The Republican Rebrand, ExposedThe Republican Party is trying to rebrand itself as the party of the working class.
Did they vote for the American Rescue Plan? No. Not a single Republican in Congress voted for stimulus checks and extra unemployment benefits needed by millions of American workers.
So what have they voted for? Well, every single one of them voted for Trump’s 2017 tax cut for the wealthy and corporations, of which 83 percent of the benefits go to the richest 1 percent over a decade.
They claimed corporations would use the savings from the tax cut to invest in their workers. In reality, corporations used their tax savings to buy back shares of their own stock in order to boost share values. And some corporations then fired large portions of their workforce. Not very pro-worker, if you ask me.
Have they voted for any taxes on the wealthy? No. Quite the opposite. Republicans refuse to tax the rich. They’ve even been trying to get rid of the estate tax, which only applies to estates worth at least $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4 million for married couples. Working class my foot.
Have they backed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which a majority of Americans favor? No. Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage even though it would give 32 million workers a raise. That’s about a fifth of the entire U.S. workforce.
Do they support unions, which empower workers to get better pay and benefits? No again. To the contrary: Republicans have enacted right-to-work laws in 28 states, decimating unions’ bargaining power and enabling businesses to exploit their workers.
And when it comes to strengthening labor laws, only five out of 211 Republicans voted for the PRO Act in the House – the toughest labor law legislation in a generation.
How about the historic union drive at the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon warehouse, which Joe Biden and almost all Democrats have strongly backed? Just one Republican spoke out in support. All others have been dead silent.
What about backing regulations that keep workers safe? Nope. In fact, they didn’t bat an eye when Trump rolled back child labor protections, undid worker safeguards from exposure to cancerous radiation, and gutted measures that shield workers from wage theft.
Do they support overtime? No. They allowed Trump to eliminate overtime for 8 million workers, and continue to repeat the corporate lie about “job-killing regulations.”
What about expanding access to healthcare to all working people? Not a chance. Republicans at the state level have blocked Medicaid expansion and enacted Medicaid work requirements, while Republicans in Congress have tried for years to repeal the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. If they succeeded, they would have stripped healthcare away from more than 20 million working Americans.
So don’t fall for the Republican Party’s “working class” rebrand. It’s a cruel hoax. The GOP doesn’t give a fig about working people. It is, and always will be, the party of big business and billionaires.
This is from Robert Reich’s blog, www.robertreich.org. He is professor of public policy at Berkeley, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, and author of 13 books, the most recent of which is “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.”
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