278 GOP gpb Lawmakers Voted for Trump Tax Scam, But 0 Voted for Covid Relief
The political lesson is that today’s Democrats can gain political majorities by raising the wages of both bourgeoisie and poor voters, while fighting Republican efforts to suppress the votes of likely Democrats.
A quarter century ago, I and other members of Bill Clinton’s cabinet urged him to reject the Republican’s proposal to finish welfare. But Clinton’s political advisers warned that unless he glided by , he jeopardized his reelection.
That was the top of welfare as we knew it.
Until last Thursday, that is, when Joe Biden signed into law the most important expansion of state assistance since the 1960s a guaranteed income for many families with children, raising the utmost benefit by up to 80 percent per child.
As Biden put it in his address to the state , as if answering Clinton, the government isn’t some foreign force during a foreign capital. No, it’s us, all of us, we the people.
What happened between then and now? Three big things.
First, COVID. The pandemic has been a national warning call on the fragility of middle-class incomes. The deep COVID recession has revealed the tough consequences of most Americans now living paycheck to paycheck.
For years, Republicans used welfare to drive a wedge between the white working bourgeoisie and therefore the poor.
Whites who were putting more hours into paid work than ever women had streamed into the workforce within the 1970s so as to prop family incomes decimated by the decline in male factory jobs were particularly vulnerable to the message. Why should “they” get help for not working when “we” get no help, and that we work?
Yet when COVID hit, public assistance was not necessary only for “them.” it had been needed by “us.”
The second big thing was Donald Trump. He exploited racism, to make certain , but replaced economic Reaganism with narcissistic grievances, claims of voter fraud, and cultural paranoia stretching from Dr. Seuss to Mr. Potato Head.
Trump obliterated concerns about government giving away money. The CARES Act, which he signed into law at the top of March, gave most Americans checks of $1,200 (to which he calculatedly attached his name). When this proved enormously popular, he demanded subsequent round of stimulus checks be $2,000.
Part of the GOP’s incapacity to reply to Biden’s momentous redistribution was because of the Party’s equally momentous distribution upward its $1.9 trillion 2018 tax cut whose benefits went overwhelmingly to the top 20 percent. Despite promises of upper wages for everybody else, nothing trickled down.
Meanwhile, during the pandemic, America’s 660 billionaires—major beneficiaries of the Trump tax cut became $1.3 trillion wealthier, enough to offer every American a $3,900 check and still be as rich as they were before the pandemic.
The third big thing is that the breadth of Biden’s plan. Under it, quite 93 percent of the nation’s children 69 million receive benefits. Americans within the lowest quintile increase their incomes by 20 percent; those within the second-lowest, 9 percent; those within the middle, 6 percent.
Rather than pit the working bourgeoisie against the poor, this unites them. Over 70 percent of usa citizens support the bill, including 63 percent of low-income Republicans (a quarter of all Republican voters). Younger conservatives are particularly supportive, presumably because people under 50 have felt the brunt of the four-decade slowdown in real wage growth.
The political lesson is that today’s Democrats who enjoy popular vote majorities in presidential elections (having won seven of the past eight) can gain political majorities by raising the wages of both middle class and poor voters, while fighting Republican efforts to suppress the votes of likely Democrats.
Bidenomics is strictly the reverse: Give cash to rock bottom two-thirds and their purchasing power will drive growth for everybody . This is far more plausible. We’ll learn how much in coming months.
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