11.27.12

GOP not likely to moderate it’s tone in Texas

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 1:30 pm by wcnews

This video from last night’s TRMS does a good job of laying out the GOP’s course correction spin, but no actual correction of their right wing course is coming.

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While there may be an attempt at the national level by the GOP to make it look like they’re moderating, there’s really no such effort going on at the “red” state level. There may be a little moderation in tone, and bill filing, so far in Texas on immigration, but we’ll just have to wait and see if that continues. But for the most part in Texas it’s business as usual – tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to education, health care, and the neediest among us. Or what is left out of the discussion and the immorality of the fiscal decisions in Texas.

There is no serious discussion of how to try and lower the poverty rate in Texas, which is key to fixing our health and education problems.  Instead these problems fester as our state leaders hoard billions of dollars that could be used to help many who are suffering in Texas.

Along with that is this great post from BOR’s Joe Deshotel, Can Democrats Win Back The Angry White Man? An excerpt:

This completely misses the point that most Americans really do care about freedom, the freedom to make their own personal choices and having the economic opportunity to do so. What was so great about the ’50s wasn’t that Leave it to Beaver represented the typical American family, but that it was a time of reletively lowincome disparity in the US. Yes, the greatest generation lived during a time when the rich paid their fair share and the highest marginal income tax rate was 91%. People saw the value of organized labor and as recently as the 70s, CEOs only made an average of 26.5 times their employees. Now, CEOs make over 200 times their employee and the Right still vilifies those who fight for fairness for working people. More over, they want you to believe that they earned all that money through “hard work”, yet they nominated a CEO for President who made $20 million this year even though the only thing he has run lately is – a failed Presidential campaign.

Today’s Conservative tantrums present a great opportunity for Democrats to reach out to white middle-class male voters, a demographic they continue to struggle with. A successful effort could put the final nail in the national Republican Party’s coffin. Unfortunately for the foreseeable future, Texas will not be that final nail. Here, Democrats may be winning the future demographic race but right now their inability to win moderate rural voters is crippling. Democrats share of the vote was less in 2012 than it was in 2008 and far behind Gov. Ann Richards’ 49.7% in 1990. The truth is, in Texas there’s a messaging gap not a demographic one – Republicans have hurt mostly-White rural Texans with their economic policies just as they have set back minorities across the board with their social policies.

Those with a stake in the longevity of the Republican Party know it must change its social and economic image to be a viable institution in the future. The party that had once drawn success from a lock-step approach to legislative victory is now in the throes of an inner party struggle between those who feel the party is purifying itself into nonexistence and those who believe a broader appeal sacrifices their conservative values. This is most evident in the Republican quest to recruit Hispanics into their ranks. Conservativesclaim that Hispanics have a natural propensity to be conservative but their voting trends show something much different. Not only did Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Obama, they are majority supporters of his more controversial policies including the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. This suggests that even if Republicans managed to cool-down their anti-immigration rhetoric it won’t be enough to sway most Latino voters. And, its likely for the same reason they lost the greater election – their economic policies just don’t add up to success for the middle class.

What’s been lost is the opportunity to rise in our economic system, and there’s no one in power that’s fighting tooth-and-nail to get that back.  Which has caused economic angst for all Americans.  The American Dream as we used to know it, also known as social mobility, is dying – Stalled upward social mobility in America. What’s clear is that there’s a lot of talk nationally about what needs to change for the GOP to win a Presidential Election again. But still very little talk, from either party, of the dire economic situation for those at the bottom of our economy.  As with the discussion of the fiscal curb, aka the “fiscal cliff, Don’t call it a fiscal cliff.

When talking about the “cliff,” policymakers and the media have largely focused on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts and pending automatic “sequestration” spending cuts, but these account for less than a third of the economic drag scheduled for 2013.

In reality, the expiration of the remaining fiscal stimulus—notably the payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment benefits—poses the biggest threat to growth. And the upper-income Bush-era tax cuts and estate tax cuts do the least to support job creation and most starkly fail cost-benefit analysis. Ending those tax cuts would produce $1.2 trillion in revenue over the next decade.

Because it’s not an either-or choice, my colleague Josh Bivens and I recommend a mix of policies that would boost economic growth by 1.7 percentage points and generate more than 2 million jobs in 2013 while, at the same time, reducing the 10-year budget deficit by $651 billion. To do this, we propose a balanced approach of using half the revenue from rolling back these recent tax cuts for upper-income households (earning above $250,000 annually) to finance near-term job-creation policies while using the other half as a down payment on long-term deficit reduction.

Broadly speaking, job creation and deficit reduction are at odds in the near term.

For Democrats to win again in places like Texas, they have to continuously show how through the GOP’s policy choices, the economic concerns of the wealthy always supersede those of everyone else. That is the essence of so-called “trickle-down” economics after all. The rich have been getting richer, and the poor getting poorer, for decades now in Texas. Just how long does it take for things to start trickling down?

Further Reading:
Prosperity for All.
Interactive Map: How Texas Drifted Right in 2012.
The push to fix the debt is a billionaire- and corporate-financed looting scam.
Battle Over Budget Caps Looms in Texas.

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