Republican platform passed
New 2012 planks called a return to old economic models
It’s official. The Republican Party at its national convention held this week in Tampa, Fla., while Hurricane Isaac lashed the East Coast, selected Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as what they are terming the “comeback team” president and vice presidential ticket.
The party also released its 2012 platform, and among the key tenets proposed are job creation, small business and entrepreneurship tax relief to grow the economy and create jobs, revising the tax code, reigning in out-of-control government spending, as well as balancing the budget, and rebuilding home ownership.
The Republican platform pegs free-market policies as the surest way to boost employment and job creation. And the GOP acknowledges that small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and must be assisted. To do this they push reforming the tax code to allow businesses to generate enough capital to grow and create jobs, encouraging investments in small businesses, and creating an environment where adequate financing and credit are available to spur manufacturing and expansion.
The platform also calls for a tax system that is “simple, transparent, flatter and fair.”
To do that they propose extending the 2001 and 2003 tax relief packages—commonly known as the Bush tax cuts and reducing the marginal tax rate by 20 percent across the board in a revenue neutral manner. Republicans also want to eliminate the taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for lower and middle-income taxpayers; end the death tax and repeal the alternative minimum tax.
The platform also calls for reducing the corporate tax rate and switching to system of corporate taxation that would allow profits earned and taxed abroad to be repatriated without additional penalty.
Finally, the platform calls for any added tax or national sales tax to be tied to a simultaneous repeal of the 16th Amendment, which allows Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on census results.
In terms of spending, the platform proposes that all proposed federal spending meet a three-part test—is it within the constitutional scope of the federal government? Is it effective and absolutely necessary; and is it sufficiently important to justify borrowing, especially foreign borrowing, to fund it?
The platform also calls for a constitutional amendment requiring a super majority approval by Congress for any tax increase, except in the case of war and national emergencies.
To strengthen home ownership, the Republican platform calls for establishing a mortgage finance system based on competition and free enterprise in a way that is transparent, encourages the private sector to return to housing, and promotes personal responsibility on the part of borrowers.
This platform, according to William Boone, Ph.D., a professor of political science at Clark Atlanta University, is a continuation, and in some cases, reverts to what used to be in the Republican platform.
“When you look at the economic planks, and you don’t have many details, it continues what led into the 2008 economic crisis—deregulate as much as possible and also continues, in a large measure, a tax structure that benefits what Republicans call the job makers/ job creators. They are giving breaks to oil companies, coal companies, etc., with the idea that those tax breaks will cause them to increase production (and hiring) and it will all trickle down and have a beneficial affect on the rest of our country.
“But for Black Americans, you’ve got to be very careful,” cautions Boone. If you are discussing this as a return to normalcy, which reflects a 5 percent unemployment rate.
“Most economists are saying when you reach 5 percent unemployment, you have full employment. But 5 percent in the general population translates into 10 percent unemployment in the Black population and 8 to 9 percent in the Latino community. When you reach “normalcy, these groups willl still be in a depressed economic condition.”
Boone notes that historically in this trickle-down model, the money from the tax breaks was exported out of the country.
The Republican platform also continues talking about reduction of entitlement programs, says Boone.
“And the discussion is so loose that they’re even including things like Social Security, which is not an entitlement program.”
Boone also says the portion of the Republican platform that speaks to changing the Affordable Healthcare Act or “Obamacare” would definitely be detrimental to middle- and low-income folk because healthcare costs and catastrophic illnesses have traditionally been driving forces behind bankruptcies and losing homes.
Despite what it says, Boone cautions that political platforms must be taken with a grain of salt, because they typically don’t go anywhere.
“But it does give you a glimpse of (the party nominee’s view). It gives you an idea of what they’re thinking about.”
OK. The third and final presidential debate came and went Monday night. Score: Obama-2, Romney-1.
The president did not trounce the challenger in this last get-together, as he did in debate No. 2, but he scored at least three intellectual knockdowns in this last debate, mainly over foreign policy, and won convincingly, if not by a knockout. The challenger’s strategy seemed to be box, weave and clinch for dear life, as Mr. Romney surprisingly agreed with the president on almost every issue.
Somehow, the body snatchers came last Wednesday and took the fire (as in fired up, ready to go) out of President Barack Obama, leaving a rather listless shell of a man who never truly engaged the audience.
He looked down at his notes, fidgeted, and let his opponent, Mitt Romney, get away with multiple lies.
Ignorance is not bliss. However, there are too many of us who are ignoring the discussion about a legislative maneuver known as “Sequestration.” This is also known by a more descriptive term, “fiscal cliff.” (Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coined the phrase.) Unless this is updated, all financial rules and budgeting will come to a halt on Dec. 31, 2012. Let me tell you about a few of the programs that are at risk.
In this 2012 election, most of the focus is on the top of the ticket. Can President Barack Obama maintain, or increase his lead over Republican nominee Mitt Romney?
Will “deep pockets” Romney prevaricate enough in his ubiquitous advertising to turn the tide?
Recent news suggests fundraising for Mr. Romney has faltered. That, too, is fodder for national news as the super-PACS decide how to spend their money. How will the debates go? What about those battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (among others)?
When I was all of 16 years old, I went to get a passport. Why? Richard Nixon had been elected president, and I was sure that he would impose such oppression that I might need to get out of the country.
Never mind that I had not two quarters to rub together and was under such parental supervision that I might not have made it to the corner without being hit upside the head.
I used my own little baby-sitting money to obtain that passport, because I felt that our nation was changing.