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So long, 2013

As political years go, 2013 is one in which we all ought to say a collective "good riddance."
By many accounts, 2013 was the worst year of the Obama presidency. Toward the end of this year, things were so dismal that the only area in which the administration could point to as having any measure of success was the daily stock market numbers. (Quantitative Easing was rarely mentioned, of course, as the true source of recent market trends.)
If nothing else, 2013 should go down in history as the year President Obama revealed himself as a True One-Percenter, which is exactly where he belongs in the nation’s wealth-o-meter.
Much to the chagrin of his loyal base, Obama is, like every U.S. president since Harry Truman, a One-Percenter.
Unlike most of his predecessors, Obama’s ascension into this upper-most income bracket remains a mystery if, for no other reason, that he’s never had a real job in his life. But make no mistake, this erstwhile community organizer is that which he campaigns against and fakes disdain: A One-Percenter.
After five years in the Oval Office, Obama is beginning to feel less like the chosen one and more like just another Washington insider.
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that only 37 percent of Americans consider Obama honest and straightforward. Only 43 percent approve of his job performance.
What a difference a year makes.
In 2012, the incumbent’s supporters were waving those “99-percenter” signs across the country in an expression of middle-class solidarity. One year later, most seem to have caught on that their president was not with them, any more than Mitt Romney was with them. Let’s face it.
Obama and Romney are One-Percenters. And that’s OK. Really.
From a purely mathematical perspective, with absolutely no political implications, there have always been and will always be One-Percenters.
Even cavemen had the One-Percenters.
I remember the family story handed down from my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Grog.
As the story goes, back in the day, Grog carved into the wall of his modest cave dwelling this revelation about his neighbor, Thor: “Thor make Thunder. Thor think he Thumpthin, especially on Thursdays. Thor think he better than 99 percent of us.”
Hence, the first use of the “One-Percenter” cognomen.
In both 2008 and 2012, Obama and his supporters wanted us to believe they were the anti-One-Percenters. Millions swallowed the Kool-Aid.
Again, what a difference a year makes.
Even the left-leaning Washington Post published this accurate observation by Dan Balz in 2013:
“The 2012 presidential campaign was fought over one big issue: which candidate and which party would be better equipped to help and protect struggling middle-class Americans. Since then, political leaders in Washington have done nothing to make good on their promises. The latest economic figures confirm what has been a reality now for almost the entirety of President Obama’s tenure in the White House. The economy is continuing to recover, but not rapidly enough to make a major dent in an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high, or to provide either genuine security or a sense of confidence about the future for millions of American families. …
“Almost 21 years ago, Bill Clinton (another One-Percenter who never had a real job) accepted the Democratic presidential nomination ‘in the name of the hard-working Americans who make up the forgotten middle class,’ and pledged they would be ‘forgotten no more.’ Today, the problems of those Americans are even more acute.”
No … er, kidding.
Mr. Balz’s Washington Post column concludes: “There are no quick fixes to the economic problems that continue to gnaw at the confidence of so many families. …  Has the forgotten middle class been forgotten once again?”
The honest answer is yes, the middle income (I detest the term “middle class”) families have been forgotten again.
Politicians can always be counted on to do two things: Pander to the masses and pocket money from the elitists. The former have the vote. The latter have the cash.
Any politician who tells you he is working for the middle class is probably lying. If you want to test this theory, all you have to do is ask: “Why should my taxes make life easier for the nation’s richest and poorest when I receive nothing from the government except tax bills?”
Obama likes to tell the nation’s small business owners “You didn’t build that.” While the argumentative may be in question, the imperative is this: Obama and his liberal brethren sure as shootin’ didn’t build it.
Good riddance to 2013. It was another profitable year for all those on the public dole. But it was much more of a struggle for those independent souls not on the take.

Rory Ryan is Senior Editor, North American Desk, at Paperitalo Publications and the owner of The Highland County Press in Hillsboro, Ohio. He can be reached by email at or

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