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
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?