How fighting income inequality became Obama’s driving force
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
When Barack Obama published his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” about racial identity in 1995, he talked with his neighborhood newspaper in Illinois, the Hyde Park Citizen, about the economic disparities he had seen while exploring the world as a child and young adult.
“My travels made me sensitive to the plight of those without power and the issues of class and inequalities as it relates to wealth and power,” he said in that interview. “Anytime you have been overseas in these so-called third world countries, one thing you see is a vast disparity of wealth of those who are part of the power structure and those outside of it.”
That sensitivity to inequality has stuck with Obama throughout his rise in politics, from Chicago’s South Side all the way to the White House. He remains largely a pragmatist in his approach to governing. But beneath his tactical maneuvering lies a consistent and unifying principle: to use the powers of his office to shrink the growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else.
If presidents set missions for themselves that are greater than winning the partisan battle of the moment, then this is Obama’s. Viewed through this lens, the imminent debate over the “fiscal cliff” is not simply a war over taxes, spending and how to tame the nation’s mushrooming debt. As Obama did in legislative fights during his first term, he also will be striving to reduce a three-decades-long wave of rising income inequality that has meant that fewer Americans have prospered while more struggle to get by.
1. It was the driving force of his campaign, we have yet to see if it will
the driving for of his second term. There was some, but not enough evidence of it in his first term through various lenses including but not limited to letting the tax cuts for all be renewed, no public option, his cabinet appointees, the banksters free pass, ......