That the Republican Party refuses to give up on its fight to maintain the high-income Bush tax cuts shows that the party’s ideology is divorced from economic evidence, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) said Tuesday.
Despite the fact that the GOP’s trickle-down policies have led to stagnant wage growth and skyrocketing levels of inequality, ballooning debt, and weak job growth, Republicans cling to the belief that next time will be different, defending the Bush tax cuts from expiration at the end of the year and promising even larger unpaid-for tax cuts for the rich in the future.
Republicans ignore the failures of “trickle down economics,” Strickland said in an interview with ThinkProgress, because they are “wedded to an ideology that is divorced from the real world”:
WALDRON: Why is the Republican Party still attached to these policies even though we’re going on now three decades of evidence that they aren’t helping the middle class?
STRICKLAND: Well, I think it’s being wedded to an ideology that is divorced from the real world, quite frankly.”
Strickland’s view is backed up by 40 economists recently surveyed about the GOP’s economic plans, who found that the the party’s positions on recent economic policies were ignoring reality. Others have made similar observations: a group of professors told CNN Money earlier this year that the proposals presented by Republican presidential candidates couldn’t pass an Economics 101 class.
The divorce from reality, Strickland said, contributed to the abrupt retirement of Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette (R), who announced today that he would not seek re-election. LaTourette blamed, in part, polarization in Congress and his party’s move right, a point Strickland backed up. “I think what is says is there’s no place in the current Republican Party for moderate individuals,” Strickland said of LaTourette, who supported new revenues during last year’s debt fight and disavowed anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist. “If you are a moderate, even if you are a conservative but not a radical conservative, there’s no place for you in the Republican Party today.”