Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ramesh Ponnuru Offers a Conservative Agenda

Right Matters (
Republicans are reportedly debating whether they should campaign solely on their opposition to the Obama agenda or offer an agenda of their own. My vote is for the latter.

It's fine for Republicans to spend most of their time talking about their disagreements with the president--if they win, they will spend most of their time over the next two years trying to block what they see as his bad ideas, and they will not be able to enact many of their own ideas.

But voters may reasonably ask the Republicans what policies they would prefer to Obama's, and Republicans ought to have an answer. If Republicans don't have an answer, Democrats will impute one to them.

Here, admittedly off the top of my head and in no particular order, are a few of the ideas I hope Republicans run on:

1) A tax reform that includes tax relief for parents, increased incentives to work and save, and considerable simplification of the tax code. (In other venues I have sketched out how taxes could be reformed in this way without sacrificing revenue.)

2)Repeal of Obamacare.

3) A permanent ban on federal funding of abortion.

Follow the link for the other seven. All of which will be agreeable to most of the people that I am acquainted with and that call themselves conservative.

I've argued before that repeal of Obamacare does not need to be a top priority, though I realize I'm in the minority here.  I'm skeptical that it will deliver on either cost controls or on improving outcomes. When that happens there will be a national outcry for repeal or at least a major overhaul.

I would have preferred (and still do) national health reform that a) moved us away from the employer sponsored model b)included guaranteed catastrophic coverage for everyone, including subsidies to help low income folks afford the coverage c) allowed those that were able and so inclined to buy any type of coverage they could find in an open and competitive marketplace

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