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Heritage Foundation Asks: What if the House GOP Ran DC?

by coldwarrior ( 32 Comments › )
Filed under Conservatism, Democratic Party, Economy, Elections, Health Care, Politics, Progressives, Regulation, Republican Party, Tea Parties, The Political Right, Unions at February 15th, 2012 - 11:30 am

The Heritage Foundation Asks: What if the House GOP Ran DC? Well, as Michael G. Franc relates, America would be in much better shape. See, the FisCons are in the House and they know how to fix this mess we are in. I was almost cheering while reading this and then reality hit. Not only do these guys have to fight the Democrats, they have to fight the leadership in their own party as well. Hopefully, both will be overcome.

 

Let’s conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives ran things in Washington. Unilaterally. No need to negotiate with the Senate or assemble two-thirds majorities to overturn those pesky presidential vetoes.

Imagine that legislation commanding majority support in the current House would become law immediately upon passage. What might our nation and our world look like?

This is not an altogether quixotic exercise. A thorough review of roll-call votes cast since the 2010 electoral upheaval allows us to approximate the world view that guides the 243-member House Republican caucus.

Such a review reveals a conception of America — and America’s role in the world — as ambitious, and conservative, as that of any previous congressional majority.

 

Indeed, from a political perspective many of these votes qualify as truly heroic (or, for those hewing to a leftist viewpoint, truly demonic). Viewed in its entirety, the agenda overwhelms. It would: repeal Obamacare; place a firm limit on how much in taxes Washington can take from our paychecks; require federal bureaucracies to think before they regulate; restore considerable authority and decision-making power to state governments; and alter the structural DNA of two of the Big Three entitlement programs — Medicare and Medicaid. (Fundamental overhaul of Social Security, it seems, will have to wait.).

In a nutshell, the GOP House agenda would place the federal government on a fiscally sustainable path without eviscerating national security. America would reclaim its status as one of the freest and most opportunity-laden economies in the world. There would be real and enforceable limits on the power of the federal government. And our ability to defend America’s interests around the world would be robust and enduring.

If you think this sounds like the equivalent of a second American Revolution, you’re right.

So, what exactly happened in our thought experiment?

First, the 112th Congress repealed every jot and tittle of Obamacare on its first day of business. All the House Republicans, joined by three Democrats, voted to undo the single largest expansion of federal regulatory, fiscal, and taxing authority in American history. Not a bad start.

Next, the House Republicans approved, en masse, the budget blueprint sponsored by Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.). “No budget in decades,” my colleague Alison Fraser wrote, “has had the potential for so fundamentally improving the nation’s prosperity and restoring its vast promise.”

Within it, one finds many transformative ideas. Among them:

Medicare and Medicaid are reformed to blunt much of the fiscal carnage they are projected to inflict on future generations. If House Republicans ruled the world, Medicare would be restructured so that each senior received a fixed government contribution to help pay for a portion of the health plan of his or her choice. Meanwhile, Medicaid’s open-ended financing arrangement, which violates every reasonable conception of federalism, would give way to block grants with a fixed federal contribution to the states. In exchange, states would enjoy greater flexibility to design their programs to better serve those in need. The tax code is completely overhauled. Special-interest tax deductions, credits, and exclusions are eliminated in favor of a growth-inspiring across-the-board reduction in tax rates. The top tax rate drops to 25 percent on both individual and corporate income, placing the United States squarely within the international norm and making us much more competitive in the global economy. Except for defense, the remaining areas of federal spending are frozen — hard — at pre-Obama (2008) spending levels. This reduces projected spending by a cool $1.6 trillion over the next decade.

Collectively, these reforms shook official Washington to its core, registering at 9.0 on the political and policy Richter scales. Significantly, they garnered the support of all but four House Republicans.

Next in the majority’s sights: the suffocating blanket of federal regulatory activity, which has dismayed and befuddled entrepreneurs, throttled job creation, and sapped the economic recovery of virtually all vitality. Here the House Republicans cast some of the most politically courageous votes imaginable, votes that their opponents will undoubtedly try to exploit relentlessly.

In 2011 the House majority voted literally dozens of times to roll back federal regulatory excesses in areas affecting energy production, the workplace, the power of labor unions, higher education, and federal lands. Except for some elements of the union agenda, House Republicans remained remarkably united around the premise that the mounting regulatory burden placed on American businesses and consumers must be reduced.

Efforts to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency dominated the rollback agenda. Over 90 percent of House Republicans remained united on restoring common sense to a wide variety of environmental standards, ranging from fossil-fuel combustion waste, to dredged fill material, to air-quality standards for particulate matter, to mercury emissions from cement plants, to dust kicked up by routine farm operations. Ditto for bills addressing the need to construct terminals to process liquefied natural gas, plans to drill for oil and natural gas off our coasts, and the regulation of carbon-dioxide emissions. Each time, the overwhelming majority of House Republicans voted to exert congressional authority and confront the runaway administrative state head-on…

 

WOW! Exciting, isn’t it? Well, Read the rest here!

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32 Responses to “Heritage Foundation Asks: What if the House GOP Ran DC?”
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  1. Bumr50
    1 | February 15, 2012 11:34 am

    The “Sims” people should get on this…


  2. eaglesoars
    2 | February 15, 2012 12:32 pm

    Crimeny, this is SO inside baseball

    Accusations that certain Republicans were nothing more than ideological renegades (“tax collectors for the welfare state”) have given way to vocal debates over how a House Republican majority can outmaneuver a Democratic-controlled Senate

    Unless they can catch Dingy Harry in the ladies room dressed in a corset and crinolines they can’t


  3. 3 | February 15, 2012 12:37 pm

    @ eaglesoars:

    I’m glad I already had my breakfast today…. 8)


  4. 4 | February 15, 2012 12:40 pm

    @ Macker:

    Mack – I swear if I could photo shop, I’d put Harry in a crinoline and email him to you. The question is – do I add a festive Easter Bonnet or not….decisions, decisions.


  5. eaglesoars
    5 | February 15, 2012 12:42 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    do I add a festive Easter Bonnet or not….decisions, d

    Yep. It should tie under his chin with a pretty satin ribbon, too.


  6. 6 | February 15, 2012 12:43 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    @ Macker:

    Mack – I swear if I could photo shop, I’d put Harry in a crinoline and email him to you. The question is – do I add a festive Easter Bonnet or not….decisions, decisions.

    No need. My Pixelmator-fu is sufficient. But would I want to do that? The imagination, as bad as it is, is enough.


  7. Bumr50
    7 | February 15, 2012 1:50 pm

    Megadeth guitarist endorses Santorum

    Santorum/Mustaine 2012!!!

    h/t Zip


  8. 8 | February 15, 2012 1:56 pm

    Carolina Girl wrote:

    @ Macker:
    Mack – I swear if I could photo shop, I’d put Harry in a crinoline and email him to you. The question is – do I add a festive Easter Bonnet or not….decisions, decisions.

    I would much rather see Harry Reid in an orange jumpsuit facing a firing squad.


  9. 9 | February 15, 2012 2:04 pm

    doriangrey wrote:

    Carolina Girl wrote:
    @ Macker:
    Mack – I swear if I could photo shop, I’d put Harry in a crinoline and email him to you. The question is – do I add a festive Easter Bonnet or not….decisions, decisions.

    I would much rather see Harry Reid in an orange jumpsuit facing a firing squad.

    Oh, and can we please please please put San Fran Nan, the Wicked Witch of the West right next to him????? (Where the he11 is Dorothy and that damned house???)


  10. 10 | February 15, 2012 2:08 pm

    Why isn’t DC part of Maryland?


  11. citizen_q
    11 | February 15, 2012 2:10 pm

    @ Rodan:
    Even we don’t want that swamp.


  12. 12 | February 15, 2012 2:12 pm

    @ Rodan:

    Goes back to the founding. The idea was that the Federal Capitol wouldn’t be part of any State. That was to prevent any State from wielding too much power over it. It was a good decision at the time, and still works for today. Though if we could expel DC from the Union, I’d be for it.


  13. 13 | February 15, 2012 2:14 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    Though if we could expel DC from the Union, I’d be for it.

    Me too. let it be a city state and we go back to a Constitutional Union of states!

    One can dream?


  14. eaglesoars
    14 | February 15, 2012 2:15 pm

    Hubby just got back from the Blue Dog Research Forum. The speakers were Chris Cillizza, Wapo “The Fix” blog; Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call;
    and Ann Walter, ABC News Political Director.

    – They are ALL frustrated w/Twitter. They feel compelled to always be following it so they don’t get left behind on something but they don’t much like it and think of it as one big echo chamber

    – There are no more moderates on either side of the aisle. EVERYBODY wants a fighter

    – All their polls show that jobs and the economy are still concern #1 (climate chaange has dropped to one-tenth of one percent). They got nailed on that as people started up with “Then WHY HAVE WE BEEN TALKING CONTRACEPTION FOR A WEEK?” (wish I had been there – I would have straightened that out right quick)

    – They think there are a lot of people still not engaged in the election. Cillizza cited his mom – she said she’d pay attention/make up her mind around October


  15. 15 | February 15, 2012 2:18 pm

    @ eaglesoars:

    Very interesting.


  16. 16 | February 15, 2012 2:21 pm

    Just said “no” to a contract. Not the kind of thing I like to do, especially when I really need a contract. But countries where the US has conducted air strikes within the last 3 weeks are generally not good choices as work locations.


  17. 17 | February 15, 2012 2:22 pm

    Culture of Corruption:

    Sanjay Wagle was a venture capitalist and Barack Obama fundraiser in 2008, rallying support through a group he headed known as Clean Tech for Obama.

    Shortly after Obama’s election, he left his California firm to join the Energy Department, just as the administration embarked on a massive program to stimulate the economy with federal investments in clean-technology firms.

    Capital connections to the Energy Department.

    Following an enduring Washington tradition, Wagle shifted from the private sector, where his firm hoped to profit from federal investments, to an insider’s seat in the administration’s $80 billion clean-energy investment program.

    He was one of several players in venture capital, which was providing financial backing to start-up clean-tech companies, who moved into the Energy Department at a time when the agency was seeking outside expertise in the field. At the same time, their industry had a huge stake in decisions about which companies would receive government loans, grants and support.

    During the next three years, the department provided $2.4 billion in public funding to clean-energy companies in which Wagle’s former firm, Vantage Point Venture Partners, had invested, a Washington Post analysis found. Overall, the Post found that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing flowed to 21 companies backed by firms with connections to five Obama administration staffers and advisers.

    Not even the Washington Post can cover this mess up, though they spin it for all they are worth. The wheels are coming off the Obama Administration, but I am afraid the Republican Elites are going to sabotage this year’s run at the White House. Either Mittens will win and not campaign effectively (face it; he is a lousy campaigner), or one of the others will get the nod, and the GOP Establishment will informally campaign against them. We are fucked.


  18. 18 | February 15, 2012 2:22 pm

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:

    Though if we could expel DC from the Union, I’d be for it.

    Me too. let it be a city state and we go back to a Constitutional Union of states!

    One can dream?

    In order for DC to work “properly” (if ever there were such a concept), the District shouldn’t even have permanent residents! Then there wouldn’t be this “Taxation without Representation” BULL-SHIT they had on their license plates a few years ago.


  19. Da_Beerfreak
    19 | February 15, 2012 2:29 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Rodan:
    Goes back to the founding. The idea was that the Federal Capitol wouldn’t be part of any State. That was to prevent any State from wielding too much power over it. It was a good decision at the time, and still works for today. Though if we could expel DC from the Union, I’d be for it.

    It was a good ideal. The big mistake was letting people live there and then claiming resident status.


  20. 20 | February 15, 2012 2:32 pm

    @ Mike C.:

    Sometimes the money aint worth. I’m sure you will get a gig. Hang on tight!


  21. 21 | February 15, 2012 2:32 pm

    @ Macker:

    It should be Federal officials only.


  22. Da_Beerfreak
    22 | February 15, 2012 2:33 pm

    @ Macker:
    :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:


  23. 23 | February 15, 2012 2:34 pm

    @ Rodan:

    And they should live in barracks. No posh living for the real 0.000001%


  24. 24 | February 15, 2012 2:44 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    Agreed.


  25. 25 | February 15, 2012 2:47 pm

    @ Rodan:

    95% of them would quit without the posh living and swank parties. That is, unfortunately, all most of them care about.


  26. 26 | February 15, 2012 2:47 pm

    @ Rodan:

    No doubt, but I sure don’t want to piss off the nice consulting company that got me a record-breaking 46 month gig, either. OTOH, the wife would rather kill me here and save the trouble required to get my body back if I was killed over there, and she’s not a bad shot.


  27. Bumr50
    27 | February 15, 2012 2:51 pm

    @ Iron Fist:

    Make them live in man-camps.

    Half of them would starve to death.


  28. Da_Beerfreak
    28 | February 15, 2012 3:02 pm

    The real question is how to clean up Mordor on the Potomac?? I don’t think a GOP controlled parliament is the correct answer. Can anyone name just one Speaker of the House (past or present) that could be trusted as the Prime Minister to run America??


  29. 29 | February 15, 2012 3:09 pm

    @ Da_Beerfreak:

    Parlimentary Democracies are NOT superior to Constitutional Republics. Division of power is endemic to our system and is that way by design. This is a feature, not a bug.


  30. Da_Beerfreak
    30 | February 15, 2012 3:20 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Da_Beerfreak:
    Parlimentary Democracies are NOT superior to Constitutional Republics. Division of power is endemic to our system and is that way by design. This is a feature, not a bug.

    It’s too bad more Folks don’t know that. Gridlock is a good thing. :twisted:


  31. coldwarrior
    31 | February 15, 2012 3:55 pm

    FOMC speaks

    A few members of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting said the central bank may soon have to consider more asset purchases, while others said the economic outlook would have to deteriorate first.

    A few members said economic conditions “could warrant the initiation of additional securities purchases before long,” according to minutes of their Jan. 24-25 meeting released today in Washington. “Other members indicated that such policy action could become necessary if the economy lost momentum or if inflation seemed likely to remain” below 2 percent in the medium run.

    The central bank said at its meeting last month that it plans to hold interest rates near zero at least through late 2014 to spur growth and reduce unemployment, extending a previous date of mid-2013. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has since repeated the pledge, which was made before a report this month showing that the jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.3 percent in January.

    Policy makers said it was unlikely that the Fed would soon begin reducing the size of its balance sheet by selling some of the Treasury and mortgage bonds amassed in the course of two rounds of large-scale asset purchases.


  32. lobo91
    32 | February 16, 2012 9:46 am

    @ Macker:

    Then there wouldn’t be this “Taxation without Representation” BULL-SHIT they had on their license plates a few years ago.

    It’s still on there, including on the plates on Obama’s limo.


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