The fact that income inequality has been rising since the 1980s says that it also rose under Barack Obama, as it did under his predecessors. According to the site Gawker, Obama stands out in this context for two reasons: one, he inherited the worst economic meltdown of any of the past five presidents, and two, he proposed more meaningful anti-inequality measures than any of them as well.
Obama’s most recent budget proposal, while not enough to satisfy the socialists among us, did propose measures aimed at remedying inequality, including higher taxes on the very rich and greater subsidies for the poor and middle class.
These measures were declared “dead on arrival” by Congress. Barack Obama, quite simply, is not able to implement even modest anti-inequality measures due to Republican opposition. Republican and Democrat alike understands this.
However, the fact that Republicans are responsible for blocking any attempt to remedy economic inequality does not stop prospective Republican presidential candidates from using the rise in inequality under Obama as an argument against Barack Obama’s administration. (Ramesh Ponnuru’s NYT op-ed yesterday gives a rundown of the some of the prime offenders.)
The political party most directly responsible for the rise of economic inequality and its continued growth is using the rise of economic inequality and its continued growth as proof that the other political party is not to be trusted.