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GOP Policy Platform: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

by: Progressive86

Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:29:28 AM EST


To change, or not to change, that is the paramount question facing the Grand Old Party. As the November 6th election recedes further into the past, however, the chances that the GOP will make substantive changes to their party platform appear to be receding as well. Some members of the Republican Party have decided to face the results of the November 6th election with humility and a reconsideration of policy positions.

As Congress faces negotiations about averting the "fiscal cliff," Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) told WMAZ-TV that he's not willing to be bound by the anti-tax pledge he once signed.

Said Chambliss: "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."

However, a vocal crowd of GOP'ers have actually dug in their heels and turned their fingers away from themselves, towards a host of external factors. One argument apparently gaining traction is the "Romney wasn't an effective spokesman" argument. According to this line of thought, the conservative policy platform is sound; Mitt Romney just couldn't sell it to the American people properly.

Progressive86 :: GOP Policy Platform: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks
There is also the "minorities argument," that enormously feared sector of the American population for many conservatives. If only those darn minorities had stayed at home instead of voting, they implicitly argue, the election results would have been completely different. The thought process here boggles the mind! If only we could have disenfranchised a sizable portion of the American electorate, we could put the country back on the right track!

Some commentators in the Democratic camp, however, have rejoiced over the possibility of a recalcitrant tea party. The assumptions here seem to be that if the tea party members of Congress continue their radical and obstructionist ways, the 'liberal agenda' will not only strengthen by the sheer contrast of what is being offered from "the other side," but tea party representatives will lose out in a big way during the next election cycle. However, none of this is necessarily true.

But regardless of whether the GOP decides to move away from Crazy Avenue to Sane Rd. the move won't happen overnight. It might not even happen over the next two years. But America needs effective change to happen now.

Our political representatives must, at a minimum, invest in critical infrastructure and job creating programs. Budget gimmicks and "priming the pump" are no longer adequate, and have not been for some time. Where the tea partiers are wrong is blindly denying the efficacy of government to save the economy from disaster is cases such as the 2008/2009 economic collapse. But the Democratic Party does the country few favors by seeking short-term solutions/acquiescing to the half-measures promoted by the Republican Party.

Leaders in the Democratic Party, and above all President Obama, must make the case for economic solutions that will lead to long term economic growth. If the so-called "fiscal-cliff" is avoided by focusing on short term solutions like budgetary cuts to federal agencies, a Democratic victory now will be far outweighed by an economic decline in the future that will be used as ammunition by conservatives to turn the U.S. into a free-market haven that only insane ideologues like Ayn Rand would feel comfortable living in. The only solution, again, is to focus on creating jobs, through government help, in the short term and in the long term.

That is where real growth will occur, that is where our country will finally find its 'mojo' again.

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Jobs! Job! Jobs! (4.00 / 1)
This "fiscal cliff" hysteria is a distraction, IMO, from the real economic problem: lack of demand. Producers will not increase production, merchants will not order more inventory or hire more personnel, until they see a need for such, and they won't see a need until consumers of poroducts start buying: it is called a "virtuous circle" by non-free market economists.

This demand deficit could be resolved if the government (and it has to be the government) creates jobs and raises the minimum wage. The first is jeynesian, the second simnple math, since any increase in wages of jobs at minimum wage level will be immediately spent, prompting the private sector to create more product and more jobs to meet the increasing demand.

The next thing Congress must do is abolish the debt ceiling, so hostile parties can no longer hold the country hostage to their archaic austerity demands. The federal government can create money at will, the debt ceiling is absurd, and does not accomplish its supposed pupose of tempering spending (it was originally imposed as a device to ease government spending, so as to help the Treasury avoid comig to Congress to authorize each expenditure). No debt ceiling means Congress muust authorize funding for everything it passes in the bill itself. Ha.


A Badly Bruised Ecomonic Paradigm (4.00 / 1)
The forces that could have corrected this situation have been set in neutral by obstruction and the remnants (yes, I will say it because it is true) of the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the policies facilitated as a result during the Bush administration.

Just like the damage done under Nixon by the wage and price control lunacy, it is temporary...but how temporary is another issue. Returning to equilibrium can be sped up, slowed down, or left to history. The stimulus was an attempt to speed it up, but was only allowed to stall a depression.

The minimum wage no longer accomplishes its original intent. It was established in a world of 40 or more hour work weeks without benefits. The business model has moved away from full-time employment to avoid costly benefits (this began long before the health care rationalization). This is an area where great minds must converge. No matter what one believes is a living wage, the minimum wage will never get us there.  


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