One of the things I'd like to point out to these two "brothers" is that the President talks constantly about policies that will grow the middle class. WTH do they think he means by that? He certainly isn't proposing policies that will strip the wealthy of their money and send them into the middle class. No, he's talking about growing the middle class by helping those in poverty get there.
The other thing President Obama says repeatedly when talking about this is that he refers to "those who are in the middle class and those who are striving to get there." Who do they think he's talking about in that second group?
The fact that the President doesn't use the word "poverty" doesn't mean he doesn't talk about it...all the time! He simply speaks to their aspirations rather than their circumstances.
The lastest proposal by Smiley and West is to rally people to advocate for the President to host a White House Conference on Poverty. In other words, their solution is to gather members of the professional class (ie, them) to talk about poverty.
Last night in his State of the Union Address, President Obama illustrated why he doesn't need no stinkin' conference on poverty to figure out what to do about it. His overall focus on investments in manufacturing, infrastructure and education were all directed at growing the middle class.
But even more specifically, he proposed 3 policies that were directly aimed at lifting people out of poverty.
First of all, he proposed something that is not only the best return on investment for taxpayers, it is the single most effective measure we've come up with to lift people out over poverty...universal pre-kindergarten education.
Secondly, he proposed an increase in the minimum wage and said that we should index it to inflation.
Finally, he made this proposal:
Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it is virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where the chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that’s why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.Its clear that some people want to talk about poverty (we call those folks "poverty pimps" for a reason) and some folks want to actually DO something about it. President Obama seems content to let Smiley and West do the former while he takes care of the latter.
Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance anymore. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, and education, and housing.
We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and do more to encourage fatherhood -- because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one. And we want to encourage that. We want to help that.