blog

Feature Menu

The Vanishing Middle Class

The middle class is rapidly disappearing. Not literally, of course. It’s still here, although struggling to avoid being forcibly re-categorized into “lower class” status, but from listening to the McCain campaign, the middle class is being phased out like tailfins and chrome on a Caddy.

Time was when John McCain wasn’t afraid to mention the “MC” phrase. [query.nytimes.com] Whether he ever would have made good on his promises in 2000, at least McCain acknowledged there was a middle class. Eight years later, in his first two debates with Barack Obama, McCain doesn’t even mention the words “middle class.” Not once. In her debate with Joe Biden, Sarah Palin mentioned the middle class precisely one time, but only in reference to herself and husband Todd, not the American middle class that McCain’s economic policies would affect. Their reluctance is understandable considering McCain had previously pegged people making just under $5,000,000 as “middle class.” If there’s an Overton window for financial status, McCain set it up on greased rails and attached an ACME Rocket Sled.

This weekend, in an attempt to “reboot” his floundering campaign, Team Maverick hit upon a new economic plan “aimed directly at the middle class” that was sure to turn things around. The big idea? Tax cuts for capital gains and dividends. [www.politico.com] Eureka! That will be of great comfort to those people who receive capital gains and dividends, an overwhelming majority of which are not in any way, shape or form part of the middle class. One wonders if McCain, having spent too much time in his 9 or 10 houses, has any idea what the middle class is.

John McCain has one debate left to address millions of Americans at the same time. Presumably, many of those millions will be members of the middle class. Will John McCain forget about them a third time?

– Michael Turner