LABOR REPUBLICANS

11/13/13

Mike Lee noted that conservative scholars have a number of imaginative proposals that they try to address the breakdown of the family, the rising cost of health insurance and higher education, the lengthening suburban commute and out of control entitlement spending. Republican officeholders haven’t picked up the torch. The GOP elite is stuck in the policy thinking of the Reagan Revolution—“too many republicans today mimic them—still advocating policies from a bygone age”.
He announced for specific proposals—to aid families raising kids, facing the challenge of balancing work like and home life, spending. His tax plan would simplify and reduce rates and offer a $2500 per- child credit (up from $1000) that would offset both income and payroll taxes. His reform of labor laws would allow employees who work overtime to take comp time or flex time in lieu of pay—an option currently available to federal workers but not the rest of us. His transportation bill would lower the federal gas tax and devolve power to the states and localities. And his education proposal would create a new optional system of accreditation.
What the labor republicans share is a respect for work. A labor republican opposes the senate immigration bill not only because it’s a bureaucratic monstrosity but also because an influx of cheap labor would decrease low-skilled wages.
A labor republican is not reluctant to embrace proposals to reduce the size and power of the Wall Street banks. Nor is he reluctant to discuss the social and cultural background—disintegrating families, radical abortion laws, legitimation of drugs and pornography—to economic malaise.
An autopsy report on the 2012 election shows that the GOP needed to embrace comprehensive immigration reform and reject the social issues in order to compete on economics. But as the conservative group American Principles in Action (APIA) demonstrates in its won new report, “Building a Winning GOP Coalition,” the party leadership got it backwards. Its not the social issues that hurt republicans it the economic ones.
On issues closet to the hearts of his electoral base, Romney was silent. This self-mute strategy, replicated by Cuccinelli has four negative consequences. It allows Dems to frame the debate—and as APIA observes, “In a country deeply conflicted by the issue of abortion the party that aggressively frames the debate stands to win.” It also prevents the GOP from attracting new voters who may not agree with the party on economic but do agree on social and cultural matters. The self-mute strategy is intended to create more space for the republic economic message.
Working families with kids want to hear politicians speak to their concerns: increasing health and tuition costs and a moribund job market. What they often hear from republicans are prophetic warning about debt and deficits and the necessity of cuts in entitlements and in the corporate income tax.
They can reintroduce monetary policy to the national debate and frame their economic policies in terms of making the dollar for further.

Source—weekly standard, matthew continetti

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