Paul Krugman says that Republican politicians agree with Occupy Wall Street on one thing.
"In a way, people like Romney agree with Occupy: it's them against the 99 percent, except that they consider the 1 percent to be the people being exploited," the Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote in a New York Times blog post on Thursday. "Ask yourself: when was the last time a Republican leader made a point of praising hard-working, ordinary families -- as opposed to 'job creators'?"
Krugman wrote that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's recently leaked comments to donors that 47 percent of Americans "will vote for the president no matter what," "are dependent upon government," and "pay no income tax" did not do full justice to what Krugman sees as the Republican Party's attitude toward ordinary workers. "The evidence suggests that the GOP believes that the fraction of takers/moochers is much higher, in fact at least twice that high," Krugman wrote.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who has proposed tax cuts for the rich and deep cuts to welfare spending and other government programs, said last year that if the government continues to grow "unchecked," "we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency."
Republican politicians have been advocating for policies they say will make things easier for business owners, such as tax cuts for high-income brackets and on investment income as well as financial deregulation. Those policies, they say, would "trickle down" through the economy by incentivizing business owners to invest more and hire more workers.
Matt Rhoades, Romney's campaign manager, emphasized supporting business owners in a campaign email on Wednesday, in which he wrote that Romney supports "tax relief" and "a commitment to championing small business as the engine of our economic growth."
But these economic policies are not proven to promote growth. A recent study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that over the past 65 years, tax cuts for the rich have been linked to income inequality but not economic growth.