Rick Santorum's Middle Class Economic Agenda Was Gigantic Tax Cuts For Millionaires

A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 7 2013 11:04 AM

Rick Santorum's Middle Class Economic Agenda Was Gigantic Tax Cuts For Millionaires

Former US Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013.

Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Byron York asks why isn't Rick Santorum the GOP frontrunner for 2016, and argues that despite being best known for his ludicrous and unpopular views on religion and social issues we should really see him as a champion of working class economic interests:

Briefly put, Romney lost because he failed to appeal to the millions of Americans who have seen their standard of living decline in recent decades. Of all the GOP’s possible candidates, Santorum has the most cogent analysis of that loss, and a plan to avoid repeating it in 2016. That’s the topic we started with when I sat down with him at a Washington coffee shop last week.

In the rest of the article, York quotes Santorum saying various things about the need to champion working class economic interests. And indeed on the campaign trail, Santorum said a fair amount about this. He also championed a tax plan that relative to a scenario in which the Bush tax cuts were fully extended would have extended an additional $448,000 per year in tax cuts to people earning over $1 million per year, while delivering around $1,000-$2,000 to the median family. To pay for that, you would need to enact large cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs.

Maybe that's a good idea. But I sincerely doubt that it would serve the financial interests of the typical working class American. But this seems to be about where we are in terms of economic policy discourse in the conservative movement. You can either have the rich finance guy who likes to talk about "job creators" and whose agenda is cutting middle class services to pay for regressive tax cuts, or you can have the guy worth "only" a couple of million dollars who likes to talk about working class people and whose agenda is cutting middle class services to pay for regressive tax cuts. Actually reconsidering the idea that the best response to thirty years of slowing growth and growing inequality is to cut middle class services to pay for regressive tax cuts isn't on the agenda.

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



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
Oct. 21 2014 1:12 PM The Global Millionaires Club Is Booming and Losing Its Exclusivity
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.