Stuck in the Middle

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren

What is the middle class?  And why does the topic of the middle class seem to rule the political conversation in this country? Why does the middle class seem to be talked about over all other classes?  It’s an interesting thought that if you take the phrase “middle class” out of the political debate, and substitute it with “American people,” it has an astounding affect.

The following is an excerpt from a recent interview of Democrat Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (who recently defeated Republican Scott Brown’s bid for re-election) by CBS news, which can be found here.

“What it’s really about is an America that works again for the middle class, an America that’s about…expanding opportunity,” said Warren, offering herself as an example. “Look at me, I’m the daughter of a maintenance man and a woman who worked the phones at Sears, and I ended up as a professor at Harvard Law School. How’s that happen? It happens because we had good public schools, because America invested in its kids when I was growing up, and I think that’s the kind of thing people want now”

Let’s see what happens when “American people” is substituted for “middle class”:

What it’s really about is an America that works again for the American people, an America that’s about…expanding opportunity,” said Warren, offering herself as an example. “Look at me, I’m the daughter of a maintenance man and a woman who worked the phones at Sears, and I ended up as a professor at Harvard Law School. How’s that happen? It happens because we had good public schools, because America invested in its kids when I was growing up, and I think that’s the kind of thing people want now.”

Pretty extraordinary isn’t it?  When you don’t differentiate between classes of people, you’re bringing all groups into the conversation as a nation, not a class.  I invite you try this experiment whenever a politician uses this term. Especially take note when a Democrat politician uses it, since the Democrats are known for the overuse of this label.

This is one of my favorite definitions of being middle class.

As the article points out, being middle class is earning between $20,000 and $100,000 per household, depending on where you live in the USA. I think it’s safe to say that this range encompasses most American families, so let’s stop defining them as a class of people, when they are the majority of Americans.

As the article illustrates, Romney and Obama both basically defined the middle class as having a ceiling of $200,000 to $250,000 per household.  I believe this is a bit generous, and a bit out of touch. Then again, they’re both RICH men. You already know that Mitt Romney is rich. He has made $42,562,419 in 2010 and 2011, according to his filed tax returns. But did you know that the Obamas have made approximately $10,680,081 in income since 2008.  Surprised? Even President Obama is rich, despite his populist pining, and his posturing that the middle class is always getting the shaft.

Am I faulting these men for being rich? Absolutely not.  The issue is not about them being rich; the issue isn’t about anyone that is rich. The issue is that because of the over-bloated and over-reaching federal government, we, the American people, are all getting the shaft. The bigger government gets, the more we’re losing our freedom. All you have to do is look at the expensive massive bureaucracies and unnecessary mandates imposed on the American people. For an example, just look at the “Affordable” Care Act.

Sad to say, but the plight of the middle class platform is just a ploy for votes.  It sounds good.  It’s a tag line.  No one will bother to research the truth, so whatever comes out of a politician’s mouth becomes fact.  So, let’s stop blaming the rich for being rich.  Let’s get our spending and entitlement programs under control, without raising taxes on anyone. Enough is enough.

If you stop playing this class game, you can see that we’re all on the same side. We can have different ideological ways on what policies are better, but better for all Americans, not a contrived individual group.


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