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Chriss Street: President Obama Is The Best Friend of the 1%

Contributed by Chriss Street. Specialist in corporate reorganizations and turnarounds, former Chairman of two NYSE listed companies. His latest book, The Third Way, describes how to achieve management excellence and financial reward by moving organizations from Conflict and Confrontation to Leadership and Cooperation. Chriss lives in Newport Beach, CA.

President Obama doesn’t need to campaign for financial support from the highest 1% of income earners, his economic policies have already won their financial backing!  During the Great Recession the top 1% suffered a lower percentage decline in income than during the Bush Recession of 2000 to 2002.  Then during the 2009 to 2010 economic expansion the top 1% captured a staggering 93% of all income gains.  It should not be surprising that President Obama is now on the campaign trail talking about income inequality, this is something that he is good at, having successfully created the worst income inequality in our nation’s history. 

U.C. Berkley economist Emmanuel Saez just published an analysis of the growth of income inequality titled: “Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States”.  The Report illuminates that the top  1% under George Bush’s Presidency suffered 57% of all income losses in the 2001-2002 recession and recovered just 65% of the all the income gains in the 2002-2007 economic boom.  But under leadership of President Obama and his happy band of social  engineers, the ultra-rich suffered a 14% less percentage income loss in the 2007-2009 recession and hit the mother lode by bagging 93% of all the economy’s income gains in the 2009-2010 expnsion.  

In analyzing one of Saez’s charts below, Matt Stoller of the extremely liberal Roosevelt Institute explains Obama’s failure by stating, “It’s not obvious that Obama’s policy framework is worse than Bush’s, only that the outcome is.”  Stoller sums Obama’s grim performance as, “Perhaps it’s a competence issue."  


The American hard Left campaigned against their interpretation of the legacy of George Bush during the 2008 election.  The Left promise that if voters delivered a Presidential victory for Barack Obama and a swept in a filibuster proof Congress, they would launch an epic period of social justice  and income redistribution.  Three and a half years later the results are in.  The only American social class to benefit from this new era of income redistribution is the richest 1%.    

A year and a half ago, the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll of American voters rated Barack Obama a better President than George W. Bush by 23%.  Just six months ago the results were even.  CNN Polling Director, Keating Holland, advises, "Democrats may want to think twice about bringing up former President George W. Bush's name while campaigning this year".  

According to the latest Rasmussen Report’s latest poll, 49% of American voters trust Mitt Romney over Barack Obama on the economy; while only 39% trust the President more.  The Daily Kos recently reminded its readers that Democrats do not have the same overwhelming advantages in this election cycle: "2008 all the GOP Presidential Primary Candidates were under the shadow of George Bush who was polling at around 30%.  The GOP candidates were running on keeping the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq going”.    

With the primaries out of the way, President Obama will now face the prospects of trying to defend his own legacy.  Last time around it was Obama who was battle tested from a bruising primary campaign against Hillary Clinton, when he faced a grizzled war hero, who was 25 years his senior and admitted to being not very knowledgeable about the economy.  This time Obama faces a slim and trim executive, closer to his age and with a great entrepreneurial track record.  Perhaps President Obama’s campaign dilemma is summed up by those road signs in Texas with the smiling and waving George W. Bush: “Do you miss me yet?”

Cross-posted from Chriss Street's blog

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