In the House, our Representatives do better. More than one-third, forty-one percent of our Representatives vote 100% with and for the middle class on every issue and on every piece of legislation favoring the middle class. Fifty-nine percent do not.
A 100% standard is a pretty high bar. Yet, anything less than 100% is not in the interest of the middle class. It is not even neutral. It is against that interest. A vote against a middle class interest is not likely to favor poverty. It is almost certain to favor wealth at the expense of the middle class.
This voting pattern is the continuation of a long-term trend. It has resulted in the middle class family with two workers today having less discretionary disposable income than the single income family of their parents a generation ago. Wages and salaries today, as a percent of GDP, have never been lower.
Many Senators and Representatives may "miss" by one or two votes and still earn an "A" rating just as you or your child might miss a couple of test questions and still earn an "A". Nevertheless, in that he or she purport to be representing you, he or she should do so all the time. If their vote is contrary to your interest, you are certainly entitled to know why that particular vote or votes was/were cast against your interests.
To-date this year, thirty-five House members voted only once against legislation favorable to the middle class. Perhaps one of them is your Representative to Congress. If so, you may or may not agree with their logic for having done so. You may or may not even agree their statement of logic is truthful. It will not be a surprise to you that politicians have been known to lie. But one way or another you won't be in a position to decide if you don't ask the question of why they did so. At minimum, he or she will know you're watching, maybe even suffer a little embarrassment, but don't count on it; the bastards are pretty thick skinned.
Just what is the middle class anyway? Most Americans claim to be, and self slot themselves to be, middle class even though there is no single definition of what constitutes such a classification. Middle class may be defined by some in terms of such factors as income, type of job, education, or social status. What these factors actually mean to an individual or family however is having the security of a job paying enough to provide a home with the expectation of some attaining some savings, some vacation and travel, enough money for their children's education or at least a significant portion thereof; all of these, coupled with family health-care protection and the prospect of an acceptable non-poverty retirement. Whether aspiration or actuality, all of these needs are more and more in jeopardy for more and more people.
For this to have happened we must conclude that when we vote, if we vote, most of us vote against our best interests. For many, the reasons are best described in the book Deer Hunting with Jesus by Joe Bageant. Clearly, there is a crying need for a Middle Class Voting Party or a middleclassvoting.org site from which, hopefully, millions of citizens would pledge to and advise all congressional incumbents as follows:
MY MIDDLE CLASS VOTING PLEDGE
If you vote 100 % for legislation favoring the middle class, I will vote for you in every primary and general election.
If you do not vote 100% for legislation favoring the middle class I will, if I can, and depending upon state requirements, (a) vote for an opponent to you in the next primary, and (b) vote against you in the general election.
I will use as my scorecard of your voting record that published by themiddleclass.org.
TheMiddleClass.org does a fantastic job of Congress vote scoring and tracking middle class values. Each piece of legislation is transparently judged to be for or against the interests of the middle class; expert opinions are shown as the basis for the judgment. The voting record for each Senator and Representative for each piece of legislation is shown, then accumulated and scored.
Why, as proposed, should the 100% voting record, an, "A+", be required? Why should not an "A" rating with a 90% voting record be acceptable? There are two reasons. First, a 100% rating is attainable at their discretion and many are doing so. We only want more of them to do so.
Second, power concedes nothing unless demanded.
Let's keep it plain vanilla simple.
Who are the current 100% Congress persons? For this congressional session, as of September 30, they are, by state, as shown below. Senate data are shown in bold italics, underlined. The ending data are for the House.
I urge you to visit the data source, themiddleclass.org. For the record, I have no affiliation with them.
Alabama - None 0% --- None, 0 of 7; 0%