The economy is growing, a presidential election is on the horizon, and Republicans are finally tackling income inequality as a national problem.
Earlier this month former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched his new PAC with a message geared toward economic insecurity: “While the last eight years have been pretty good ones for top earners, they’ve been a lost decade for the rest of America.” Last Friday former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talked up inequality, telling a Republican audience in San Diego, “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse, and there are more people in poverty than ever before.”
For as odd as it is to hear Romney (of “47 percent” fame) disdain the plutocratic economy, it’s also a welcome change. After 15 years of bad economic news—from sluggish growth and wage stagnation to a world-historical recession—we are finally at a point of real progress. Now is the time to talk frankly about what we need to further our gains and ensure broad prosperity. And, sincere or not, it’s good that Republicans want to be part of that conversation.