Plans for Dubya
By Douglas Newman
Go to George W. Bush's web page, and one of the first links you will see is entitled "Real plans for real people." Right beside it, you will see a link entitled "Blueprint for the middle class."
As Rush Limbaugh says, words mean things. He reminds his listeners of this whenever he dissects such things as the Clinton health plan or justifications for the Elian raid. Words from the Bush camp mean things, too. They mean things that ought to make conservatives uneasy.
Blueprints are good for designing buildings and cars, but bad for running countries. They specify things like how fast toilets must flush, the size of holes in Swiss cheese, and where you must send your children to school. While, they are necessary for real architects and engineers, they should not be the tools of social architects and engineers.
Plans, likewise, are good things when it comes to family budgets, vacations, and corporate sales goals. However, they should be kept out of the reach of politicians. FDR, LBJ and WJC had plans. These were bad things. Stalin had plans, too. Five Year Plans. These were very bad things. Plans are great in the private sector, but not so great in the public sector.
Why does W. phrase things in such a fashion? If Al Gore is the second beast of the Book of Revelation, why must the Bush propose what amounts to 190 proof algorismo? Al Gore thinks government can solve all our problems, and has no inhibitions about recommending huge new federal initiatives. Bush says he believes in limited government, but recommends huge federal giveaways and continued micromanagement of every aspect of our lives.
If Gore is going to take America one way, Bush needs to take it 180 degrees in the opposite direction. If Gore is going to drive a car into a brick wall at 100 miles an hour, why should we vote for a guy who will drive it into a wall at 95 miles an hour? Saying that Bush is not as bad as Gore is like saying that he has had fewer bad hair days than Don King.
Although I will vote for Harry Browne and every other Libertarian on my ballot, I realize I will have to live with Bush or Gore for the next four years. Let us suppose Bush wins and the Republicans keep their majorities in both houses of congress. Let the fun begin. If they are really serious about limited government let them start chipping away at the socialist monolith at 8 a.m. on January 21, 2001.
It need not start with anything dramatic. Let both houses vote on January 21 to abolish immediately the National Endowment for the Arts, and let Bush sign it.
Next, they could give us a real tax cut. Let everyone have an immediate twenty percent break on their federal income tax effective January 22, 2001. No cuts in "marginal rates", no "targeted" cuts, and no "phasing in". If Joe Punchclock in Akron is paying $100 a week in federal income tax, he will pay $80 per week effective immediately. If J.R. Gotbucks IV in Scarsdale is paying $10,000 a week, he will pay $8000 a week effective immediately. Let them each day put a new socialist sacred cow on the chopping block. Let both houses vote to abolish the program <I>du jour</I>, and let Bush sign off on it, making it effective immediately.
This would provoke endless sound and fury from the media, but it would signify nothing. The people elected the Republicans, not the media. The Republicans would just be carrying out their limited government mandate from the people who put them there.
A few years ago, Lew Rockwell of the Ludwig von Mises Institute wrote a splendid column outlining a 30-day scenario for restoring a free market economy to America. Each day, a great leap toward liberty occurs. One day, the income tax is abolished. On another day, the interstate highway system becomes a private enterprise. On another day, the gold standard is restored. On yet another day, the people may once again keep and bear any arms they desire. Rockwell succinctly outlines the enormous benefits that would accrue to the American people were this to happen.
My proposal is not nearly as radical. Republicans would have absolutely nothing to lose, and much to gain, by implementing it. They finally would have started doing what they said they were going to do starting in 1981.
This plan, like Rockwell's, differs from the plans discussed above, in that it is a plan to restore limited government rather than for some ideal society. Were Bush and the Republicans to implement such a plan, this would also constitute something new: politicians who ran for office on a big government platform who actually give us smaller government.
Douglas Newman lives in Aurora, Colorado and is the force behind Christian-Libertarian web site The Fountain of Truth.
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