Paul Krugman on the real problem with Bush and the GOP: income disparity

by Jay Stevens

Paul Krugman has pretty much identified why the current Republican Party and its figurehead – George W. Bush – is in so much trouble.

Income disparity.

The idea is that, during the Reagan era, voters were ready to abandon “big government,” which they saw as taking money from middle-class taxpayers and giving it to unneeded social programs. Then the gap between rich and poor grew, and working- and middle-class families started to struggle.


But today’s Republicans can’t respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won’t let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.

The Republican Party’s adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can’t offer domestic policies that respond to the public’s real needs. So how can it win elections?

The answer, for a while, was a combination of distraction and disenfranchisement.

The distraction is, of course, obvious: terror. The disenfranchisement can be seen in the GOP’s quixotic hunts for “voter fraud,” which is a keyword for taking the vote from poor people.

I’m not sure if I would simplify the administration’s terror program and war in the Middle East down to a simple sleight of hand – I do think the administration bought into all that PNAC neocon bullsh*t about stabilizing the region, spreading democracy, etc, in order to secure a critical geopolitical area and its valuable asset: oil. With the ensuing cheaper oil prices, costs would do down domestically, and the rich could continue to get richer, and the rest of us schlubs would have a little more green once gas went back down to a $1 a gallon.

Or something.

Whatever. Krugman’s analysis is spot-on. Rising health care costs, unfair trade policies, and an unfair taxation burden are beginning to weigh down the bulk of the American electorate. Something needs to be done, and the GOP is ideologically incapable of offering any relief.


  1. Squid

    My problem with Bush is that he spends like a drunken democrat(no offense Ted), he won’t enforce our borders, he trusts democrats and he’s not a conservative. If you democrats had ran someone decent against him he wouldn’t be sitting in the White House now. It’s all your damn fault.

  2. That’s it! Blame the victims! Maybe if you conservatives had actually put forth a half-intelligent candidate back in 2000…

  3. Squid

    Just using your blame Bush for everything logic. And guess what, you ain’t coming up with crap this time around either. I take that back, crap it is. Hey, Bush got better grades than Kerry and he didn’t flunk out of Divinity School like Gore. What the hell do you want form me?

    You know if Rudy is elected maybe he can do to Congress what he did to New York City. Get rid of all the riff-raff and criminals and he can start with William Jefferson, who no doubt will still be there. Maybe the Justice Dept needs to think about putting that “bulldog” Patrick Fitzpeeyew on the case, but I think he only goes after small fish republicans.

  4. Squid – you talking about Clinton again?

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