President Obama has pivoted to income inequality. In recent days, it has become the administration’s new mantra, and the president is expected to make the gap between rich and poor the centerpiece of his 2014 State of the Union Speech. For a president who promised to “fundamentally transform” America, this new focus should come as no surprise. The real question is whether conservatives will respond on this issue and, if so, what approach should we take?
There is evidence of a widening gap between the wealthiest in poorest. The dirty little secret you won’t hear from the president and his admirers is that the income gap has widened faster on his watch than it has under any president going back to George H. W. Bush. The disparity between the nation’s highest earners and its lowest ones is wider now than at any point since 1947. This is not a manufactured crisis, but the “solutions” that the president is likely to support have historically only made the problem worse.
President Obama and his media cronies are prepared to bludgeon the American public with an onslaught of propaganda and proposals on this issue. If conservatives don’t respond, and do so correctly, we may face seeing hopeful 2014 midterm prospects turn less so. Here are some ideas on how to respond.
1. Identify the Real Problem – Contrary to what the president says, the problem is not that the rich make too much, it’s that the poor make too little. That’s because there are too few jobs available, and the jobs that are available don’t pay as well because employers have to shift money to pay other costs created by government regulations. Conservatives must place the blame where it rightly belongs: President Obama and liberal policies.
2. Focus on the Little Guy – Let the president wring his hands and decry the wealthy, many of whom (Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood) are his biggest donors and best pals. We conservatives should focus helping average Americans accomplish their financial goals. A lot of folks are ready to put forth the effort, they just can’t overcome the barriers to their that have been erected . Let’s call on the president to tear down the wall that blocks economic mobility in this country, a wall largely created by government.
3. Remain Positive – As the president’s pronouncements tend toward the negative and divisive, it’s natural to want to respond in kind. While I think we should point out the logical inconsistencies and poor performance of his proposals, we should offer people the hope of what their lives and our country can once again be. We must pass along to them our confidence in the ideals of our country and our belief in the power of free-market capitalism to open the door to economic advancement. If President Obama proved one thing, it’s that hope sells. Let’s offer them a better brand of hope with proven track record of working.