Middle-Class Joe in the City with No Middle Class

by Henry Payne

Detroit — Joe Biden parachuted into the heart of Michigan Wednesday to visit Detroit, a Democratic city suffering under a 20 percent unemployment rate, the nation’s worst public schools, a federal-welfare-induced implosion of the nuclear family, violent gangs of fatherless young men, and public-employee unions whose fat contracts have brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.

“Four more years!” chanted the crowd.

Needless to say, the mixed audience of suburbanite party activists and union partisans bused in to Renaissance Public High School’s auditorium to cheer on the Obama campaign don’t have to live in the savage streets that their liberal programs have created. So Biden didn’t dwell on the misery surrounding the school, a city in which 220 people have been murdered already this year. Indeed, Biden didn’t mention Detroit atall.

Instead, Biden gave the packed high school auditorium a lesson in Class Warfare 101.

Lesson one: Trash your opponent. “Why are they doing all this?” said Biden of Romney and Ryan’s plans, soon to steal your Medicaid, Medicare, and school funding. “To provide massive tax cuts for the wealthy.”

Lesson two: Invent the facts. “A half trillion [in tax cuts] will go to 120,000 families,” Biden told the audience. “The average middle class family will see their taxes go up $2,000 a year.”

That’s a lie.

#more#Romney actually proposes an across-the-board 20 percent rate cut on all income-tax rates. So from top earners (from 35 to 28 percent rate) right down to the bottom (from 10 percent to 8), everyone sees a reduction. Romney has claimed that his plan will be revenue-neutral, and proposes to pay for it mostly by reducing or eliminating tax deductions, but it’s not clear how this would affect most taxpayers.

So where does Biden get the $2,000 figure? “This is real,” he told the audience defensively. No, he simply made it up.

Michigan’s media gaffe-police absorbed all this with a collective yawn. “Biden didn’t offer up any overt verbal oddities,” reported the liberal Detroit Free Press, satisfied that the speech didn’t refer to putting anyone “back in chains,” but ignoring its uncivil tone and patent untruths.

Biden continued to bash the rich for being fat cats that outsource jobs, don’t pay taxes, and “have bank accounts in the Cayman Islands.” The irony of his argument is that the rich are all Detroit has left. Were it not for massive investments in downtown Detroit by Detroit tycoons such as Ilitch, Penske, and Gilbert in the last decade, Detroit would be even worse off. Yet Biden’s approach is to create more resentment against these men and force them to send more money to Washington, leaving them with less to spend on Detroit needs.

“We’re going to rebuild the middle class,” Biden concluded. But his party’s policies in Detroit have caused an exodus of the middle class. The city lost a staggering 25 percent of its population in the last ten years; the black middle class followed the white and ethnic middle class into neighboring, Republican-run, low-tax, low-crime Oakland County.

And that, class, is Economics 101.

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