John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Losing the Middle Class

Posted on October 14, 2009

Losing the Middle Class

Just like the battle of Midway was a turning point for the United States against the Japanese in the Second World War, the key battle for last year’s Presidential campaign was the battle for the middle class.

Candidate Barack Obama decisively beat John McCain in that critical battleground group. He mentioned the middle class in every speech. He promised the middle class a huge tax cut. He promised to ease the anxiety of middle class voters. He accused John McCain of planning to raise taxes on health care plans of middle class voters.

He pounded McCain continually on the middle class, drawing blood time and time again.

McCain, on the other hand, rarely if ever mentioned the middle class. He had no plans to ease middle class anxiety. He let Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber speak to working class Americans, but he never really even talked to the aspirations of middle class voters.

Predictably, candidate Obama did very well with middle class voters, and was able to cruise to a historic election victory.

President Obama, though, dropped the middle class themes of his campaign as he has tried to pass his agenda once he assumed office.

He had largely dropped his plans for a large middle class tax cut.

The Obama cap-and-trade bill that passed the House was seen by middle class voters as a higher tax on their livelihoods.

His health care plan has increased anxiety among middle class voters (most of whom are very satisfied with their health care insurance) that they will be forced to either pay more in premiums, have diminished health care quality, or be forced into a government run health care plan.

That anxiety memorably turned into bitter rage this past August.

And worse, his stimulus plan has done nothing to help the middle class climb out of their financial holes. Job numbers are scary-bad, and will soon be north of ten percent.

Even Ed Schultz, the liberal talk show host, said tonight that when it comes to plans to help small businesses, the President doesn’t have the right team around him. Tim Geithner and his buddies are all doing very well fixing the stock market, but the stock market has yet to put anybody back to work.

Obama’s big problem is that fundamentally, most middle class voters don’t trust him to do the right thing when it comes to their financial futures. They expect him to raise taxes to pay for bigger government. And they know that in the process, they are going to get screwed.

Obama won the middle class during last year’s election, but he is losing them now, and that means his party will suffer a huge loss come next year’s elections.