The issue of economic inequality and poverty is shaping up to be a major issue in 2014. President Obama has begun to focus on the issue in order to reclaim the narrative away from the failures of Obamacare and the continuing weak economy. Newly elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to address that city’s wealth gap. De Blasio and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren have been characterized by left-leaning commentators as part of a new New Left that is more economically statist than what has been offered by the Democratic Party since the Clinton era. Democrats believe that they have a winning issue to reclaim Congress in 2014 and win the White House in 2016. However, Republicans must be ready to confront the issues of poverty and economic inequality, and if they handle this issue in the right way, they can turn it into a winning issue.
The Democrats are answering the issue in their usual time-tested ways: supporting a minimum wage increase because apparently labor costs have nothing to do whether or not a business decides to hire people; extending unemployment benefits even though the stimulus, Obamacare, and Polar Vortices were supposed to create lots and lots of new jobs; the creepy sounding Promise Zones, which is ironic from a man who doesn’t know how to keep a promise; and everyone’s favorite Native American Senator, Elizabeth Warren, wants to raise Social Security benefits because Social Security isn’t going broke fast enough. The Democrats are falling back on their old approach to poverty: give a man a welfare check and make him a Democrat voter for life.