Do Republicans Have Any Policy Ideas For The Middle Class?

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 5 2012 12:37 PM

Do Republicans Have Any Policy Ideas For The Middle Class?

Jeff Zeleny took some time off from political reporters' focus on the fiscal cliff negotiations to write about Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio saying that "a greater emphasis should be placed on improving the lives of the middle class if Republicans hoped to expand their appeal and confront the nation’s changing demographics."

No new policy ideas from Ryan or Rubio are mentioned in the piece.

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Meanwhile, most political reporters are still covering the fiscall cliff issue. The way that works is that the White House wants to cut middle class taxes relative to current law. House Democrats want to cut middle class taxes relative to current law. Senate Democrats already passed a bill that will cut middle class taxes relative to current law over the objections of Republican senators. But House Speaker John Boehner won't hold a vote on a bill to cut middle class taxes relative to current law. He'll only back a bill that cuts middle class taxes and the taxes of the top 2-3 percent relative to current law.

Note that it's not as if the Obama administration is asking House Republicans to help the middle class out with subsidized college tuition or health insurance or guaranteed retirement security. The proposal on the table here is to help the middle class out with lower income tax rates. But Republicans are opposed. It seems worth mentioning in coverage of the GOP debate over whether the party should focus more on improving the lives of the middle class.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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