By Joshua Haywood
There seems to be an orchestrated assault on the middle and lower classes by the GOP, which primarily represents the upper class and special interest business groups. Social mobility appears to be an object of the past as more and more middle class families are being stopped at the door to a better life. I see several things happening on Capitol Hill that signify the GOP’s open opposition to the middle class: the recent rash of anti-union bills in several states and the party stalling until the last minute to extend the payroll tax.
Ever since I started at the University, each trip home convinces me the environment is bleak. I come from Barberton, Ohio, which is right outside of Akron. What upsets me upon return is that I see an increased number of people stuck in low-paying jobs with no hope for social mobility. There is a total lack of opportunity and those who do make it out face a new enemy: the Republican-run state legislature and House of Representatives. My home area used to be filled with jobs in the steel mills or automotive assembly lines, but those establishments have rusted up and blown away with the Lake Erie wind. My town is not unique; there are thousands of towns just like it, some better off and some worse. The country politically has been going in the wrong direction for a long time now and is just starting to get on track. Middle-class citizens are being attacked on the national and state level and the people are getting tired of it.
The first attack is on state workers’ right to collective bargaining, in which they negotiate work conditions such as pay, benefits and hours. The GOP-led initiative of seeking to limit the power of unions in Indiana, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin are all examples of the party’s attempt to silence the middle-class worker’s voice in labor. The measures would essentially dismantle union membership for workers in the public sector, which is nothing less than criminal, as it robs the middle class one of its few advantages over the GOP. The lower classes spilled blood fighting for labor rights in the early 20th century and will not tolerate such abhorrent initiatives. If the GOP has not noticed, the middle class is in troubled times trying to make ends meet as it is and will not stand to see its pay disproportionally cut in comparison to that of the wealthy.
Nationally, the attack widens in the wake of House Republican’s acquiescence to the working class over the passage of pay roll tax extensions. The GOP-run House of Representatives initially refused to even increase taxes of those making $1 million a year by a dollar, and were more than willing to let the cuts expire, which could have taken $1,000 a year out from the 160 million in the middle class. Thankfully the GOP heard the voice of reason and decided to go against their un-American stance. Where is the justice in making the people who physically work the most pay more in taxes while the wealthy are free to count their cash? The GOP is destroying itself from the inside because it has lost touch with reality becoming more radical in their attempts to maintain the status quo of middle class domination.
Money is power and power is the control of money. This is what the GOP has mastered over the years thanks to big business and anti-labor lobbying groups. Middle class support for the GOP is declining and will continue to do so at an exponential rate if the party keeps attacking the people who it is supposed to represent. With elections rapidly approaching, the Republican Party better step up its game if it wants to collect kickbacks in the White House any time soon.