The Republicans have perfected the message around their economic policy: cut taxes and regulations. They avoid messy details like which taxes and regulations, because the components of their policy are just slightly more impracticable as they are unpopular. In short, people do not want giant tax cuts for rich people, and they do nothing to spur economic growth. They increase inequality and the debt. Similarly, there is a not much enthusiasm for reducing environmental or financial regulations, and the impact could be devastating. Beyond wider reaching impact of climate change, water quality is critical day-to-day (here is what spurred a so much environmental regulation, the Cuyahogo River Fire of 1969), and financial regulations are necessary to prevent “too big to fail” moral hazards from reoccurring (to the extent that they have not already anyway).
GOP Economic Policy: cut taxes for rich and regulations for big companies and assume that growth will trickle down to middle class.
The Democrats have terrible messaging around their economic policy. My interpretation of it is: create a strong enough social safety net so that everyone can realize their economic potential without worrying about lacking: food, shelter, and healthcare. If you have to worry about primary survival, you cannot become a productive member of society. And, those taxes that the Republicans want to cut are necessary to pay for this social safety net. And, those regulations they want to cut ensure a healthy population and financial sector to allow for growth and innovation.
DEM Economic Policy: create strong enough social safety net so everyone can realize their economic potential without worrying about basic needs.
The key differences between the Republicans and Democrats is that the Republicans sell the moniker and ignore the messy details, while the Democrats talk a lot about the messy details, but forget to wrap it in a pretty moniker. As I continue to delve further into public policy research over the coming months and years I hope to flesh this out further.