July 26, 2010

FOR ONE THING, MIDTERM RACES ARE ALMOST NEVER ABOUT IDEAS...:

Go for Growth: An agenda for Republicans. (Matthew Continetti, August 2, 2010, Weekly Standard)

The reason the economy hurts Obama is that his agenda has not produced a recovery. At best, the legislation he has signed into law has delayed the financial reckoning. At worst, it has actively hindered recovery by increasing the regulatory and tax burdens on business and crowding out private investment. And so a principled and cheerful opposition to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid legislation, and a promise to overturn that legislation’s worst elements, is the beginning of a Republican agenda. But just the beginning.

Luckily, the GOP still has some idea men in its ranks. The Republican Study Committee (RSC), led by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, has designed an alternative budget resolution. And Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has designed a long-term Roadmap for America’s Future. Both plans limit government and encourage growth. Ryan’s plan is especially audacious, as it overhauls the welfare state in a market-oriented, conservative direction. The really remarkable thing, however, is that these are the only two Republican visions of the future at this time of political and economic ferment. Why aren’t there more?

An enterprising conservative would build on the RSC and Ryan plans with an explicitly pro-growth agenda. He (or she!) would do this with the understanding that only robust, broad-based, and prolonged economic growth will produce jobs, reduce the debt burden, and increase social cohesion. He (or she) would be aware of a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation that found that net job growth in the United States comes from firms less than one year old. This enterprising conservative’s growth agenda, therefore, would make it a point to reduce hindrances to entrepreneurship and small business.

Meaning? An extension of current tax rates on income, dividends, and capital gains until the economy is booming and Congress is ready to undertake large-scale, pro-family, pro-investment tax reform. A payroll tax cut. A promise to take the Federal Register to the paper shredder, reducing the number of regulations that aspiring businessmen face when they start new ventures. A plan to withdraw from GM and Fannie and Freddie and end corporate welfare. A commitment to advance free trade by passing stalled agreements with South Korea and Colombia and championing new agreements with India and Africa.

The benefits associated with this agenda would not only be economic. The public would know where conservatives and Republicans stand. They would know what to expect in the years to come. And they would be able to hold the GOP accountable. The alternative is for Republicans to stand pat, benefit in the short term from Obama’s unpopularity in 2010—and reap the whirlwind in 2012.


...but, for another, the growth agenda is W's, and they hate W.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2010 5:20 AM
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