13 July, 2009

New ideas surprisingly quite similar to old ideas

Being in DC, I haven't followed much local politics. But here I see that, finally, someone has stepped up to the plate to refute the insidious charge that the current Republicans have no real policy platform beyond knee-jerk obstructionism and knee-jerk tax-cutting: Bill Feehan, the Vice-Chairman of the La Crosse County Republican Party. The "ideas" listed in the article are as follows:

1) Democrats are Marxists. "The lesson of the collapse of socialism in Russia is clear; without a profit motive, an economy cannot function efficiently." Hmmm, do tell.

2) Ayn Rand was right about everything. "Rand had another interesting idea about how much each citizen was entitled to: 'You consume what you produce.'" Ah, to live in a world without collective action problems.

3) Democrats hate economic growth. "Businesses are from this viewpoint inherently bad things that need controlling by the government. So here is a big idea from a Republican. Businesses are inherently good." Congratulations on forming an idea! Of course business is "inherently good". That doesn't mean that it doesn't need regulating, or that the labor-capital rivalry doesn't need mediating, or that business should unilaterally set economic policy.

4) Cutting taxes raises revenue. "Raising taxes on high-income individuals and businesses is counter-productive. It will result in lost jobs and falling tax revenues." An oldie but a goodie.

5) Stimulus is a failure. Counter-proposal is nebulous but appears to be tax cuts, which already compose the largest single component of the ARRA.

6) Republican ideology is literally a fairy tale. "There is yet another lesson from a children’s fairy tale, the story of the golden goose. Business is the golden goose that lays golden eggs for our nation. Let’s not strangle the golden goose in the interest of something as subjective as fairness."

Not to put too fine a point on this, but not only are these "ideas" not really new, or ideas, but they are so far removed from the nature and magnitude of our current challenges its laughable. I mean, I understand this is La Crosse, and I understand that Democrats have their silly and contradictory ideas, like any political movement. But this is really, really bad.

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