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Republicans just now learning that most Americans aren’t business owners

03 Feb

So the Republican Congresspeople had their annual retreat last week. Eric Cantor gave a presentation to his fellow Republicans, trying to get them to understand that, um, 90% of Americans are working class schlubs who have no ambitions. Er, I mean, that 90% of Americans don’t own businesses, and don’t want to own businesses. Apparently, this came as a huge surprise to his colleagues–previously they thought this only applied to 47% of Americans, the moochers–so he had to spell it out in a PowerPoint presentation with graphs and charts and short sentences.

Per Byron York’s report:

“Ninety percent of Americans work for someone else,” Cantor said, according to a source in the room. “Most of them not only will never own their own business, for most of them that isn’t their dream. Their dream is to have a good job, with an income that will allow them to support their family.”

“We shouldn’t miss the chance to talk to these people,” Cantor continued, according to the source, “which is why we will present and pass our plans to relieve the middle class squeeze.”

What was extraordinary about that portion of Cantor’s presentation was not that it was out of place — it was entirely on-target for a political party hoping to win elections in 2014 — but that it came six years into the economic downturn, and decades into a protracted decline in middle-class standards of living. Could it actually have taken Republicans that long to realize they should address such problems, especially when Democrats have made huge gains appealing directly to middle-class voters?

Apparently, yes. And even now, not all House Republicans are entirely on board. “It’s something that’s been growing and taking time for members to get comfortable with,” says a House GOP aide, “because they did spend the last decade talking about small business owners.

Six years into the economic downturn, and decades into a protracted decline in middle-class standards of living.

For years–decades, even–Republicans have demonized everyone who wasn’t a business owner, separating the makers from the takers. All of their policies have been predicated on the theory that business owners should be taxed lower than the rest of us and everything will be fine. Of course, in reality, their policies barely helped the majority of business owners, instead mostly benefiting the wealthiest and largest businesses.

So this is a step in the right direction, even if Cantor has to drag his fellow Republicans along with him. But let’s be patient. It “takes time” to recognize facts when you’ve predicated your entire strategy on a faulty understanding of the American people. They need to get comfortable and all before doing the right thing.

According to York, various conservative groups have been urging Republicans to devote more effort to middle-class concerns, prompting him to ask: “What took them so long?” What took them so long, indeed.

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5 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Current Events, Politics

 

Tags: , , , , ,

5 responses to “Republicans just now learning that most Americans aren’t business owners

  1. casper

    February 4, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Watson,
    I’ve run my own business and managed stores for companies big and small, but I’ve never enjoyed myself as much as I do when I’m teaching. However, according to many on the Right, teachers are takers.

     
    • watsonthethird

      February 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

      However, according to many on the Right, teachers are takers.

      Yes, I’ve noticed that, casper. Great clip, by the way.

       
  2. Cluster

    February 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Well again, the disconnect persists and is palpable at this point. Let’s examine this:

    Of course, in reality, their policies barely helped the majority of business owners, instead mostly benefiting the wealthiest and largest businesses.

    “Their” policies do that?? Read this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/income-inequality-obama-bush_n_1419008.html

    It seems that the Democrats are better at that than Republicans. And then there’s this:

    ……faulty understanding of the American people.

    A faulty understanding?? Take a look at this:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

    And I have some news for you – the direction of the country is not set by the party that controls the House of Representatives. The direction of the country is set by the POTUS, and we are 5 years now into that course.

     
    • watsonthethird

      February 4, 2014 at 8:54 am

      A faulty understanding??

      Gosh, Cluster, you better get in touch with Eric Cantor right away and tell him that he is wrong!

       
  3. meursault1942

    February 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

    This is for sure an interesting development. If Cantor is indeed sincere in wanting to help the working class (and not just trying to repackage the same old “we’ll help the working class by helping the upper class and hope that the upper class in turn throws a few crumbs to the working class” stuff), then that’s a good thing. But he may face quite the uphill battle in getting his caucus to go along with it, as they’ve been trained to value the Holy “Job Creators” (who aren’t, in fact job creators any more than the working class is) above everybody else.

     
 
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