Bold, fresh ideas from Republicans
Rich Gardner | 01.14.2013
Columnist, former speechwriter for the elder George Bush and frequent talk-show guest Peggy Noonan urges conservatives "Now's the time to put a dagger 'tween their teeth, wave a sword, grab a rope and swing aboard the enemy's galleon. Take the president's issues, steal them--they never belonged to him, they're yours!" ... "Really, it's pirate time." Essentially, Noonan urges right-wingers to take a page from the Democratic playbook and to stand for the little guys, the working and middle classes, against the rich.
How's that working out for Republicans?
Well, let's see, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's bold, fresh, new idea is to eliminate state income taxes and to boost the sales tax instead. What would that do?
According to ITEP, while Louisiana millionaires would receive a tax cut of around a quarter of a million dollars, “[the] poorest 20 percent of taxpayers, those with an average income of $12,000, would see an average tax increase of $395, or 3.4 percent of their income, if no low income tax relief mechanism is offered.” (And if a low income tax relief mechanism is offered, it will have to be paid for, almost definitely on the backs of the middle 20 percent, with average incomes around $43,000.)
And Jim DeMint, the former Senator and new head of the Heritage Foundation insists that welfare reform is an amazing success. What does that success actually look like?
In the state of Georgia, where 300,000 families survive below the poverty line, 4,000 people are on welfare.
The goal is zero people on welfare. Not “zero poor people,” but zero recipients of government benefits.
So, er, not very well if you're a person who's down on their luck and in need of assistance. Great, if you're a wealthy person who doesn't like paying taxes.
How about bold, fresh, new ideas on climate change?
The Washington-commissioned analysis makes clear that America is already feeling the impact of global warming; infrastructure, water supplies, crops and coastal geographies are being noticeably affected, it says, while heatwaves, downpours, floods and droughts are all both more common and more extreme.
But although President Obama has brought in a smattering of regulations on greenhouse gases, and his energy strategy ultimately aims to wean the US off foreign oil, explicit references to climate change are still few and far between in Washington, and...
Okay, so that's a very serious issue and Democrats aren't making a very big stink about it. So what are Republicans doing on that?
...most Republicans refuse to acknowledge any link between human activity and a changing climate.
Hmm, so much for that hope. But hey! Republican Senators can perform their "advise and consent" role that the Constitution gives them.
In Meet The Press, Bob Schieffer asks Senator John McCain (R-AZ):
SCHIEFFER: What about John Brennan, the nominee for the CIA? Your friend Lindsey Graham says he should not be confirmed until we know more about the attack in Libya. Are you going to...
MCCAIN: I think Lindsey's right that we need to know. It has been months now and we still haven't gotten basic information. Like, what was the -- how were the talking points that were given Ambassador Rice to tell the American people? And on this program, why weren't there DoD assets for seven hours capable of -- I mean, there are so many questions that have not been answered, and Lindsey is right.
Erm, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) both refuse to be tagged as critics of the Obama Administration's response to the deaths of a US Ambassador and several other people in Benghazi, Libya last year. The project of making the Benghazi deaths into a scandal took a severe hit when McCain skipped a briefing on the Benghazi situation in order to complain that he lacked information on...the Benghazi situation. McCain is beating a horse that's not only dead, it's long since decayed.
McCain also claimed earlier in the conversation that:
By the way, on this process [of appointing presidential cabinet picks], usually with the previous presidents, both Republican and Democrat, when they're considering nominations, they call in the other side and say -- you know, the key members on the other party and say, hey, I'm thinking about nominating Mr. X, what do you think about it? There has been none of that with this administration.
Really? Sorry, but I certainly don't recall that ever happening under George W. Bush. Bush just made his decisions and put them out. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but McCain appears to be insisting that President Obama observe a higher degree of cooperation than Bush ever demonstrated.