So here is another installment to how we should be helping undecided voters. I posted one the other day that scrolled away so I'll link it here.
Continuing with my discussion with my cousin-in-law .. I'll refer to this person as "Middle of the Road" Cousin or MRC for short. This is in contrast to MRC's spouse, my cousin, who is the right winger (RWC). Right, we all have these in our family .. no family is so homogenized that they are pure Dems or pure Republicans. They may come close, but marriage can make interesting politics.
Anywho, I got a message today about a Newsday article that focused on VP Biden's quote "the middle class that has been buried these past four years." from October 2 (my birthday by the way, so thanks Joe). The article then focuses on the rate of Americans entering poverty has gone from 14.3% to 15.1%, or 46 million Americans which is the largest total since the Census began in 1959.
My reply to my MRC is below (with slight edits to save the innocent and improve the flow).
On Biden's "gaffe" .. um, this is another line taken way out of context.
I assume you got it from this Newsday article? This article which then goes on to about poverty rates. Which wasn't what the VP was talking about.
In the speech, VP Biden was talking about the Romney tax plan and said “How they can justify … raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years?“ .. here's a link with a little more info.
And this is a bit of a gaffe because it leaves the Romeny team some room to play with meaning .. and they did that. But soon after VP Biden made his words more clear, making it known that he is talking about the policies that Romney and Ryan supported that buries the middle class.
So why hasn't this changed under Pres. Obama? First off, what Romney and Ryan propose is a very similar plan as we had under Bush. The same plan that left us with a large deficit and a very weak economy. R&R don't give a lot of details about their plan (they say they will after they are elected), so when the Tax Policy Center did their independent analysis of what we know, they said there would be a $5 trillion tax cut over 10 years, mostly going to the upper-class .. I believe their cut would be 3.8% or something, while the middle class would end up paying about 1% more .. or $2000/year. I might be off on some numbers because I'm doing this from memory.
The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts which gave us a large part of the deficit we now have, were due to sunset in 2010. But it was clear that given the make-up in congress (not all dems agree, while all GOP members do) that letting the tax cuts sunset on the upper 1% was not going to pass. And since the house was going to switch hands after the 2010 election (a lot of what I'm talking about happened during the lame duck session of 2010) the president was a bit limited in what he was going to argue for. So the deal to get some of the things he wanted came at the expense of letting the Bush tax plan continue as is for another 2 years or so. So the lower taxes (compared to Clinton era) have remained for the upper class and it has not helped grow the economy. It has been other measures like the stimulus which have helped.
As for the rate entering poverty going from 14.3% to 15.1% ... any increase is not a good thing. But there are many reasons as to why the numbers have been on the rise .. One is certainly this recession, it is simply the largest one since the Great Depression .. so I'm a little surprised the poverty rate only rose 0.8%. I found this article on the Huffington Post that says lists "changes in the economy such as globalization, automation, outsourcing, immigration, and less unionization that have pushed median household income lower". I found this an interesting article from July that discusses this very issue.
UPDATE: I have now helped 2 undecided voters to vote for Obama .. a grade school friend and her sister.