Let me start by saying that I am not a Republican. But since the nation has been used to Democrats versus Republicans since about 1860, it’s hard to change their view of a two-party electoral system. Given the make-up of the current “leadership” in the Democrat Party such as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Henry Waxman, the idea of even considering a Democrat for President in 2016 is unthinkable.
That being the case, I am forced to look for any hope for our nation from among Republicans.
What should be the stated goals of the next Republican candidate for President in 2016? They should be clear and simple. They should be easily understood by the “man in the street”. They should exhibit a certain amount of common sense. In other words, the nominee of the Republican Party has to follow the business world’s rule of thumb, the K.I.S.S. principle or “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”
Does that seem like asking a lot?
First, Republicans, all Republicans, need to stop saying that we need to “balance the budget”. What we need to reduce spending so that we can generate a surplus of at least $100 billion a year, every year without additional debt.
Wow, that sounds like a lot, right? The candidate would have to explain that it would take (at $100 billion a year) about 170 years to eliminate the debt we already have on the books. He or she would also have to explain that reducing spending by only 2.9¢ per dollar of current spending would do it.
Could that convince voters that a little “austerity” is called for? Could that convince voters that unless they really like the idea of the Chinese (as our largest holder of debt) telling us how we should run our own country, we might just want to reduce their financial leverage?
It’s bad enough that the Progressives take our money to funnel it to labor unions, Solyndra, Amtrak, and other boondoggles (so that Democrats who keep that particular spigot wide open will keep getting elected), but by borrowing the money that they’re spending from China, we now have to pay interest on top of wasting the money in the first place.
The candidate has to convince ordinary voters that unless spending and our national debt is reduced, there is no chance that the constant mantra from the left of eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” will ever happen. The more we spend, the more we are likely to lose through “waste, fraud and abuse.”
A recent Federal Times article notes that from fiscal 2010 to 2013, the estimated amount of improper payments fell from $121 billion to $106 billion government-wide, according to testimony before the House oversight committee. The Democrats seem proud of the fact that they stopped $15 billion in improper payments by the Federal government. The Republican nominee should ask just one question: “Democrats claim to have reduced improper payments by one dollar out of eight, and they expect people to vote for them? What about the other seven dollars that was stolen from you? What about the other $106 billion? Do you want to reward people because they reduced the amount that’s being stolen from you by only one dollar out of eight?
Granting that Democrat/Progressives tend to get the vapors at the mere mention of the word “austerity”, the nominee has to make it clear that it does not mean that children will be starved or that the elderly will have their social security checks cancelled. Explain that it certainly doesn’t mean that there will be fewer cops or firemen, unless of course Democrats want to pull another “sequester” and do whatever they can to punish voters. Explain to voters that the punishment would be for doing the unforgivable – thinking logically for themselves.
Austerity means that automatic increases in transfer payments would be a thing of the past. Taxes, fines and penalties will be held in check. Unless there is a “clear and present danger”, the executive will not allow any new regulations about anything, particularly anything that would hurt job creation. The candidate must make a point of never using the word “Period”, following any such assertion.
It could be very effective for the nominee, in stump speeches, to add that they almost said “Period!”, but that voters have “heard that one before” – then pause for the laughter to die down.
The nominee could agree to consider tax rate reductions when, and ONLY when, the economy starts to show a quarterly growth rate of 3-1/2 % or higher. The Laffer Curve really does work, and it should be utilized, so long as the reductions in tax rates does not precede at least some economic growth. But the revenue increase generated by increased economic activity does not mean an increase in spending. Every extra dollar of revenue should be used to reduce our debt.
The Republican nominee should specifically promise to eliminate any and all regulations that target CO2 because it is a “greenhouse gas that is leading to climate change.” Most intelligent people, and even a significant number of those less well educated, are aware of the fact that the planet hasn’t had any global warming for over 15 years. He or she should hammer on the fact that forty years ago we were being warned about “global cooling” and that was just as wrong then as “global warming” is today.
The nominee can declare that once legislative stability is achieved, which means not passing more really goofy laws (e.g., minimum wage increases and Obamacare) that hamper economic growth, the entrepreneurs of America can and will get to work, and we should see a drop in unemployment, an increase in the labor participation rate, a significant increase in revenues to the federal coffers and a decrease in the costs of welfare, food stamps, unemployment, and related expenses.
The Republican nominee should call for the immediate repeal of Obamacare (immediate as in repeal on January 21, 2017) and replace it with changes in current law to allow cross-state sales of medical insurance and allowing for groups of employers to work together to form larger groups with more bargaining power to negotiate better rates for their employees without running afoul of anti-trust laws.
The nominee should tell the nation that he or she will not lay-off current federal government employees, but will no longer allow replacements to be hired until the current, non-military, staffing levels are reduced by at least 20% during their first term through retirements, deaths or resignations.
Duplicative programs will be eliminated.
Ineffective programs will be eliminated regardless of the left-wing special interest groups that scream that they are being murdered. Head Start is just one of many programs that most people, who are not in a teacher’s union, can see waste money.
This same thought process has to be applied to foreign affairs as well. For example, while membership in the United Nations gives us a voice in the body and a seat on the Security Council, are there many American voters who think that giving up any sovereignty to that organization is a good idea? Do many American voters think allowing dictators to come to America just to denigrate America is a terrific use of tax dollars? Think of the billions of dollars that could be saved, as well as the national embarrassment avoided, if we simply told Ban Ki Moon and his cohorts that gee, it’s been great having you visit, but you have to leave now. The nominee could offer, say, $500 million, or even a billion, to build them a new facility in some other nation. Having the U.N. move to Somalia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya or North Korea would be well worth a relatively small amount of financial pain, and it would be offset by the reduced cost of subsidizing security in New York City.
Are these things “populist”? Of course they are. But so is saying “If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Period!”
Republicans must emphasize national security, and link the failures in Benghazi, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and so on, not merely to Obama, Clinton and Kerry, but the entire Democrat Party. A majority of Americans hate to lose, and let’s face it, in 2016 a strong majority is needed to not only elect a truly conservative Republican President (not a RINO) but achieve or bolster a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress.
If any of these suggestions scare a Republican, then he or she should re-register as a Democrat immediately. Or as a Socialist. As if there was a difference.