What’s a Republican presidential candidate to do? The economy is really improving, though slowly. Polls show people like “Obamacare’s” provisions and want to tax the rich. Women are mad at Rush and their failure to rebuke him. Voter enthusiasm (meaning a lack thereof) could be a huge problem. This is not a great result for Republicans — especially after their tremendous success in 2010, a cycle during which Republican turnout was extremely high. Yes, the sky is falling.
This apathetic grumpiness reflects a deep dissatisfaction with the Republican field; their lack of ideas tied to solutions people can believe in or fight for. Generally speaking, Americans of all political stripes hate politics and politicians right now. Republicans are merely the focus of everyone’s attention because that’s where the action is.
A recent Harvard survey found that a majority of 18- to 29-year-old voters believe the country is going in the wrong direction and a plurality of young Americans believe Obama will lose. Recall, Obama won young voters by a 2-1 margin. A solution to jobs and a new take on taxes are the keys to the future of whichever party accepts the coming challenge. Status quo will lose to status quo and it could be big for Obama and the Democrats in all elections. I believe the current Republican argument is embarrassing and must be righted, corrected and shined into NEW not Grand OLD Party themes. I propose 3 platform ideas which are not negative politics where the only way you can show how good you are is by showing how bad everyone else is. These concepts can turn the electoral tide and awaken an apathetic base.
- Drop the poorly thought out “Job Creators” theme and adapt a fiscal stimulus that does not increase the US federal deficit. A 32 work week spawns many jobs quickly and feeds all political monsters. If businesses, governments and schools want to meet productivity demands, they must hire. Government employment can or could shrink, saving money and reducing the deficit and maybe lowering the need for many social programs. There is also a stimulus program here – employ vets first – a program that few would dare criticize. The last major reduction was championed by Henry Ford for business rather than humanitarian reasons -over the long-term, consumer markets and thereby manufacturing would be grown. Workers will initially have less spending power, but more will have spending ability and new businesses, products and jobs will spring up from both the free time gains and free time activities.
- Pledge the replacement of our current system of individual and corporate income, sales, excise, capital gains, import and export duties, gift and estate taxes with a single comprehensive “revenue neutral” Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax. This flat rate tax levied on all voluntary transactions can be digitally assessed and collected. The total volume of transactions represents the broadest conceivable tax base and can be routinely settled through the electronic technology of the bank/payments clearing system with no deductions, exemptions, or exclusions. The proposed “tax” is simple, comprehensible, fair and efficient, with minimal administrative and compliance costs for governments, businesses and individuals and will greatly reduce tax evasion, and promises benefits of nearly $1 trillion annually. There are no forms, no state or local taxes saving them administration costs. This tax could be as low as one tenth of one percent of each transaction and hits stock, commodity and currency gamblers and manipulators.
- Join with Ron Paul, many Republican prosecutors, the voting majority and most recently, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson (http://nyti.ms/zMys8R) and propose laws to decriminalize marijuana, permit industrial hemp farming, and constitutionally delegate to states how to enforce extant medical marijuana. Admit the Drug War has failed, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and that we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. It’s only a matter of time before marijuana prohibition is a lost cause. Its sales fuel all other crimes and other drugs, their manufacture and distribution. Gallup reported a record 50 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. American opinion has turned. Bring the nation’s laws into compliance with the people’s wishes – a democratic democracy. Approach the two points necessary to end the Drug War: call for the repeal of, or at least amend, the Controlled Substances Act, and/or drop marijuana from the list of the most dangerous drugs. Theoretically, the new president as “an extension of executive power” could issue an executive order unilaterally urging the Attorney General to effect this change in Schedule. President Barack Obama’s announced intentions to crackdown on California’s state-legal medical marijuana system could be the inciting incident for this call.
It’s hard to imagine many people will be more excited for Obama in 2012 than they were in 2008 — a point even Obama concedes on the stump. It’s not just the sour economy either. Americans were open to Obama’s rhetorical grandiosity in 2008, now they know the man. Everyone knows who the Democratic nominee will be. This gives Obama all sorts of advantages. He can seem presidential, he can seem ready. Republicans need to gain enthusiastic voters and vibrant policies and take the “bully pulpit”.