The Wall Street Journal published a lead editorial on Thursday that responded harshly to President Barack Obama’s new series of economic speeches. “The President called his speech ‘A Better Bargain for the Middle Class,’ but no President has done worse by the middle class in modern times,” the editorial noted.
The article went on to highlight several key areas in which the Obama presidency has harmed middle-class Americans.
The economy has become more unequal under Obama. “For four and a half years, Mr. Obama has focused his policies on reducing inequality rather than increasing growth,” the Journal notes. “The predictable result has been more inequality and less growth.” The rich have done well; the middle class has struggled.
Middle class incomes have fallen under Obama. The Journal points out that median real household income has fallen by 5%–not just since the start of the recession under George W. Bush, but also since the start of the economy recovery in 2009, for which Obama and the Democrats have often claimed sole credit.
The administration has constantly failed to meet promises of faster growth. Contrary to Obama’s cherry-picked statistics in his recent speech, the Journal reminds readers that the Obama recovery is “one of the weakest on record,” despite repeated rosy projections by the White House and the media of fast growth.
Obama has made entitlements are a drag on the middle class. The Journal focuses on ObamaCare, which has hurt job creation and created uncertainty. It could have also mentioned the failing state of Social Security and Medicare, which Obama has failed to reform, and the future cost of Obama’s staggering debt.
Even Obama’s few pro-growth initiatives are not serious. Despite the Journal‘s early, enthusiastic support for immigration reform as an engine for expansion, the authors of the editorial finally admit: “we’re not sure [Obama] wants even that to pass…he may be setting it up to use as a campaign wedge in 2014.”