Monday, March 18, 2013

It’s The Policy, Stupid: 4 Policies That Undermine The GOP’s New Voter Outreach Strategy

On Monday, following its loss in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released an autopsy report that aims to “grow the Party and improve Republican campaigns.” The so-called “Growth and Opportunity Project” spoke with “more than 2,600 people, both outside Washington and inside the Beltway” about how the party can appeal to the nation’s changing demographics of voters and start winning elections, and produced more than 200 recommendations to help Republicans connect with every-day Americans.

And while the project seeks to position the GOP as a more caring and inclusive party, a closer examination of the report reveals a big disconnect between the principles and rhetoric the RNC espouses and the policies the party continues to advance:

[W]e do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be. Republicans are spending millions of dollars defending the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), generally oppose federal nondiscrimination laws to protect the LGBT community and marriage equality.
The Republican Party must be the champion of those who seek to climb the economic ladder of life. Low-income Americans are hard-working people who want to become hard-working middle-income Americans. Middle-income Americans want to become upper-middle-income, and so on. We need to help everyone make it in America.” Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget, released last week, slashes the health and safety net programs that middle and lower income Americans rely on — like Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps — while proposing tax code reforms that would significantly benefit top-income earners and corporations. A recent analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded that the budget “would get at least 66 percent of its $5 trillion in non-defense budget cuts over ten years (relative to a continuation of current policies) from programs that serve people of limited means.” GOP governors have offered plans to axe sate corporate and personal income taxes, replacing them instead with an increase in the sales tax. Such policies would directly benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.
We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when a company liquidates itself and its executives receive bonuses but rank-and-file workers are left unemployed. We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had
a meaningful raise in years.”
Republicans have proposed slashing the corporate tax rate just as corporate profits are skyrocketing and wages for middle and lower income Americans remain stagnant. The GOP seeks to repeal Wall Street reform and resists any efforts to tax capital gains at a higher rate, close the carried interest loophole, or raise any taxes on higher-income earners. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget, for instance, “would result in tax cuts worth an average of about $330,000 a year to households with incomes of more than $1 million a year.”
“Our candidates, spokespeople, and staff need to use language that addresses concerns that are on women’s minds in order to let them know we are fighting for them. Republicans in Congress oppose provisions in the Affordable Care Act that provide contraception coverage to women without additional co-pays, have backed measures to allow employers to deny birth control to their female employees, voted against equal pay for equal work, and even stonewalled the Violence Against Women Act. Lawmakers on the state level have enacted numerous provisions that seek to severly restrict access to abortion services.

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