President Obama’s campaign speech on the economy today was an utter disaster for him. It was a bromide of tired old arguments, pathetic blame-placing, and shopworn con tricks. And even liberals like Jonathan Alter had to admit that it was, overall, a dramatic failure.
But Obama wasn’t close to done. He suggested that the Bush economic policies only helped the top 1 percent – even though as Robert Reich has pointed out, “The top 1 percent got 45 percent of Clinton-era economic growth, and 65 percent of the economic growth during the Bush era. According to an analysis of tax returns by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, the top 1 percent pocketed 93 percent of the gains in 2010. 37 percent of the gains went to the top one-tenth of one percent. No one below the richest 10 percent saw any gain at all.” It is Obama’s economic policies that have benefitted the top 1 percent at the expense of everyone else.