BO and Paco's upcoming encuentro will likely focus intequality
Obama won't talk about the biggest thing he's done to fix inequality: Raise taxes. ""Changing tax rates is likely to have small effects on supply of labor and capital and on output," the Congressional Research Service reported earlier this month. Wealth managers dealing with high net worth individuals say that's because, by and large, people making enough money to land in those top two tax brackets are affluent enough that taxes don't materially affect their quality of life." Lydia DePillis in The Washington Post.
Obama also proposed widening eligibility for the EITC. "The way EITC works now is that it offers a substantial economic boost to a population largely composed of working single moms and some married couples with kids, but very little for people who don't have kids at home. As this report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities details, changing that to make EITC benefits more broadly available would do a lot to boost incomes in a way that encourages and rewards work and employment. They also think it might boost marriage rates, by boosting the incomes of male low-wage workers and making marriage and family formation more feasible." Matthew Yglesias in Slate.
Meanwhile, Americans feel they are slipping out of the middle class. "If you actually take a close look at the numbers, it turns out that of the people who identified as middle class in 2008, nearly a third of them now identify as lower middle or lower class...Class self-identification is deeply tied up with culture, not just income, and this decline means that a lot of people--about one in six Americans--now think of themselves as not just suffering an income drop, but suffering an income drop they consider permanent. Permanent enough that they now live in a different neighborhood, associate with different friends, and apparently consider themselves part of a different culture than they did just six years ago." Kevin Drum in Mother Jones.