Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

How Romney Can Undercut Obama's Case How Romney Can Undercut Obama's Case

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Blogs

How Romney Can Undercut Obama's Case

April 13, 2012
Matt Stoller had an interesting post on Naked Capitalism the other day noting that, despite Barack Obama's populist rhetoric about restoring the middle class, imposing a gimmicky "Buffett Rule" against millionaires and such, the wealthiest one percent in the country have actually made out better, in percentage terms, during Obama's "recovery" of 2009-2010 than they did from 2002-07 under George W. Bush.

The comparison, based on a paper by one of the best young economists in the country, Emmanuel Saez (winner of the uber-prestigious Clark medal), is a little unfair, since it stacks the last two years up against a five-year period under Bush, and Obama was clearly inheriting a disaster from his predecessor. But the harsh fact is that there is very little that Obama has done--or more precisely, has been able to do given the ideological paralysis in Washington and his own caution--to stop the growing class divide.

This bit from Saez's paper sums it up: "From 2009 to 2010, average real income per family grew by 2.3% but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.2%. Hence, the top 1% captured 93% of the income gains in the first year of recovery." It's an astonishing figure: NEARLY ALL the income in the first year of recovery went to the one percent. As Saez dryly concludes: "Such an uneven recovery can possibly explain the recent public demonstrations against inequality."

You think? Again, this is the biggest "sleeping serpent" issue of this election. The Obama camp yesterday released a video of Romney's more callous and silly remarks from the primary season, including his call to let the mortgage market "hit bottom," but the president is pretty vulnerable on this too.
More Blogs
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Comments
comments powered by Disqus