Oklahoma Democrats are attacking legislative Republicans, portraying them as marauders who pilfer middle-class opportunity. Given the Democratic Party's national record, a psychiatrist might see projection (a defense mechanism, operating unconsciously) embedded in that critique.
In recent weeks, Oklahoma Democrats have decried Republican bills as an assault on the poor and middle class. Rep. Emily Virgin, D-Norman, described a measure tweaking eligibility for Oklahoma's Promise scholarships as “another way to limit the upward mobility of Oklahoma families.” In another press release, House Democrats said a bill earmarking some Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds for pro-marriage initiatives was “starving the needy.”
Yet these same Democratic legislators are silent about the fact that under President Barack Obama, their party leader, the rich are getting richer and everyone else is losing ground.
This became obvious when the stock market recently hit a new high. Estimates indicate Americans have regained $16 trillion in wealth lost to the Great Recession. Unfortunately for Democrats, The Associated Press notes that the recovered wealth is mostly “from higher stock prices” and “has been flowing mainly to richer Americans.” The wealthiest 10 percent of households own 80 percent of stocks. And many experts tie the stock market's performance to Federal Reserve actions, including its commitment to extremely low interest rates — which, incidentally, punish middle-class families who save.
In comparison Jeffrey Anderson, writing at The Weekly Standard's website, says real median American household income has dropped 6 percent and $3,168 since March 2009 even as the Dow Jones industrial average has increased roughly 100 percent in real (inflation-adjusted) dollars. And the portion of Americans who are employed has fallen.
So Democrats are reduced to defending their policies based on unrelated (and potentially bubble-induced) investor profits, not broad economic growth.
Somehow, we doubt the poor and middle class find being name-dropped in Democratic press releases an acceptable substitute for job opportunities and higher wages.