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Same as it ever was


Good Krugman piece on Republican “populism”:

Has the Republican Party, which has championed the interests of big business and sought to keep wages low since the late 19th century, suddenly become populist? Some of its rising stars would have you believe so. For example, after the 2020 election Senator Josh Hawley declared that “we must be a working-class party, not a Wall Street party.”

But while Republicans have lately attacked selected businesses, their beef with big companies seems to be over noneconomic issues. It bothers them a lot that some of corporate America has taken a mild stand in favor of social equality and against voter suppression.

What doesn’t bother them is the fact that many corporations pay little or nothing in taxes and pay their workers poorly. On such matters the G.O.P. is the same as it ever was: It’s for tax cuts that favor corporations and the wealthy, against anything that might improve the lives of ordinary workers.

The latest example: the Republican push to end enhanced unemployment benefits that have sustained millions of American families through the pandemic, even though unemployment remains very high. Multiple Republican-controlled states have moved to cut off the $300-a-month supplement provided under the American Rescue Plan, even though this means states turning away free money that helps boost their economies — the supplement is entirely paid for by the federal government.

To make a related point:

Um, Vance and Hawley are Reaganites. I’m glad the 90s are over politically, but for all his many faults Clinton didn’t, say, want the Supreme Court to take healthcare away from 30 million people or try to foment an insurrection against a duly elected president.

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