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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Putting to Rest the Myth that Republicans Have No Ideas

Today on Fox News Sunday, in defending the president, Juan Williams again repeated the liberal mantra that the Republicans have come up with no ideas of their own. The president first used this straw man when he proclaimed that opponents of his stimulus plan wanted to do "nothing" and just let the economy work itself out on its own. With the economy in a tailspin and polls turning against both health care reform and cap and trade, it is an effective strategy to proclaim that your opponents are simply without ideas. In fact, that's how Juan Williams framed his attack. He essentially said that while the voters may have doubts about Obama's policies, they also realize that the other side has simply come up with nothing. It's just too bad that this isn't the case.


In fact, the Republicans did produce a counter proposal to President Obama's stimulus plan. Here are the highlights.

1) a permanent 5% tax cut in all marginal income tax levels 2) cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% 3) no extra spending and no earmarks 4) make the dividend and capital gains tax of 15% permanent 5) repeal the AMT permanently 6) repeal mandatory withdrawals from IRA's at 70 years of age 7) make all withdrawals from IRA's tax free in 2009.

It would have cost half as much as the president's stimulus plan (not debateable), and according to the Republicans, it would have created twice as many jobs. (that of course we'll never know) This plan was totally ignored by the media. The president pretended that it wasn't even proposed. None of the ideas were, of course, implemented. While we can debate its worth, no one can debate that it was proposed. I have the internet link to prove it.

2) Energy

Once again, the Republicans presented their alternative to cap and trade. The bill was billed as an all of the above approach. It called for expansion of nuclear power, drilling for oil, and tax breas for energy innovation. I was not terribly impressed with the bill myself but that is a matter of debate. It is NOT however a matter of debate that a full bill was introduced for energy independence. Once again, the President decided to use NONE of their ideas, and the media all but ignored its existence. Yet, it's there and again I have the link to prove it.

3) Health Care:

There are actually several Republican plans making their way through Congress. One is a plan that was devised by Robert Bennett of Utah with Democrat Ron Wyden. Here are some highlights.

All employers, along with individuals and the government, will share the responsibility of financing health care. During a two-year transition period, employers who provide employee health benefits would be required to convert their workers' health care premiums into higher wages. Employers who don't currently offer health benefits would have to make phased-in "Employer Shared Responsibility Payments," which would be used to provide financial assistance to individuals and families of modest income. After two years, all employers would make "Employer Shared Responsibility Payments." These payments would reflect the relative ability of small and large employers and low- and high-wage industries to make such payments, and would have no direct impact ON the coverage that is available to their employees.

Employees, in turn, would be required to purchase private health coverage with their higher wages. To ensure that it's affordable, the plan would fully subsidize the premiums for those who live below the poverty line. Those people between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line would also receive subsidies on a sliding scale to help pay their premiums. Individuals would choose from a variety of private plans offered in their state. State-based Health Help Agencies (HHAs) would guide individuals through the enrollment process. These agencies would also provide consumers with unbiased information about competing private health plans and determine premium reductions that will ensure every American can afford their health plan. HHAs would ultimately lower administrative costs by coordinating payments from employers, individuals and the government.

While the CBO has put the price tag on other plans at a trillion dollars and more, this plan has been scored as revenue neutral by the same CBO. On top of this, this plan has 14 BIPARTISAN co sponsors. Yet, it languishes in the Senate Finance Committee with no hope of passing mainly because its head, Max Baucas, refuses to move it forward.

Meanwhile, in the House, John Shadegg has introduced a bill of his own.

In the era of eBay and, there should be a better way to shop for health insurance. Today, Congressman John Shadegg (R, AZ-3) introduced an innovative bill that empowers consumers to use the Internet and other means to find affordable health insurance policies.

The Health Care Choice Act, which has forty co-sponsors, harnesses the power of the marketplace to allow Americans to compare insurance policies from across the country and pick one that best meets their needs. It would provide every American with more and better health insurance choices. The legislation would also reduce the number of Americans who have been unable to find affordable coverage.

“People should be able to get the health insurance that best suits their needs,” Shadegg said. “Offering people choices in a nation-wide market will reduce the cost of health insurance for Americans, including the roughly 47 million uninsured.”

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, a 25-year-old male in good health could purchase a policy for $960 a year in Kentucky. A similar policy would cost about $5,880 in New Jersey

These bills focus on competition and choice and NOT the public option. That's why none of their ideas have been incorporated into any of the bills currently being debated. Much like the other pieces of legislation, both the president and the media have ignored their existence. Once again, that some pretend they don't exist doesn't actually mean that they don't.

Financial Regulation Reform:

On financial regulatory reform, again, the Republicans also produced their own plan. The plan includes the elimination of Fannie/Freddie, an end to bailouts, more scrutiny and transparency of the Fed, reforming consumer education, and a merging of financial regulators. Some of these I like, like more scrutiny of the Fed, eliminating bailouts, and ending Fannie/Freddie. Some is very vague like the merging of financial regulators and reforming consumer education. Still, there's no doubt they have developed their own financial regulatory reform plan. It's no different that none will be used and they will be ignored, but again, that doesn't mean they aren't there.

What both the president and the MSM are doing is a very cheap political tactic. It's much easier to compare your plans to nothing, and so they ignore that there are alternatives. Rather than stand up for the merits of his own plan and why it's better than the alternative, the president pretends as though there is no alternative. As such, he offers the public a my way or the highway scenario. There are options out there even if the president, and his allies in the media, choose to ignore them.


jacksmith said...


It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.


We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust government-run public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.



Join the fight.

Contact congress and your representatives NOW! AND SPREAD THE WORD!

( (

God Bless You


Gail said...

I have to comment on the whole health insurance/health care idiocy.

Having health insurance does not equate to having health care. There are things called "deductibles". Poor people who have insurance with high deductibles do not have access to health care unless they cay pay out of pocket, which they can't. So they have insurance, but no access to health care.

I do not have any health insurance, because my primary health care providers are holistic practitioners and I pay them cash. I can afford to pay for my health care, and I do not get sick, or have accidents because I am healthy and alert. I do not do stupid things.

I might be intersted in catastrophic health insurance if it was inexpensive enough. But there is no way I am going to buy health insurance. I refuse.

I don't need it. If I need to see a doctor, I call and make an appointment, and guess what. There are plenty of General Practitioners who can make appointments within a few days for emergencies.

I have great health care. I am very happy with my health care. I do not need or want insurance.

I refuse to pay for the stupid irresponsible people who know nothing about nutrition and health and therefore get sick more than once a decade. Anyone who gets sick more than once a decade has an inferior and insufficient diet, and gets insufficient rest and/or exercise.

After rearing 3 children alone for a period of 20 years, not one of us got sick more than once a decade. Some of use have still not had an illness at all.

Insurance not only drives up all medical costs, it causes people to be ignorant and irresponsible because they think the insurace companies and doctors are responsible for their health. It is the nanny state mentality. It causes illness and injuries and it causes high prices.

The solution is to eliminate all mandatory insurance. All of it, this will re-introduce the free market principles which will then stabilize costs and improve quality.

Best regards,
Gail S

Anonymous said...

OMG - Some interesting alternative plans and what responds? jacksmith with the same tired progressive drivel and no ideas as to how fund all this. I would certainly beg to differ with the "37th worst quality of healthcare in the world." Must be why so many foreigners come to the US for major operations/treatments. I saw the study and it is full of holes. But thanks for playing jacksmith - YOU REALLY SCARED ME INTO SUPPORTING THE PROGRESSIVE VIEW - not!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to The Provocateur for leaving jacksmith's post stand. It's never a bad idea to illustrate the LUNACY OF THE LEFT.

Jason Gillman said...

My guess is you approved this drivel for its nape hair raising value?

mike volpe said...

I let the comment in because I don't care what sort of political perspective commenters bring and jack didn't swear or attack anyone personally.

Jack is welcome to comment in that way on any of my pieces.

Anonymous said...

Well its clear the Republicans have plans of their own, nobody takes them seriously because, well, Obama and the Democrats did such a good job of convincing the electorate that those plans are the major reason we got into this economic collapse in the first place.

Tax Cuts, Deregulation, For-Profit This, Privatize that. It gives the image of Wall Street soaring while America turns into Detroit.

mike volpe said...

Getting rid of Fannie/Freddie is deregulation? Making the Fed more transparent is deregulation? Tax cuts contributed to the problem? Are you serious? Is the president?

Anonymous said...

You fail to mention the lack of ability/leadership of the Republicans in getting the message to the general public about their plans.

This is cheifly the fault of the Republican party.

Instead you blame Obama and co. when they are just doing what you would expect the other party to do.

Jason Gillman said...

Google the first few sentences together.

Jack apparently likes to spam forums with said drivel. He has no interest in the response generated, as "he" hardly realizes there is a discussion going on here. It is merely "advertising."

I don't mind opposing viewpoints, but I prefer discussions rather than seeing what is essentially a billboard.

stopsocialism said...

to Jack Smith: Dude, this is the exact same post you left on my blog. you were nuts then and you are nuts now. You know nothing of the scientific method. Yesterday it was reported that vaccine for H1N1 is now safe and effective. Give me a break, worked in the drug industry for 31 years you don't come up with safe and effective for years.

stopsocialism said...

Jack smith is a spammer and a loon to boot block him

stopsocialism said...

This is an outstanding post, I cross blogged back to you. You put out great stuff, Keep up the great work J.C.