The GOP’s change in tune has a sour note. Have you noticed a shift in message? It has switched from “trickle down is good for you” to “the GOP cares about the middle class and families.” The GOP must have been reading recent polls that showed they were 10 points behind Democrats when asked if the Republican party “cares about my problems” (CBS News Poll, May 16-19) and 20 points behind in “helping the middle class” (ABC/Washington Post poll April 24-27). The GOP’s newly touted support of the middle class is an empty glass filled with hot air and the Democrats need to call them out on it.
Recently Democrats have either been silent or stuck in the wonky weeds of defense on middle class issues. The best defense in the 2014 midterms is a good offense by answering the question themselves: “Who can best help the middle class?” For example: Here is how the GOP, including Cory Gardner running for Senate in Colorado, plan to help the middle class. The GOP in Congress recently blocked legislation allowing those with older student loans to refinance at a lower rate. How does that help the middle class? Killing Obamacare is still their main refrain. They want to leave families once more deeply in debt with medical bills and policies that deny coverage of pre-existing conditions or preventative care. The past system left the middle class one medical event away from foreclosure and bankruptcy whenever an uncovered major medical event occurs. The GOP has provided no alternatives that would provide those protections. Instead, they have proposed “solutions” of malpractice reform and cross state insurance competition that even the Congressional Budget Office estimated would have little effect in making insurance affordable for the pre-Obamacare uninsured. How does that help the middle class? The GOP makes it difficult for women who need to work to keep their families afloat financially by putting barriers to family planning, whether making choice of when and how many children to have. Some, including Gardner, have advocated making some forms of birth control illegal or favored preventing women from getting low cost pills from their employer’s insurance. Most oppose equal pay for equal work. Many in the GOP oppose raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which would bring those working a 40 hours week above the poverty level. Creating jobs? The GOP has opposed funding rebuilding highways and bridges and infrastructure improvements that would have long lasting higher paying jobs for millions.(Keystone pipeline they tout as a jobs program creates only two years of temporary jobs). If we learned anything over the years, trickle down theories have failed in practice. How has that helped the middle class?