Monday, May 17, 2010

New GOP Initiatives

Two new initiatives from the GOP are being introduced. Both have promise.

In the YouCut program,House Republicans present to site visitors the opportunity to vote on several proposals for cutting the budget. They began the voting on Wednesday of last week and as of Thursday, 70,000 votes had been recorded.

The second new initiative was launched on May 6. Ten House Republicans
came together to form the 10th Amendment Task Force. This is touted to "usher in a 'New Era of Federalism' and will work to ensure that the principles within the 10Amendment to the U.S. Constitution serve as a framework for Republicans to fundamentally alter the way government interacts with and touches people on a daily basis." That explanation from the office of Rep. Tom Price. The goal is to send more power back to states and local governments away from Washington.

The original ten:
Rob Bishop (UT-01)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Jason Chaffetz (UT-03)
Michael Conaway (TX-11)
John Culberson (TX-07)
Scott Garrett (NJ-0)
Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)

The Washington Post reports on three other initiatives being discussed among small groups of conservatives. They include stressing the importance of marriage,as former President Bush did in his "Healthy Marriage Initiative". This program's funding expires next year. President Obama has a pilot program focusing on fathers, which will replace the Bush program. Both the social value and economic value of marriage are to be stressed by the GOP.

Also discussed by Rep. Paul Ryan is Social Security and Medicare reform. He suggests turning Medicare away from being a government run program in to one where people use vouchers to buy private insurance coverage. For Social Security, he suggests benefits to be calculated on inflation instead of wage increases.

And the last of those mentioned in the Washington Post article was on of a parent tax cut. Economist Robert Stein claims the tax code is unfair to parents. He suggests a formula of $4,000 per child tax credit. Then that is funded by reform of the income tax code. Income tax would be in two categories - one 15% of income and the other 35%. This plan does hike taxes on some - those in the upper middle class who would be bumped up to the 35% tax level. Those may include couples without children or those who have grown children.

Politico notices that the House of Representatives, fearing the mid-term election massacre sure to come, is now all about politics over substance. It's interesting when the press has to report on the obvious, on their own, because the atmosphere has become as it is now. It seems the House Democrats are using political games as the America Competes bill-a science initiative- makes its way through. They have added 54 amendments, all of which are purely vanity votes. They need a little something to take home to the folks which may save their butts in tough re-elections.

Maybe all those incumbent Democrats wouldn't be in such tough re-election races if they hadn't spent so much money with so little in results. Just a thought.

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