My last several posts have discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. economy and where the presidential candidates stand on the main issues. As Donald Trump now slides further and further behind in the polls due to his juvenile tit-for-tat personality, his personal views matter less and less.
What does matter now is how the Republican Party will use the Trump disruption to broaden its appeal in the future. Here is a restatement of several of my ideas, influenced by two recent articles in the New York Times, here and here:
- Reject tax cuts for the wealthy. But rather support tax rate cuts across the board, paid for by shrinking deductions which primarily benefit the wealthy. Such tax reform will give a sorely needed big boost to the economy.
- Help workers displaced by foreign trade with expanded retraining programs and wage insurance. Increased globalization will also boost economic growth but it will stall without greater public support.
- Acknowledge that universal health care is here to stay but push for market-oriented changes such as eliminating the mandates required by the ACA.
- Disavow mass deportations but set up a firm border security program along with an adequate guest worker program to provide businesses the workers whom they are unable to hire locally. Again, legitimate immigration reform will boost the economy.
- Admit that Invading Iraq was a mistake but nevertheless insist on a muscular foreign policy. U.S. economic and military strength provide peace and stability for the whole world including us.
- Loosen up on social policy. Insist on restrictions on abortion (e.g. a 20 week cutoff) rather than abolition and work requirements for social welfare recipients rather than cutbacks in aid. In general turn over more social policy regulation to the individual states.
Conclusion. The U.S. badly needs more fiscally conservative national leaders. But conservatives will not prevail in the political process without using more common sense.