By a 50-49 vote, Senate Republicans have rolled back an Obama-era regulation that allowed states to create retirement accounts for low-income workers whose employers did not provide them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that the rule undercut private sector business, “Under the guise of helping more people save for the future, it undercut a system of private retirement savings that has served millions of Americans very well for decades. The end result would be more government at the expense of the private sector.”
The truth is that the vote was really who the Senate works for.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pointed out before the vote that Republicans have not put up a single piece of legislation to help working families in this Congress.
Video of Warren speaking on the Senate floor:
Warren asked, “Why on earth are they now voting to make it harder for cities and states to help their own citizens to save for retirement? Why? Three words. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce and the trade associations for the giant financial firms have been fighting tooth and nail to kill these retirement intiatives….All because the giant fiancial firms that the Chamber of Commerce and trade asssociations represent are worried that these city and state plans might actually offered better investment products with lower fees.”
Helping low-income people save for retirement by offering them products that might be more affordable is not the Republican way. When Republicans talk about removing burdensome regulations for the “American people,” the “people” that they are helping are corporations and financial firms.
Small business owners are condemning the Republican vote, “Small business owners wear many hats, but being investment advisers should not be one of them,” said Lisa Hagerty, a small business owner in Stowe, Vermont. “Programs like this that put small business owners in the best position care for themselves throughout their lives, while helping employees do the same, are a no-brainer. So why are Republicans in Congress dismantling them?”
Republicans just made it more difficult for low income workers to save for retirement, and that is the way that they want the labor force to work.
In Republican economic ideology, there is no ladder of opportunity for the poor. Everything that this Republican Congress and President have done is designed to keep poor people poor.
An ample supply of low income workers is needed so that rich people can get even richer.
Senate Republicans sent the message that retirement is only an option for the wealthy. If you living paycheck to paycheck, Republicans are making sure that retirement isn’t for you.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association