Skip to comments.Regaining Middle America - Republicans must stop putting moneyed interests ahead of the American...
Posted on 04/14/2014 7:06:19 PM PDT by neverdem
Republicans must stop putting moneyed interests ahead of the American family.
Now taking his third shot at the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from New Jersey, Jeffrey Bell has spent his career warning of the risks of kicking the cultural leg out from under Ronald Reagans coalition of defense, economic, and social conservatives. Indeed, his 2012 magnum opus, The Case for Polarized Politics, argues that social conservatism, rooted in the moderate Enlightenment that informed the Founders, is indispensable to American exceptionalism and to any Republican resurgence in our time.
But the political theorist overstates the ability of even the most skillful defense of bourgeois social norms to help a party that, in the post-Reagan era, has delivered few economic benefits to Middle America, the very segment of the population where social-conservative ideals have the most traction. Given the social and economic dislocations of the past 25 years, which have downsized the middle class and thus the once-great Reagan coalition such appeals motivate fewer voters than they once did.
Consequently, social conservatives face a dilemma. While rightly insisting that the party take their concerns seriously, pro-family leaders have largely gone along with the shift in U.S. economic and trade policies, starting with the George H. W. Bush presidency and the Bill ClintonNewt Gingrich era, that have left their own constituency behind. This ominous departure from the Reagan consensus via policies sacrificing a national high-wage economy to the gods of globalization and financialization has pampered the upper-income set, Wall Street, and multinational corporations but has liquidated the GOPs natural base of religious conservatives, Reagan Democrats, and middle-income voters.
This accommodation to moneyed interests also creates a problem for the party at large. As William Voegeli of the Claremont Institute documented in his 2010 examination of the welfare state, Never Enough, the GOPs focus on delivering marginal tax cuts rather than, say, well-paying jobs has done nothing to win it the political loyalty of U.S. households that represent the bottom three-fifths of the income distribution. Cutting to the heart of the problem, Voegeli laments: Its doubtful that a political coalition for limited government can be purchased so cheaply.
No wonder the Republican electoral batting average has plummeted over the last six presidential elections. Bell thinks that consistently and properly framing social issues would reverse the free-fall. Yet the two most recent of the four GOP presidential victories that he lifts up as models (1984, 1988, 2000, and 2004) were anything but triumphs. George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000; he barely squeaked by four years later, winning fewer electoral votes than Richard Nixon won in 1968. The partys failure to rack up even 300 electoral votes in those two contests suggests that the GOP no longer understands what Bush 41 veteran Lloyd Green calls the transactional nature of elections: that voters expect something in return from a party to which they give their votes.
Republicans surely acted upon these realities from 1952 to 1988, when they went seven for ten in presidential elections, averaging 367 electoral votes in those ten contests. All three Republicans who won second terms Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan promised and delivered tangible benefits to a broad swath of the American public. Those deliverables included millions of stable family-wage jobs with dependent benefits, higher Social Security checks for retirees, and bold defense and infrastructure initiatives that kept domestic manufacturing alive, turned the wheels of innovation, and boosted living standards. In contrast, the last two-term GOP winner, George W. Bush, presided over a lost decade, the first since the 1930s to record zero net job creation.
Social conservatives raise a good point: The legal deconstruction of family- and child-centered mores pursued since the 1970s by a rising American adversarial class in cahoots with the global Left cannot be ignored as a source of the current malaise. Nevertheless, they could really help the party with an alternative economic agenda that would reverse the descent of Middle America into a Hunger Gamestype wasteland even as stocks surge to record highs.
Indeed, pro-family strategists can draw on a respectable history of economic thought that begins with the pioneer of their movement, Theodore Roosevelt, who considered the natural family a critical component of American identity. Although some conservatives balk at his brand of progressivism, the 26th president leaned on Pope Leo XIII, the British journalist G. K. Chesterton, and Dutch prime minister Abraham Kuyper to protect motherhood, children, and average working stiffs from the naked forces of industrialization. Policies he championed as the highest and wisest form of conservatism kept America from turning socialist.
Social conservatives have nothing to lose in drawing on that heritage. The partys hopes will only be dashed again in 2016 if Republicans bring out the same old talking points, even if dressed up as reform conservatism, the latest attempt among the partys best and brightest to salvage an economic message that the voters have rejected. This influential crowd still accepts outsourcing and the free-trade regime, offers no plan to rebuild our defense and industrial infrastructure base, and entertains notions of helping the poor and illegal immigrants never reliable sources of GOP votes while advancing a strategy aimed at cutting popular earned-benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare.
But with a promising vision that elevates the needs of average Americans above the demands of global markets, and a commitment to delivering tangibles to an anxious electorate, social conservatives could help restore the Eisenhower/Nixon/Reagan magic. And Jeffrey Bell might find more Americans siding with his social-conservative underdogs, not with powerful elites, in the ongoing struggle to define the meaning of America.
Robert W. Patterson, a veteran of the administrations of President George W. Bush and Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, was editor of The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy, from 2009 to 2012.
You can’t use socialism to help the middle class. You can’t do it.
It’s not possible.
But that’s not going to stop politicians from trying.
How did those moneyed interests get their money?
Generally it would have been by producing something good. An exception can be made for those in government sinecures or on the dole of course.
One could do worse than making way for the producers of good things, although to be fair there’s almost no good excuse for subsidies.
I fear GopE will do the opposite. They seem to be set on abandoning Christians.
We need to allow industry to profit. Here.
If people can make money through industry, they will try to make money, increase industry and create jobs.
It isn’t rocket science, except to socialists and liberals.
The author is talking about crony capitalists, who use lobbyists to take advantage of the system. He is advocating for Republicans to return to real economic growth and jobs, instead of "Capital-gains tax cuts" that only help Wall Street.
I think the Democrats are as much in the tank for Crony Capitalist as the Establishment Republicans. It is stupid for us to leave the Dems off the hook.
Its not possible.
Indeed, the first objective of socialism is to eliminate the middle class!
The middle class, with its ambitions and mobility, is simply not compatible with the societal structure that socialism desires to achieve -- a two-tier society composed of a.) the proletarian masses and b.) the governing elites.
Yeah, protectionism and “infrastructure initiatives” are the key. Sure.
But the political theorist overstates the ability of even the most skillful defense of bourgeois social norms to help a party that, in the post-Reagan era, has delivered few economic benefits to Middle America, the very segment of the population where social-conservative ideals have the most traction. Given the social and economic dislocations of the past 25 years, which have downsized the middle class and thus the once-great Reagan coalition such appeals motivate fewer voters than they once did.Please, "bourgeois"?!? Thanks neverdem.
I’d eliminate the tax on manufacturing. Its seldom talked about but its a big one.
I really don’t think the path to prosperity for the middle class is terribly difficult:
1. Federal policy should match successful Republican policies in states such as North Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas
a. more energy
b. right to work
c. lower taxes
2. Ban sex selection abortions in the United States
This destroys the war on women meme.
Talk about how abortion is the most successful form of violence against women in the world.
3. Enact a property tax on federally held lands that are unproductive [not developed].
a. send refunds to lower 1/3 of tax payers
b. work to return federal lands in the West to the states
4. Lower corporate income taxes
a. send refunds of raised revenue to families paying taxes
b. plan for 4% plus growth
5. Make some parts of the federal government such as the EPA subject to lawsuits.
6. Drop federal funding to American universities that don’t allow ROTC on campus. There is not excuse at this point.
7. Keep Obamacare mandate [require people to buy health insurance]— remove all enforcement mechanisms.
8. Massively increase drilling on federal lands. Again establish a kickback to the public among taxpayers similar to states like Alaska.
9. Overall, enact policies that increase economic growth and return revenue surpluses to TAXPAYERS. When taxpayers at the bottom get most of the funds that will destroy incentives for staying poor and taking handouts.
10 Remove export bans on fossil fuels. Natural gas, oil and coal could all crush the petro tyrants and reduce US defense costs.
11. Penalize bird killing wind and solar.
This is not impossible or improbable. The US has massive potential to grow at over 4% annually. If we grew at that rate, government revenue would explode and dwarf spending within 2 years. If federal government growth were held to 2% or less surpluses and refunds would be easy. This was true from about 1998-2001 when Republicans were most in charge.
American energy costs are lower than almost anywhere in the world and only environmental regulation and corporate tax rates keep business out of the US. We could have a massive manufacturing resurgance with these policies.
Don’t mention that f888!
Our tax bill to the Feds is a bone crushing outrage this year!
Start talking to your neighbors..”Did you get your “refund” back yet?
What a Redistribushhoon joke!
The government doesn’t need to be so gosh-durn big either.
Some folks don’t cotton to libertarians very much because they seem to be so blase about a lot of moral issues. But it seems they are about the only ones you hear about actually axing the bloat. And after all, stealing is a moral issue isn’t it? There’s a biblical role for government but it sure isn’t found in trying to be everything to everybody.
“Remove export bans on fossil fuels. Natural gas, oil and coal could all crush the petro tyrants and reduce US defense costs.”
Can’t happen at the same time as —
“American energy costs are lower than almost anywhere in the world and only environmental regulation and corporate tax rates keep business out of the US. We could have a massive manufacturing resurgance with these policies.”
I don’t think the public fathoms how much we have. It is an illusion of scarcity.
Environmentalists and energy companies share one opinion: energy is scarce.
Believing this keeps prices up.
The amount of natural gas the US has is nearly incalculable. When you add in the other items I note about Federal land holdings, it becomes even more staggering. Somehow, Canada and Mexico have huge productive fossil fuel export economies but the US has hardly anything?
My list did not include lifting bans on offshore drilling. That would also jack up production. The massive fights over anwr obscure the massive federal control of land resources that serves no other purpose but to crush and prevent economic booms in the US that would bring staggering levels of wealth to the US.
If you look at this map, it is pure madness. We could easily increase energy production— especially when oil is at 95$ a barrel.
Soon trains and major transportation elements will run on CNG and we will be well situated to help ourselves on that front.
The public is barely aware that our initial transitions toward natural gas are already making the US kyoto compliant without even trying or reducing the size of our economy.
Here is another way of seeing the problem.
North Dakota alone wastes enough natural gas everyday to run a major CNG export port globally:
An american initiative to capture and sell such gas would crush Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. It changes geopolitics at a fundamental level.
And that is just one state!
Thanks for this thread, as it is important to understand how the enemy thinks, IMHO, of course.
I read this article twice and this is all that I am agreement with: “ - - - Republicans must stop putting moneyed interests ahead of the American family. - - - - “ but not for the reasons that the author vaguely tries to provide.
Conservatives view “moneyed interests” as Federal politicians in “both” political parties spending 40 % more than the tax dollars we send them.
Conservatives view “the American family” as those who pay taxes.
All who pay taxes understand what Radio Announcer Paul Harvey meant when he said:
“WHEN YOUR OUTGO EXCEEDS YOUR INCOME, YOUR UPKEEP WILL BE YOUR DOWNFALL.”
The Federal politicians in “both” political parties who have demonstrated that they understand the above quote can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
The ones who do NOT understand the above quote are the enemies of: Conservatives; those who pay taxes; and yes, all who collectively are the American Family.
The greed to buy votes with money borrowed by selling our Grandchild’s descendants into bondage of Permanent National Welfare Debt was not mentioned by the author of this article.
What does the author propose to conserve? Certainly not money or core American values.
This is an enemy article that could be written by many Federal politicians in either of “both” of our sorry political parties.
“How did those moneyed interests get their money?”
Fairfax, Va. #1 in per capita income.
Extortion-Care is the Government=Lobbyists Work-Camp: Arbeitsziehungslager
Yes, I noticed the same thing there. That word smacks of Marx, Karl Marx!
In C. S. Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters” the demon “accuses” God of having a bourgeois mind.
The trouble is that we have two tax codes based on how that good was produced.
One tax code brutalizes those that give up huge amounts of their time to produce by labor and skill. The other tax code gives all sorts of breaks to those that produce goods indirectly through investment.
I'm not saying one is better than the other.
And time spent working for that income should be a consideration, too. There's a huge difference between working 60 hours/week and earning $60,000/year and making $60,000 from dividend income.
Free time is worth a great deal. Some people lose their free time to earn a living and get hit with huge tax bill while others work little and actually have a smaller tax burden for the same income.
Besides Germany, I can’t think of any large country that has retained significant numbers of high paying blue collar jobs.
And Germany is not perfect.
Government spending there is around 45% of GDP which is more than the USA spends.
And German industrial workers actually produce less - in dollar terms - than USA workers produce.
The future for low skill and many high skill blue collar jobs is not good.
Machines, robots, sophisticated software, and massive immigration are a threat to wages and employment at home, a threat that grows every year.
And, consumer wise, USA companies and individuals can use the Internet to purchase almost any product they like from a foreign country.
Can “Protectionist” policies really close the door on those cheaper products?
Can labor unions really take a larger share of profits without demoralizing investors or bankrupting the company?
To my eye, this glass is half empty, and it has a slow leak.
Thanks for that, and that Paul Harvey bon mot.
Regaining Middle America - Republicans must stop putting FOREIGN moneyed interests ahead of the American ONES...
Seem???What'll it take to convince you?
Running a Deceived MORMON for President???
There ARE no taxes on business!
EVERY cost (And believe me TAXES are mere costs) are PASSED on to the consumers.
THEY are the ones who "Pay businesses taxes"!
Isn't the loss of
American citizens enough already???
Has the Government returned YOUR money that you let them use - interest free - last year?
The first three allow you to have some of the CHEAPEST stuff on the planet.
Wanna give THAT up?
The fourth BUILT this country.
(I'll assume you were talking about BOARDER INVADERS instead of LEGAL immigrants) MASSIVE giveaways by OUR 'representatives' are the problem - NOT the ones that USE (and abuse) them.
More 'foreigners' are in Dubai than natives; but I can guarantee you that they will NOT end up being able to multiply and takeover THAT country!
The problem is that no one has an economical way to use that gas because it is too diluted. If it were easy to solve that problem, it would have been solved a long time ago.
You don’t understand how markets work. If the US increases supply massively, prices would drop and much of the gas we produce would be losing money for the producer. What gas comes to market is based on where the gas can be produced cheapest.
We cannot simply throw all of our gas and oil onto the market the way you seem to think without losing money.
That’s the easy excuse but it doesn’t explain why factories are constantly trying to balance their costs and ditch inventory for the quarterly audits.
Of course companies pass costs on to consumers. Only the Occutards expect them to eat those costs.
Reducing production costs results in greater production which means jobs which means consumers.
Banning sex selection abortion would lead to a complete ban.
Starting with sex selection abortion ban would destroy the war on women argument that comes with an initial ban on all abortion.
I agree with you but I will make any political argument to get it done.
Dilution is not the problem.
The problem is a lack of pipelines and laws against export is the problem.
Understand that gas prices have already fallen massively in the US. They are exacerbated by the failure to allow export of LNG.
Again, this is something that genuinely does merit federal intervention. If building this infrastructure was what was necessary, it would produce:
1. energy independence
2. the decline of petroradicalism exported by Russia and Saudi Arabia
3. Net reductions in the need for US military force projection to protect energy source routes
Also keep in mind that what I am describing is going to happen whether democrats win or not. Republicans can accelerate the process. Unless the government seizes all private property, they cannot stop what I am describing.
America is doomed to repeat as the Global exceptional. We have vastly more fossil fuels resources than other nations. The hoax is up.
Maintaining artificially high corporate tax rates can also slow the process but not prevent it.
Again, the inventory game is played because of variable TAX COSTS that the gummint applies to business.
Those "costs" can be controlled a little.
Why pass them on to your customers if you can AVOID it?
I understand this, and wondered at your statement.
I can see that you realize the Liberal tactic/trickery of getting just a LITTLE bit of what your want now; and then a LITTLE bit more later, and then a bit MORE after that, and then...
Your frog is boiled.
Think we Conservatives can learn to do the incremental thing?
You have no idea what you are talking about. When oil comes up from a well, it is often mixed with natural gas. That gas is usually too dilute to be used effectively. That’s the excess gas in ND that you are talking about. There is no known way to make this gas economically feasible to use or sell, and you best believe that a lot of time, money and brains has worked on the problem.
Gas prices are low in the US because of the export ban. If the ban is lifted, prices will trend upwards towards global norms, which will hurt energy intensive industries and increase heating and electrical bills for American homes and businesses.
America does not have vastly more fossil fuels than Saudi Arabia or Russia. Persian Gulf oil in particular is low cost to produce and high quality, whereas the recently obtained oil in the US is higher cost and lower quality on average.
Please, learn something about the energy industry and markets before you make absurd statements.
I think you misunderstood my comment.
The article claimed that Republicans need to create more high paying blue collar jobs in order to “regain” the voters from “Middle America.”
That sounds like a futile strategy to me.
Well paid blue collar jobs are disappearing all over the world, not just in the USA.
And it’s not clear to me how we can stop that from happening.
As to massive LEGAL immigration - I was pointing out that low skill, lower paid jobs cannot be created fast enough in America to keep up with the 1.5 million new LEGAL immigrants who arrive here each year.
Massive LEGAL immigration harms low skill native born Americans.
It pushes down wages, reduces the number of open jobs, and limits upward mobility for low skill Americans.
The opposite of how it stated: tariffs.
When a BUYER with FREEDOM can choose between similar products, based upon pain to his wallet; he will usually by the cheaper one.
Thus, the American product WILL lose out because it costs more to produce; thus to buy.
Tariffs 'leveled' the playing field; costwise.
Only in some fields...
Things that cannot be automated too much as still a good choice.
I think that 'low skill native born Americans' harm themselves!
Gumminit makes it WAY too easy to STAY 'low skilled'.
But; if these folks were to somehow be high skilled; what jobs would they then get?
Only 9 percent of the manufacturing labor force is unionized in the USA.
This is one of those moments where the anonymity of the internet is just hilarious.
Worldwide, it is becoming globalist/banking interests fighting the rights of an over-abundance of people. It is both the dems and the ‘pubs, of course; in the US the ptb use the political theater to keep us entertained and believing voting matters.