Guest Commentary: Obama’s White Collar Recovery

September 5, 2013
McNULTY:  Because of Barack Obama's economic policies, the rich are getting richer and middle class Americans are losing ground

McNULTY: Because of Barack Obama’s economic policies, the rich are getting richer and middle class Americans are losing ground

One of the dirty little secrets in the Obama White House is that blue collar, middle class Americans are getting hammered, realizing none of the supposed economic recovery.  In fact, middle class Americans are getting slammed as bad — maybe worse — today than they did when the economy first went south a few years ago. 

Because of Barack Obama’s economic policies, the rich are getting richer and blue collar, middle class Americans are losing ground when it comes to annual household incomes.

Hours for part-time workers are being cut as a direct result of Obama’s policies — and full-time work is harder to find because the Obama Administration has made it too risky for employers to offer full-time work.

None of this, of course, affects the “one-percenters,” whom Obama is so quick to blame and demagogue.  But fewer part-time shifts and less full-time work hit middle class Americans really, really hard as those of us 99-percenters try to make ends meet.

The finger for the planned extinction of the American middle class need only be pointed in the direction of President Barack Obama and his liberal buddies in the U.S. Senate.

Even liberal groups like the National Employment Law Project have been forced to admit that a majority of the jobs lost during in the Obama economy have been lost in the “midrange” of wages.  In contrast, the jobs created by the Obama economy have been “low paying,” according to the survey.

The conclusion reached by the liberal NELP is that America is experiencing a “good jobs” deficit, and, in the opinion of NELP, the good jobs deficit, is, of course, completely unrelated to President Obama’s economic and regulatory policies.

Compare the plight in the Obama economy of middle class Americans to the remarkable economic fortune that Obama’s white collar recovery has brought to our nation’s “one-percenters.”

According to a UC-Berkeley paper as reported by Paula Dwyer of, average per family income dropped 17% from 2007-2009, the largest two year drop since the Great Depression.  Average income for the “bottom” 99% fell by almost 12 percent, effectively erasing the economic gains realized by us normal folk from 2002 to 2007.

The top one percent saw their incomes grow by 11.2% from 2009 to 2011, while everyone else saw their average incomes shrink by 0.4%.

I am in no way criticizing Americans who have been able to increase their earning power under the Obama economy.  Personal freedom and economic success is a connection that is nearly distinctly American.  I am, however, highlighting the fundamental misunderstanding of what policies are more likely to grow a strong American middle class.

The fact is this.  Under the progressively liberal policies of President Barack Obama and Democrats in the U.S. Senate, the rich are getting richer, and middle class families are getting hammered.

According to a Pew study released earlier this year, between 2009 and 2011, average net worth declined for 93% of American households.  During this same time, the richest 7% of Americans realized a 28% increase in their net worth.

Here in Colorado, the news isn’t any better.  Our economic recovery has been stagnant…and, now, may be moving in the wrong direction…again.  For the second straight month, Colorado’s unemployment rate rose, reaching 7.1%…again.  And the same types of failed progressively liberal economic policies are being trotted out by Colorado Democrats…again.

What’s left of the American middle class deserves to know the facts.  And middle class Americans deserve to be heard.  Picking up an extra shift to make a little extra money is hard work.  Under the Obama economy, honest, hard-working middle class Americans aren’t even able to pick up that extra shift.  Under the Obama economy, the rich are getting richer and the American middle class is getting hammered.

Rep. Frank McNulty was Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives for the 68th General Assembly.  He represents Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

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