Chris Matthews Says Only the Rich are Benefiting in Today’s Economy

The average American’s net wealth is the highest in history. More Americans own their home than ever in history. Unemployment is currently lower than the average of the previous three decades. The average weekly pay for non-supervisory production workers has increased by almost 16 percent in the past five years while inflation has risen by 13 percent. Yet, Chris Matthews stated on “Hardball” Tuesday evening that the current economy is only helping the people at the very top (video link to follow).

In a discussion with political analyst Charlie Cook, Matthews opined that one of the problems the Republicans are going to have in the upcoming midterm elections is the economy, and the public’s perception of it. In Matthews’ view, despite what the GDP is doing or what is being written about in financial papers, his “sense” is “that the money is going to the top.” Why is this? “Because of the tax breaks they got under Bush and because the way the economy is geared right now.”

“And the people at the top because of the tax breaks they got under Bush and because the way the economy is geared right now, the working stiff out there making 30 or 40 a year is not getting a raise. They`re working as hard as ever, 50 hours, 60 hours a week. They`re not spending time with their family and they`re wearing out and they`re wearing out and they`re not making any more money and prices still creep up and they`re saying to themselves, this ain`t doing it for me and I wonder if that isn`t going to hurt.”

Apart from ignoring all of the economic data to the contrary, these statements indicate just how much in a bubble people like Matthews are. After all, if you have traveled anywhere recently, you know that airports are busier than they’ve ever been. In fact, air travel is so on the rise that airfares are dramatically increasing for the first time since 9/11.

Don’t people like Matthews see this? Don’t people like Matthews see crowded stores when they go shopping? Or brand new cars whenever they’re on the freeway?

Regardless of the ignorance of economic data emanating on a weekly basis from government agencies responsible for such things, how can anybody leave their house without seeing a strong economy everywhere they go?

Paradoxically, Matthews concluded: “I think we have to talk more about the economy.”

No, Chris. I think you have to talk A LOT LESS about the economy.

What follows is a transcript of this segment, along with a video clip courtesy of the Media Blog at National Review Online. Also, a hat tip goes to Ian Schwartz of Expose the Left.

MATTHEWS: Pat Buchanan mentioned something, he`s a conservative obviously, but he said something that sounded pretty populist. I think it may be the under story here. When you pick up the big papers that are written by people who make a pretty good income, and edited by people who make more, it seems like everybody says the economy is doing pretty well, but I get a sense that the money is going to the top.

COOK: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And the people at the top because of the tax breaks they got under Bush and because the way the economy is geared right now, the working stiff out there making 30 or 40 a year is not getting a raise. They`re working as hard as ever, 50 hours, 60 hours a week. They`re not spending time with their family and they`re wearing out and they`re wearing out and they`re not making any more money and prices still creep up and they`re saying to themselves, this ain`t doing it for me and I wonder if that isn`t going to hurt.

COOK: That`s why you saw on that poll you flashed on the screen a few minutes ago, job approval rating for the president on the economy in the 30s when GDP is going great guns. Take Nike --

MATTHEWS: So the overall economy is moving up but it`s going to the benefit of the very top.

COOK: The industries that have benefited from productivity, from globalization, technology, but the average working stiff isn`t doing so well.

MATTHEWS: I think that`s why something like the ports deal really bugs people. It`s bad enough to be struggling every day home from work with no savings, but on top of that to be insulted by having the ports turned over to a foreign group, you say oh my God, now they`re making a fool out of me.

I think we have to talk more about the economy. It`s harder to do on television. You got to have real people talk about it with us. We should talk to them. Anyway thank you, Charlie Cook.

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Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.