Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Robert Reich: The “Center” of American Politics is on the Left

†

Donald Trump, Fox News, and Republicans in Congress label proposals they disagree with “fringe,” “radical,” or “socialist.”  Well, let’s see where the American people actually stand:

On the economy, 76 percent of Americans favor higher taxes on the super-richincluding over half of registered RepublicansOver 60 percent favor a wealth tax on fortunes of $50 million or moreEven Fox News polls confirm these trends.

What about health care? Well, 70 percent want Medicare for All, which most define as Medicare for anyone who wants it.  60 percent of Republicans support allowing anyone under 65 to buy into Medicare

92 percent want lower prescription drug pricesOver 70 percent think we should be able to buy drugs imported from Canada.

On family issues, more than 80 percent  of Americans want paid maternity leave79  percent of voters want more affordable child care. And that includes 80 percent of Republicans.

60 percent of Americans support free college tuition for those who meet income requirements.

62% think climate change is man-made and needs addressing.

84 percent think money has too much influence in politics. 77 percent support limits on campaign spending. And that includes 71 percent of Republicans.

I could go on. 

So why do the powerful call these policy ideas “fringe,” or “radical,” or “socialist?” 

Money. Many of these initiatives would cost them – requiring either higher taxes on the rich (many could be achieved by repealing the giant Trump tax cut for the wealthy and corporations), or regulations that might cut into their corporate profits. 

So you can bet that as these proposals become even more popular, the powerful are going to intensify their attacks. 

But just remember: the “center” is not halfway between what most Americans want and what big corporations, Wall Street, and the super-wealthy want. 

The “center” is what the vast majority of Americans want.  


Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.

Copyright 2019 Robert Reich

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 10,800 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 3,773,225 hits

Archives

%d bloggers like this: