Throughout the debt ceiling debates, President Obama appeared on national television numerous times attempting to shift blame for the country’s pending economic doom on Republican fat cats and corporate jet owners. As the debt crisis went on, the president’s approval numbers hit record lows, despite numerous attempts to make himself clear. The financial crisis wasn’t because the country was spending more than it was taking in, it was because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (read: it’s still Bush’s fault). Our record deficit isn’t because entitlement spending is over 10 percent of our GDP and growing rapidly; it’s because the rich aren’t paying their fair share.
In the Wall Street Journal last week, Senator Bernie Sanders started off an opinion piece by saying, “The rich are getting richer.” Despite the fact the top 25 percent of income earners pay 85 percent of the federal income bill, the president and his progressive allies wanted more.
The media and celebrity culture offered a helping hand to the narrative. Numerous celebrities stated their willingness to be taxed at a higher rate themselves. (The Treasury Department is still waiting for their donations.) Despite these continued efforts to demonize the rich to avert attention from the debt crisis by the liberal-dominated media and Hollywood crowd, Americans weren’t buying it. Before the debt deal was signed, Gallup released a poll indicating 50 percent of Americans wanted a solution with only or mostly spending cuts, while only 11 percent favored a solution with only or mostly tax increases.
Shortly after signing the debt deal yesterday, the president again called for the “wealthiest Americans and richest corporations” to pay more. In the wake of the progressives’ disappointment about the agreement, the Obama administration is struggling to reinvigorate the left-wing base as fundraising numbers continue to fall short of expectations. Expect more instances of base-riling class warfare language (and coverage in a sympathetic media) in an attempt to regain the buzz from the 2008 campaign–with “Blame the Rich” replacing “Blame Bush” as a key campaign angle.