Friday, November 11, 2005

Interesting stuff...

I am curious as to what others think about this article. It has some really interesting stuff that generally I would disagree with but doesn't sound to bad. Warning to Steve: It mentions the word "subsidies" quite a bit.

As a quick overview, the article begins by talking about the current problems with the GOP base with some interesting insight and how it has contributed to much of our current domestic political mess-this leads to three possible paths for the future.

1) To continue the current path (the one that has given us failed SS reform coupled with big-spending projects (basically compassionate conservatism).
2) Return to a pure form of conservatism that will likely lead to at least a temporary loss of power

or

3) "The third possibility--and the best, both for the party and the country as a whole--would be to take the "big-government conservatism" vision that George W. Bush and Karl Rove have hinted at but failed to develop, and give it coherence and sustainability. This wouldn't mean an abandonment of small-government objectives, but it would mean recognizing that these objectives--individual initiative, social mobility, economic freedom--seem to be slipping away from many less-well-off Americans, and that serving the interests of these voters means talking about economic insecurity as well as about self-reliance. "

The authors argue for the 3rd possibility and suggest some interesting policies. In short:

-Various changes to the tax code that would strength the two-family household and encourage having children
-economic incentives to raise your children for a few years (even a possible Montgomery GI Bill for stay at home moms and dads)
-Mandatory catastrophic health care for all coupled with free-market reforms across the board. The authors correctly label the current health care system as, "current hodgepodge of command-and-control and laissez-faire." The result is a health care system that really isn't consumer-oriented. They hope to remove health care responsibilities from the employer.
-More welfare reform-wage subsidies for low income full-time workers to give them a leg up and out of poverty while stripping those that can work but choose not to of their subsidies
-Cutting all income taxes to families making 100,000 or less (or individuals making 50,000)...a 25% rate for those above and a possible consumption tax.

It is a lengthy article but worth a read. While some of these proposals might sound like they go against our principles I think they are worth considering. For instance-if we don't do something about health care soon-we will indeed end up with universal health care that will certainly last at least a generation. Perhaps getting out ahead of liberals on some of these issues might be expedient?

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11/11/2005 11:57 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

This, to me, seems like a massive plan of social engineering. Whenever someone thinks they are smarter than the masses and can create incentives to generate a certain type of behavior I am VERY skeptical. The talk about increasing the birth rate was especially troubling to me.

Some of the healthcare talk was interesting, but I don't agree with the notion that we should "take a page away from the dems" and enact some major reform to stop universal care. While that may work in the interm, in the LR it would just speed up any efforts to socialize our healthcare.

The reason people don't see the need for a lot of small government reforms is because our Republican leaders have not been talking about them. It takes a strong leader, like Reagan, to consistently push the idea of limited govnerment. People don't want tax cuts because, in reality, only the richest Americans pay taxes. If half of Americans pay NO income taxes at all, why would they vote to cut them? Every tax cut we have made has increased the overall burden on the rich (even Bush's cuts). I think this is dangerous - you essentially have the masses controlling the pocketbooks of a few. We are a democracy, but we also maintain the rights of the minority. If the majority of the people in Ohio voted to seize all the property held by Wal Mart and turn them into soup kitchens, you can't say, well this is democracy, sorry Wal Mart.

11/13/2005 9:45 PM  
Blogger Purn said...

I guess your perception on this article is framed by your perception on the GOP. Is it floundering, maintaining its majority status mearly because of a weak opposition or is it a strong party?

I view the GOP as a weak party with strong fundamentals. If we were able to really implement some change, really stick to Reagan/Goldwater beliefs, then the GOP could easily become the majority party for the next 40-50 years. The party is correct on the big issues of our time (War on Terror, Iraq, etc) but is domestically weak. To correct this, we need a strong-willed leader that is able to take the heat. Unfortunately, that is not the President right now.

11/14/2005 1:31 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Yeah all the social engineering stuff turned me off-particularly the increasing family size stuff, not sure what that is about.

However some of the other ideas were interesting..

"take a page away from the dems" and enact some major reform to stop universal care. While that may work in the interm, in the LR it would just speed up any efforts to socialize our healthcare."

The problem that I see here is that we probably will see steps towards socialized healthcare in the next 10 years if something doesn't change soon...some of these proposals wouldn't really go against our beliefs and would permanently take the winds out of those sails if they succeed (in my opinion).

11/14/2005 5:37 PM  
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11/20/2005 4:16 AM  

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