Democrats' War on the Middle Class

If you didn’t see enough Hail Mary passes in week one of the NFL season, look no further than to the White House and congressional Democrats who are hoping that a desperate Hail Mary, in the form of a supposed “middle-class tax cut,” will grant them a reprieve from a widely predicted Election Day drubbing.

This strategy is both curious and misleading, especially considering that these same officials, who claim to be concerned about the middle class, are the ones piling on higher costs and more tax burdens to the already weary middle class.

Up until now, the Democrats’ legislative wish list has included a failed economic stimulus plan which has caused unparalleled increases in the national debt, crippling new taxes on American energy, an extended moratorium on domestic energy exploration, and an unprecedented explosion in government control of our healthcare. These disastrous policies have rightly caused middle-class Americans to question the President’s dedication to their interests, regardless of the lofty rhetoric he espouses.

Take, for example, the current ban on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, which the Obama Administration has enforced and is up for more debate in Senate hearings this week. The President has ignored calls for a common-sense approach from respected members of his own party and Gulf coast experts.

The chairwoman of the Senate Small Business Committee, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.-La.), said an extended drilling moratorium would cause “a substantial loss of jobs—jobs that may not return to the Gulf for years.”

By enforcing the extension of a needless ban on U.S. energy production, the Obama Administration will reduce domestic oil production by 82,000 barrels per day in 2011. This will undoubtedly raise energy prices for working families across the country while also eliminating thousands of needed (and highly-paid) energy-related jobs.

Another attack on the middle class came with so-called “cap-and-trade” national energy tax legislation, which the House passed by a razor thin margin last year. Analysis from the Heritage Foundation found that the bill would increase energy costs for a family of four by $829 while causing gasoline prices to soar by 58% and household electrical rates to increase by 90%. The middle-class families that President Obama seeks to help cannot afford these huge new burdens.

For more examples, take a look at the President’s $800 billion stimulus package. Billed as a way to create 3.5 million jobs and keep unemployment below 8%, the “stimulus” will actually cost every American household an additional $8,172 over the coming years. Not to mention, it has also failed to improve unemployment rates or create anything close to 3.5 million jobs.

Now, as if the first stimulus was not enough of a failure, the President is now floating a second (or is it third, or fourth?) stimulus package, which will be paid for by job-killing tax increases on the American energy industry. These taxes will impact the industry’s nine million workers along with the hundreds of millions of Americans needing low-cost gasoline.

This plan would also increase government spending by another $50 billion on infrastructure programs, despite the fact that the administration’s first stimulus bill already included $48 billion for so-called “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects.

Perhaps the greatest threat to our economic recovery came in the form of the healthcare bill. Passed at a cost of $940 billion, expenses to both small businesses and middle-class Americans are only now emerging. To start, the bill foisted another $8,911 in costs on every household over the next decade—that’s without taking into account potential increases in healthcare costs, losses of coverage, or hikes in insurance premiums.

While consumer confidence, the housing market, and other economic indicators continue to fall, support for bigger government and more spending drops even lower. Job losses, soaring national debt, and a potentially huge increase in the cost of living have Americans (middle class or not) rightfully disgusted with the offensive coordinators of these policies.

Soon enough though, the pain and hardships felt by most Americans will be shared with incumbents who will likely join millions of their former constituents in the unemployment lines when their last Hail Mary pass falls short.