While it may play well among the credulous saps in the media to proclaim that the Democratic Party is a “big tent” and welcomes the entire gamut of “acceptable” political ideology— like “conservative” and “would be considered right-wing in Europe but is equated to communist in the United States” — in reality, this ideological incoherency is the single biggest obstacle to the Democratic Party ever getting anything done.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has led the right-wing charge to keep the Democrats from actually doing anything with the trifecta of power they tenuously hold, doggedly obstructing basic Democratic platform planks like raising the minimum wage and spending government money to help people and then going on victory laps to brag about how conservative he is.
On Sunday, he exposed just how much of a Republican he really is during a CNN appearance in which he appeared to say he was opposed to the basic idea of yet another key Democratic policy proposal, this time taking aim at the monthly child tax credit that is currently helping lift millions of American kids out of poverty but whose benefits are set to expire in December.
Why? Because there’s no work requirement, of course.
“There’s no work requirements whatsoever…There are no education requirements whatsoever, for better skill sets. Don’t you think, if we’re going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?” said Manchin on CNN’s State of the Union.
@DanaBashCNN presses Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on why he doesn't support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 12, 2021
Work requirements to access the social safety net is a fundamentally abhorrent Republican policy that punishes poor people for being poor; at its heart, it tells people that their lives aren’t worth anything unless they materially contribute to the production of capital — though if the past year is has told us anything, it’s that American lives aren’t worth anything to Republicans, who will freely discard over half a million lives just to advance their psychotic political agendas.
Of course, work requirements don’t even work; studies show that, for instance, work requirements for food stamps don’t actually increase employment but in fact make it harder for them to find a job because they don’t have any FOOD.
It’s been well established that one of the biggest obstacles preventing people from returning to work is a lack of access to affordable childcare, which the tax credit could help pay for… who can be bothered with things like logical decisions when there’s political grandstanding to do?
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Opinion columnist and former 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.