Out of Ideas. No, Really. They Are Just Out of Ideas.

Yesterday at Outside the Beltway, James Joyner, who is attending CPAC, listed Newt Gingrich’s 12 point plan for the GOP to recapture the hearts of America (and I have cut the descriptions of the items down, you can visit OTB for the full list):

1. Payroll Tax Stimulus.
2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief.
3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate.
4. Homeowner’s Assistance.
5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget.
6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud.
7. More American Energy Now (Energy exploration).
8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains.
9. Protect the Rights of American Workers (from… Unions)
10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley.
11. Abolish the Death Tax.
12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure.

Again, visit OTB for longer descriptions and the video of Gingrich discussing them. Let’s review that list and look at the new and original ideas that Newt is offering:

Items 1-4 are tax cuts.

Republicans just spent the last eight years proving they simply are incapable of item #5, and have recently had their RNC chairman run around telling America no one can trust them to do this, and their response from Bobby Jindal the another night including another apology for failing to do this.

Item #6 is a federal mandate on states (woohoo, states rights!), and would seem to be precisely the kind of thing that the governors are protesting in regards to the stimulus money that requires them to rewrite state laws.

Item #7, energy exploration, would appear to be in the provenance of private enterprise, notwithstanding Republican efforts to block any meaningful advancements in alternative exploration.

Item 8 is a tax cut.

Item 9 is union bashing. Unions, mind you, are just about the only force out there who have served somewhat as a stopgap for the decline of wages in the middle class, and even they are a beaten and almost broken group.

Item #10, Sarbanes-Oxley, was created in response to the Enron debacle (and others), and given the widespread fraud and abuse that led to our current disaster, is not going to go anywhere (and I am really slim on the details of Sarbanes-Oxley, but I don’t think there is a real fervor for deregulation anywhere in America, particularly not in Washington).

Item #11 is a tax cut.

Item #12 is something the Republicans just oppose outright. In fact, they just voted against infrastructure spending in the stimulus, ran around screaming pork and ranting about… high speed rail (which, unless I am mistaken, would fall under the “transportation” and “infrastructre” categories.

So there is their big laundry list of ideas- tax cuts, deregulation, union bashing, and spending projects they have repeatedly opposed. And that doesn’t even go into the fact that they just, a few weeks ago, voted against massive tax cuts for 95% of the country.

What a breath of fresh air. By way of comparison, here is there list of ideas as presented in the Contract with America. You may or may not agree with the ideas, and they were centered around a reform agenda, but at least they were honest to goodness ideas. For good fun, you could go through and count how many the Republicans violated the past eight years. Particularly of note is the third point, which promised to “cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third.” Why is that interesting? Well, here is why:

More than 2,000 employers laid off more than 50 workers each in January, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

One workplace, however, wasn’t on the list: the U.S. Congress.

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line item will likely remain safe from their ire.

This is a sputtering, rudderless, idea free movement. There is a reason the only thing they can do is yell “socialist” and attend tea parties (although given the turnout, it looks like they are just sticking to yelling socialist).

*** Update ***

This headline at the HuffPo really says it all:

This isn’t a movement anymore, it is the political equivalent of the bearded lady.






57 replies
  1. 1
    dm says:

    1, 2 and 4 are also approximately things that are either in the stimulus package or other Obama initiatives that Republicans oppose.

    They might not like the current form, but I hear this Obama guy is pretty approachable, and willing to work with you if you bring ideas to the table.

  2. 2
    dmsilev says:

    Well, give Newt credit for being more in-tune with the times than the bulk of the GOP Congress; remember that something like 95% of them voted for an alternate "stimulus" plan that was 100% tax cuts. Newt is meeting reality halfway by only giving tax cuts a mere 6 out of his 12 slots.

    For a Republican, that’s downright communitarian.

    -dms

  3. 3
    Herb says:

    "although given the turnout, it looks like they are just sticking to yelling socialist"

    They should have asked Code Pink or Moveon.org for tips. The turn out might have been better.

    Course, what does that say for the Tea Party "movement" in the first place? They’re fringier than Code Pink???

    Not looking good for em…

  4. 4
    smiley says:

    Slightly OT but there are some great posts out there about CPAC and the tea parties. I like TBogg’s and, especially the photo at the end. And to John’s point, CPAC and their speakers are just confirming their own demise.

  5. 5
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    IOW, same shit, different day. Great writeup John and dead on target. David Schuster took Mitch McConnell to task over the refusal to reduce the number of staffers even though they lost their asses last fall. Maybe Mitch is starting his own ‘Wingnut Jobs Act’ and he is trying to protect some of the GOP staffers from the reality that there are few to no jobs out in the public sector?

    Reality is not something that the Rushublicans can deal with.

  6. 6
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Contract with America.

    I know this isn’t original but bears repeating. Of course, as we all now know, that particular contract became the Contract on America.

    A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

    It takes a lot of wingnuts to screw in a burnt bulb, then rail that government is to blame.

  7. 7
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Movement conservatism is a theology.

    You don’t roll out a new set of commandments just because there are fewer bodies in the pews. You just increase the frequency and the violence of your anathemata from the pulpit.

  8. 8
    Atanarjuat says:

    Just because liberals say that Republicans have no ideas doesn’t mean it’s so. That 12-point plan, as presented, does indeed represent some very meaningful and constructive ideas to move the nation forward into prosperity, rather than sink us permanently into a socialist abyss.

    In other words, just because you don’t like someone else’s ideas doesn’t mean they’re not ideas at all.

    There’s a reason why millions — not thousands — of people are against the deficit-swelling, pork-filled budgets that have been submitted by President Obama, and it’s not because those critical of spending our nation into oblivion LACK any real ideas.

    Get a grip.

    -A

  9. 9

    David Schuster took Mitch McConnell to task over the refusal to reduce the number of staffers even though they lost their asses last fall.

    To be fair, Congress needs more staffers across the board.

  10. 10
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @smiley:

    I love the "TEA BAG the LIBERAL DEMS BEFORE THEY TEA BAG YOU" sign, and the FREE REPUBLIC.COM that they wrote on the signs just adds to the enjoyment. I agree with the person there who said that ‘we can retire the "MORANS" ‘ sign.

    No shit. Poor Tea Bag Boy is being made to hold the freeper signage, I hope he is able to recover from the horror of it all. I wonder how he will feel when he discovers he is the new "MORAN" and his picture about tea bagging Democrats is all over the internet thanks to his parents.

    Ouch.

  11. 11
    Michael says:

    I just want to point out that there are more KKK members than there were teabaggers.

    Kinda puts it in perspective.

  12. 12

    The truth is Republicans haven’t had any new ideas in the last 20 years, but they were always more effective and repackaging their old ideas. The internet and blogs have changed that whole dynamic probably in ways we still don’t fully appreciate. In the past if someone went on the news and made an accusation basically we were at the mercy of that news organization or some other to actually do the leg work and investigate those claims. For that reason calling someone a socialist back in the day was a lot more effective than it is now. There was no counterbalance and most news orgs didn’t see the upside in tracking down each and every smear. So basically the Republicans figured out that aa long as you keep pumping out new smears everyday they were assured of getting at least some of them reported as factual. Now there are just so many places to go for fact checking and or to do your own research that these same old tactics just don’t work as well. And what that means is that now they actually have to come up with something new. Thats a hard thing to do when standing pat for the last quarter century has worked so well for you. Especially when you HAVE to tailor every single "new" idea through a purely "conservative" lens. That means that even if you find a legitimate alternate plan that has a chance to work if it involves raising taxes or instituting more regulations or creating more government you don’t even get to bring that new idea to the table.

    So what is going to happen and what IS happening is that they are going to keep cutting down the number of people who want to be identified as Republicans BUT the few people remaining will be so ferverent and radical that them cheering at the top of their lungs will convince the Republicans that they are really GAINING support all polls be damned. Its an interesting phenomenon to watch so far and I am pretty sure its only going to get crazier for the next year and a half at least.

  13. 13
    Alan says:

    There’s progress there. Newt’s plan doesn’t include reaching out to the evangelicals of the other Party like his five point plan to regain the majority when the GOP lost congress in ’06 did.

  14. 14
    bud says:

    Wasn’t #5, balancing the budget, what did Hover in?

  15. 15
    Douche Baggins says:

    Sarbanes-Oxley is mostly a pain-in-the-ass reporting & auditing system that requires companies to pinkie-swear that they’re not making shit up. It’s complex and opaque and can’t be implemented without the help of professional accounting services like KPMG Men’s Wearhouse and Arthur Chicken Little, and since those fucks have a seat at the table in DC, you can bet it’s not going anywhere.

  16. 16
    Rick Taylor says:

    Out of Ideas. No, Really. They Are Just Out of Ideas.

    That’s what’s been hitting me. All they have left is opposition. It really is striking. They used to have a vision. It was a deluded vision, one that cast Hussein’s regime as an existential threat to our way of life, and that predicted taking him down would help bring Democracy to that part of the world, but it was a vision. Now everything has fallen apart and they have nothing. At this point I don’t even feel most of them understand what we’re responding to. Most of them don’t really get the world economy is falling apart. For them it’s all about what the Democrats are doing; without the Democrats there’d be no big emergency; nothing a few more tax cuts couldn’t solve. It reminds me of how conservatives reacted to liberals who we’re opposing the Iraq war; don’t you get it, they slammed planes into our skyscraper this is war. The thing was we did get it; we just knew invading Iraq had nothing to do with it, and invading would make matters worse. So now I look at them, and I wonder don’t you get it? The financial machine that runs the world has nearly fallen apart overnight. You can’t just keep throwing out the same lines you always: cut capital gains, eliminate the death tax. Strange times.

  17. 17
    Comrade Jake says:

    But wait, I thought Cantor was "back in the saddle"! What happened?

  18. 18
    valdivia says:

    My favorite is the dig at tax relief for the middle class, because you know, those democrats did not just pass the biggest tax cut in history for the middle class. For Newt and Co. the ‘real’ middle class starts at 250K.
    Also note what is NOT on the list–healthcare anyone?

  19. 19
    DougJ says:

    How many of these are 80-20 ideas?

  20. 20
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Of course Cantor is back in the saddle, they just forgot to put a horse under it. Damned city slickers are funny like that.

  21. 21
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    In about twenty years when taxes are through the roof to pay for the government state Republicans brought us and regulation is stifling because of all the new laws we had to pass to keep Republicans from breaking the fucking world again, their tax cutting and deregulation ideas will seem tantalizingly fresh and new.

  22. 22

    Newt has overstayed his welcome.

    1. Abolish NAFTA.

    2. Lift the oil shale ban.

    3. Jobs program to electrify the railroads starting on Monday.

    4. Executive order building nuclear power plants to make the trains run.

    5. Enforce immigration laws.

    6. New immigration laws to protect domestic labor.

    7. Banish birthright entitlements.

    8. Reduce the size of all government agencies by 10%.

    9. 10% tariff on all imported goods, rising by 5% per year for 5 years, to 35% in 2014.

    10. Tie welfare beyond two years to birth control.

    11. Death penalty by hanging with no appeals for speculators found short-selling the dollar. This includes using the United States Marine Corps to go after foreigners.

    12. Constitutional Amendment limiting aggregate taxation to 50% of income.

  23. 23
    Karmakin says:

    I’ll give him this. At least it’s SOMETHING. There’s at least some meat on those bones to sink your teeth into. Some of it is downright rotten, but at least there’s something.

    But my (not so quick) take, from both a policy and a neutral political PoV.

    #1. If there has to be tax cuts, that’s the best way to do it. Decent policy, good politics.
    #2. Good politics. There’s a question on where that money comes from, if it comes from ratcheting down waste in military spending, then go for it.
    #3. Bad politics. Bad policy. You could make a good policy there and replace a high-rate/high deduction code with a low-rate/low deduction code. Again. Where are you going to cut to find this money?
    #4. Eh. This is a mushy middle no-brainer. Both and every side will and are doing this.
    #5. One mans pork is another mans essential infrastructure. Political suicide with Obama with the bully pulpit IMO. Because Obama has and will continue to point this out at every turn.
    #6. Here’s the thing about theft and fraud prevention. There are very serious diminishing returns on the value of these programs. If theft and fraud are very rare, the cost to try and prevent the remaining theft and fraud are much higher than the fraud itself. Could be used as intimidation
    #7. Devil is in the details. Do you focus on wind and solar, or do you focus on fossil and nuclear.
    #8. NO. NO. NO. NO. Lower capital gains tax rates HAVE CREATED THE CURRENT PROBLEM. Horrible politically. Killing capital gains rates rewards the folks who created the current mess.
    #9. I think as people more and more realize that they have little to no leverage to negotiate, and they never will, this is a political loser, just for their choice of language.
    #10. No, lack of universal health care is killing business start-ups. AFAIK S-O compliance is fairly easy for small businesses.
    #11. Again. Rewarding the folks who created the current mess. Political loser.
    #12. Those things may be good. However, what really is needed is a cross-continent high-speed rail system. It should be possible for someone to go from NY/LA by train at an more affordable price. It may take longer for the trip, but as gas prices continue to rise it should be economically competitive.

  24. 24
    amorphous says:

    @Atanarjuat: A wild WINGNUT appears!

    You use LOGIC AND REASON

    It has no effect!

    WINGNUT uses SCREAM PORKULUS

    You lose 5 BRAIN CELL HIT POINTS

    You use THOROUGH ECONOMIC DATA

    It has no effect!

    WINGNUT uses TAX CUTS

    You lose 50 BRAIN CELL HIT POINTS

    TAX CUTS does not affect your STIMULATIVE POINTS

    You use A GENERAL ELECTION

    The WINGNUT has been defeated!

    You earn FOUR YEARS OF PRESIDENCY AND AT LEAST TWO YEARS OF CONGRESSIONAL CONTROL

    WINGNUT screams

    A WINNER IS YOU!

  25. 25
    Bill H says:

    Like Douche Baggins, Sarbanes-Oxley is actually not only re-regulation it’s over-regulation, or maybe over-examination posing as regulation. Sort of like the doctor poking his finger up your ass and telling you you don’t have cancer in your lungs.

  26. 26
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Douche Baggins: I’ll concur – certainly Sarbanes-Oxley didn’t prevent our current meltdown. But to know what they mean by ‘replace’, and I don’t have a mil-spec eye-wash station big enough to rinse the wingnut out.

    I’ll leave reading that site to the professionals.

  27. 27
    jcricket says:

    Where’s all the immigrant bashing? I see no war-mongering and nothing in here about the Jewish conspiracy to recruit American kids into forced gay marriages after they get an abortion.

    This can’t possibly be a real GOP agenda.

    Seriously, great post John, and I think the public is beginning to get it. But more importantly, the public still like the concept of tax cuts, which is what makes Obama so brilliant.

    "Tax cuts? Yeah, we got ’em, but for the people that need them. Spending cuts? No way, people need ’em and like em. Reduced deficits/Balanced budgets? Sure, we’ll do that by increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy back to where they were during the go-go Clinton years. TTYL. HAND."

    The GOP is then left sputtering on the sidelines, because Obama is offering tax cuts, but he’s also offering more.

    Yes, people are slightly schizo in that they want unlimited spending on their favorite government programs (roads, military, healthcare, parks, etc.) but don’t want to pay for it. Ultimately everyone’s going to have to pay slightly more taxes. But Obama’s starting it out right. Expand the programs, pay for it by making the rich pay their fair share. When people realize the government is capable of delivering stuff that helps the middle class, people will pony up (this is what happens in heavily Democratic districts already, people voluntarily agree to higher taxes when they come across a ballot initiative).

    Guy’s more of a genius than I thought possible.

  28. 28

    […] is kind of funny. While Newt Gingrich is promoting investment in transportation, the official GOP position is that kind of spending is pork, and Bobby Jindal came out swinging […]

  29. 29
    amorphous says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: A wild GUY WITH APPARENTLY SELF-CONTRADICTORY AND HOPEFULLY SARCASTIC SUGGESTIONS appears!

    You use PRESS RESET.

  30. 30
    MattF says:

    Newt has a thing about unions. I saw him once on CSPAN, blabbing away,.. actually, to be fair, he was saying some semi-interesting things,… but the subject of unions came up and his face turned beet-red, his hair (I swear) uncurled and stood on end, and wisps of steam started coming out of his ears. No, really.

  31. 31
    jcricket says:

    certainly Sarbanes-Oxley didn’t prevent our current meltdown.

    I love republican logic.

    1) SOX is a regulation
    2) The market went completely tits-up
    3) Regulation failed to catch this
    4) We should repeal all regulation.

    SOX isn’t perfect, but it was never intended to ferret out things like false promises from credit rating agencies or regulate the securitized mortgage or financial derivative market. It simply was a set of regulations governing accounting rules for public companies. Don’t blame SOX for not catching something it was never designed to cover.

    And frankly, of course companies are going to complain about all the rules and requirements placed on them. Companies are like teenagers, who swear they’ll be fine if you just let them have no curfew, drive the car wherever they want, go with their "friends" to Cancun without supervision, etc. Does anyone listen to teenagers? What happens after said teenager abuses the freedom you grant them? Do you just keep granting them more freedom?

    The answer to this market situation is simple. We need comprehensive regulation (hedge funds should be covered, limits on total % of deposits need to be cranked down, lower leverage limits, etc). And then those regulations need to be properly and competently enforced, by well staffed regulatory agencies. And then we need reporting/auditing of the impact of the regulation’s impact and the enforcement – with a focus on continuous improvement (are we getting our money’s worth, is the process working?).

    I hope this is what Obama proposes.

  32. 32
    valdivia says:

    totally OT–but am I the only one digging the fact that our president went to see the basketball game in DC last night?

  33. 33
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:
    Let’s just hit one to show how well you’ve thought through this.

    9. 10% tariff on all imported goods, rising by 5% per year for 5 years, to 35% in 2014.

    This, and things like it, have been done by many nations (including the US) over the years. There are a lot of problems, but let’s start with the biggest: We get the same thing done in return. As a consequence we put a lot of our US citizens out of work because their customers are no longer buying. What citizens? Farmers, to start. Our computer (hardware and software) and automobile and aircraft manufacturers follow. 10 – eventually 35 – percent on all imports? So you espouse a 35% increase in the price of gasoline, do you?

    That’s the short run effect. You repeated Smoot Hawley, only bigger. You pushed us into an even deeper depression, putting 10% more people (probably) out of work. You made life more painful for almost every citizen.

    Consequence? You’re run out of office. You are lucky to pull 20% of the vote. Your successor reverses the whole thing.

    Kind of like what we saw in the 1930s and 2008.

    Now, I happen to like number 3 – starting on electric trains. I think we need to seriously expand and improve our rail system, and electric is a major part of it. But the rest of your ideas make this untouchable.

  34. 34
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    We need to fid a pic of a young boy on his hobby horse and photoshop Cantors face on the kid. Back in the saddle indeed…lol!

    Better not though, Mark Foley will start drooling.

  35. 35

    Re: Number Nine.

    In the 1930s, the US was an exporter, and it was foolish to start a trade war. Today, we are a ‘consumer economy’, and it is good policy to start a trade war.

    England was a ‘consumer’ economy in the 1930s, and their entire GDP drop was 5%, less than we have already experienced. The Great Depression did relatively little damage to England because they were forced to make their own stuff.

    The US is energy independent, and a trade war on gas would cripple a whole lot of forces that would like to hurt you.

  36. 36
    georgia pig says:

    Tired old Newt bait and switch. There are a couple things in there that could have a thin veneer of reasonableness (payroll tax relief, "American" energy), but you can bet they’d be perverted into "Clean Skies" and "Healthy Forests" bullshit a la Bush. Then there are real stinkers, like the union-busting and "death tax" abolition. It’s still about selling snake oil to regular people so they’ll agree to give the wealthy more money, who will in turn reward the salesmen with think tanks and other emoluments. They are out of ideas if they’re dredging up old con artists like Newt. My guess it that it won’t get them any traction, and they’ll increasingly turn to old fashioned hate and scapegoating, as they won’t be able to resist the urge to capitalize on the economic distress.

  37. 37
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Item #7, energy exploration, would appear to be in the provenance of private enterprise, notwithstanding Republican efforts to block any meaningful advancements in alternative exploration.

    Let’s be crystal clear: "Energy exploration" is a euphemism for "Drill, baby, drill."

    Implementation of #7 would consist solely of opening ANWAR and the California coast to the oil companies. Period.

  38. 38
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Karmakin:

    #12. Those things may be good. However, what really is needed is a cross-continent high-speed rail system. It should be possible for someone to go from NY/LA by train at an more affordable price. It may take longer for the trip, but as gas prices continue to rise it should be economically competitive.

    Yesterday, as I drove a couple of hours to a business meeting in another city, I pondered this – and had an idea I’ll throw out.

    I wonder how hard it would be to convince Disney to add a Rail Resort. A luxury rail service that runs from Disneyland through Disneyworld and on to Port Canaveral (boarding for Disney Cruise Lines.) Invest further in high-speed rail for the selected route, carefully plan to allow access to (or near) the Vacation Club sites, and then sell access to and use of those rails to other rail companies (keeping, unlike current rules, priority for passenger services). Ten to fifteen years, driven by the mouse.

  39. 39
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    @georgia pig:

    The Republican ship is running at full throttle, bouncing from iceberg to iceberg with nobody at the helm because they are too busy fighting over who gets to take the wheel next. They know they are ramming icebergs but they believe if they keep ignoring them then the ship can’t sink.

    Yeah, that’ll work great.

    A great writeup at the GOS about Obama non-‘SOTU’ speech and how he basically ran the Repubs around in circles and screwed up their illusion of unity. It is a pretty good analysis of what happened and how Obama handed them their asses that night.

    Using only words. I love it! The Republicans are having problems dealing with someone who knows the power of communication and who is not afraid to use it to his advantage.

    Check. Chessmaster Obama? Indeed.

  40. 40
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: Wasn’t there a Daily Show segment on Hummer drivers where one of the DB’s was like "there’s enough oil in Alaska for us to be energy independent111!."
    What a tea-bagger!

  41. 41
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    England was a ‘consumer’ economy in the 1930s, and their entire GDP drop was 5%, less than we have already experienced. The Great Depression did relatively little damage to England because they were forced to make their own stuff.

    You really need to review history.

    First, England started eating the Great Slump several years earlier. In fact, the 1930s were in many ways a continuation of what began in 1919. Even so, overall national unemployment was comparable to that of the United States. In the manufacturing areas – the shipbuilders and textiles in particular – production declined by as much as 90% (with unemployment rates in those industries doing the same). GDP from 1931 to 1933 declined 10.8%. 1931 GDP was already in line with that of 1926 — five years of pretty much stagnant growth.

    The tariffs almost killed england’s shipbuilding and textile industries because of the relative lack of raw material. WWII wound up saving them.

    If you’re going to call on history to defend your position, by Dog at least use history that existed.

  42. 42

    Re: "The tariffs almost killed england’s shipbuilding and textile industries…"

    Kirk, correct me if I’m wrong, but our shipbuilding industry, other than government programs, is long gone. Wikipedia says we command 0.9% of the world market.

    My shirts seem to be made in Honduras ($3/day labor) and Bangladesh ($2/day labor) these days.

    The nice thing about being in America is that we have lots of raw materials. I believe that the typical American would support American economic interests. This sentiment will grow as the economy continues to decline.

  43. 43
    nylund says:

    I’m not really surprised that the type of people who read "Liberal Fascism" or "The case for internment" are wowed by a 13 year old.

    When your party is full of intellectual midgets, a child will indeed stand heads above the rest.

  44. 44
    MobiusKlein says:

    @jcricket: Yikes, don’t tell my wife I’m using Republican logic, she’ll divorce my sorry ass.

    As for Sarbanse-Oxley, I admit I don’t know all that much about it, and would never trust what Newt would suggest to replace it – but I do remember the big change at my company when it came in. I had to change my password each month for the hours-logging system.

  45. 45
    lee says:

    I work for a medium/large size company and develop programs for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.

    I’m not sure how small public companies do it. It takes the equivalent of 2-3 full-time people to keep up with it.

    The funny(?) part about the whole thing is we laugh that NONE of the protections of SOX would have prevented Enron.

    I’m all for preventing another Enron or a financial meltdown. I’m sure regulation would play a part of that (as well as actually enforcing the regulations). But if you are going to regulate at least make the them do what they are supposed to do. Honestly SOX is a huge fucking waste of time and effort.

  46. 46
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    It is that sort of thing, Bill, that tells me you don’t want a real debate.

    I countered your point of "only 5%" with note that during the period it was actually over 10% AND that it was already depressed over the preceding five years. (Depending on authority the UK’s total decline ran somewhere between 25 and 40%. The specific stat isn’t available as, just as in the US, the offices that had responsibility weren’t told to make the measures till after the event.)

    You also said that their industry increased. To clarify the counter I gave some examples – shipbuilding and textiles. You ignore both the general implication – that existing manufacturing gets HURT by tariffs – and one of the two specifics (textiles) to focus on one industry so as to dismiss the complaint.

    Here’s the deal. While "only" 20% of GDP is industrial (vice agricultural and service), that 20% still makes the United States the largest industrial nation in the world. We make more money via industry than any other nation.

    HOWEVER, we have gone from making approximately 85% of what we use at home (circa 1955) to approximately 60%. Simplistically, the difference is that we no longer make a lot of end consumer items. Or restated in analogy, we don’t make clothes, but we make the sewing machines on which the clothes are made.

    Your proposed tariffs would require us to manufacture a great deal of things we currently purchase from elsewhere. These would cost us more to make – more money, more time, more effort. In addition we would lose a great deal of the manufacturing strength and market we DO have. Your plan would, in the end, cut jobs, cut our wealth, and reduce our strength, all to be self-sufficient (or at least nominally so).

    Bill, you think we have a lot of raw materials. As it happens, we do. But there are a lot we are missing. Yes, "everyone" knows about oil. But there are a lot of others. For example, we have to import 100% of the arsenic, columbium, strategic graphite (nuclear rods, anyone), manganese, mica, strontium, thalium and yttrium we use. We have to import over 99% of the bauxite and alumina we use. 94% of our tungsten, 75% of chromium, 66% of our nickel. We have a lot of raw materials, but we are NOT SELF-SUFFICIENT. Act to make our import costs go up at the same time you act to reduce our export sales and all you do is cripple our economy.

  47. 47
    Rainy says:

    A lot of the stuff on that list Obama’s ideas but moved around and tweaked for Republicans, except all the the tax cuts that would benefit the wealthy.

  48. 48

    I’ve been trying to figure this out and I think it comes down to this: They (at least the Republican Congresscritters) want another Dubya in office, not another Reagan. They talk about Reagan with the fervor best suited for a cult of personality rather than an inspirational historical figure, but they show no real understanding of his ideas or his message. This is the party that Bush wrought.

  49. 49
    Olliander says:

    I’ve been lurking on this blog for a while, and I do enjoy it for the most part.

    But I find this idea on the part of Democrats that all the Republicans have for ideas is more tax cuts, hypocritical.

    Most of the items you listed are indeed forms of tax relief. But what have the Democrats offered besides government spending? As you say the GOP have nothing but tax cuts, so do the Democrats have nothing but spending. Healthcare broke? Government spending. GDP down 3%? More government spending. Gas prices at $3/gallon? More government spending. And on and on.

    The GOP and the Democrats are two sides of the same coin. GOP leadership brought us to this precipice, to be sure. But let’s not pretend that the Democrat "solutions" are innovative and groundbreaking, either.

  50. 50
    Da Bomb says:

    @Atanarjuat: Actually, you need to get a grip. I don’t know if you have been paying attention but a good majority of America doesn’t have problems with the stimulus bill so endearing called "Porkulus" by the Repug-u -fucks!

    The American public wants the economy to be stable and stop hemorrhaging jobs, stock, and foreclosures, by any means necessary.

    Wake up!

  51. 51
    gwangung says:

    But what have the Democrats offered besides government spending?

    I suggest you read WHY more carefully.

    If you’re not interested in the reasons, then, of course, everything looks the same.

  52. 52
    jcricket says:

    As for Sarbanse-Oxley, I admit I don’t know all that much about it, and would never trust what Newt would suggest to replace it – but I do remember the big change at my company when it came in. I had to change my password each month for the hours-logging system.

    My point wasn’t that SOX is actually perfect or even that great at what it’s supposed to do. It’s just that SOX’s "failure" to catch the current crises was not a failure of SOX, but other regulation that was missing and lax enforcement.

    I can agree that poorly designed regulations, like the kind often drafted in haste after a particular scandal, can often be either "more trouble than their worth" or "much ado about nothing". This is esp. true when watered down by Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats. A good regulation is one not designed to punish or appease business, but to prevent fraud/abuse/excesses (like my teenager example) while being at least reasonably simple to comply with (assuming you’re not a crook).

  53. 53
    The Raven says:

    They were out of ideas when they came to power. If you were in charge of the world’s only hyperpower, wouldn’t you do something other than start a pointless war? They have no imagination, only fear. And after enough deaths, and enough misery, people get tired of fear.

    Krawk!

  54. 54

    […] Gingich, for some reason still the GOP’s idea guy, challenged EPAC with a ‘new idea’ list made up of old Republican ideas plus some contemporary catch […]

  55. 55

    […] Cole has a breakdown of “Newt Gingrich’s 12 point plan for the GOP to recapture the hearts of America.” […]

  56. 56

    […] ‘better solutions’ party.” Included in those “better solutions” is a 12 point plan that is half tax cuts with a dash of things even they know they won’t […]

  57. 57

    […] The party of ideas. Old, stale, recycled ideas. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The party of ideas. Old, stale, recycled ideas. […]

  2. […] ‘better solutions’ party.” Included in those “better solutions” is a 12 point plan that is half tax cuts with a dash of things even they know they won’t […]

  3. […] Cole has a breakdown of “Newt Gingrich’s 12 point plan for the GOP to recapture the hearts of America.” […]

  4. […] Gingich, for some reason still the GOP’s idea guy, challenged EPAC with a ‘new idea’ list made up of old Republican ideas plus some contemporary catch […]

  5. […] is kind of funny. While Newt Gingrich is promoting investment in transportation, the official GOP position is that kind of spending is pork, and Bobby Jindal came out swinging […]

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