Key Issues and Solutions for the 2012 candidate:
High taxes=fewer jobs. With higher state and local taxes a certainty, $4 gas, and food inflation a current problem, voters know that higher income taxes-or a VAT or other gimmicks-are dangerous for the economy. Our current tax “system” is a drain on the economy. A simplified code with a flat tax or a consumption tax like the “FairTax” should be explored and debated-instead of demagogued by those protecting special interests benefiting from the myriad loopholes in the current 70,000+ page monstrosity.
This key issue will require a conversation on the role of government and the reason for taxes. The role of government at its simplest is to deliver shared services to the constituency and protect our individual rights. We decide what those necessities are and the constitution sets limits on the government that delivers them. Taxes should be collected in the most efficient and broad-based manner possible. Taxes should not be used as a tool of punishment or reward. They are not for social engineering or fuel for class warfare. The GOP needs to take the lead here. Policies that unleash the entrepreneurial energy of Americans work. Don’t let them call it “trickle-down economics”. That has always been a left-wing pejorative. This is free market capitalism plain and simple. The GOP must be the party of economic growth through smaller government.
Spending is clearly the problem and tough talk is welcome. Revenue has been rising except in recessions. This is the time to eliminate entire departments like energy and education. There is a growing understanding that the Social Security system is an unsustainable pyramid scheme. Medicare is even worse. The pension problems experienced by the states are the canary in the coal mine. Unfunded liabilities are a fact that more voters are coming to understand. The party with the courage to say that this emperor has no clothes will get the credit for solving the problem.
Voters are coming to grips with the fact that all the promised benefits simply won’t be delivered, so offer the compromise: real tax breaks in exchange for means testing. Seniors care about more than their benefits checks. They have wealth, income, portfolios, businesses, estates, children and grandchildren. They are patriots. They balance their budgets and expect Washington to do the same. They will accept means testing if it is paired with lower capital gains and elimination once and for all of the death tax.
The Democrats can’t even get Keynes right. He theorized that deficits should be tolerated only during recessions and that they should be eliminated when the economy returned to health. This has been distorted into ever-larger deficits during all cycles. The GOP congress deserves a large measure of credit for the so-called surpluses of the Clinton era but lacks a clear record of fiscal restraint with all three houses under their control. 2012 should offer that chance and the GOP must seize upon it.
Politicians who don’t get it, like John McCain, call it “inter-generational theft” or utter platitudes like, “we are passing this debt onto our children and grandchildren”. Nonsense. The way this ends badly is not with future Americans writing big checks-it is with the collapse of our economy through inflation, debt default, civil unrest and potentially war. Every generation is going to pay the price for decades of fiscal malfeasance and the tipping point is fast approaching. We need to balance the budget now and get on a growth path that allows us to shrink outstanding debt. The unfunded liabilities need to be restructured.
Entitlement reform starts and ends with the admission that the math has been clear all along: Social Security is a government-mandated pyramid scheme. Even if there was a trust fund it would eventually run dry. But it’s worse than that. There is no trust fund. Every penny ever collected is gone, intermingled with the other tax revenues and spent long ago on stupid pork projects.
All the hysteria about privatization and the risks in the markets are exposed as straw men when you realize you could’ve buried those funds in your back yard and generated a superior return in comparison to the government squandering every red cent with the intention of taxing yet another working stiff to pay for your eventual benefits. To understand this scam and still vote for Democrats requires a degree of cognitive dissonance that is simply mind boggling. That Republicans have gone along with this for generations reveals them as spineless co-conspirators. The Tea Party was inevitable.
Health care can only be dealt with by first defining the two very separate issues. Health care is a necessity just like food and shelter. It is a combination of goods and services manufactured or delivered by other humans who have a right to be reimbursed. Profits are a necessary byproduct of this free market exchange. Nobody has a right to someone else’s labor or the fruits thereof. The best way to keep the costs down is to ensure that regulation is limited and reasonable, and competition encouraged. We have been going in the wrong direction for decades. Obamacare just presses the accelerator as we head for the cliff.
Health Insurance is a risk tool that has been distorted into a magical deep pocket to be accessed for every health related incident. Americans need to understand that there is no free lunch here. Insurance only exists if a group of people voluntarily pool their money to protect against an unforeseen event that will only strike a small percentage. Most of us will gladly chip in a few bucks and hope we never need to make the claim because that means we didn’t have the heart attack, cancer, stroke or crippling accident. When we drag scheduled maintenance into the insurance routine we needlessly add a layer of bureaucracy and the accompanying costs onto the bill. That’s why we pay for our own oil changes-not our car insurance company. The arguments about requiring car insurance are straw men-it is only liability that is required. That is injury to others-not ourselves, or our car.
Everyone needs to understand that health care is going to take a certain amount of your budget. If you have 5 kids it’s going to take a BIG chunk. Plan accordingly. If your employer is “giving” you a gold-plated insurance plan that means they are going to need to offset that somewhere else-usually your salary. The public-sector unions are trying to obscure the true cost of these benefits.
As usual, markets work best when allowed to function properly. All we need to do is look at how the health industry functioned before all the massive government intervention. Level the tax playing field. Promote portability and longer contracts. Eliminate the mandates and open the markets. Allow consumers to select catastrophic only plans and the premiums will drop substantially. They can reallocate those dollars to health savings accounts. The result is that incentives are returned to stay healthy and let those accounts grow. This is the “replace” that so many have said a repeal movement needs. But redefining the debate-a debate that we were deprived of by Democrats- is the starting point.
Housing policies are at the core of the Financial Crisis. While Wall Street played a role in the market gyrations there never would have been toxic CDO’s without the subprime mortgages that resulted from left wing housing policies. Investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and shut them down. This is an area where the GOP can shine-but they’ve not taken it on in earnest yet. Barney Frank and others are perfect villains. Every single home buyer from the mid 90’s to 2005 paid more for their house due to this. Proper explanation and the Democrats will be dealing with 40 years in the wilderness. Free markets work when we let them. Expose the root causes and its easy to see how letting the government interfere in the health industry would be disastrous too.
A REALISTIC energy policy is paramount. Green / renewable / alternative energy is a warm and fuzzy idea-but decades from reality. Green jobs will not materialize-just ask Spain. With the Middle East in turmoil it is essential for national security that we tap our domestic sources of energy. This will provide real jobs, tax revenue, and help offset the inflationary forces already in evidence. Proper handling of this is a winner in all categories: national security, inflation, jobs and tax revenue. It helps balance the budget. Global warming hysteria is dying down as much of it has been exposed as hype-if not outright myth. The left is admitting that ethanol is a boondoggle. Take the lead. $4 gas is going to hurt. Don’t let the Democrats escape the blame for it. Drill here, drill now, pay less.
Education is a mess despite decades of spending hundreds of billions of dollars. Government programs have not produced positive results. A move toward localized structures and school choice is the obvious remedy and the transformation is already underway. Let’s make it official and shut down the Education Department. Why send our money to Washington so that they can just send it back to the states, diluted by bureaucracy? There are enough successful voucher programs to insist on widespread use. The Chris Christie, no-nonsense approach to unions is the template here. This new paradigm should also end the domination of the curriculum by the likes of Bill Ayers and the radical left.
Illegal immigration is best dealt with through more and better legal immigration. The border must be secured. The Mexico situation makes this crystal clear. Immigrants understand this. The assumption by Democrats that immigrants are pre-disposed to embracing their party and their policies is presumptuous and insulting. Take charge and win voters at the same time.
Foreign Policy under Barack Obama is a failure. He is finding out it is a complicated world out there. This has made for some odd alliances over the years but The United States is clearly one of the good guys on the world stage. Tolerance of, and cooperation with, dictators and other unelected rulers, while frequently necessary does not equate with an endorsement. Repeated apologies for perceived mistakes are inappropriate. Bowing is unacceptable. Mistreatment of allies will require repair. Missed opportunities may not return. These will always be fluid situations that require sound judgment and the ability to quickly analyze a situation and react. Obama lacks this quality. He did not neutralize his own shortcomings by assembling a talented team. Our next President will need solid administrative skills. Obama’s inexperience was given a pass by the Democrats and the compliant media. The GOP needs to present a proven leader who can make the tough decisions. I know there are many that are up to the task.
(Note that jobs are not an item here. When pro-growth economic policies are in place, jobs are a natural result.)
The new GOP needs to adopt these policies and then shape the message for the many demographic groups needed to score big election victories and then hold the majorities through several more election cycles so that these policies have time to take hold and deliver results.
You can see how here: LINK
Or just read on.