Guest Post: President Obama On Inequality - Rhetoric Vs. Reality

Tyler Durden's picture

As we noted previously,

The last time the top 10% of the US income distribution had such a large proportion of the entire nation's income was the 1920s - a period that culminated in the Great Depression and a collapse in that exuberance. John Taylor explains in his recent WSJ Op-Ed, using this as a lever for Obama's "middle-out" policies - higher tax rates, more intrusive regulations, more targeted fiscal policies - will not revive the economy. More likely they will perpetuate the weak economy we have and cause real incomes—including for those in the middle—to continue to stagnate.

Perhaps it is time to look at the rhetoric relative to the reality...

Submitted by Randall Holcombe via The Circle Bastiat Mises Economic Blog,

President Obama has recently promoted inequality as a fundamental threat to our way of life, saying, “The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe.”  You can read the rhetoric here.  Let’s look at the reality.


The president suggested policy initiatives to address these issues, so presumably, the president’s policies can make a difference.  What has he done so far?


He has presided over corporate bailouts, not only declaring the Wall Street banks too big to fail, while a multitude of small businesses did fail, his policies continue to support the banking industry through low interest rates and the payment of interest on reserves held at the Fed. Banks holding bad mortgages were bailed out while individual homeowners were evicted from their homes.


While the president does not directly determine Fed policy, Bernanke was all-in on the president’s agenda, and now the president has appointed Janet Yellen as Fed chair because she supports a continuation of those policies.


The low interest rate policy has hurt small savers, who tend to keep their savings in fixed-interest assets, but has propped up the stock market where the wealthier tend to invest.


The president’s support for extended unemployment benefits has taken away some of the incentive for people to find work, which is the best way to escape poverty.


After campaigning against them, the president worked hard to preserve the “Bush tax cuts,” with ultimately just a small increase in rates for the highest-income individuals.

Then there is Obamacare, which provides financial incentives for employers to convert full-time jobs to part-time jobs to avoid the health insurance penalties, further eroding opportunities for those at the bottom of the income scale.


What has been the effect of the president’s economic policies?  The unemployment rate remains high, at 6.7%, and long-term unemployment has spiked to its highest level in history, largely because of the extended unemployment benefits. The labor force participation rate has fallen from 66% in 2008 to below 63% today, so fewer people are even looking for the jobs that could help them escape poverty.


In 2008 13.2% of Americans fell below the official poverty line.  By 2012 the poverty rate was 15%.  The president’s policies have increased poverty.


How about the rich?  The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which hovered around 8,000 when the president took office in 2009 has more than doubled to top 16,000 today.


Despite the rhetoric, the reality is that the president’s policies have created more inequality.  They have hurt the poor, but Wall Street has done well.

The numbers do not lie...(as we noted previously):

in the past year, the poorest 23.3 million Americans earned 36% less than the richest 2,915 Americans (and less than twice more than the richest 166). Needless to say, this excludes wealth from capital and asset appreciation, usually a benefit reserved exclusively for the latter; it also excludes the amount of taxes paid by either of these two income extremes.

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ArkansasAngie's picture

We have a political problem.

I personally have seen more anger amongst the broad swipe of folks I speak to.  

TeamDepends's picture

Of course he wants to redistribute your wealth, he's a socialist!

booboo's picture

I would have to say that this is actually one thing that Oblame is good at doing. He was a community organizer and spent a few years on the circuit riding from church to church building animosity against the haves and spreading government largess around to the noisy preachers that could muster the troops. What he would never devulge or blacks refused to recognize was that Oblame was a "Have" and really was nothing more then a plantation owner field boss, as in "old nate, he's a good nigger and keeps the pickers heads down pickin cotton and not whining like a cut coon dog.

Ray1968's picture

Anger is one thing Obama and rich liberals fear. That is why he is pro food stamps and hand-outs and very mcuh into gun control.

Nothing is scarier than a hungry mob with guns!

TruthInSunshine's picture

Can we has our Obamafone now, since you've done so good for Massa, UncleTombama?

Headbanger's picture

I want my ObamaGun right now!  MAke it a Ruger GP100 4inch or any Savage, thank you!

CognacAndMencken's picture



Reading the comments section gives me this creepy, time-traveling feeling that I'm on the front porch of some southern plantation, drinking lemonade amongst a bunch of dim-witted, backwater hillbillies who've still got some axe to grind about blacks, slavery and the Civil War. 

Amazing.  Did you guys actually read the above article?  The article blames Obama for NOT being a socialist, for NOT looking out for the little guy.... for catering towards the Wall Street masters, and continuing the same policies that created this gigantic divide of wealth in our nation, despite whatever populist rhetoric comes from his administration.  

You guys are like redneck Pavlov dogs.  You see an article about Obama, and you immediately begin to prattle on about socialism, blacks, slaves...having no idea WTF you're talking about nor what the article said.  

Fucking hillbillies.   



TruthInSunshine's picture

If you weren't so rigid in your interpretation, you might be able to understand that some of the comments (such as mine, for example) have NOTHING inherently to do with race, actually, but speak to (and use metaphors) the "plantation" style economy we now have, where the poor are further disenfranchised with token bribes by the welfare state, and where full bore CronyComradeCapitalism has driven a massive trend in further destroying the middle class/working class, destroying the myth that the America Dream can be achieved by hard work and what one knows rather than government connections and WHO one knows, leading to more of a rich man-poor man society in the U.S. than has existed in MANY decades, with Obama, regardless of his skin color, merely being the latest Installed-Puppet-In-Chief & Tool of the Oligarchy.

Expand your horizons and lose your own rigid paradigm.

I HOPE that you can CHANGE.

ronaldawg's picture

Like they would ever let him on the front porch.... pleeeeeeese.

duo's picture

I AM going to make me a mint julip, though.

Ahhhhh, magnolias....

ronaldawg's picture

Hillbillies are white niggers.  Are you confused?

ArkansasAngie's picture

Well ... since I'm a hillbilly ... 

nmewn's picture

"You guys are like redneck Pavlov dogs.  You see an article about Obama, and you immediately begin to prattle on about socialism, blacks, slaves...having no idea WTF you're talking about nor what the article said."


Did not the soviet elites have their dacha's far removed from the teaming masses of slaves they ruled over? Kinda like four million dollar Hawaiian vacations on the Obama "Inequality Scale", wouldn't you say?

ronaldawg's picture in Sochi?

kchrisc's picture

Try reading and thinking while you're on the porch.

Headbanger's picture

But he's from Kenya!  And he's an insult to all African Americans (including his wife) who believed in such a liar to their race!


Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Barry is a frick'n moron, is make world to laugh at AmeriKa.

Headbanger's picture

Boris is say again unfortunate truth of Amerika. 

Is Boris have Tokarev T33 and like?

TruthInSunshine's picture

Obama, now @ a dismal 39% approval rating (the flip being an equally dismal disapproval rating of 53 percent), has pulled out the race card:

Stuck on Zero's picture

I hate him for his white half.


TruthInSunshine's picture

I despise him and all like him who share the genetic trait of having (and speaking with) a forked tongue.

It's one thing to be a genuinely stupid, hapless, incompetent person; it's infinitely worse to be an intelligent, persistent, pathological liar that is willing to work for those with malicious intent to further one's own economic interests and/or to feed one's addiction to narcissism.

Missiondweller's picture

I see nothing about the guy that tell me he's intelligent. He's getting hi butt whooped in every single foreign policy arena.

Of course its always possible him getting played by the Russians and Iranians is furthering what he really wants but given his massive ego I can't imagine he'd willingly allow himself to be outsmarted to promote a secret agenda. The best explanaition is that he's just clueless.

angel_of_joy's picture

Indeed he is ! But just because this moron keeps talking, it doesn't mean that other people should keep listening. Take a clue from his own wife...

izzee's picture

ever since I saw Django, the Quenton Tarrantino Film, I think of the Samuel Jackson character every time I see or hear the O.

max2205's picture

He has a lot more flexibility after he gets re elected.....whhhAaaaaaa

Tom_333's picture

Interesting. Wonder what the inevitable back-lash will look like? Those days when just rhethoric , duplicity and brinkmanship really doesn´t cut it. The super low rate, hyperleveraged good ole´profit days will have to end. No one knows when or how but come to an end it will.Something for everyone to ponder.

A Lunatic's picture

You want equality do you...?? Lets start with EQUAL treatment under the law you hypocritical asshole........

dexter_morgan's picture

Making CONgress critters and potus have to live by the laws they pass would go a long way towards better, or hopefully, much less legislation and regulation.

Dr. Engali's picture

If Zero had a son he wouldn't look like a pro football player:

Obama: 'I would not let my son play pro football'

Midas's picture

I don't know about that.  I don't think of linebackers when I see Barack, but I sure do when I see Michelle.  Have you seen those shoulders?  Or course you have, she doesn't own any sleeves.

Bearwagon's picture

Well, I feel more reminded of oimplyc swimmers, but that may be because we don't play much football in europe ...

knukles's picture

To paraphrase Vlad the Bad;

If you like your gays/trannies/lesbians/transgendereds, etc, you can keep your gays/trannies/lesbians/transgendereds.

Is that supposed to make us feel good?

ronaldawg's picture

Obama is not man enuf to have a son.  I hear Moochelle does'nt do doggy.....

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture


We're sending Billy Jean King or Martina Bendover or is it Robert Redford (he sorta looks like an old lesbian) to front the US Olympic team.

Yeah, that'll show old Vlad. Take that bitch! Here's a couple of old rug munchers in your face. Don't mess with the USSA and dick around (no pun intended) with our homos.

Yes, I'm sure Putin will be most impressed with this display of solidarity........barf 

dexter_morgan's picture

she shore is a hansome womin

Shad_ow's picture

They don't have affirmative action for football players but I'd like it if they allow it for Barry.  Let's line him up opposite a couple of NFL defensive lineman and see what happens.  He is a legend in his own mind in everything else, let's try that.

Everybodys All American's picture

No need to worry. It's laughable to think this no talent chump would have a kid good enough to play pro football. If you have ever seen Zero throw a baseball or shoot a basketball you would know why I say this.

kralizec's picture

If Obama had a son he'd be sporting tights and a tutu.

pupdog1's picture

Pro football players work hard.

Bearwagon's picture

Forward socialism! (For the banks, that is ...)

MFLTucson's picture

Yes he is a fraud ...what’s the big surprise?

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

And just this morning he posited his approval ratings are in the toilet due latent YT rascism. Apparently the same ones that drank the multicult Kool Aid and elected him - twice no less.

So now he's pulled the 'inequality' and the 'race' card. We must be getting close to match point.

What a feckin' clown. But if your a communist, muslim homosexual it would be difficult not to be confused.


q99x2's picture

Don't waste time analyzing the Totos' Toti's I mean his words. Mans an imbecile. His handlers have purposely put his life in jeopardy and he is now running scared. He's about to be arrested and is turning to drugs, alcohol and tobacco again. Why doesn't he roll it up and get his sorry ass into rehab?

lex parsimoniae's picture

oh the possibilities!

echoing another post here.. does anyone give a rat's ass what this moron Barry says? seems completely irrelevant to almost everyone, even his typical shills.

Heroic Couplet's picture

When I see "Obama," I just substitute "Rothschilds."