The Tampa Tribune's William March has a story out entitled, "Candidates seize on income disparity," in which he writes that "claiming the mantle of middle class champion is emerging as the moral high ground in politics," and likely will be an issue in the 2014 elections in Florida and the country.
The issue is one thatprogressives have been complaining about for years and is now being picked by some Republicans - the growing inequality in this country, something that began to happen in the 1970's and was highlighted by the Occupy Wall Street crowd in 2011.
But talking about income inequality really isn't enough, is it? We can all bemoan how the rich get richer and everyone else gets squeezed, but isn't it up to our leaders to actually craft some policies to try to address this growing gap? Interestingly, last Tuesday in St. Petersburg, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford mentioned income inequality as one of three measures he hopes to work in the 2014 legislative session in Tallahassee.
But in his Tiger Bay address, he actually didn't say much beyond the fact that he cared about the issue. Instead he segued into blasting Medicaid expansion in part because it didn't do enough for the poor. He also blasted Medicaid as a terrible form of health insurance that nobody would ever want to actually have.
That's where he went wrong. There are millions of people in Florida who don't have any access to health insurance today. Getting on to the Medicaid rolls might not be the preferred way to get insurance, but surely many of those people would gladly take that opportunity if granted it to them. If that's the best that Weatherford can come up with when it comes to wanted to address income inequality, perhaps he needs to spend more time thinking about what he can do in his powerful position in the state Legislature to craft policies that actually alleviate the problem.
Moving on.....We're still another month away from that special election in Pasco County to replace Mike Fasano in the Florida House District 36 race, but Democrats are feeling good about their candidate there, Amanda Murphy. She faces the winner of the GOP race that takes place tomorrow.
Speaking of income inequality, the fifth year anniversary of Lehman Brothers melting down and precipitating the financial crisis of 2008 was observed yesterday. On NBC's Meet The Press, former Treasury Secretary Hank Poulson and former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank congratulated themselves for helping steer the country out of the nation's worst economic situation since the Great Depression, with Frank taking issue with the claim by critics that there are still U.S. financial institutions that are "too big to fail."
And the U.S. and Russia have an agreement regarding forcing Syria to allow weapons inspectors to check and eliminate all of the Bashar al-Assad's government's cache of chemical weapons. Whether the plan will actually work appears dubious however. Getting it out of the United Nations even looks questionable at this moment, but let's face it, neither President Obama nor Congress are willing to drop bombs to punish Assad for his use of WMD's on August 21.