Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Conservatives need to address middle-class concerns better

Anxious lower middle class families are shaping up to be the crucial political constituency of this year's election. Polls show that financial security is their biggest concern. They worry about health and education costs, about retirement, and about their prospects for getting ahead. Their insecurity has markedly reduced public support for free trade and contributed to public concerns about immigration. They also appear to be behind a great deal of the generally uneasy mood of the electorate. The Democratic candidates have noticed and are championing an old-fashioned economic populism that stokes voters' fears and seeks to direct them toward welfare state-style solutions that expand the role of government.

Among Republicans, only Mike Huckabee has made a real effort to speak to the lower middle class. On the stump, his economic message is always directed at the working family: "We're losing manufacturing jobs, homeowners face a credit crisis, high fuel costs are spiraling, and families are hurting," he noted in a recent campaign ad. But this conservative populism is often merely a rhetorical echo of its liberal counterpart. His distinctive proposal, a form of national sales tax, would hurt many working families.

The other Republican candidates are not even trying to appeal to these voters, which could prove very costly in key states, especially in the upper Midwest, in November. Lower middle class parents have been a crucial Republican constituency in recent years. More important, these voters are the heart and soul of the kind of American culture that Republicans want to promote: industrious and striving, family-oriented, culturally conservative, religious, and patriotic.

With talk of recession in the air, many Republicans will be tempted to make pro-growth tax policies, and particularly cuts to the corporate income tax, the entirety of their economic message. Growth is indispensable. But these voters' concerns made them sour on the economy even at the height of the boom. Higher growth will not by itself address their concerns. Republicans should be careful not to seem more intent on cutting corporate taxes than on listening to these voters.

Without their support, after all, it will be hard to sustain a pro-growth politics. The silence on the right about their problems could lead these voters to conclude that protectionism, redistribution, and nationalized health care are the answers. But there are free-market, conservative solutions, and the Republican candidates can highlight them.

Health care is a particular concern for lower middle class workers. They worry about losing their insurance if they lose their jobs, or getting stuck in jobs they do not want because they cannot carry their insurance with them to new ones. Their wages have stagnated-- almost entirely because of rising health care costs. These voters could be persuaded to support a government-run health care system-- as the Democrats are trying to do-- but surveys suggest that they would prefer a solution that does not risk taking power away from them and their doctors, or compromising their quality of care.

Republican candidates actually already have a set of policy proposals to address these concerns, but they have yet to campaign on their relevance to lower middle class families. The frontrunners have all proposed ending the tax penalty on individuals who buy their own insurance (rather than get it through work). That simple change would make it much easier for people who work for small businesses, or are out of work, to afford coverage--coverage that would stay with them from job to job. The candidates have also proposed a series of measures to increase competition in the health care industry, which would help control rising costs without a government takeover.

More here

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Brookes News Update

Socialist myths vs capitalism: Socialists are forever libelling capitalism by accusing it of all manner of heinous crimes. Clearly the socialist view of economic history is deeply rooted in Western society. What is required is an informed and relentless defence of capitalism
The wrongs of the WA Human Rights Act: The Labor Government of Western Australia is taking a cue from Victoria's Labor Government by introducing bill that will subvert the inalienable rights of Australians. According to these Labor Governments the state will determine what your rights are. This will make 'rights' entirely contingent on the whims of ideologically corrupt politicians and their equally corrupt allies among the judiciary
Obama's Alinsky jujitsu: Obama is the Democrats' Elmer Gantry. The only difference between the two is that Obama's religion is nothing but one of raw political power. Should this political fraud win the White House and successfully implement his policies the result would be an economic, social and political disaster for America. Therefore, an Obama victory is the worst possible outcome for blacks
Why are Jews tending everyone else's garden?: Wealthy American Jews are not only abandoning Jewish charities they are also turning their backs on Israel. Is this the result of the demonization of Israel by the anti-Semitic left? No matter, turning away from Judaism and Israel won't make them any less a target
Who's the worst person in the world?: Why does the media refuse to report that there is a clear conflict of interest between Planned Parenthood and its promotion of sex for children? In 2006 it performed 264,943 abortions from which it made a net profit of $55.8 million and yet the fearless media remains completely silent on the issue
Is the US economy in recession?: Last week President Bush hosted a press conference where he announced a stimulus package of $145 billion that mainly consisted of tax cuts. So will it work? Well, the situation goes far beyond a mere $145 billion 'stimulus'
Will a plunging share market send the economy into recession?: So far this month the Australian share market has dropped by 10 per cent, sending some people into a panic and raising the spectre of recession. But what drove the share market in the first place and can its sudden drop in share prices trigger a recession?
Without savings there can be no economic growth: The economic commentariat is schizophrenic about economic growth. On the one hand, tell us that consumption drives the economy and that consumer spending must be maintained if the economy is to avoid recession. On the other hand, they also tell us that we need to save more if we are to raise living standards. No wonder politicians get confused
Obama, Hillary and Alinsky's tactics: If Mr. Obama is the new face of American politics, a uniter, then why does he support a race-baiting black pastor who also honors the anti-Semite, anti-white racist - Louis Farrakhan. Is it just a matter of time before the Clinton attack machine goes to work on Obama's racist links?
Revisiting the Frank Amendment: Why did Barney Frank and his fellow Dems sponsor a law that allowed all anti-Semites and terrorist supporting activists into the US? And why did they pass laws designed to weaken the CIA and the FBI's ability to keep track of pro-terrorists and their organizations?
Hard-Core pornography isn't "Free Speech": The U.S. Supreme Court held in Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment. It now appears that Attorney General Mike Mukasey might decide to enforce the Supreme Court's ruling

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ELSEWHERE

There is a post here which shows that everybody (both GOP and Donk voters) rightly sees the GOP presidential candidates as being on the conservative side of American politics but Democrat voters see their candidates as centrist. Once again we see a reliance among Leftists on a false "consensus" and a poor grip on reality. The post takes a bit of thought to get the point but it is a striking and important point.

Russian nuclear fuel shipment reaches Iran: "A fourth Russian shipment of nuclear fuel arrived in Iran on Sunday, destined for a power plant being constructed in the southern port of Bushehr, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The report said 11 tons of fuel arrived at the Bushehr power plant. Iran received its third Russian shipment on Friday."

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and TELSTRA/BIGPOND.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here

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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".

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1 comment:

Ian said...

Mr. Huckabee, in a recent address to the Detroit Economic Club, did an excellent job of discussing how his style of governance affected his approach to healthcare in Arkansas, and how it will apply to his quest to educate the electorate on the urgent necessity of replacing the income tax with the FairTax.