The Democratic Party Is Flying Blind on Economics

The Democratic Party Is Flying Blind on Economics

One consistent theme of American politics over the last generation has been the increasingly strong ideological discipline of the Republican Party. What that has meant in policy terms is fairly clear: tax cuts for the rich, cuts to social insurance programs, deregulation, free trade, union-busting, and a belligerent foreign policy.

The rise of President Trump, of course, seemed like it might upset things. He ran as an erstwhile economic populist, promising to protect Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security; enact soak-the-rich tax increases; and tear up free-trade deals that had harmed the (white, he none too subtly implied) working class. But his actual administration, stacked as it is with right-wing hardliners, has simply underlined the dominance of conservative ideology. The only significant policy passed during his administration has been a traditional tax cut for the rich, plus a lot of deregulation carried out at the executive level.

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