Robert Reich, the liberal economist and former Labor secretary in the Clinton administration, adroitly summarized the national landscape in an online analysis touching on Wisconsin protests:
“The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class — pitting unionized workers against nonunionized, public-sector workers against nonpublic, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class,” Reich wrote.
“By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans want Americans to believe that we can no longer afford to do what we need to do as a nation. They hope to deflect attention from the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.”
He continues, “Republicans would rather no one notice their campaign to shrink the pie even further with additional tax cuts for the rich – making the Bush tax cuts permanent, further reducing the estate tax, and allowing the wealthy to shift ever more of their income into capital gains taxed at 15 percent.”