In a new article by Newt Gringrich – The Plan – the founder of the NeoCon movement turns his teeth on the recently departed Republican President. Lambasting the Stimulus package just signed into law, Newt has this to say”
This isn’t the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Spending Frenzy , this is the Bush-Obama Spending Frenzy, Part IV.
image credit jmicheali
This is why you can’t put them in the same cage with each other…
Instead of following the path of the past and current Presidents, Newt lays out a 12-step Plan to save the economy based on what he believes are Reaganomic principles:
1. Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.
2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.
3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.
4. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget. This begins with eliminating congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.
6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud. Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.
7. More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.
8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.
9. Protect the Rights of American Workers. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union, and the worker’s right to freely negotiate. Forced unionism will kill jobs in America at a time when we can’t afford to lose them.
10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley. This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups. Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.
11. Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.
12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st Century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.
Not all of these things strike me as bad ideas (I particularly like “12” – and so does the current President). But as Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas in the current issue of Newsweek suggest, both world events and President Bush’s actions seem to have boxed America into a more European postion for the foreseeable future:
Bush brought the Age of Reagan to a close; now Obama has gone further, reversing Bill Clinton’s end of big government. The story, as always, is complicated. Polls show that Americans don’t trust government and still don’t want big government. They do, however, want what government delivers, like health care and national defense and, now, protections from banking and housing failure. During the roughly three decades since Reagan made big government the enemy and “liberal” an epithet, government did not shrink. It grew. But the economy grew just as fast, so government as a percentage of GDP remained about the same. Much of that economic growth was real, but for the past five years or so, it has borne a suspicious resemblance to Bernie Madoff’s stock fund. Americans have been living high on borrowed money (the savings rate dropped from 7.6 percent in 1992 to less than zero in 2005) while financiers built castles in the air.
Now comes the reckoning. The answer may indeed be more government. In the short run, since neither consumers nor business is likely to do it, the government will have to stimulate the economy. And in the long run, an aging population and global warming and higher energy costs will demand more government taxing and spending. The catch is that more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment). Growth has always been America’s birthright and saving grace.
So amidst this swirl of historical trends we – led by the Obama administration – need to devise a growth plan to gain the advantages of the European nations while avoiding their pitfalls. While we are busy doing this the question for the Neo-NeoCon GOP may well be:
“Will the New GOP simply hope to bring us to the past, or will it be something new?”
Time will tell.