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Some 'Big Ideas' for the President Two Years In

January 2, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The Trump presidency is nearing its halfway mark. Contrary to
the dire predictions of many pundits, the country still survives.
But whether the president is able to win reelection remains a huge
question. Satisfying his base is not enough. He needs to win votes
from those who might not have warmed to him personally.

To attract those marginal supporters, many of whom chose him
over Hillary Clinton, he should offer a few compelling “big
ideas,” rationalizing his so far disjointed approach to
policymaking. Make the Democrats fight him on his own ground.

Cut Corporate Welfare. One of Hillary
Clinton’s great weaknesses was her membership in the infamous
one percent, having acquired wealth the old-fashioned way, using
political power to grab it. Denizens of Wall Street
weren’t paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to hear her
speeches because of the peerless wisdom and Periclean eloquence.
The Clinton Foundation wasn’t vacuuming up contributions from
foreign governments because of its abstemious commitment to the
global good.

The president should target corporate welfare. Uncle Sam is
bankrupt — sad to say, the GOP blew out the deficit last year
and it will near a trillion dollars in 2019. In a decade the red
ink will run over $1.5 trillion absent some serious cuts. A good
place to start slashing would be with those who collect cash
because of who they are, not based on need or merit.

In doing so President Trump could undermine the incipient
left-wing populist opposition by challenging Democrats to cut money
going to business and other well-heeled interests —
Export-Import Bank, Economic Development Administration, Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac, and much more. The president should argue for a
level playing field for all and explain that is why he has been
cutting taxes, rolling back regulations, challenging foreign trade
restrictions, and the like. One of Washington’s worst kept
secrets is that Democrats are not against enriching special
interests, as long as they are compliant and supportive of
Democrats. Like Wall Street barons who fill Chuck Schumer’s
campaign coffers and labor union leaders who do very well by
pretending to do good, with government’s aid.

The president needs to do
more than simply repeat his old talking points. If he wants both to
change America and get reelected, he needs to advance some grand
new ideas.

Defend America. The world is dangerous, but not
particularly to America. The president has grasped the essential
point, ignored by Obama progressives and Bush neoconservatives
alike: Virtually everyone everywhere wants America to take care of
their problems and otherwise do their bidding. That includes
fighting their wars.

In the Middle East, for instance, Syria really isn’t
America’s problem. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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