I just saw a great video of an interview on Canadian TV with former Bush aid, David Frum. First, of course this would be on Canadian TV. No American news agency - except for perhaps PBS - would ever devote a half an hour to an honest and frank discussion of political ideas and strategies.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Frum made a number of really interesting points about where the Republican party is today politically/ideologically and where he thinks it used to be and where he thinks it needs to go. In particular, he says that catering to the shrinking share of the population that white, non-college educated, and middle income is a recipe for chronic political decline. He also talks about how the GOP has become "anti-merit" where it used to be about "limited but effective government." Perhaps most interestingly, he implies that the GOP has ill-advisedly "nailed their colors to the pole" as far as policies demanded by and supported by voters over 65 - especially social policies and medicare policies. He paints a picture of a Republican party that has become impractical and inflexible. This is not news to the rest of us but it is interesting to hear it from a prominent Republican.
The other interesting idea from this interview was Frum's proposal for tax reform. He suggested that we shift the tax burden away from "production" and towards "consumption." Now, usually when Republicans talk like this they are proposing replacing income taxes with sales taxes. But Frum - rightly - said that sales taxes are a horrible idea. What he proposed was making all monies currently in savings accounts exempt from taxation. You only pay taxes on money you spend on things. So in other words if you save 10% of your income you are reducing your taxable income by 10%. I haven't fully thought out the ramifications of this but it sounds like a remarkable idea. It's certainly something worth looking at.
We do a lot of bashing of Republicans on this blog, so I thought it would be good for me to point out when I hear a genuinely good idea and analysis from a Republican.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 5:28 PM