Last week, the Republicans released their campaign "platform." They called it a "Commitment to America." Paul Krugman writes:
If you squint hard at the economics section of the Commitment to America, however, you can see the faint outlines of a familiar set of ideas — zombie Reaganomics. Which raises a question: Why are deregulation, benefit cuts and tax breaks for the rich still the ruling ideology of a party that now claims to stand for the working class?
First, it’s striking how many of the economic complaints are about things that are barely, if at all, affected by government policy, like the price of gas (which has come down a lot since its peak) and supply-chain disruptions (which have been diminishing).
Second, immediately after declaring that “we have a plan to fix the economy,” House Republicans say that they will “curb wasteful government spending.” As anyone who follows budget debates knows, that’s the ultimate weasel phrase. What spending are we talking about, specifically?
Bear in mind that the federal government is basically an insurance company with an army: The great bulk of spending is on health care, retirement and the military. You can’t meaningfully cut expenditure without attacking at least one of these. So which parts of that spending are wasteful?
Senator Rick Scott wants to get rid of the insurance company:
Rick Scott, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has called for sunsetting all federal programs — including Social Security and Medicare — every five years, which would open the door to gutting America’s social safety net. Other Republicans have tried to distance themselves from that idea, although without removing Scott from his position. But again, what is this wasteful spending they propose to cut?
We've seen and heard all of this before:
We now have four decades’ worth of experience showing that deregulation and tax cuts for the rich do not, in fact, produce higher wages and faster economic growth. So the idea that tax cuts are the secret of prosperity should be dead, yet somehow it’s still shambling along, eating Republican brains.
For what it’s worth, financial markets share my skepticism. Look at what’s happening in Britain, where Prime Minister Liz Truss’s recent announcement of a Reaganite economic plan sent interest rates soaring and the pound plunging.
Billionaires may no longer run the G.O.P. the way they used to, but the party still wants their money. So plutocrat-friendly policies may be a way of keeping wealthy donors and corporations on board, even if many of them are uncomfortable with the right-wing social agenda.
The party still works for the wealthy. But it's added hate -- for all kinds of people -- to the mix.