David Weigel posted an article on Slate earlier today, Marco Rubio Mentions the Middle Class 35 Times in One Speech. But that’s not really what it’s about. But it does get to the heart of the matter. You see, Rubio mentioned the middle class, but never really engaged with the concept.
As I’ve noted before, this is par for the course when it comes to Republicans. Their idea of reaching out to groups that aren’t already part of their coalition is to talk nice. There will be no changes to policy! I understand where they’re coming from. Republicans have been very good over the past several decades at convincing people who have very contrary interests to vote for them anyway. Why wouldn’t they think it will continue to work? And the sad thing is that they may well be right.
This is SOP: take traditional Republican positions and claim that they are good for the middle class. So Weigel notes that Rubio just reworks his standard speech except that “stuff that Republicans wanted to do already becomes stuff that will help ‘the middle class.'” And just look at what that stuff is!
Rubio says, “Sound monetary policy would also encourage middle class job creation.” This is just the old “job creator” canard dressed up. The Federal Reserve has a duel mandate: keep inflation low and employment high. But Republicans don’t like this. They want the Fed to have a single mandate: keep inflation low. The claim is that this will help employment by helping the “job creators.” This is supply-side economics: the money will tinkle down on the poor.
The whole “job creator” myth is just a repackaging of the old supply-side economic theory. But everyone knows that there is very little to supply-side economics and that under most circumstances it is just plain wrong. So the Republicans try to sell the same old snake oil under a different name.
Weigel mentions a number of other Rubio zingers. But the main thing is that he’s trying to claim that the same old Republican policies that everyone knows just enrich the wealthy are really good for the middle class. And I think we must all call out this deceitfulness every time we see it. It will keep us busy!