(Fourth in a series on the Top 5 Winning Issues for Democrats)
The shocking growth of income inequality isn’t just a message for Bernie Sanders. It’s a potent, populist issue for every Democratic candidate, and one that will resonate will almost everyone—liberal, conservative, or moderate—by appealing to Americans’ basic sense of fairness and our instinct to fight for the underdog. It also presents a stark contrast between the policies and values of Democrats and Republicans.
- Republican policies of “trickle-down economics” have created a massive disparity in wealth—on a level we haven’t seen since the 1920s.
- Giving huge tax breaks mostly to the wealthy, in the hopes that it will spur the economy, doesn’t work. To prove it, show this chart.
- Or cite a few statistics:
- The gap between the wealthy and the rest of America was the widest on record, according to a Pew Research Center study: The median net worth of upper-income families was 6.6 times that of middle-income families, and nearly 70 times that of lower-income families (2013 figures).
- The top one-tenth of 1% of the richest Americans own nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90%.
- Income inequality is higher in America than in any major developed country on earth.
- Republican policies will only make the problem worse. Their agenda is almost exclusively focused on people who are already rich at the expense of workers and people in poverty:
- Conservatives want to give more huge tax breaks to the wealthy and to the biggest corporations.
- They are trying to destroy unions.
- They voted for major cuts in food stamps for people in poverty.
- They are refusing to raise the minimum wage.
- They want to repeal or defund the health care law that has brought affordable health insurance to 16 million people.
- They support the Paul Ryan budget, which would slash funding for food stamps, Medicaid (health care for the poorest of the poor), and other social service programs.
- They are blocking the expansion of Medicaid for low-income and disabled people in Republican states.
- They’ve proposed steep cuts to Pell grants to help low-income students go to college.
- Great countries are judged in part by how they treat their poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Conservatives fail that test of greatness. Giving tax cuts to the wealthy while voting to cut food stamps for the poor in immoral.
- Democrats are the only ones talking about income inequality. Nothing will get done about the problem until Democrats are elected.
- Democratic policies focus on helping workers and the poor.
- Democrats will raise the minimum wage.
- Democrats will fight cuts in food stamps.
- Democrats strongly support unions.
- Democrats support sick pay for every worker.
- Democrats have always fought for the underdog.
- We believe that all of us are created equal. We represent the deeply held American values of equality and fairness.
Other posts in this series: