Victor Davis Hanson

Middle-class taxpayers are most responsible for providing parity in subsidized housing, legal costs, health care and education for those who entered the country illegally, especially once corporate employers have let their undocumented older or injured workers go.

There is a populist twist to new proposed federal gun-control legislation as well. The wealthy or politically influential, who often advocate stricter laws for others, usually take for granted their own expensive security details, many of them armed. In contrast, new gun control initiatives would mostly fall on the law-abiding who hunt and wish to defend their own families and homes with their own legal weapons.

Energy policy has become a boutique issue for the wealthy who push costly wind, solar and biofuels, subsidized mostly by the 53 percent of Americans who actually pay federal income taxes and are most pressed by the full costs of higher fuel, electricity and heating costs.

Yet the best friends of the middle class have been frackers and horizontal drillers taking their own risks on private lands. They -- not the government and not environmentalists that oppose such exploration -- are mostly responsible for the recent drops in gasoline, natural gas and propane costs to the consumer.

The Federal Reserve's policy of quantitative easing and de facto zero interest rates have stampeded investors desperate for even modest returns from the stock market -- to the delight of wealthy Wall Street grandees. The poor are eligible for both debt relief and cheap (and often subsidized) mortgage rates that remain near historic lows.

The real losers are frugal members of the middle class. For the last five years they have received almost no interest on their modest passbook savings accounts. In other words, we are punishing thrift and reminding modest savers that they might have been better off either borrowing or gambling on Wall Street.

In the last election, Republican Mitt Romney was caricatured as a voice of the wealthy pitted against Barack Obama, a redistributionist railing for more subsidies for the poor. But millions of Americans in between are not so worried about capital gains cuts on stock sales, or more food stamps and free phones. And no one is Washington seems to be listening to them.


Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.