A GOP platform for the midterms – Washington Times

a-gop-platform-for-the-midterms-–-washington-times

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OPINION: Republicans are in great shape for the midterm elections, but they’re quarreling about how to run.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has told colleagues and key party donors the Republicans will not offer a legislative platform but rather simply run against President Biden’s poor record.He’s got plenty of ammunition — expensive gasoline and shortages at grocery stores, social justice mayors and elected prosecutors presiding over rising crime in Democratic cities, teachers unions hawking critical race theory, the Afghanistan disgrace and no credible administration answer to the rising tide of imports from China that destroy heartland jobs.It’s easy to tie these to Mr. Biden’s legislative program and woke cabinet. His $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was primarily financed by printing new money. His energy secretary doesn’t even know how much oil the country uses — that’s in the monthly energy review that her department publishes.The president isn’t running an administration but rather presiding over a cacophony of disaffected activists, governing on slogans and left-wing prejudices that are out of step with mainstream American sensibilities.Look to the polls. Mr. Biden’s approval ratings are lower than a snake’s belly, and despite Mr. McConnell’s and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s unpopularity, the Republican Party leads in generic congressional polls.But the world has a way of changing.The president may well have Vladimir Putin overextended. Invading Ukraine could summon American and European sanctions that have the Russians plenty in Vodka and gas but lacking most everything else and witnessing a steady flow of body bags courtesy of a guerrilla resistance the Americans could supply.Inflation could moderate, and the economy could improve in the spring and summer as COVID-19 becomes more endemic.Everyone likes something for nothing. Childcare subsidies, less expensive higher education and student debt relief, sick leave for frontline workers and some measure of social justice to make amends for the scars of racism are appealing — just not altogether compelling a discussion of how to pay for those.Liberals modeled on Rep. Pramila Jayapal can promise the moon in a political campaign without mentioning mortgaging the country.Mr. McCarthy apparently understands this, and opposite Mr. McConnell has established seven task forces to draft a Republican agenda. I’m afraid of what they will come up with — impractical ideas and more tax cuts.His parents’ bill of rights is quite high sounding, but reaching into local school boards and firing the apparatchiks of the radical left —superintendents of schools — and discrediting America’s new Fifth Column — teachers union leaders — is trench warfare for governors, state legislatures and local school boards, and not for Congress.Americans trying to get back to work and resume some semblance of normal lives need help.Republicans can offer to rationalize existing working-family support programs — the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, dependent tax credit and the like — into a single payment for each child that’s available to all families with at least one employed parent.That way, we stop supporting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s obsession with slothfulness and empower hard-working parents to make sound choices.Moms who want to stay home while dad works should be supported and not told they live in the “Leave it to Beaver” past by condescending radical feminists coveting jobs in the West Wing. Those preferring careers, whether making sandwiches or designing semiconductors, should get ready cash to pay for childcare, transportation to schools and whatever else they think appropriate but not a handful of pamphlets from the IRS.A Republican Congress could reform higher education by fixing student loans — deny credit for university programs that leave students with debt exceeding their starting salaries and impose a tax on large university endowments to help write down existing debts.Trust me, I could take a scalpel to university budgets that might actually get faculty focused on teaching instead of attending racist and sexist diversity and inclusion seminars.A Republican Congress could compel the U.S. Trade Representative to develop a credible tariff policy with clear annual milestones to slash the trade deficit with China and move sourcing to factories here and our allies elsewhere in Asia. And for the Defense Secretary to finally come up with a credible plan to modernize the Navy and Air Force to meet the China challenge in the Pacific and defend our allies, starting with Taiwan.A Republican Senate could start sending back woke presidential appointments with a rubber stamp — send competent, informed and in tune with American sensibilities, not Acela Corridor dilettantes.What is genuinely empowering is clearing a path and providing resources for Americans to solve their own problems and international leadership that reflects America’s courage and sensible character — that’s what the Republican Party should be selling.• Peter Morici is an economist, emeritus business professor at the University of Maryland and national columnist.Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.
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