It seems likely now that the Democratic Party will be using income inequality as a wedge issue in the 2014 mid-term election, but, as I explain in a column at e21, conservatives have serious proposals for dealing with poverty and inequality, and should welcome a debate on these issues in the coming election.
The battle lines in this emerging debate are becoming visible over the extension of long-term unemployment benefits and raising the federal minimum wage requirement. Much like the 2012 presidential contest, the president and his allies want to advance proposals that poll very well and which many Republicans oppose for principled reasons in an attempt to paint GOP candidates as insensitive to the plight of those struggling in today’s still sluggish economy.
But this latest embrace of economic populism by the president is not a dead-certain political winner. After all, President Obama has been in office for five years, and Mitt Romney is not on the ballot this year. Like it or not, today’s economy should rightfully be considered the Obama economy, not the Bush economy or the Republican economy. The president may want to assume the pose of an innocent bystander to today’s economic conditions, but attempts to blame his political opponents for sluggish growth and the diminished prospects many families now face should be an increasingly hard sell with voters.
You can read the rest of the column at e21.