As President Obama travels the country speaking about immigration, student loans, taxes, and the like, increasingly Democratic leaders are lobbying him to tell voters how his agenda strengthens the middle class.
Otherwise Republicans, they fear, will use the IRS and other scandals to distract public attention and stall most of his legislative proposals.
Unfortunately, most of Obama's initiatives may appease liberal elites but don't do much to bolster opportunities for middle class and working families.
His immigration policy comes down to spending record sums to deport undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but letting just about anyone else who manages to get across the border stay and have babies—presumably, who will one day vote Democratic.
If he gets his way in proposed legislation, many undocumented workers will eventually become citizens, and businesses like GE and Apple will be permitted more visas in skill-short areas like engineering, but the border won't be secured. The ranks of semiskilled immigrant workers, who drive down wages in hospitality, construction, manufacturing and other sectors, will continue to swell, frustrating the middle-class aspirations of the working poor born in this country.
His massive expansion of student loans permits universities to jack up tuition, bloat administrative staffs and indulge faculty to teach even less and less effectively. Students are graduating encumbered by massive debt and too few marketable skills. Broke and unemployed, they are not marrying and starting families—that shrinks the middle class.