After losing two special elections in (Illinois) and (Louisiana), the National Republican Campaign Committee has been given a small glimpse of what this November may bring. NRCC Chairman Tom Cole has proven ineffective, along with House Leader John Boehner, in being able to come up with a message that speaks voters disillusioned by our nation's sorry state of affairs, which Republicans so far have done little to combat.
Newt Gingrich, ousted as Speaker of the House after the disastrous 1998 midterm elections, has sent a list of "nine policy proposals" to top House Republicans "to [help] chart a bold course of real change," thereby averting the impending disaster that is sure to hit Republicans this November at the polls. Now, what are the nature of Newt's nine new "policy proposals?" Naturally, I assumed that they would contain bold measures designed to reverse of pathetic incompetence on behalf of the Republican leadership in Congress.
"1. Repeal the gas tax for the summer"
"2. Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon"
"4. Establish an earmark moratorium for one year......The American people are fed up with politicians spending their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad. This is a real opportunity to show the difference."
Nowhere in Newt's "policy proposals" did I find anything about cutting spending, much less the size of government, an issue that seems to be thrown away to the memory hole of history ever since George W. Bush and his big-government "conservatism" came to town. I am quite dismayed by Newt's little caveats with regards to the gas tax (suspend it "for the sumer") and earmarks ("suspend them for one year").
Our budget deficit is currently over $400 billion dollars. Earmarks need to be taken out for good, not for "one year," as Newt proposes. Wasting $15-25 billion dollars of taxpayer money on personal pet projects is something that I am sure Congress can do without. Ordinary Americans are not able to spend wildly without repurcussions and neither should our representatives. Real reformer entails eliminating corrupt practices such earmarks, not merely suspending them and taking them up again once people become forgetful.
Newt's 1st and 2nd proposals show more shortsightedness on the energy issue worthy of the likes of John McCain. Nowhere in Newt's policy proposals is anything at all to do with making America energy independent. Rather, he seeks the lower the ever-increasing gas prices by the abysmal margain of "5 to 6 cents," which would save Americans less than 1% percent of the cost of an average fill-up ($60-$80 dollars).
A "bold course of real change" entails policies that seek to heal and correct the failures and mistakes of the past, not merely to provide a pathetic attempt to stop the bleeding, an attempt that ordinary American would barely feel if at all.