when he talks about his new jobs plan is he stumping for something else? His renewed pleas for spending sound like he is talking about families making incomes a lot closer to the poverty line than the $50,502 that defines America’s median,¹ one of the only ways we have to measure the health of the middle because the government doesn’t like to rely on income.
The Commerce Department claims we can’t measure the middle class by earnings, but should instead rely on intangibles:
Members of the middle class tend to be defined more by their values, expectations, and aspirations than their income level although income may constrain the manner in which some of their aspirations can be realized.²
Is this a convenient definition because everyone needs to fall into the same boat? Anyone who isn’t filthy rich or scrabbling in the gutter is middle class.
Repetition is for idiots, but is propaganda a jobs plan?
It’s bad enough to have to keep hearing the same arguments, but now we are hearing the same line in more than one speech:
More chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they’re willing to work for it.3,4
Repetition makes for better propaganda. “Fair shot,” “better bargain,” and remarks about our struggling middle class and not having to work full time and live in poverty5 have nothing to do with saving Middle America. They’re about spending lots of money to pull people into whatever hazy definition of a pretty good life best suits administration spending goals. When the president talks about “Jobs for the Middle Class” and “A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,” what does he mean? He’s talking about a middle class that doesn’t exist yet, something he promises will spring from the ranks of the disadvantaged if we spend enough tax dollars.
A cynical calculation to benefit the Obama underclass.
This is a cynical calculation, a shameless attempt to deceive us by repackaging old spending vehicles as a new take on economic growth that turns out to be just another ploy to finesse bottom-up spending (see: Will States Revolt Against the Obama Underclass?). We’ve heard it before. It doesn’t work.
After the president lumps together the Obama underclass and the lower, middle, and upper middle classes, who is left? The ones he’s targeted to pay for his jobs plan. Isn’t that where he started, way back in 2009?