Throughout history we've never seen a transfer of wealth from rich to poor lift people out of poverty. Instead, we've seen the free market and commerce lift people out of poverty. Liberals have always portrayed this idea that there's only a certain amount of wealth in the United States (and the world) and that people are poor because the rich people at the top are hoarding all of the money. This isn't true. There isn't a ceiling on the amount of wealth that can be created through the free market and commerce. There is a ceiling on wealth redistribution and government handout aka taking from "the rich" and giving to the poor.
Earlier this month in an effort to shift attention away from the Obamacare rollout, President Obama pivoted back to something he does best: promoting class warfare under the guise of caring about equality. Liberals claim to care about the poor, but the harsh reality is that Democrats have been in control of the poorest parts of the country for 50 years and very little has changed.
Over the weekend, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich made this point as former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich tried to pin an increase in poverty under Obama on Republicans.
"Every major city which is a center of poverty is run by Democrats. Every major city. Their policies failed, they're not willing to admit it and the fact is it's the poor who suffer from bad government," Gingrich said.
Under Barack Obama, we've seen the largest deficit between the rich and poor in the United States since the Census Bureau started keeping data on the wealth gap. As Investor's Business Daily recently pointed out in an editorial, Obama (and his defenders) is complaining about the income gap after significantly widening it while failing to acknowledge his wealth redistribution policies aren't working to bring poor people into the middle class.
The president has been decrying the growing gap between rich and poor in the U.S. to help sell his retread tax-and-spend proposals. But those policies have already produced record levels of income inequality.
In his speech in Illinois last week, and at events since, Obama described income inequality in the starkest terms. "This growing inequality is morally wrong," he said, and "undermines the very essence of America."
And Obama's latest focus neatly coincides with his plans to push for more federal spending and taxes on the "rich" in coming budget battles.
But what Obama conveniently leaves out of his sermons is that income inequality has grown faster on his watch than any time in the past two decades, at least.
Research by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez shows that since the Obama recovery started in June 2009, the average income of the top 1% grew 11.2% in real terms through 2011.
The bottom 99%, in contrast, saw their incomes shrink by 0.4%.
As a result, 121% of the gains in real income during Obama's recovery have gone to the top 1%. By comparison, the top 1% captured 65% of income gains during the Bush expansion of 2002-07, and 45% of the gains under Clinton's expansion in the 1990s.
The Census Bureau's official measure of income inequality — called the Gini index — shows similar results. During the Bush years, the index was flat overall — finishing in 2008 exactly where it started in 2001.
It's gone up each year since Obama has been president and now stands at all-time highs.
As the largest wealth redistribution in America continues through Obamacare, we can expect the gap between rich and poor to get bigger, not smaller as liberals continue to beat their bogus "income equality" drum that has kept the people they claim to care about in poverty for decades.
A previous version of this post read Ronald Reich as Clinton's labor secretary, Robert Reich is correct and the post has been updated.