Robert Schlesinger argues that the GOP has a few bad policy ideas. I strongly disagree with him and contend that because the Democrats run the White House and Congress, we have witnessed misguided and irresponsible policy proposals that are having a negative impact on our country. Here are five examples:
1. Repealing Bush’s Tax Cuts. The fight over the expiring Bush tax cuts couldn’t have come at a better time for Republicans. President Obama wants to raise taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 a year while leaving the middle class tax cuts intact. According to Congress’s official tax scorekeeper, over 50 percent of those classified as “wealthy” are small business owners who employ millions of Americans, including many in the middle class. At a time of record unemployment, the Democratic Party is willing to place more economic burden on their backs through higher taxes instead of investing in their growth. Recently, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and leading Senate Democrats like Kent Conrad and Evan Bayh have said the last thing we should be doing in a recession is raising taxes, particularly on small businesses. [See who donated the most to Bayh's campaign.]
2. Explosion of Federal Spending. The federal deficit has exploded since President Obama took office. Much of that red ink hinges on a massive financial rescue package and economic stimulus measures. Those two bills combined cost nearly $1.5 trillion. In addition, the new healthcare reform package signed into law will cost another trillion. And nothing is being done to control America’s record $13 trillion debt. Washington’s spending spree is such an addiction that Democrats have canceled passing a federal budget that would help bring back fiscal sanity.
3. The Cap-and-Trade Fantasy. The cap-and-trade policy authored by Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman has split the Democratic Party. The refusal to give up on creating a carbon-based trading system has robbed them of passing a real energy policy that would help bring down costs and make America more independent from foreign oil. Instead, it would increase energy taxes and create even more unemployment. While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has shelved it for now, there is hope among many Democrats that it will be brought back up for passage after the election during a lame duck session. [See who supports Reid.]
4. Politicizing Immigration Policy. The inability of the federal government to control our borders combined with the effort by the Obama White House to politicize the issue has resulted in a national powder keg over immigration. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s decision to enforce the law and the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the state has exposed the ever growing dilemma. Instead of finding real policy solutions, the calculated move by the White House to attack Arizona’s new policy in an effort to fire up the Hispanic vote has backfired among voters. According to a recent Gallup Poll, more Americans and especially independent voters support Arizona’s attempt to control the problem. [Check out a roundup of editorial cartoons on immigration.]
5. Passing Healthcare Reform. After exhausting a year of political capital, the Democratic Leadership was able to finally pass a massive trillion dollar healthcare reform package. Despite this effort, the bill will have a negative impact on the economy and jobs. The Wall Street Journal reported shortly after enactment that companies who offer prescription drug plans will now face higher taxes and those who don't cover employees are going to face steep fines. AT&T, John Deere, Caterpillar, AK Steel, and Valero have reported they will take a combined $1.4 billion in corporate losses. And what did Democrats get for all this work? A CNN poll taken last week shows that only 33 percent approve of how President Obama is handling healthcare. [Check out our editorial cartoons on healthcare.]