January 10, 2015

Republicans have decided on their messaging strategy now that they're in charge and aiming for the White House in 2016. In a complete reversal of everything they have done and said since Saint Ronnie held office, they are now very, very concerned about income inequality.

A little late to that issue, aren't you, Republicans? I first noticed this new messaging tack last week when Jeb Bush launched his Right to Rise PAC and tried to steal Elizabeth Warren's message right out from under her nose. But Carly Fiorina -- former HP Board chairman -- really takes the cake.

"Of course I care about income inequality and I also care about the fact that for the first time we are destroying more businesses than we are creating in this country," Fiorina insisted. "Fewer small businesses are starting. More are failing than in any time in forty years. We have some fundamental structural problems in this economy. People aren't being educated."

Oh, how cynical she must be. Fiorina, after all, is the woman who claimed "there is no job that is America's God-given right anymore."

Likewise, there is no business that is America's God-given right anymore either, and certainly no business entitled to pay CEOs hundreds of times more than they pay their workers. Fiorina carefully crafted her reply to only pay attention to business, with little or no concern for workers.

Education would be less of a concern if Republicans quit obsessing on Obamacare and focused on shoring up community colleges and state universities instead. So spare me that, Ms. Demon Sheep Lady.

I do need to push back on her whine about the status of California's education system, though. When I was in school, California had one of the best education systems in the country. Only one thing changed. Proposition 13, the brain child of John Birch Society conservatives, passed, sounding the death knell for California's excellent school systems along with the University of California and California State University systems.

That was thanks to Howard Jarvis, who champions conservatives like Carly Fiorina for public office.

As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina was responsible for thousands of layoffs, outsourcing jobs overseas, and gutting the shared prosperity that Silicon Valley used to pride itself on. She declared that her only mistake at HP was not firing even more people than she did.

Worse yet, everything she did while there actually led to the destruction of the HP brand, one of the oldest and most respected in the industry. Watch for Fiorina to claim her executive ability is her best qualifier for the Presidency. She'll tell everyone she cares about average Americans but truly, she only cares about whatever the US Chamber of Commerce and her pals over at Koch Industries care about, and her own words confirm that.

Republicans are going to keep pretending they care about income inequality and populist issues because they understand how important those are to regular voters. But actions speak far louder than words, and fundamental Republican policies make that inequality worse and harder for working people.

Read the full transcript of the video.

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