Last week, one of the Republican Party’s young stars, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), spoke at the Heritage Foundation and gave forth his vision of America and what we need to do today to restore our vitality.
Listening to Ryan, I’m reminded of the late, great Congressman Jack Kemp, for whom he once worked. He talks about America as an “opportunity” society, driven by the ideals of individual freedom, limited government, traditional values, and free enterprise.
To sum up his working hypotheses: These are the values that made America great. Our economic machine is sputtering today as result of departure from these values. Today’s task is to restore them and get America growing again, which will benefit everyone.
Ryan contrasts this individual-centered, bottom-up, principles driven vision, with the take on things of our current administration. They believe everything starts in Washington, and that they can design, create, and finance with taxpayers’ money, a prosperous, just America.
But our president has had three years to work his liberal experiment, with economic recovery barely discernible today, and recent Gallup polling showing only 13 percent of Americans satisfied with how things are going.
So now, as Ryan points out, without a platform of success to run on, President Obama has opted for a strategy of class warfare.
A favorite theme being used to stroke this class warfare strategy is the alleged growing income gaps in the nation. According to this refrain, the rich are getting richer while incomes at the lower end of the spectrum stagnate.
Immediately following Ryan’s speech at Heritage, an attack piece appeared in New York Magazine by Jonathan Chait, entitled “The Ideological Fantasies of Inequality Deniers.”
President Obama has no less affection for freedom and economic success than does Paul Ryan, according to Chait. He just wants to keep the scales in balance by raising taxes on those who have been successful rather than cutting poverty and welfare programs.
In Chait’s words, “…..it was a lot easier for poor people to move up sixty years ago, when tax rates on the rich happened to be far higher, than it is today.”
Economist/blogger Mark Perry recently published data in which he crunched numbers from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to show demographic differences between low income and high income households.
Breaking down average household incomes from the lowest fifth to the highest fifth, Perry shows with clarity that as household income increases, the incidence of marriage, more education, and more working individuals per household increases.