Observations of the 2014 midterm Elections
As I stand back from this whole surprising election and try to ignore all of the bloviating about it, I would like to add a few observations and thoughts of my own.
- This election truly was a very strong repudiation of the progressive ideology across the board – seven Senate seats flipped, and likely two more to go. That is unprecedented. Importantly, it was a direct repudiation of the worst president and probably the worst Senate leadership in this country’s history.
- Domestic economic issues seemed to dominate voters’ focus and choices. The races for governor in Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, and several other states clearly and unequivocally demonstrated this. Promised or actual economic growth and economic rationality were the key to those wins. Unfortunately Colorado and Pennsylvania missed the wave. The GOP now controls 31 governorships. That is also unprecedented in modern history.
- But above and beyond the economic drivers in this election, there is a general unease that a lot in this country is just not right. As the polls have confirmed for the last two years – the country is going in the wrong direction. My personal opinion is that this unease is due to a bloated bureaucracy that is intruding on every aspect of the peoples’ lives, from healthcare, to environmental regulations, to the IRS. The many very public scandals reinforce this whole idea that a big federal government does not work for the people but rather against the people. In this case Congress is at fault – passing stupid and badly crafted laws then turning them over to the Executive to fill in the blanks and write the regulations. When given a chance, any bureaucracy will grab more power.
- My confidence in the “informed” electorate went up. They mostly made the right decisions across the board. Unfortunately, it took them too long to come to their senses. An awful lot of damage has already been done and it will be very difficult to undo.
- It appears that a significant number of the uninformed and disaffected electorate sat out the election. This is good. If they don’t understand the issues or what each candidate stands for, then they should stay home.
- The unions, especially the unions representing government employees, wasted a whole lot of money – I heard that it was over $100 million. I doubt if they care, since it is taxpayer money they siphon out of member paychecks to begin with.
- The greenies also wasted a pot load of money – probably close to another $100 million. None of the people they supported got elected. The American people are finally waking up to the fact that manmade global warming and the other up-front issues from the greenies are mostly a bunch of malarkey.
Now what will the GOP do with this new found power? It is unlikely Obama will change his ideology or his direction in spite of what the people have said. He still wrongly believes that the majority of Americans support him. He must have the stupidest White House staff in the history of the presidency. Either that or they are such ideologues that every ounce of common sense has left their very souls.
So what do the Republicans do now? Get the economy going and re-establish the position of the US in world affairs. Specifically…
- First and foremost stop the lame-duck Senate from doing more stupid things.
- Kill Obamacare and simultaneously propose alternatives will (1) kill the individual mandate, (2) allow for the purchase of health insurance policies across state lines, (3) allow insurance companies to create policies that meet individual needs instead of government mandates, (4) kill government subsidies for healthcare insurance, (5) make healthcare policies transportable with the individual policy holder, (6) disallow corporate deductions for employee insurance policies, (7) disallow an insurance company to drop a policy when it is discovered that the insured have any serious disease or condition, and (8) put a cap on punitive damages in healthcare lawsuits. Encourage state insurance pools to cover people with serious pre-existing conditions.
- Drop the corporate tax rate to somewhere around 15% and close most of the deduction loopholes. Do allow deductions for corporate research and development. (I’m actually a fan of a 0% corporate tax rate because it is really a tax on end-users and consumers since the taxes are built into the cost of the goods and services.)
- Drop all income taxes on corporate dividends – that money has already been taxed once.
- Rescind the law that taxes repatriated corporate profits when they have already been taxed in the country where those profits were made.
- Rescind both the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.
- Through the budgeting process force every Executive Branch department except the Department of Defense to cut 1% from their budget each year for the next five years.
- Defund the Consumer Protection Agency and get rid of it.
- Pass the Keystone pipeline bill that’s been sitting in Reid’s office for the last two years. Also pass several other energy bills that are sitting in the same black hole, such as the ability to export LNG.
- Defund the EPA’s “war on coal” and all of the other CO2 sequestration bullcrap that the greenies in the EPA have conjured up. Do continue to fund R&D on making coal cleaner to use and burn.
- Kill the Ethanol mandate. I think that already passed the House.
- Defund all subsidies to green energy companies. However, do not defund basic R&D in support of finding marketable alternative energy sources.
- Modify the Endangered Species Act to require recertification that a species is endangered or threatened every seven years. The supporting research must be peer reviewed by agencies and organizations that do not have any official involvement or position on endangered species. Eventually, re-write the entire ESA so that it ONLY addresses species that are endangered by the DIRECT results of man’s activities. The vast majority of species on the current endangered list are there because of natural evolution. The spotted owl and the piping plover are good examples.
- Require that all grants, loans, or subsidies valued at over $100,000 be approved by Congress. This little ditty requires Congress to take responsibility for all of the really stupid things coming out of the Executive branch that are funded by the taxpayers.
- Pass legislation to stop the “sue and settle” collaboration between the various federal agencies and outside advocacy groups.
- Pass much stronger economic sanctions against Russia until they totally withdraw from the Ukraine and withdraw support for the rebels in the eastern part of the country..
- Fully arm the Ukrainian Army.
- Pass much stronger economic sanctions against Iran until they stop uranium enrichment and either deactivate the uranium that they do have, or sell it to established nuclear states.
- Fully arm the Kurds.
- Encourage the President and the US Military to do everything possible to get the Turks and Kurds working together to attack ISIS. They are the only people in the region who have the capability to defeat them on land.
- Stop all funding of the UN Human Rights Commission.
Even though Obama will likely veto much of this, it establishes the credentials of the GOP and their ability to understand what the American People want and need. It also puts the presumptive Democrat candidates for president in 2016 on the defensive from the get go.