It doesn’t take long these days for quotable quotes to end up as campaign ads, at least on the Internet. The RNC put together this web ad overnight that exploits the discovery of Barack Obama’s 1998 embrace of redistributionism, effectively pairing it with a December 2011 60 Minutes interview where Obama denied that his policies had anything to do with redistribution at all. It finishes with Mitt Romney’s speech at the Republican national convention, asking why anyone is surprised at the lousy Obama recovery while Obama attacks success:
Steve Kroft asked Obama about the redistribution charge (and the accusation that Obama is a socialist) in the CBS interview, and Obama provided this response:
Kroft asked Obama about his mention of “income inequality” in a speech last week, asking if this doesn’t suggest redistribution of wealth, which is (obviously) code for socialism. “People will say this is socialist Obama,” Kroft challenged. “And he’s come out of the closet.” Obama responded that this is nonsense, that income inequality has nothing to do with socialism. “Everybody’s concerned about inequality,” Obama said. “What’s happened to the bargain? What’s happened to the American deal that says, you know, we are focused on building a strong middle class?”
Just a reminder of the status of the middle class in the Obama recovery:
Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.
From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.
Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.
Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.
This is what happens when we focus on fairness instead of growth.