A Prescription for a Winning Republican 2020 platform

GOP should launch ‘Middle Class Capitalism’ and ‘American Families First’

By Willis Krumholz

Willis_Krumholz_Nov_2019.jpgWe need to make clear that we stand for strong families and a financially sound middle class.

We need to promote middle class and working class wage growth and real return on savings.  This means ending policies that redistribute wealth to the rich, that encourage inflation or drive down interest rates.  We should stand for

  • Balanced budgets
  • Sound monetary policy.

We need a new antitrust push.  Pro competition, not anti-business. Too little of the American economy is subject to healthy competition.

We need to stand behind “Made in America” and the hiring of U.S. workers.

  • Support a tax policy that rewards making things in America. Offset the vulnerability of blue collar workers in the manufacturing sector to “free trade” deals with countries with lower wage labor. 
  • Make Trump’s small business tax cut permanent (only the corporate cuts were permanent).
  • Cut the payroll tax (half of which is paid by employers)

We need to fix higher education. Instead of more college grads, we need more tech schools and apprenticeships. We shouldn’t reauthorize the Higher Education Act without significant reforms.

  • Colleges that receive federal subsidies should be forced to reveal student income and graduation rates by major.
  • Colleges that produce worthless degrees should be held accountable.

We should propose two solutions for existing student debt:

  • Create a 401(k)-type program, with tax exempt employer contributions to a fund that can later be used to pay down student debt balances
  • Allow student loans to be dischargeable in bankruptcy, which will cause lenders to be more cautious in the future.

We need to tackle the unaffordable growth in medical costs. 

  • Open our healthcare system to more competition. America’s health-care system is plagued by cartels and outdated laws lobbied for by wealthy hospitals. Hospitals with monopoly power have struck secret deals with insurers to cut out other hospitals and limit competition.
  • Reverse Obamacare dis-incentives for physicians to run their own practices (studies show this leads to lower prices).
  • End the kickbacks between “group purchasing organizations” and drug companies that needlessly drive up drug prices.
  • Examine drug-pricing and reform drug patenting rules.
  • Push for greater transparency in the pricing of medical procedures. The system we have today—at least partly caused by longstanding government incentives—makes it almost impossible for consumers to price-shop. People need to see prices in the doctor’s office.

We need “families first” initiatives.  

  • Eliminate marriage penalties in welfare. Marriage is a necessary ingredient to combat fatherlessness due to the inherent instability of cohabitation.
  • Cry out about America’s “epidemic of fatherlessness”. About a third of our youth are being raised by a single mother.  A father residing in the home is the biggest indicator of success later in life. Children with a biological father in the home are even at a lower risk of child abuse.
  • End Medicaid payments for abortions