Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Republicans Can't Just Play the Game, They Need to Change the Game

I just received a phone call from the Republican National Committee, asking me for a donation of $300 so "we don't just hand the Whitehouse keys over to the Democrats." It seems to me the Republican Party has already done just that. It has proven itself to be just as corruptible and every bit as spend-thrift as the Democrats and I'm not giving them a dime until I am convinced that they've done the soul-searching necessary to re-learn what it is Republicans are supposed to be about and what the Republican rank and file want from them and then they've got to start acting like Republicans again.

We want you to get Government out of our lives wherever possible. The economic mess we are in now, whether it is the housing crisis, the credit crisis, the auto industry crisis, the health insurance crisis or the energy crisis, every single one of these has its roots in government (political) interference in free markets. Every regulation, every little tweak to the tax code designed to bring about some perceived social good, distorts the markets and causes people and businesses alike to make decisions that make no sense otherwise.

The problem I see with the way the Republicans operate is that they are trying to play a game with rules that someone else has set but are not obeying themselves. The Republicans are fighting according to Marquis of Queensbury rules while the Democrats are fighting with brass knuckles and knives. This has to stop. The Republicans need to stop letting the other side frame the debate and start standing up for what it knows to be right, unapologetically and ignoring the howls of feigned outrage from the other side. Stop backing down every time someone calls you names. Recognize that you're being played and don't engage with that tactic.

The Republicans can't win under the current rules of the game because the other side is controlling the rules. Therefore, it is necessary to change the game. For example, stop quibbling about the tax code and what is just the right marginal income tax rate and talking about who is "paying their fair share". To do that is to buy into the corrosive class warfare/wealth envy rhetoric the other side likes to use to keep the voters divided against one another. The income tax is basically immoral and should be scrapped altoghether. It is also large part of why we have such a hard time competing globally. Our corporate tax burden is the highest or second highest in the world. Quibbling about the details loses sight of the basic fact that the income tax is wrong and Republicans shouldn't be afraid to say so. Yes, I'm talking about enacting the FairTax. Taxing consumption rather than income is the only truly fair way to raise tax revenues and the boost it would give to our economy is definitely something we need right now and it furthers the aim of getting government out of our lives.

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