Breakout

Middle Class vs. the 1%: It’s About to Get Really Ugly

Breakout

Expectations are high leading up to the President Obama's acceptance speech in Charlotte, NC on Thursday evening, as they were last week in Tampa for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. With a campaign slogan like "Forward" you'd think, and hope, the Obama administration has moved past the blame game politics of the last four years, pointing the finger at the Bush administration as the root of all of America's economic problems.

"What you're going to hear is 'we have done everything we could to right the ship, to make sure that we are headed towards recovery. We may not be there yet, but don't change course,'" says Ed Mills, financial policy analyst at FBR Capital Markets. '"If you change course, the people who get the benefit of this recovery are not going to be you, but it is going to be Mitt Romney's pals and the top one-percent."'

And there lies the rhetoric that will pit the middle class against the 1%. Mills points out, it's about to go into overdrive at the DNC. The Democrats will praise President Obama's record by touting the Affordable Care Act, Dodd Frank financial reform, and the Consumer Financial Protection Agency as achievements. He says they'll hit particularly hard on the financial regulation component to create a tough stance on Wall Street, while promoting laws to protect Main Street.

"It's going to be about a clear choice," says Mills. He predicts the tone will be, "we [the Democrats] are the choice of the middle class, Romney is the choice of business and the rich. And if you give him the keys, this is going to go back to the failed economic policies that brought us to the brink in the first place; it is Bush economics on steroids."

That message is right in line with the 2012 Democratic National Platform. Here's one of the first paragraphs from the 40-page document.

The Republican Party has turned its back on the middle class Americans who built this country. Our opponents believe we should go back to the top-down economic policies of the last decade. They think that if we simply eliminate protections for families and consumers, let Wall Street write its own rules again, and cut taxes for the wealthiest, the market will solve all our problems on its own. They argue that if we help corporations and wealthy investors maximize their profits by whatever means necessary, whether through layoffs or outsourcing, it will automatically translate into jobs and prosperity that benefits us all. They would repeal health reform, turn Medicare into a voucher program, and follow the same path of fiscal irresponsibility of the past administration — giving trillions of dollars in tax cuts weighted towards millionaires and billionaires while sticking the middle class with the bill. But we've tried their policies — and we've all suffered when they failed.

"What is key to the message is trying to give Obama some credit, that you can say 'look it's not as good as what we want it to be, but it's far better than what it could have been. And if you give in to the other guys, they are going to take the eye off the ball in fighting for you, and they're gonna fight for their own friends,'" says Mills.

And that's the short list of what we can look Forward to this week and through November 6th.

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