Yes, the Republicans had major gains this week, but the Democrats still control the Senate and the White House. The amount of turnaround that’s realistic would likely be minimal. Sure, some Democrats who don’t wish to be booted in 2012 will go along with cutting government; but Obama seems to carry himself without concern for re-election, which would mean an active veto pen.
So here’s a realistic 15-Point agenda that the GOP can follow for the next two years.
- Extend, and make permanent, the Bush-era Tax Cuts
Or, more accurately, don’t raise taxes. Opposing this move would be tantamount to political suicide. If there is not enough support to make them permanent this time around, they must make them permanent after 2012.
- Defund ObamaCare
Until Obama is out of the White House, there is no chance for repeal. In the meantime, the Republicans can cut its funding and ready it for repeal in 2012.
- 10% (minimum) budget cuts across the board
Many Republicans would like to exclude the military from across-the-board cuts, but such a hypocritical move would keep any Democrats from jumping on board. Budget cuts should be universal - even (or especially) including the failure that is federal education spending. This 10% minimum doesn’t include ObamaCare.
- Automatic NO votes on Tax or Spending Increases
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: just say NO. The Democrats still hold most of the power and thus will likely continue to propose government increases. No matter how good any new legislation may sound, Republicans must vote NO on anything that increases spending or taxes. The people will appreciate the seriousness of their resolve.
- Audit the Fed
It’s time to End the Fed outright, but more feasible right now would be a hard audit and oversight of the Fed. Ron and Rand Paul already plan to introduce such legislation soon. Once light is shed on the Fed’s secret dealings, the people will undoubtedly demand an end to its destructive ways
- Recall Unspent TARP and Bailout Funds, Vow No More Bailouts
Block remaining unspent bailout and TARP funds from ever being spent. “Stimulus” doesn’t work. This has been proven time and time again. And even if it did work, if they haven’t spent this money yet, they don’t deserve to. Many Republicans - including likely Speaker-To-Be Boehner - have a lot of repenting to do to make up for their previous support of TARP and Bailouts.
- Federal Hiring Freeze, 10% Pay Cuts
Why shouldn’t the 10% across the board budget cuts include pay and salaries? The private sector has suffered while, or rather because, the public sector has thrived. Freeze pay after cuts (and get ready for bigger cuts in 2012).
- 25% Pay Cut for Federal Elected Officials
Put your money where your mouth is, Congress. I’d like to see our civil servants explain to us why they shouldn’t be paid less while so much of the country is unemployed and underemployed.
- Privatize GSE’s (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac)
Chop ‘em up and sell ‘em off. They are among the biggest reasons we are in our current economic mess. Let the housing market finally normalize.
- Leash the TSA
The USA PATRIOT Act, Aviation and Transportation Security Act, and Homeland Security Act all need to be repealed and abolished completely. But for starters, the out of control TSA needs to be leashed and muzzled, to eventually be abolished. No more use of porno-scanners and groping techniques and other actions that violate citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights. The GOP ran on Constitutional principles, and this is an important way to prove that they meant it.
- Simplify Legislation
The American people have had enough of laws that span thousands of pages and no one reads. Pass a law that puts limitations on the size and scope of future legislation, as well as a minimum time for deliberation (two weeks? month?) for everything except cuts. Curb pork by eliminating earmarks. Don’t raise the debt ceiling. Also, it’s high time for a Balanced Budget Amendment. Eventually, it will be time to institute session limits.
- Lower the Minimum Wage
Ultimately, the minimum wage must be eliminated entirely - it increases unemployment and underemployment, lowers prosperity, increases cost of living, and encourages illegal immigration. In the meantime, lower the minimum wage by repealing the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. End recent federal prohibition (by executive regulatory body) of unpaid internships that eliminates opportunities.
- Roll back Economy-Crushing Environmental Regulations
This should be the first step to get out of the farcical anthropogenic climate change redistribution scheme that the watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) have forced on us.
- Cut Foreign Aid by at least 50%
The only nation the American people want to build is their own. Eventually, foreign aid must be eliminated altogether. If the American people want to help Darfur or Cuba or Afghanistan or wherever, let them volunteer their money themselves. It’s time for France and Korea and every country in between to take care of themselves and provide for their own welfare and defense. Most importantly, it’s not the government’s money to spend.
- Weekly Program Cuts
Earlier this year, Republicans introduced a weekly program-cutting initiative called YouCut. Most of the proposed cuts were piddly jokes, presumably because their minority status kept them from going after meatier cuts. This program should continue and the cuts should increase commensurate to the increase in GOP power. Feel free to start with low-hanging fruit like the NEA, Amtrak, and NPR.
Nothing on this list is impossible in the current political climate. In fact, most of it is indeed very doable as long as Republicans are clear on the message that a limited government means more liberty and prosperity for all of us.
Note that there is no mention of “strengthening national defense” or of legislating social norms. These were not the reasons the people voted the Republicans into office. As such, the GOP must remain focused on reigning in spending and removing the government from interfering in the market. When a Republican inevitably brings up things like defining marriage, the unified Republican response should be: “leave it to the states.” It’s what our founders intended and it keeps the Democrats from gaining a wedge in opposing the Doable GOP Agenda.
Also note that there is no direct mention of public sector unions. Obviously, since Democrats are union lapdogs, any effort to curb or eliminate the influence of unions in the federal government would be met with heavy resistance. But eliminating unions and non-compete agreements and pensions from government should be one of the biggest priorities if Republicans are given control of the Senate and White House in 2012.
After addressing unions, the Departments of Education and Energy, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission must be eliminated.
Then come the entitlements, which account for the greatest portion of the budget. Medicare Part D needs to go, and a phase out of Social Security - like Paul Ryan’s Roadmap - should be initiated.
Then, the GOP can feel free to work through my repeal list.
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