Ten things Republicans could do to prove they are serious
By J.J. Jackson
Republicans in Congress, you guys and gals want to start fixing the problems we have here in America? You want to prove to America that you are serious about dealing with serious problems? There are a lot of things that need done but here is a list to start with. Some of these are quick fixes that you can get enough Democrats in the Senate to go along with. Others are things that "moderate" Democrats in the Senate will fight tooth and nail against and set up the battle for the 2012 elections. But they all must be done.
1) Propose to extend indefinitely the Bush era tax cuts for all Americans. Why? Because it is the right thing to do! Do not agree to extend them all for only a certain number of years and do not, I stress, do not agree to extend the cuts indefinitely for lower income earners while giving only a temporary extension on those for upper income earners. If you do the latter, then when it comes time for them to expire you will never get those tax rates extended again without huge majorities of conservative Republicans in Congress and a conservative Republican in the White House. Why? It has to do with my fellow members the middle class, many of whom are short sighted and greedy and who will have already gotten theirs. Meaning they won't give a rip about whether or not the "rich" get a permanent tax cut. At least they won't care until the "rich" start pulling back to compensate for their lowered incomes and the economy falls back into a murky depth.
Start pushing in the lame duck session. If the liberal Democrats and their ousted Lap Dog Democrats won't go along with it then do it first thing in January when the new session begins.
2) Republicans in the House of Representatives must propose and pass legislation repealing Obamacare. It may get bogged down in the Senate and even if it makes it out of the Senate President Obama would likely veto it. Let him. Don't be cowards. Obamacare is so unpopular that if it is still on the books come November 2012 there will be a lot more Democrats, including President Obama, looking for work after those elections to come. Every time this repeal fails pass it again in the House and keep the Democrats on record with regards to the issue.
3) Do not fall for the trap that "replacing" Obamacare with some other law is the way to go. After repealing Obamacare Republicans must hold firm and not pass some other unconstitutional law that forces companies to act in certain way with regards to healthcare and health insurance. If there are laws on the books that hinder the free market exchange of insurance coverage between companies and citizens they should be repealed as well. But no law that exceeds Constitutional authority should be proposed much less passed. No matter how politically appealing it may seem and no matter how much the liberal Democrats demagogue it.
4) Bring the <a href=http://www.fairtax.org>FairTax</a> to the floor for an up or down vote. Let's stop dithering. It may not pass but it would establish a clear dividing line between liberals and conservatives. If passage of the FairTax legislation fails, keep pushing it while simultaneously pushing other legislation to eliminate all federal business taxes. I know, liberals will demagogue this as being a sop to the rich but the truth, as I have pointed out many times, is that businesses do not pay taxes. Taxes on businesses are a cost and as a cost they are including in the final price of goods and services. That means we, the consumer, pay all business taxes but default making businesses nothing more than just tax collectors for Uncle Sam. Republicans must be willing to explain this over and over again until people realize this very simple economic truth get behind them and force Democrats to concede or be elected out in two years.
5) Republicans must demand that all bills to be brought to the floor of either house of Congress for a vote be clean. By being "clean" I mean that they must address only a single and specific issue and that no amendment may be offered that does not address that single issue. No more adding money to fund aquariums to bills funding our troops overseas. No more tossing in a few bucks to pay for the study of the music preferences of lesbians in Africa to bills funding the construction of post roads. No more tacking on poison pills to otherwise good and constitutional legislation so that there can be a campaign ad cut harping on how someone did not vote for pay raises for our troops in the next election. Put an end to these shenanigans once and for all.
6) Require exact constitutional justification for all bills and amendments that come up for a vote. If one cannot cite the exact line in our Constitution supporting the authority for the bill or amendment in question it must be automatically rejected for consideration by the Republican leadership in the House and filibustered to the ends of the Earth in the Senate. No more of this, "Well, it is related in some way but we're not exactly sure how to the 'general Welfare'," excuse. Exact line and exact wording must be provided.
7) Pass a rule in the House, and propose a rule in the Senate, requiring that no bills or amendments to be proposed in either body may specifically target, benefit nor exclude and particular group of law abiding Americans. This would require, in essence, all bills to accept that all Americans, including members of Congress, will be equal before the law and avoid vote buying scams like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase that occurred during the debate on Obamacare to secure votes. These deals treated different Americans differently under the law. Under these rules, any bill brought before either body that does not treat all Americans the same under its provisions would be automatically excluded from being brought forward for a vote.
8) In the House of Representatives pass a law allowing any American who wants to opt out of Social Security and Medicaid to do so. We will work on dealing with these unconstitutional programs more fully later on. But for starters, this will do. Any American that chooses to opt out will have any monies they have had taken from their paychecks returned to them under the condition that they make no claim in the future to benefits under these programs. Those who opt out can then do whatever they want with their money. They can invest it, they can buy a new house with it, they can blow it on Crack, they can even wad it up in a pile and light it on fire. That's liberty. Let's embrace it.
9) In the House of Representatives propose and pass legislation within the year's budget that would cut the salaries of all members of Congress, the Judiciary and even the President himself by 50%. All stipends would also be subject to this cut. This legislation should also cut the salaries of all government employees by 70%. All future raises to any of these salaries shall then be tied to the average salary increase of American citizens minus three percent. This will mean if federal employees the top on down want a raise they will have to promote policies that grow the American economy at a rate faster than three percent each year. If they want better raises then they can quit their jobs and go into the private sector.
10) In the House of Representatives, propose and pass a federal budget that limits government spending to, at most, 2007 levels and requires a 20% cut in the federal budget each year moving forward until the budget is balanced and the federal debt is being retired at a rate appreciable to a 10 year pay off period.
Let's see how serious the Republicans really are shall we? Or let's see if they are just going to be the same old politicians we Americans have grown to hate.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.