Despite the rhetoric, income inequality in the US has got worse under Obama than it was under George W Bush.
Yes, Obama is now pushing the line that millionaires to pay their fair share of tax, ostensibly to even up wealth distribution in America. The cynics among us might say that this is a populist strategy for this year's election although when you think about it, Obama would still beat millionaire Romney anyway. Beating up on the rich would certainly help beat Romney but you would have to say Obama doesn't need it.
But if you look closely at the numbers, you'll see that Obama has actually been helping American millionaires. Look at this table from researchers at Berkeley. The numbers tell the story. During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, average real income for the bottom 99 per cent fell sharply by 11.6 per cent. That was by far the largest two year decline since the Great Depression. This drop of 11.6 per cent simply erased the 6.8% income gain from 2002 to 2007 for the bottom 99 per cent during the Bush era. The fraction of growth for the top one per cent during the Bush administration was 65 per cent, under Obama it was 95 per cent. In other words, the rich got richer under Obama. He's no friend of the working class.
So how did this happen? It's all about policies being pursued by the Obama administration. One is the JOBS Act which is supposedly intended to jump start emerging companies and create the next Google. The legislation relaxes the rules for firms seeking to launch IPOs by exempting them from some accounting and audit standards for up to five years. That is a prescription for theft, fraud and accounting trickery. The legislation makes it easier for companies to raise oversight-free capital online. They can have up to 1000 investors without providing the SEC financial data. It's similar to how drug giants promote toxic products. Users, or in this case investors, will have no idea what they're getting.
So guess who that law will help? It won't be the 99 per cent. Obama is a friend of the millionaires.