Ted Cruz thinks that the Republicans are the party of the little guy, while the Democrats are the party of the one percent. On the surface, it might appear that he’s right, since most economic gains over the past five years have gone to the one percent, while the little guy’s paycheck has, at best, stayed stagnant. Cruz, however, is cruising with blinders on.
According to the video on “The Raw Story,” Cruz said:
The top 1 percent under President Obama, the millionaires and billionaires that he constantly demagogues, earn a higher share of our income than any year since 1928. Those with power and influence, who walk the corridors of power of the Obama administration, have gotten fat and happy under big government. But I’ll tell you, hard working men and women across America are hurting.
As “The Raw Story” points out, the first thing Republicans did upon taking control of Congress was to pass a bill rolling back many of the already-watered down protections in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Dodd-Frank was passed in the wake of the economic crisis the big banks wrought upon us in all their greed, leaving millions unemployed and unable to find decent paying jobs. Apparently, Republicans think that maybe, just maybe, this time, the banks will keep themselves in check.
They’ve also voted 56 times to repeal the ACA, but while they trumpet “repeal and replace” like it’s their favorite Sousa march, they actually have yet to get behind a single plan and advance it through Congress. Yes, various Republicans have proposed various ideas, but nothing has really come together. They’ve had years to work on this. Repealing the law now, without a plan to replace it, would force millions of Americans to give up their newly acquired, reasonably affordable insurance policies.
The Republicans are also still the party of trickle-down economics, which has done more to stagnate wages and increase income inequality than anything else either side has done. According to The Guardian, the OECD released a report last year that rejected the trickle-down theory, because it redistributes too much wealth upward, and slows economic growth.
A report from Standard & Poor’s found the same about six months ago, according to the The New York Times. The reason is simple: As more and more income goes to the top, less and less ends up in the economy as a whole. Strong economic growth and a strong jobs market depend heavily on demand for products and services, and there aren’t enough rich who will spend enough of their money to keep the engine of the economy going.
The New York Times article is interesting because the S & P’s findings mean the idea that this level of inequality is a problem is starting to (finally) reach the business world and worry them. Maybe someday, Republicans might actually figure out that trickle down just plain doesn’t work.
This is not the first time Ted Cruz has said that Obama’s presiding over the worst income inequality since the 1920s means that this is his fault. Last year, Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s fact-checker, caught him on this, too. It’s a regular part of Cruz’s stump speeches. What Kessler found is that we have decades of economic data showing that the poor do better under Democrats than they do under Republicans. The wealthy do just fine under everyone, but do better under Republicans than Democrats. Kessler gave Cruz’s claim that Democrats are lying when they say the Republicans are the party of the rich three Pinnochios. The worst they can get is four.
Kessler also notes—and after sifting through a whole lot of his statements on the economy and on jobs, we agree—that Cruz never actually explains just how Republicans are the party of the little guy. He just says that Democrats aren’t, and Democrats are the problem, and leaves it at that.
Cruz will keep saying that Republicans really want to help the little guy, which is, of course, best accomplished with a free market that tends toward collusion and monopoly; weaker regulations that allow big banks to run roughshod over the rest of us; and continued trickle-down economics — but don’t expect him to pull any data or facts out to support his claims.