- About Tom
If you happened to catch President Obama's State of the Union address this past Tuesday, you would have heard a lot about "middle class economics." The president is now calling his plan for higher taxes, more bureaucracy and more Washington spending "middle class economics." But as the past six years have shown, those sorts of economic policies have actually created a recovery that has been particularly lousy for America's middle class.
As I explained in a Friday op-ed online at RealClearPolitics.com:
Wages have stagnated; median income is down and GDP growth is worse than any recovery in the modern era. According to the most recent data available from the Federal Reserve, real median household income for the middle fifth of families has fallen by 6 percent since 2010. At the same time, the top ten percent of families have seen their real median household income increase by 2 percent.
The American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks calls this an “asymmetrical recovery.” Under President Obama, it is called the new normal. The middle class is getting left out of the nation’s economic recovery.
I go on to discuss specific ways the president's policies have built barriers to economic opportunity – including Obamacare, the regulatory assault on job creators and families as well as the blocking of American energy production.
In the end, though, it is vital that we don't just point out what has failed. We have to focus on advancing positive solutions to these challenges. Thankfully, as I note in my op-ed, that's exactly what Republicans in Congress are focused on:
Our opportunity agenda says that policymakers ought to embrace the can-do attitude of American workers and the creative spirit of entrepreneurs and innovators. That means getting the debt under control by putting forward a balanced budget that allocates tax dollars more effectively and efficiently. It means strengthening and securing vital health and retirement programs that benefit millions of Americans but also represent the overwhelming majority of government spending. It’s reckless and irresponsible to ignore the fact that these programs are on an unsustainable path.
At the same time, we need to reform the tax code so it is simpler and fairer, while streamlining regulations so that Washington stops trying to run our lives and instead focuses on its core responsibilities.
These actions will build the foundation for long-term prosperity, strengthen our communities and enhance the quality of life for more American families. They will empower individuals and build a healthy economy that encourages and rewards innovation, entrepreneurship, optimism, and creativity. With more jobs and increased wages, it will be easier to address our debt challenges, and in the long-term, we will have a healthier economy.
If you have a moment, please check out the entire op-ed by clicking here.
Unfortunately, President Obama has made it clear that his administration is stuck in the past when it comes to thinking about how we solve the tremendous challenges facing our nation. House Republicans are ready to work with the president and Democrats in Congress, but it is past time we moved beyond the same, tired policies of the past that failed to deliver on the president’s promises. We have to focus on unleashing an economy that benefits every American with a government that’s accountable to hard-working taxpayers. We invite the president to join us.