A Domestic Agenda For The Post-Bush Era

Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam wrote a piece in the Weekly Standard about how the GOP’s domestic agenda should change in the Post-Bush era. Some of their analysis was good, some of it was bad, but the concept was terrific — and a terrific concept is worth stealing =D

So, here’s my short, very generalized, off-the-cuff guide (This would be a good topic to revisit in more detail later) to what the GOP’s post-Bush domestic agenda should look like.

Deficit & Taxes

— Change the rules so it takes the support of a supermajority in Congress to raise taxes.
— Attempt to flatten and simplify the tax code.
— Support a Balanced-Budget Amendment or some other sort of legislated spending limits.
— Support Social Security reform including private accounts, raising the age limit in 2030, permanently tying the age limit to the average lifespan of Americans, & index Social Security payments to prices, instead of wages.
— Set the baseline budget to the rate of inflation when we’re running a deficit and the rate of inflation + 1% when we’re in the black.
— Oppose taxes on the internet.
— (Note: If Bush’s Medicare Prescription Drug Reform somehow hadn’t gone into effect by this point, I’d support dumping it. But, if it has been in effect for 3 years, that won’t be politically possible).

Energy

— Drill ANWR ASAP.
— Permanently get rid of the Clean Air Act Amendments that lead to different gasoline blends going to different states (which raises the cost of gas about 15 cents per gallon)
— Low interest loans and tax credits for companies that agree to build new refineries or nuclear power plants.

Health Care

— Tort reform, which will reduce not only costs paid out in lawsuits, but the cost of “defensive medicine.”
— Streamlining the regulations that make bringing a new drug to market so slow and expensive.
— Health care savings accounts.
— Allowing health insurance companies from anywhere in America to compete for business in any state.

Illegal Immigration

— Significantly increase spending and resources for border control.
— Put an end to “catch and release” programs (i.e. if we catch an illegal immigrant, they stay in our hands until they’re deported).
— Crack down on businesses that hire illegal aliens.

Various

— Pledge to continue to appoint textualist judges.
— Oppose Affirmative Action as unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment.
— Support a “loser pays” principle that will cut down on frivolous lawsuits.
— Continue to push for school vouchers, particularly in areas where schools are failing.
— Support the presentation of a Photo ID in order to vote.
— Push for stricter control of legal immigration. Cut back the number of immigrants being allowed to enter the US and be more selective with the people we allow into the country.
— Support Three-Strikes and You’re Out laws that get criminals off the street permanently.
— Oppose new regulations on the internet.
— Support free trade at every opportunity.
— Oppose any and all government spending on abortion.
— Support a Constitutional Amendment that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
— Oppose minimum wage hikes.

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