Mona Charen

Now how is the class to whom the president so frequently panders doing? Jeffrey Anderson of The Weekly Standard looked at Census Bureau data and found that typical American household income has not only dropped during Obama's tenure, but has declined more since the end of the Great Recession than it did during the downturn. Real inflation-adjusted income for the median household fell 1.8 percent during the recession. It fell 4.4 percent during the recovery.

Democrats know only one song and it goes: Let's make more people dependent upon government. They're crooning it vapidly now in anticipation of a Warren candidacy or a Piketty tax in which the treasures of the George Soroses and Warren Buffetts of the world (oh, sorry, my mistake, they're actually drooling over the fortunes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson) will be widely distributed.

But redistribution doesn't bring prosperity. Look around you. Obama has raised taxes on the rich several times (some taxes are buried in Obamacare). In terms of federal dollars, we spend $7 of every $10 on sending checks to the poor and the middle class. Under Obama, the disability rolls have exploded, removing people from the world of work. Labor force participation rates have declined steeply, and while the administration has blamed baby boom retirements, the percentage of adults aged 25-54 in the workforce has declined as well. More than twice as many people have joined the ranks of the disabled under Social Security Disability Insurance as have gotten jobs since 2009. According to the 2012 Social Security trustees report, SSDI may be out of funds as early as 2015.

About 25 percent of the poor in America are working. Only about 2.9 percent work full time. Government largesse can keep people from destitution but it cannot provide a ladder out of poverty. Only jobs can do that.

A Republican Party alert to its own interests, as well as those of the nation, would pick up the cause of the poor that the Democrats have abandoned. Instead of a disability, welfare or unemployment check, they should find a way to offer a job.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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