Archive for February 18th, 2012


Republican Rebirth at Ripon–Part IV

Under my Republican “Rebirth at Ripon” plan, conservatives would be required to take the following SENIOR YEAR classes:

Fourth Year—First Semester

PS: 403:  FREE SPEECH: Never advocate censorship of content, but use the “commerce clause” to regulate cable TV monopolies. Implement regulations to protect consumers from cell phone company abuse. Understand the preference for more speech, not less. Never advocate, as Romney did, the elimination of the Public Broadcasting Corporation. It’s our only objective TV source.

PS: 420: WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Study the history of the GATT. How is the WTO organized? Why do tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers violate WTO rules? What trade cases may be brought before the WTO Dispute Settlement Body? Don’t pander to voters who seek protectionism. Explain the WTO.

EC: 460: ECON: ANTITRUST: What are the logical extremes of unregulated capitalism? What happens to prices when one, or a few companies, control of the market? Even Republicans should be willing to stop one company from taking over an entire market. Accept the need to break up monopolies with antitrust laws.

EC: 410: ECON OF PUBLIC BUDGET: Learn the history of our National Debt and annual budget deficits. Why did Republicans shift from taxation to borrow-and-spend policies? How much did the National Debt increase since Reagan implemented supply-side economics? How much has the “interest on the debt” portion of the budget grown? Does an increase in the Debt Ceiling cause additional spending, or simply allow more borrowing to pay for funds already spent? Would a Balanced Budget Amendment pass? Would it do any good? What wasteful spending could be saved by cutting corporate welfare and military operations overseas?

LAW: 450: INTERNATIONAL LAWS OF WAR: Study the Hague and Geneva Conventions, containing the ban on torture, and rights of non-combatants to be heard in civilian courts. Learn what rights prisoners-of-war have under the Geneva Conventions. When can military commissions and tribunals be used, instead of civilian courts? Close Guantanamo Bay; it’s a major embarrassment. Have respect for international law.

Fourth Year—Second Semester

PS: 450: FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE: Learn to oppose dictators, tyrants, and absolute monarchs. Don’t befriend them for strategic reasons. Support democracy and free elections. Focus on our U.S. national security interests, not those of Israel. When is military use justified? What rebellions should we support? Who should receive foreign aid, and why?

EC: 490: ECON: HOUSING: What caused the mortgage foreclosure crisis? To what extent did “adjustable rate mortgages” contribute to the problem? What are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? What is the purpose of the Community Development Act? How should mortgage-backed securities be regulated? How are jobs created in the construction industry? To what extent do “supply and demand” set housing prices? What effect do low interest rates normally have on housing starts?

EC: 430: ECON OF TAX POLICY: The 16th Amendment was ratified to tax the incomes of the very rich. Would it be fair to tax those who receive unearned incomes from interest, dividends, and capital gains, at the same rates as those paid ordinary income from regular employment? Since corporations are treated like persons when it comes to rights, like their ability to contribute to political campaigns, shouldn’t they pay income taxes just like everyone else? Should the cap on payroll taxes, which protects higher income persons, be eliminated? Understand why the sales tax is regressive and would hurt the poor the most. Should the federal estate tax be applied to estates of less than one million dollars?

EC: 490: ECON OF THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY: Study the success and failures of the so-called war on drugs, and its affect on supply, demand, pricing, and our relations with Mexico.

LAW: 460: ISRAEL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW: Stop pandering to Israel, and at least understand the Palestinian view. Read the countless number of UN resolutions critical of Israel for their occupation of Palestine. Understand that every UN member, except the U.S., has voted against Israel, and the only reason the U.S. stands alone with them, despite their ongoing violations of international law, is the Israeli Lobby controls the U.S. Congress and our foreign policy. Be an honest broker and learn both sides.