Does Occupy Wall Street Speak for Most Americans? Polling Data Says No.
There is an antiquated quality to the Occupy Movement. Perhaps the “Occupiers” were born a century too late for their Marxist brand of politics; trying to divide people into categories of the “working class” proletariat of 99% and “capitalist” bourgeois 1%. Yet President Obama embraced their class warfare rhetoric in a recent speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. He went so far to claim that “Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1%.”
Even the Washington Post had to report the White House could not substantiate Obama’s whopper. According to IRS data, in 2007 the top 1% of taxpayers paid 40% of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1% now exceeds the share paid by the entire bottom 95% of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95% paid 39%, which is down from the 58% of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
Very compelling polling data exists that the American public sees through and rejects Obama’s “Occupy” rhetoric. According to Gallup, a clear majority, 58%, say they do not think of America as a country of “haves” and “have-nots.” Gallup even notes that: “Moderates and independents in particular are turning away from the idea of a society divided in two. Thus, Americans as a whole are less likely to see the country as divided into haves and have nots than at any time in the past two decades.”
Another recurring “Occupy” – and Obama – message is mistrust for “Corporate America.” Here again, both Occupy and Obama are out of step with most Americans. According to Gallup: “Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor. The 64% of Americans who say big government is the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession.”
All of this leads to yet another significant polling finding, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives outnumber moderates – the next largest ideological bloc. Liberalism has been holding steady for the past six years, averaging either 21% or 22%.
Although, according to this data, conservatives are the largest ideological block, they do not constitute a majority. Yet President Obama’s “hard left” turn toward the Occupy Movement’s class rhetoric gives principled conservatives an excellent opening to build an electoral of a majority of Americans in 2012.
Montgomery County Republican Chairman