When John Steinbeck said “Socialism has never taken root in America because the poor view themselves not as an oppressed proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires” he struck at one of our most deeply held cultural paradigms: the American Dream. Though made 65 years ago, this comment still holds true today, and is clearly visible in the heated debate going on in Washington over this so-called “fiscal cliff.” As the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts and the end of the fiscal year draw near, Democrats and Republicans in Washington have once again hit a snag over whether or not our economy is best bolstered from the bottom up or the top down. Democrats have taken the position that the top priority should be investing in America through stimulus funds, while Republicans claim the deficit should be the focus. While this debate should be a cut and dry case of dirty politics, America's middle class is once again divided.
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