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  • Debate Prep: Brush Up on Domestic Policy

    ECONOMY

    A Non-Recovery Recovery
    The August report shows that the labor market is continuing its non-recovery. Average job growth for 2012 is worse than average job growth in 2011. Fiscal policies from Washington have made the situation worse. While President Obama has promised to reduce regulations, which would help job creation, his largest initiative—Obamacare—will harm employment. The Obamacare tax hikes coincide with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in January 2013. This will throw the economy into another deep recession, and businesses are already delaying investment and hiring as a result.

    Obama Could Prevent a Made-in-Washington Recession
    Though Congress has recessed until mid-November, President Obama could and should immediately call it back to finish its bare minimum tasks for the year. At no time this year has President Obama made the resolution of Taxmageddon a priority, and in this he has joined with Congress in a conspiracy of inertia. But time remains to change course, to prevent the recessionary job loss and wealth destruction threatening the nation. If a slowdown or even a recession unfolds as CBO predicts, the blame will lie with this President and this Congress.

    Runaway Deficit and Debt
    For the fourth year in a row, the federal government in 2012 will run a budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion. The deficit is already $49 billion higher than CBO’s January estimate. Debt held by the public this year will reach $11.3 trillion by October, roughly three-fourths of the entire economy.

    Government’s Proper Role in Creating Jobs: Top Five Actions to Take
    In dealing with a weak economy, America’s elected leaders should stop overspending and overborrowing and instead focus on getting the government out of the way of the private sector. Government should reduce its unnecessary interference in the marketplace, which will help encourage America’s businesses to invest and create jobs. Congress should adopt the pro-growth, job-creating New Flat Tax; encourage development and use of America’s vast energy reserves; encourage free trade that opens foreign markets to American goods and services; stop unwarranted overregulation of the marketplace; and repeal the government’s labor price-fixing for federal construction.

    HEALTH CARE

    Obamacare and the Individual Mandate: Violating Personal Liberty and Federalism
    The individual mandate is an unconstitutional violation of personal liberty and strikes at the heart of American federalism. It threatens increased numbers of uninsured, more cost-shifting, and further market destabilization, and it invites an enforcement nightmare.

    Obamacare and New Taxes: Destroying Jobs and the Economy
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposes numerous tax hikes that transfer more than $500 billion over 10 years—and more in the future—from hardworking American families and businesses to Congress for spending on new entitlements and subsidies. In addition, higher tax rates on working and investing will discourage economic growth both now and in the future, further lowering the standard of living.

    Obamacare and the Budget: Playing Games with Numbers
    A close examination makes it clear that the deficit reduction associated with PPACA is based on budget gimmicks, sleights of hand, accounting tricks, and completely implausible assumptions. A more honest accounting reveals the new law as a trillion-dollar budget buster.

    GOVERNING

    Four Immediate Reforms to Change the Culture of Congress
    We recommend reforms of both parties’ internal caucus rules in order to reverse the decades-long trend whereby House leaders have acquired enormous power at the expense of rank-and-file Members. We believe the reforms recommended here would enable rank-and-file Members to fulfill the responsibilities our Founders envisioned for them in the Constitution, consistent with the public demand for changing how Congress operates. Reforms that could change the culture of Congress:

    • The steering committee, rather than party leaders, should select all committee chairmen and members (including Rules, Administration, “select,” and “joint” committees).
    • Party leaders should no longer dominate or control the steering committee. In practice, this would dispense with the allotment of multiple steering committee slots to party leaders and would allow rank-and-file Representatives to nominate and elect the controlling votes on each steering committee.
    • Term limits should apply to all House and party leaders, including the Speaker, as well as to committee chairmen and ranking members.
    • A cap should be placed on the overall size of each committee—such as a 50-member maximum—to avoid scenarios where committees wield a disproportionate amount of influence over the House.

    ENERGY

    No More Energy Subsidies: Prevent the New, Repeal the Old
    In 2007, American taxpayers subsidized government-preferred energy sources to the tune of nearly $17 billion. Increasingly, it is politicians in Washington who decide how Americans produce and consume energy. But subsidies for special interests stifle competition, raise energy prices, and decrease economic opportunities. It is time for Washington to eliminate all government subsidies and special policy treatments that benefit certain industries at the expense of others. Energy companies should rely on innovation and efficiency, not American taxpayers, to thrive in a system of free enterprise.

    Hydraulic Fracturing: Critical for Energy Production, Jobs, and Economic Growth
    Energy production on private lands in the United States has been one of the most promising success stories in recent years, at a time when the country has struggled to grow economically. A large part of the success behind this tremendous oil and gas production and job creation is due to an energy-extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing. Misconceptions about hydraulic fracturing abound.

    TAXES

    Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Hikes on the Horizon
    Starting January 1, 2013, Americans will face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in one year. The average middle-class American family would see its taxes rise by $4,100 in 2013 alone. And this is just for one year. Taxpayers would see even higher tax hikes in succeeding years. [Click here to see how Taxmageddon will impact you.]

    INCOME MOBILITY

    Why Income Inequality Doesn’t Threaten Opportunity
    The New Liberal Dream: The Left’s new dream is first and foremost about all that the federal government must do to create opportunity and ensure incomes are more equitably distributed. Individual effort takes a back seat to government spending, programs, and cradle-to-grave entitlements. But the American Dream is about ensuring equal opportunities for all to prosper.

    Posted in Energy, Featured, Obamacare, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

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