A Populist Message

Carol Platt Liebau
Posted: Dec 07, 2012 7:58 PM

John Podhoretz notes that Republicans have morphed into the "eat-your-vegetables-and-shut-up" party. There isn't much of a populist message out there from the GOP, which has been maneuvered into seeming like the party that's ready to raise taxes on everyone to prevent them from going up on the "evil rich."

On Monday night, I noted some populist points the Republicans should be making. But there's also one that bears emphasizing: Contrary to their posturing, the Democrats aren't really the party of the "common man." They're the party of government -- the force that bosses the "common man" around. 

While the private sector struggles with continued high unemployment and undermployment, for government workers, the unemployment rate is just 4.3%. 

State government employees outearn their private sector counterparts by 6%. (Do you like what you're getting at the DMV?)

Government workers work one month less per year and three hours less per week than their private sector counterparts.

In 2010, USA Today found that federal employees' average compensation has risen more than double what private sector workers earn.

Your tax dollars at work, friends.

President Obama's policies aren't really about helping normal, working people get a leg up.  They're about advantaging government -- and government workers -- over those who do work or seek work in the private sector.  And there's a big problem with that: The public sector doesn't produce wealth, it consumes it.  The bigger the President grows government, the more he's going to have to raise taxes on everyone to support his preferred, government "elite" (as even Howard Dean noted). 

No, it's not popular for Republicans to defend high earners from tax increases (they may have to give in, though there would be significant silver linings, as Kim Strassel points out).  But they should make it clear that the President's class warfare talk is just a smoke screen for policies that do favor an elite -- it's just the government-based elite, rather than the private sector elite.