The GOP wants to double down on trickle down
Pity the Republicans! What's left for them to advocate when they're once again faced with a President who (like Clinton in the 90s) straddles the center of American politics? He even shares their deference to the military and defense establishment.
The irony here is that they are victims of their own success in moving the center of American politics so far to the right. Like Republicans in the Clinton era, all they can do is demonize Obama and stake out extreme positions. So they call him a socialist for winning passage of a health insurance bill very similar to what Nixon proposed in the early 70s.
They actually want to renew Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, at a cost of $680 billion over ten years, despite ballooning government deficits. They're clinging desperately to the failed trickle-down economic policy that has been Republican dogma since 1980.
trickling down flickr image by crowderb
During the first three decades after WWII, Democrats held onto much of the legacy of the New Deal. With the support of a healthy labor movement, they were willing to use the power of government to help all Americans share the benefits of economic growth.
According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, from 1946-1976 income growth for the bottom 90% was much faster than for the top 1%. From 1976-2007, we had the opposite: incomes of the top 1% grew ten times faster than those of the bottom 90%.
Until 1980, growth in wages kept up with increases in productivity. American workers were sharing in the wealth they created. Afterward, wages no longer kept up with productivity increases. Workers were being shortchanged.