President Obama laid out in clear cut words just why the white American working class is so economically anxious – and why Trump isn’t the answer to their worries. Speaking in Greece at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the President laid into Congressional Republicans for obstructing every thing he’s tried to do to help the American people.
“We have to deal with issues like income inequality, issues of economic dislocation, deal with people’s fears that their children won’t do as well as they have. The more aggressively and effectively we deal with those issues, the less those fears may channel themselves into counterproductive approaches.
That’s been my agenda for the last eight years. I think raising wages, investing in infrastructure, making sure that people have access to good education that equip them for the jobs of the future, those are all agenda items that would help alleviate some of the economic fractures and dislocations that people are experiencing.
The problem was I couldn’t convince Republicans in Congress to pass a lot of it.”
The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party is largely responsible for the economic pressures facing the American working class. The reckless deregulation in the Bush years led directly to the Great Recession and the massive bailouts that amounted to the largest single transfer of wealth from the middle class to the monied elites in recorded history.
The “right-to-work” union-busting laws passed in twenty-six states are crushing organized labor and letting self-interested corporations dictate the terms of worker pay and benefits.
Every attempt to raise the minimum wage, which has been stagnant for decades, has been immediately shut down by Republican legislators. They fight tooth and nail for massive tax cuts for corporations, who then ship their jobs overseas anyway because they are ethereal entities that exist only to make as much money as they can.
Republicans are largely responsible for the huge holes in the federal budget, thanks to George Bush’s overseas neocolonial wars of aggression in the Middle East and other stunts like the 2014 shutdown of the government, which wasted a staggering $25 billion in taxpayer dollars so that legislative terrorists like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) could grandstand to the press over hyperbolic and insincere concerns over the federal debt.
All that is on top of the endless blocked judge appointments, the Republican disregard for their constitutional obligation to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, their 869-day refusal to confirm the ambassador to Norway.
And yet somehow the people of America elected Donald Trump and re-elected all the same people to Congress all over again. If they thought their lives before were bad, just give it four years of Trump and his merry band of white supremacists.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.