Tags: Moore | Obama | poverty | ideology

Stephen Moore: Obama Has It All Wrong on Poverty

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 06:00 AM

Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, isn't too impressed with President Obama's approach to poverty.

"Our class warrior in chief was at it again [last] week, complaining about our 'ideological divides that have prevented us from making progress' in solving problems like poverty," Moore writes in The Washington Times.

"Just when you thought you'd heard it all. Our most ideological president perhaps ever is arguing that there is too much ideology in Washington. Wow. Apparently, an ideology is a firmly held belief that is held by other people — especially those on the right.

Obama attributed the slow growth of the economy and wages to everything from Ayn Rand to California's Proposition 13, a property tax reduction passed in 1978.

In Obama's eyes, "everything has contributed to our current malaise except for his own failed policies," Moore says.

"The original purpose of the welfare state was to lift people into self-sufficiency, not to create a permanent underclass dependent on taxpayers. LBJ told us when he started these programs that 'the days of the dole are numbered.' We have passed Day 18,000."

Meanwhile, Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University offers several solutions to growing income inequality in his new book, "The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them," which was excerpted on Yahoo Finance.
  • Tax Reform. The idea should be for "those at the top pay at least the same share" of their income as everyone else does, Stiglitz says. Tax provisions that weaken the economy and create more inequality should be eliminated.
  • Structural economic reform. It is "the way our economy works that creates this inequality," Stiglitz says, citing "ineffective and ineffectively enforced" antitrust and corporate governance laws that favor the wealthy. That leaves "less for investment, less for wages," Stiglitz writes.
  • Equal access to education. "We spend more even in the public school on the children of the rich than we do the poor," he notes. "We are transmitting advantages and disadvantages across generations, and that is the most important factor in creating this inequality of opportunity."
Interestingly enough, while Americans are concerned with the growth of income inequality, they aren't blaming it on the wealthy.

"You might expect more and more people to conclude that it's time to soak the rich," writes New York Times columnist Neil Irwin.

"Here's a puzzle, though: over the last several decades, close to the opposite has happened. . . . Americans' desire to soak the rich has diminished even as the rich have more wealth available that could, theoretically, be soaked."

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Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, isn't too impressed with President Obama's approach to poverty.
Moore, Obama, poverty, ideology
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 06:00 AM
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