February 7, 2014
OUR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT:
In Talk of Economy, Obama Turns to 'Opportunity' Over 'Inequality' (JACKIE CALMES, FEB. 3, 2014, NY Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2014 6:28 PMLike so many political fights, the one between President Obama and Republicans over income inequality has become a battle over language. Is it about inequality of incomes or of opportunity? On this question, the president and his party have moved in Republicans' -- and voters' -- direction.To Republicans, talk of income inequality smacks of class warfare and redistribution of wealth, of taxing the rich to give to the poor. They prefer to emphasize opportunity and upward mobility, and Democrats, too, have come to see that frame as more appealing to middle-class voters in this midterm election year.For years, Mr. Obama has spoken of gaps in both income and opportunity between the privileged and everyone else in a changing economy. But his emphasis has shifted. In his State of the Union address last week, he spoke 10 times of expanding "opportunity" and twice of income inequality. That ratio was roughly flipped in his signature speech on the topic in Osawatomie, Kan., just over two years ago.