True conservatives despise crony capitalism
Elections are a means to an end, not an end in and of themselves. In the face of our present national crisis, merely electing a Republican president and Congress is not ambitious enough. Any Republican victory must be fuelled by a reform agenda that addresses the fiscal, economic, and trust deficits in the US.
The founding fathers’ vision of limited government, one that empowers free markets and creates a level playing field for all citizens, is being replaced by a form of crony capitalism where powerful economic interests blur the distinction between regulators and regulated. Campaign finance super-political action committees are but the latest manifestation of this phenomenon.
This cancer has spread across both parties and reduces the prospects of finding solutions to the deepening public policy problems facing the US. Meanwhile, precious time slips away that should be used to bolster the prospects of the next generation. Republicans are better than this!
We must campaign on structural reforms focused on reigniting the marketplace for jobs and innovation. This is the challenge facing conservatives: how to roll back the political power of incumbent business and political interests in order to protect the dynamism that has always been the cornerstone of America’s success.
The Republicans should begin by eliminating the tax code’s labyrinth of subsidies, loopholes and corporate welfare in favour of lower, flatter individual rates. For the party of Ronald Reagan, national debt should be seen as an enemy and framed as a national security issue.
Developing our human capital is critical to our economy but it is also a moral imperative: we owe our children the same opportunities our parents gave us. Education reform starts with recognising the need for an expanded marketplace. This, along with tighter federal-local co-ordination of vocational skills training, will be necessary to win back our manufacturing base.
Protecting our natural resources is our joint responsibility but “environmental protection” has become a façade for special interests at the expense of competing energy sources. We must open markets and distribution channels to allow cleaner fuels such as natural gas to compete with gasoline and diesel.
We need financial reform so that innovators and entrepreneurs have access to capital without turning our banking system into a public utility. This means creating a world where we are no longer held hostage to banks that are too big to fail.
The HJI is cross-partisan and does not endorse the political views of any specific party. To read the rest of this article, click here.
The writer is a former governor of Utah, former US ambassador to China, and was a candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination