Republican Contempt For The Working Class
Michael Kingsley famously defined a “gaffe” as when a politician unwittingly tells the truth. And the truth behind Mitt Romney’s “47%” gaffe, Paul Krugman writes, is that Romney and his party have nothing but contempt for the working class:
Needless to say, the G.O.P.’s disdain for workers goes deeper than rhetoric. It’s deeply embedded in the party’s policy priorities. Mr. Romney’s remarks spoke to a widespread belief on the right that taxes on working Americans are, if anything, too low. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal famously described low-income workers whose wages fall below the income-tax threshold as “lucky duckies.”
What really needs cutting, the right believes, are taxes on corporate profits, capital gains, dividends, and very high salaries — that is, taxes that fall on investors and executives, not ordinary workers. This despite the fact that people who derive their income from investments, not wages — people like, say, Willard Mitt Romney — already pay remarkably little in taxes.
The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Ayn Rand. In the past, there were Republicans who had workers’ interests at heart. And, even those Republicans who had nothing in common with working men and women, Krugman writes,
knew enough to keep it to themselves and managed to fake some appreciation for ordinary workers. At this point, however, the party’s contempt for the working class is apparently too complete, too pervasive to hide.
Lincoln’s concept of government and his party have been corrupted by big money. Today’s Republicans are “a party of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy, a party that considers the rest of us unworthy of even a pretense of respect.”