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Don’t ask me why, but I am one of millions of Americans who gets nearly daily emails from Michelle Obama urging donations for the Democratic Party.
It’s not exactly targeted marketing.
As of this writing, the latest has the following subject line: “Barack needs you, right now.”
They all convey a sense of urgency. Here’s the gist of the pitch her copywriting geniuses have come up with.
“There’s a lot of noise and talk back-and-forth going on in Washington, but hardly any of it seems to be about the struggles that middle-class families face.”
First of all, for someone shilling for a Democratic president and the Democratic Party, which controls the White House and Senate, this seems like a strange statement. But the Obamas continue, after five years in power, to pretend to be outsiders in Washington. It’s a must. No one would want to associate themselves with what actually goes on there – nor, worse yet, suggest they actually set the agenda.
But, I digress. Here’s what we call in the news business the real “nut paragraph.”
“When I was growing up, a family like mine – living on my hard-working father’s salary at a city water plant – could build a solid life without much debt and without relying on any form of public assistance. Today, for too many families, that American promise is no longer within reach.”
First of all, that’s an odd statement from someone who said she had never been proud of America until her husband won the Democratic presidential nomination. It sounds like life was pretty good for Michelle Obama in the 1970s. It was pretty good for middle-class families across the board, in fact. So why was she so angry with America for all those years?
But the question that struck me after reading her statement was: “Whom does Michelle Obama blame for this deterioration in the standard of living of so many Americans?”
She goes on to say: “Barack is working to fix that, to give all families a fair shot. And he needs solid Democrats in Congress to help him.”
That, of course, suggests her answer to the key question is that Republicans are to blame for the declining standard of living of so many Americans and the fact that more are on the dole than ever before.
But is that the truth?
It was the Democratic Party that championed the notion that having both spouses working would raise the standard of living for families. Children could and probably should be raised by others more economically and properly. For their own good, women should get out into the workplace and stay there. But there were consequences to this utopian ideal. Divorce skyrocketed, especially in the 1970s, Michelle Obama’s formative years. Government made it easier than ever to break up homes for any reason or no reason whatsoever. There’s probably no stronger link with poverty in America today than single motherhood.
The notion that two-income working families would propel Americans to new levels of prosperity was also a lie. It simply resulted in inflation and less free time for family time, more stress and the drive for more two-income-earning families.
At the same time, it was the Democratic Party that championed, beginning in earnest with Franklin D. Roosevelt and later, on steroids, with Lyndon Baines Johnson, entitlement programs. The promise was that a war on poverty would do what Jesus said would never be done – eliminate poverty. Of course, it didn’t. Instead, it resulted in more dependence on government and more poverty – despite ever-increasing taxpayer support for the expansion of those programs.
Democrats also championed higher taxes and more government regulations on businesses, driving many of them overseas or out of business. They weren’t alone, of course. Many Republicans, like Richard Nixon, went along with these ideas for their own reasons. But they were indisputably Democratic Party ideas.
The results have been in for some time. Americans are less self-reliant than ever before. It is harder for families to make it than it was in the 1960s and 1970s when these utopian ideas took hold for good.
Let me give you some startling statistics from the inflation calculator that purports to measure buying power over time. I don’t know about the accuracy of this measurement, but, as someone who has been around 10 years longer than Michelle Obama, I can tell you it’s in the ballpark.
- An item that cost $20 in 1965 would cost $471.73 today. Ouch!
- An item that cost $100 in 1975, when Michelle Obama was 10 years old, would cost $434.02 today, according to the calculator. No wonder her family could get along on one salary!
- An item that cost $500 in 1985 would cost $1,085.06 today.
- An item that cost $1,000 in 1995 would cost $1,531.18 today. That’s how inflation eats away at your buying power.
And the trend is getting worse, as Michelle’s husband, who opposed raising the debt limit on government borrowing as a U.S. senator, now says it is unthinkable that government should be bound by any limit.
Do you know what a gallon of gasoline cost in 1965? You better sit down! It cost 31 cents.
Now why is gasoline so expensive today? One of the reasons is because Obama wants energy prices to rise. He has said so. His energy secretary said so. And this is one campaign promise he has kept. He has prevented drilling in every way he can – even while squandering billions on pet projects by his campaign donors for alternative energy businesses that have not produced a single kilowatt of electricity.
The federal government taxes a gallon of gasoline more than it cost in 1965. Maybe that’s one of the many reasons Michelle Obama’s dad was able to supporter her family comfortably as the sole household breadwinner.
The national debt now stands at an incomprehensible $17 trillion. How much is that? If you didn’t increase the debt at all and paid down the debt $1 million a day, it would take 1,000 years to reduce it to zero. What’s Obama’s answer? Keep borrowing more than a trillion dollars a year.
Do you believe Barack and Michelle Obama and the Democrats have a clue about how to make life better for the middle class in America?
Michelle Obama is right about one thing: “There’s a lot of noise and talk back-and-forth going on in Washington, but hardly any of it seems to be about the struggles that middle-class families face.”
So what’s the plan, Michelle? Keep doing what Democrats have been doing for the last 50 years? How’s that working out for you?