Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), who was once courted to run for president, attacked President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on millionaires, telling Fox News host Greta Van Susteren last night that Obama’s policies have already created “a lot fewer” wealthy people:
DANIELS: You know, the president keeps ranting on and on about these, you know, millionaires he dislikes so much. By the way, he ought to feel pretty good. There are a lot fewer of them than there were when he became president. Just look at the statistics.
Daniels’ claim plays into the GOP’s new “class warfare” talking point, but if one actually “look[s] at the statistics,” one has to wonder if Daniels thinks it’s opposite day. As the Wall Street Journal reported in late June, there are actually a record number of millionaires now, two and half years into the Obama administration:
According to the annual World Wealth Report from Merill Lynch and Capgemini, the U.S. had 3.1 million millionaires in 2010, up from 2.86 million in 2009. The latest figure tops the pre-crisis peak of three million.[...]
The wealth held by these millionaires also hit a record. North American millionaires had a combined wealth of $11.6 trillion, up from $10.7 trillion in 2009.
In fact, the growth in the number and wealth of millionaires over the past two years exposes the fallacy of Daniels’ argument — these people don’t need any more help. The growth of the wealthy, and especially the super-wealthy, while the middle- and working-class have seen wages stagnate or drop shows the “two-speed recovery,” which has been good for millionaires but bad for everyone else.