Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freedom Coalition Agenda Update and Debate

Seems I'm not the only one thinking about an agenda for conservative forces. Larrey Anderson, at American Thinker, has penned an article entitled Where should Conservatives Draw the Line? I must admit to be a little chagrined at what I see as a bit of defeatist attitude. Among other topics, he wants to punt on opposition to bailouts, socialist health care, and higher taxes. I find this frustrating.

On the bailouts, while it is true that many are a done deal, opposition to further bailouts would signal a turn around for the Republican party. Further, I sense that the public is weary of the bailouts and rightly senses that they are unaffordable. A principled position against further government debt for private ventures along with a demand for a time line to pay back the current loans would be popular AND in the best interests of the nation.

Socialist health care is also an avoidable outcome. First, there is no money to pay for this with the government piling up debt and unemployment payments growing. Obama promised to pay for this debacle by cutting other programs "that are not working." During the election season I posted about the impossibility of that working. One plank of opposition would be to loudly, vociferously and repeatedly call to attention Obama's promise to pay for universal health care by cutting other programs. As a practical matter, the United States will wreck its health care system, much as Britain has done if such a program passes. Surely we can win when the facts are on our side and shame on us if we don't.

Finally, I can't believe we would punt on the higher taxes issue, when Obama seems ready to surrender himself. He knows that politically, higher taxes during a recession are political suicide. We hardly have to work at all to win this one. If we then focus on balancing the budget, we can make the argument for smaller government.

Larrey then turns to his favorite issues: illegal immigration, education, freedom of religious expression and the "Global Warming Hoax." (Road Dawg likes that last one.)

I admit to some confliction over illegal immigration. I believe strongly in the rule of law and it is being flaunted today by illegal immigration. But the economist in me wants labor to flow like any other economic good to its place of highest utility. My only solution, unlimited immigration if you can prove you are not a criminal, is not today politically viable.

I agree on the education issue, but as I previously stated, this has to be more about choice than a particular agenda for school boards. I already discussed freedom of speech in my previous post.

Finally, as much as I would like to believe that global warming is a hoax, I find the evidence on both sides inconclusive. So while I am willing to do battle on that basis, it would wreck our credibility to argue this point too vehemently.

However, it's great to see serious thought going into setting an agenda and a recognition that it is needed.

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