There is no doubt that the Republicans will sweep into Legislative Majorities in one or both houses after a short four year exile. It is not, however, a radical change in the GOP that has swung the electorate into 'the big tent'; it is a clear civil unrest over some very key faults of the Federal Government. Those elements are spending, budget, taxes, and jobs. The fact that the only platform put forth by the GOP establishment in 'The Pledge' is vague in solutions to these ends, and that the party is still decisively split on foreign issues, banking issues, etc. is clear evidence that the 2010 Republican Majority may find itself causing more harm than good.
In the simplest of statements, the GOP majority stands poised to squander any significant fundamental ability to change the legislation of the past ten to twenty years. This goes beyond Obama, extending through Bush and right on into Clinton. In fact, one could make an argument that fundamental reconstruction of the make-up of the US essentially starts with legislation that is a hundred years old.
What should the new, independent, Constitutionally backed GOP minority push the greater GOP establishment into tackling over the next two years? More importantly, what will the GOP establishment and the Liberals who survive the coming blood-letting work fervently to stop? Below is a list of the top SEVEN issues needed to repair the economy and structure of this nation:
7. Repair Social Security. When Social Security was adopted in the 1930's, it was intended to be a safety net. That safety net, for better or for worse, became a staple in the American Work Force, establishing secure retirement for elderly and providing a social welfare for the disabled. In the 1960's, Democrats tapped into the extra revenue of the SS program in order to balance their budget. This pillaging of the senior retirement fund fundamentally destroyed the system as a safety net, transferring the burden from a personal savings to a necessary tax item on the annual budget. Democrats looked to Social Security income as a source of revenue, depleting the savings account of America. We need an act of congress to completely restore the coffers and remove Social Security receipts as 'income' to the federal government. We also need to ensure that only those truly eligible receive funds, non-illegals, etc (and those who have paid into the system for a certain number of years). Payments should be a factor of contribution, etc, etc. This approach is constructive to the current dependency on the system, does not alienate the elderly or disabled who may be at a disadvantage, and is a good faith common-sense compromise that works across the aisle.
6. Fix Healthcare. Obamacare and other forms of socialized medicine are destructive to industry - both in the medical field and across the board. Obamacare was so invasive that it made it a federal crime to NOT purchase insurance from a private company. This and other aspects of the law are grossly unconstitutional and will not survive the courts. There are, however, positive glimpses within the document that were horribly implemented - for instance, denied coverage due to past illness, and coverage for children. Congress can pass legislation under equal protection and non discrimination forcing insurers to allow equal and affordable coverage for all. There are many ways of restructuring the system within the current set of rules (pre-Obamacare); However, what if we cast aside the set of current rules and changed the playing field? If we combine tort reform, state government ownership (on a state by state basis as voted on by the people of each state in accordance with the 10th amendment), and a true level playing field for insurance (interstate plans, restriction of price fixing, etc.) the free market competition would drive insurance prices down. A top down Federal health system is unconstitutional, and should be left to the states, thus the current system needs to be absolutely repealed and reframed.
5. Pay down the National Debt. Throw a wrench in the cogs of ALL the National debt calculator widgets by reversing the trend. Pay down the national debt. This should be made a priority as a good faith gesture to America that the government tyrants are going away. A well planned budget could effectively pay off the entire national debt in two presidential terms. That is right. I personally claim to have a plan to pay down $14 Trillion in 8 years. The following three items lay out the general ingredients to how this is possible.
4. Fix the Tax Structure. The tax codes change from year to year, written in such a way that only those with access to high cost lawyers can curtail true tax rates, and end up paying less than their fair share; in most cases those tax evaders are the tax code writers - your Congressmen and Senators. A flat tax is not absolutely necessary, but it provides an excellent model for restructuring the US tax code into a simple handbook. Combine the Flat Tax and the Progressive Tax (under which we currently operate), and eliminate deductions for incomes over a set dollar amount. Restructure the tax rates to reflect typical current payments based on deductions for lower and middle earners, and then simplify by eliminating the deductions for all. Eliminate EIC, as it is simply a pay-out of wealth redistribution. remove everything from the US tax code other than a simple chart indicating income and expected taxes. Business and corporate taxes would embody a similar system with an adjusted flat rate with no deductions. The system would be uniform and constitutional. The revenue to the US government would reflect a net increase without any significant modification to current tax burdens. I could easily calculate a $0.5 Trillion annual revenue increase by eliminating loopholes for the rich senators and their friends. Other adjustments may need to be made to balance a debt pay-down plan.
3. Cut Government Spending. Current government budgets are usually never reduced, and often simply push forward funding for programs plus a percentage budget increase each year. Anyone currently addressing "significant budget cuts" simply mean that the percent increase was reduced - but facts show that the net program spending increases! Some system! Do a full scrub of the entire budget. Make some deep and necessary cuts - to the tune of at LEAST $1.5Trillion (or half of the 2010 budget). I have run these calculations and major defense cuts associated with eliminating unnecessary multi-billion dollar federal departments and cutting unnecessary portions of the remaining department funds, while placing certain obligations back into the hands of the states or citizens (like education), cutting $1.5Trillion comes easy without even broaching the Medicare/Medicaid coffers. Eliminating them in favor of a Social Security Medical system and other healthcare changes reducing the cost and increasing the availability of private healthcare easily makes immense gains toward elimination of debt.
2. Take Control of Monetary Policy. A repeal of the Federal Reserve Act, or a restructure of the way the Treasury handles the monetary system would immediately eliminate a grand portion of our debt, would eliminate the need to pay interest on our own monetary system to a private conglomerate of banks who have no connection to the Federal Government, and would fundamentally change the way we do business in the US with regards to spending and borrowing. It is a drastic move and a massive show of force against the banks who continually suck the government and the citizens dry for profit. Eliminating the debt by a swoop of a pen would by far be the most dramatic law in the history of the world. Other less drastic steps could be taken, like renegotiation of all interest on debts to 0.0% (since it is OUR money). Such a step would immediately save $164 Billion annually, and could be used to negotiate down total debt to the Federal Reserve. International debt would be handled separately.
1. Repeal the Patriot Act. Next to financials, the Patriot Act was the single most restrictive piece of legislation to American Liberties. The frustration in 2006 & 2008 against Bush was due to such invasive laws (as well as the wars). A restructure of the intelligence agencies does not necessitate a collapse of civil liberties. This law is an abomination and should be struck in its entirety.
These are some of the most extreme examples, but necessary to turn our country away from social tyranny toward a peaceful economic powerhouse. If the new GOP pushed for even a tiny part of these changes, they would establish themselves as sound leadership for generations. If these are the principles we truly embrace (smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom), then the above changes are not radical or extreme; they are necessary elements in the fundamental restructuring as part of a more perfect union. One in which ideas like "the new deal" can provide security for citizens while the focus and structure of the government can return to a less powerful advisory board focused on defense and equal protection under the law. There is a perfect equilibrium, but we are far removed from it. hard work and sacrifice on the part of the Federal government is key to reach the higher middle ground. The new GOP needs to lead us there.