One of the things I find most interesting about Republicans (and conservatives in general) is the blatant way in which they ignore reality if it doesn’t suit their ideology. These are the people who accuse President Obama of putting this country in danger, while praising George W. Bush – the man who presided over the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history and whose Iraq War is the reason why ISIS has risen to power.
Look no further than the recent close call with the Department of Homeland Security almost being shut down. If funding hadn’t been approved, it would have been entirely the fault of House Republicans – just like it was when we saw our nation’s first government shutdown in nearly two decades in 2013. In both instances Republicans tried to blame President Obama, when it was House Republicans who were holding everything up by refusing to vote on a “clean” funding bill.
Even when we look at our economy, as much as it’s improved, we still have a ways to go – especially as it relates to income growth. And while Republicans will have you believe that stagnant wages are a byproduct of President Obama’s economy, this is an issue that started way back when Ronald Reagan was elected.
Hell, even Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) proved how damaging trickle-down economics has been for the middle class when he pointed out that we haven’t seen such an unequal distribution of wages in this country since just before the Great Depression. While he pointed to 2012 as an example in trying to bash President Obama, what he failed to mention was that the four consecutive years prior to the 2008 crash almost exactly mirrored the unequal distribution of wealth we saw in this country just before the Great Depression.
Just look at this chart from CNN Money:
Do you see that wide, fairly flat area in the middle? That’s the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – before “Reaganomics” took over our economic landscape. Then once Americans started being fed the lie that “tax cuts create jobs,” suddenly income inequality skyrocketed. The rich are doing better than they ever have before; meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans aren’t seeing anything close to that same level of success.
And even though many Republicans will say that wage inequality is an issue, they continue to claim that the mistake which caused this inequality is the same path to fixing it.
The truth is, every time a Republican says that wages aren’t increasing and income distribution is an issue, they’re admitting that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. It’s an indisputable fact that the richest amongst us are doing fantastic in this country. Taxes remain low, stocks are at record levels and the wealth at the top has hit historic proportions – yet, wages for the rest of us remain flat.
Trickle-down economics has been an abject failure for everybody but the rich. The basic premise is that the more the wealthiest in this country have, the better off the rest of us will be. But that never happens!
What does happen is that the rich simply want more. Suddenly, $5 billion in profits isn’t enough – they want $8 billion. The more you feed into greed, the more it wants. Greed never gets full.
In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, when the middle class was stronger, it wasn’t tax breaks and deregulation that led to that result – it was higher taxes and stronger unions. The moment taxes began to get cut, and the GOP aggressively started attacking the unions, that was the beginning of the rich getting richer and the rest of us getting the finger.
But despite the fact that income distribution has been a growing problem in this nation since the dawn of “Reaganomics” in the 80’s (and after 8 years of Bush’s economics and GOP leadership delivering us straight into the worst economic recession in almost a century), Republicans now have the gall to try to blame President Obama for the poverty they created and the income inequality that their policies have made worse.
It would almost be funny if they weren’t actually being serious and millions of people weren’t suffering because of it.
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