In part 1 of this post, I argued that the biggest question facing the GOP is what should it be for? Republicans have been relegated to the role of Scrooge while Democrats have been playing Santa when it comes to taxes and economic growth.
So, can the GOP find a way to play Santa again? It’s hard to do on the tax side because Obama has kept rates low for everybody but the top 1 percent and the GOP, fighting fiercely for the 1 percent, only magnifies its Scroogish image.
Actually, some bright conservative writers have proposed good ideas recently. Rich Lowry of National Review, writing in Politico last week, suggested that, in the politically entrepreneurial spirit of Kemp, the party come up with 10 ideas for promoting work in America, advancing welfare reform, replacing (not just obliterating) “Obamacare” and making college affordable.
AEI’s Ramesh Ponnuru, in The New York Times, suggested reducing payroll taxes on ordinary workers, expanding the child care tax credit and lowering health care costs by altering the tax break for health insurance by letting people pocket the money they save buying cheaper plans.
Ponnuru also suggested that there’s no reason the GOP has to insist on a balanced budget in 10 years — which involves slashing domestic spending — when just getting spending on a downward glide path will suffice.
I think the GOP needs to do more: stand for providing all kids with the best education and job training possible, investing efficiently in infrastructure and expanding research. Also, it should be cutting away business tax loopholes to lower the corporate rate and figuring out what to do about global warming instead of denying it’s happening.
The GOP needs more than “rebranding.” It needs to figure out what to say “yes” to.