Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Republican Presidential Candidates’ Policies Would Hurt Ohio’s Middle Class
Press Release

RELEASE: Republican Presidential Candidates’ Policies Would Hurt Ohio’s Middle Class

CAP Action Report Analyzes How Republican Presidential Candidates’ Proposed Economic Policies Would Devastate Ohio’s Economy and Middle Class

Washington, D.C. — As the crowded Republican presidential field prepares to converge on Ohio for the first presidential debate, “The Buckeye Squeeze”—a new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund—finds that the proposed economic policies of Republican candidates would greatly benefit Ohio’s wealthiest at the expense of the state’s low- and middle-income families. While the rest of the country continues to recover from the Great Recession, Ohio’s middle class has struggled in recent years, as the median household income in Ohio is lower than it was before the recession. Instead of standing with Ohio’s middle class, as their more recent rhetoric might suggest, the impacts of these Republicans’ policies will continue to hurt struggling middle-class families.

“At every turn, members of the Republican presidential field have made it more difficult for middle-class families to survive and thrive,” said Arkadi Gerney, Senior Vice President of Campaigns and Strategies at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “There is no doubt, if any one of these candidates is elected, that their policies will have a devastating impact on Ohio’s already struggling middle-class families.”

The GOP candidates promote themselves as job creators who will help grow Ohio’s middle class, but their records and proposed policies indicate otherwise. For example, had former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, or Sens. Marco Rubio (FL) or Ted Cruz (TX) been president when the U.S. automotive industry needed to be rescued, Ohio’s economy would be even further behind. Each of these candidates spoke out against the auto rescue as a bad economic policy, even though it saved an estimated 1.5 million jobs and the auto industry is now growing at three times the rate of overall job growth in Ohio between 2010 and 2014. Not only that, but these same candidates’ proposed policy of eliminating capital gains taxes would benefit 92 percent of Ohioans making $1 million per year, while only helping 12 percent of Ohioans who earn between $25,000 and $75,000 per year. Flat income taxes, such as those pushed by Sen. Rand Paul (KY) and Gov. Perry, and a national sales tax, promoted by Sen. Cruz, would both disproportionately hurt Ohio’s low- and middle-income families. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich has made it his goal to eliminate Ohio’s income tax while raising sales taxes—a move that would benefit the wealthy at the expense of low- and middle-income families.

Under these candidates’ policies, women and families would struggle to find economic security. One of the best ways to help parents balance family and work life is through paid sick leave policies that recognize a workforce where women often lead. In Ohio, mothers are the primary, sole, or co-breadwinners in 68 percent of families, so implementing paid sick leave would greatly assist Ohio families. Unfortunately, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker blocked cities in his state from implementing their own voter-passed paid sick leave initiatives, and Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a bill that would stop cities in Louisiana from passing their own paid sick leave laws.

“The rhetoric about income inequality and stagnant wages has failed to match the reality of the policies put forth by GOP candidates,” said Ryan Erickson, Associate Director of Economic Campaigns for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Ohio has seen enough of the kinds of trickle-down economic policies that direct their hard-earned money to the wealthy and force families to shoulder the burden. We should focus on policies that strengthen family economic security and honor hard work.”

Read the full report: The Buckeye Squeeze by Ryan Erickson

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Benton Strong at [email protected] or 202.481.8142.