GOP SENATE HOPEFULS OFFERING NEW IDEAS FOR 2011:
These Republicans Are Definitely Not the "Party of No"
(as Cheap Shots Would Have it)
By Deroy Murdock
Among others, California’s Carly Fiorina highlights two particularly intriguing proposals:
First, she recommends something called Jobs for Americans Zones. In these specific geographic areas, federal tax benefits would be coupled with relief from state and local regulations. This would create conditions designed to lure manufacturing jobs back to America that have fled the country for more appealing economic climates. These incentives would include:
A five-year tax holiday for start-ups and expansions.
State and local permitting and land-use assistance.
Holidays from uncompetitive state and local regulations, such as onerous work rules that boost labor costs.
Fiorina's Campaign Press Secretary Andrea Saul says:
Second, Fiorina advocates something she calls “Letting Americans Pay Down the Debt.” In short, taxpayers could steer part of their levies to curbing America’s $13 trillion in deep-red ink. As Saul explains, Fiorina
Connecticut’s Linda McMahon spotlights congressional pay. She would slash legislative salaries to match the U.S. median income. If McMahon prevailed, congressional pay would plunge from $174,000 to $44,389.
McMahon spokesman Shawn McCoy elaborates:
Harmonizing congressional and rank-and-file salaries will pry Congress from the bubble of relative affluence that isolates them from their constituents. Members of this Congress might have understood this economy’s thoroughgoing flaccidity, if they struggled as hard to pay their bills as do the Americans they represent.
McMahon also says she will limit her own time on Capitol Hill. “I’ll serve only two terms. Period,” she declares. “If you can’t work through an agenda in 12 years, you don’t have an agenda. You have a career.”
Florida’s Marco Rubio is a one-man think tank. He has unveiled “10 Simple Ways to Lower HealthCare Costs,” “12 Simple Ways to Improve Education,” and “23 Simple Ways to Create Jobs.” Among his “12 Simple Ways to Cut Spending,” these look especially tantalizing:
Freeze Federal Non-Defense, Non-Veterans Spending at 2008 Levels. We should freeze non-defense and non-veterans discretionary spending at pre-Obama levels. In addition, we actually should enforce our goals to cut spending and reduce the deficit by making automatic cuts, if politicians won’t. This could save hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years.
Automatic Sunset of Government Programs. We need to end the permanent lease on life that government programs are given. Too often, Congress creates a spending program, increases it’s funding, and never looks back to see if it is actually working. We should mandate that all discretionary spending programs end every 10 years after the Census, unless Congress specifically votes to continue them.
Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Burgos says that the Automatic Sunset already brightens the Sunshine State. “It’s an idea that’s been at work in the Florida Legislature and helps make sure programs are regularly evaluated and properly debated, not passed once and allowed to live on forever.”
Democrats constantly accuse Republicans of brain death. “The other side just is not presenting a serious idea of how to balance our budgets and put us on a stable fiscal footing,” President Obama complained to Richmond, Virginia voters on September 29, 2010.
In fact, GOP congressional challengers and incumbents are bursting with worthy ideas for repairing America. Some are wise, albeit oft-repeated. Others are novel and merit further interest.
Whether Leftists like Obama and his Democratic Party pals on Capitol Hill will listen to such proposals is another matter entirely. After Tuesdays’ vote, those ideas may become too powerful to ignore.
American Government & the U.S. Congress:
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New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service
and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. The foregoing
column first appeared on National Review Online.
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