December 11, 2013 | Vol.53 N.49

President sends mixed messages

Dear Editor,

President Obama’s new campaign is around what he calls rising income inequality and declining mobility.

The President opined, “average citizens cannot write massive campaign checks and hire high-price lobbyists to secure policy.”, except the President just completed a West Coast Democratic party tour to raise massive campaign checks. He took part in two events in the Seattle area that had $32,400 and $20,000 per plate.

I doubt that the “average citizen” were at these events. I do not criticize having the events but the hypocrisy of the President on what corporations, that do not support the President, spend on campaigns but openly accepts the large donations from the corporations that support his agenda.

Next, the President is saying we have rising income inequality and declining economic mobility, but none of this is true.

IRS data shows the income mobility, which is your income level in society changes dramatically. If we look at households in the bottom 20 percent household earners in 1987 and follow those households till 1996 we will see that about 45 percent of them have moved up in their income level or out of the bottom 20 percent. If we follow them again for 10 more years we find that 40 percent of them moved even higher in their income level.

If we follow the top 20 percent of earners from 1987 for the same duration we find 40 percent of them had fallen to a lower income level (bracket) and in the next ten years another 40 percent had declined in earning level. A look at generations we find that children of the rich from the late 1960s-1970s that their annual incomes (corrected for inflation) was near the same as their parents.

If we look at the data of the children that were born from families in the bottom 20 percent of earners during the same time period that by the year 2000 that 80 percent of them were earning more than double their parents.

These numbers do not take away from the struggles of the poor in our society but do show that there have been more improvements for the poor than the President is willing to admit.

It is unfortunate that the President wants to improve his poll numbers by vilifying financially successful people instead of inspiring our less well-off citizens, especially the youth, to achieve their dreams on their own merits.

 

Todd Welch

Lake Stevens

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