Republicans have proven adept at getting middle-class voters to vote against their own pocketbooks. George W. Bush and his advisors promised economic growth, jobs and an ownership society—but delivered a housing finance bubble, Wall Street profits fueled by fraud, a recession, budget deficits, low economic growth, massive job losses and upward transfers of middle-class wealth.
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In Fools and Knaves, author Howard Green explores both the short-term and long-term effects of Republican-controlled government on the nation. When the Republicans left town, they handed the tab for clean-up to taxpayers and then obstructed every effort to repair the economy that they broke. What’s more, they now favor cuts to government programs for the poor, government shutdowns, and threats of credit default. The financial crisis of 2007 was no accident; it flowed from GOP policies that were intended to benefit the 1 percent as well as themselves. Republicans succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, and today the wealthiest among us pocket virtually all the gains associated with the rebuilding of our economy. Meanwhile, the middle-class suffers home foreclosures, job losses, and reductions in real income.
Fools and Knaves makes it clear that while appealing largely to social conservatives and older, white, blue-collar voters, Republicans make promises to the middle class but actually deliver results only to the wealthy. Everyone else—especially those who are younger, better educated, female, and from minority households—is now getting the message: Republicans have nothing to offer them.