The Missing Plank of the GOP Platform:

Reclaiming Family-Wage Jobs in an Age of Globalization In his 2010 examination of the welfare state, Never Enough, William Voegeli spilled a lot of ink exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism. But the Claremont scholar also chided his fellow conservatives for failing to see the beam in their own eyes: an obsession with tax cuts and economic growth that has prevented Republicans from expanding their share of the electoral market. Using Congressional Budget Office household-income data, Voegeli demonstrated that the much-touted supply-side revolution driven by the Reagan, Clinton-Gingrich, and Bush-43 tax cuts delivered substantial benefits for the upper-middle class but only marginal benefits for the working and middle classes.[1] His analysis could not be more compelling, given the chilly reaction to Mitt Romney’s tax proposal, which builds on the same construct, when unveiled in early August.[2] As Voegeli laments: “These tax cuts were hardly of a sort to significantly improve the lives—or earn conservatives the political loyalty—of the households making up . . . [the bottom] three-fifths of the income distribution.” Noting that after-tax income of the middle-quintile household increased just 21 percent in real terms between 1979 and 2005, the conservative scholar concluded: “It’s doubtful that a political coalition for limited government can be purchased so cheaply.”[3] The economy’s lackluster performance since 2008, which has tightened the noose on Americans without a college degree, a segment of the population that represents 70 percent of Americans more than 25 years of age,[4] justifies Voegeli’s recommendation that the GOP rethink its policy agenda and political strategy. Indeed, as Nathan Lewis suggests in Forbes, “It would be nice if Republicans could focus their attention a little more on the median and less-than-median workers and families in the U.S.”[5] As much as conservatives are right to criticize Presiden
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