Second of two parts
In Part One, we were witness to the power of the 60 percent majority, and we saw how our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, welded together the center-right majority of his day to achieve historic reform—there’s a reason why TR is immortalized on Mt. Rushmore. And we also saw, more briefly, how our 37th president, Richard Nixon, also built a center-right majority.
Now, in Part Two, we will see how it could be done again.
1. The Supply Side Meets the Demand Side
Today, Republicans think that tax rates are too high—and they’re right. In fact, the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world; it’s double, or triple, the rate of some of our key competitors.
Indeed, the combination of competition, on the one hand, and too-high tax rates, on the other, has been staggering in its negative impact on the U.S.: In 1960, no less than 17 of the 20 largest global corporations were headquartered here. Today, that number has been reduced to just six; the numbers for the worldwide Fortune 500 tell a similar tale. Why do you think so many companies have relocated their legal domiciles to such low-tax destinations as Ireland?
So that’s the bad news—we’re losing ground, economically.
Yet there’s good news: Help seems to be on he way. For example, we can point to the diligent efforts of two economists, Larry Kudlow and Stephen Moore, who have been notably articulate on the need for the U.S. to compete; both have written extensively, in short-form and long-form, on the critical issue of tax rates. And Kudlow has just co-authored a new book, JFK and the Reagan Revolution: A Secret History of American Prosperity, which I took favorable note of here.
As the title of Kudlow’s book—citing both Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Ronald Reagan—suggests, the cause of advancing national prosperity through pro-competitive tax policies can be fully bipartisan. (Although as it happens, both Kudlow and Moore are economic advisers to Donald Trump.)
Still, the issue is larger than any one candidate, or any one election.
And we might further add: By “pro-competitive taxation,” we mean just that: The proper national goal is not to eliminate the necessary evil of taxation; instead, it is to collect the revenue that the government needs without damaging, or even crippling, our economy.
Here we pause to recall that in the present day, the one percent has mostly succeeded in reducing its taxes to minimal, even unconscionable, levels. So tax reform, if it is to be true reform, means more than just lowering statutory rates to internationally competitive levels for the benefit of all; it also means raising effective rates—that is, the amount actually collected—on the scofflaw few. We might even elevate that to a simple principle: A company such as Apple, worth $552 billion at last count, ought not to pay a lower tax rate than you and I.
And since we mentioned John F. Kennedy, proud Democrat that he was, and since we also touched on the mostly Democratic theme of tax fairness, let’s dig a little deeper on the fairness issue.
A fair definition of fairness should start with collecting taxes properly owed by the one percent—as opposed to simply raising taxes on the ninety-nine percent, all the while cynically leaving the fatcat-favored loopholes in place.
Moreover, while we’re at it, let’s take a longer look at how Democrats, at their productive and constructive best, think about the economy.
Why are we doing this? Because, to put it bluntly, nothing is going to happen if we can’t find common ground between the two parties. Even if Trump wins this November, he will still face significant Democratic opposition—opposition significant enough to block any Republican-only policy initiative.
We can say: Until we can hit that 60 percent threshold of populist-nationalist support—which would include 60 votes in the Senate—we have to live with the reality of bargaining, and compromising. Unless, of course, we can do what Lincoln suggested: Conquer your enemies by making them your friends.
So in the Teddy Rooseveltian spirit of brokering powerful interest groups on behalf of center-right goals, it’s worth exploring what possible deals—the more artful the deal, the better!—might be struck with some elements within the Democratic Party.
Of course, the greens and the multiculturalists are a lost cause, and should be treated as such. However, there’s a silver lining: Yes, the greens and multiculti are noisy—and rich—but they are actually few in number. Even today, there are plenty of middle-class Democrats who yearn to see the economy grow, especially if the fruits of that growth can be fairly apportioned.
So now let’s see how supply-side/demand-side synthesis has been accomplished in the past.
2. Supply Side and Demand Side: The Kennedy Case Study
So let’s start with lessons from the life of our 35th president. “A rising tide lifts all boats”—surely that’s the most famous JFK quote on the economy. It’s a sensible enough statement; it’s even Republican-tax-cut friendly, speaking, as it does, to the universal benefits of generalized prosperity. And in fact, Kennedy did seek a Republican-friendly across-the-board tax-rate cut. He did seek the universal benefits of generalized prosperity.
And yet at the same time, Kennedy sought more than that; he wanted to make absolutely certain that every American benefited from tax-rate reductions, even if they themselves earned too little to be directly affected by the cuts. And that’s why he supported more than just tax-rate reduction.
Indeed, it’s interesting to note that JFK’s famous “rising tide” phrase actually did not refer to tax cuts at all: instead, it referred to public works.
On October 3, 1963, just 50 days before his tragic death in Dallas, Kennedy traveled to Heber Springs, Arkansas, there to dedicate the Greers Ferry Dam. In his remarks that day, delivered in one of the poorest states in the country, the President was at pains to delineate the collective benefits of public-works projects:
A rising tide lifts all the boats, and as Arkansas becomes more prosperous, so does the United States.
Speaking further about the new taxpayer-funded dam, Kennedy continued with that one-nation theme: “I regard this as an investment by the people of the United States in the United States.”
We can pause to note that Kennedy wasn’t touting some income-transfer program here; instead, he was lauding an enduringly valuable public-works project. (Those were the days, of course, when ambitious construction was permitted, before the anti-growth greens hegemonized Democratic thinking.)
So yes, JFK was in favor of private-sector-led growth, but he was also in favor of public-sector growth. And who can say that Kennedy was wrong, especially about the economic impact of the Greers Ferry dam in and around Heber Springs, in north-central Arkansas? Yes, tax-rate-reductions are an economic good, but dams, too, are an economic good; it’s easy to see that relief from floods, the development of hydropower, and, yes, the fostering of recreational facilities—all have great value.
Just as importantly, Kennedy’s comprehensive vision paid off in tangible legislative results. In those days, the Congressman representing Heber Springs was Wilbur Mills, also chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee—the body that originates all tax legislation. And the following year, 1964, Chairman Mills shepherded the late president’s tax-rate cut through Congress and to the White House—where it was immediately signed into law by JFK’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson.
3. Supply Side meets Demand Side: The Reagan Case Study
Two decades later, another pro-tax cut president, Ronald Reagan—joined by “supply side” aides such as the young Larry Kudlow—picked up the “rising tide” phrase, cheerfully extolling the benefits of broad tax-rate reductions.
Such efforts were all to the good, of course. Yet unfortunately, in those intervening two decades, the idea of connecting tax reform to other sorts of productive activism had been lost. That is, the tax-cut part of Kennedy’s legacy was remembered and revived, but the public-works part of his legacy was forgotten and neglected. (In fact, over the last 50 years, under the combined influence of the greens on the left and the libertarians on the right, public works spending as a percentage of GDP has declined by about 15 percent, even as the greens and NIMBYs have reduced shovel-ready construction to a trickle.)
Meanwhile, in 1983, a political figure from a much different political tradition than JFK, Jesse Jackson, stepped forward to reject the “rising tide” revival. During the course of his quixotic but impactful presidential campaign, Jackson jibed, “Rising tides don’t lift all boats. We must lift those boats that are stuck on the bottom.” In other words, we must help those who are too mired in hopelessness and poverty to take advantage of overall prosperity.
Needless to say, most Republicans haven’t agree with either Jackson or his pessimistic formulation. Yet at the same time, most Democrats probably have been, and are, in agreement.
Indeed, we can further say—and this counts as a gentle and respectful criticism of the Gipper, for whom I am proud to have served, in his presidential campaigns and in the White House—that the Reaganites neglected demand-side considerations. That same neglect, we can note, was carried on by three subsequent presidents, of both parties. And the result of this neglect—where the good jobs at good wages—has been a gathering momentum of anger, culminating in the populism of the present day.
And so now to 2016.
4. The Crisis of the Present Day: Another Case Study
Indeed, Democrats today—partly in reaction to unchecked globalization and its attendant ills—are far to the left of where they were 30 years ago. A 2016 survey, for example, found that a plurality of Democrats hold a favorable impression of socialism; among Democratic millennials, the pro-/anti-socialism ratio is a lopsided 46:19.
Okay, so that’s the Democrats. A Republican—or a New Deal Democrat—would say, If you want to see socialism in practice, go to Venezuela. Yet interestingly, few Americans are flocking to live the dream in that collectivist paradise. ’Nuff said.
Still, all of us might do well to ask: Are we really sure that tax-rate cuts, just by themselves, will bring prosperity to all? Everywhere? Do you really know of anyone who wants to locate a factory or an office park on the killer streets of Chicago’s South Side? Or in the opioid zones of Appalachia?
Yes, it’s sad to observe that painful disinvestment has been occurring in some blighted places and regions for decades. And we can add this point: If the mere existence of a potential labor force and cheap land in a given area were enough to attract job-creators—they already would have been attracted. Obviously, there are other factors, many of them stubbornly cultural, that are keeping investors away.
Moreover, we can add that the unfortunate group that was once commonly called “the underclass”—a word that has been mostly purged from the discourse by the PC police, but it’s still useful—is increasingly not alone in its pathology. As both the Eberstadt and Hochschild articles (the first and second items cited in Part One) chronicled, the underclass is actually growing, as some of its pathologies bleed into the working class.
So maybe it’s time to think bigger and bolder about problem-solving. That’s the argument made by the pseudonymous Publius Decius Mus, who first came to prominence as a writer for the Journal of American Greatness—which, sadly, is now defunct. Yet Publius himself is still with us, now writing for the Claremont Review of Books. In his latest piece, he asserts that as a nation, we don’t have time to wait and see if the usual right-of-center nostrum—the patient application of the “invisible hand,” plus a tax credit or two—will once again work its wonders.
Instead, Publius insists, the situation today is simply too dire: We need a faster and surer “visible hand”—that is, direct government action to save our citizens from the perils of idleness and the resulting despair. As Publius explains, “The usual litany of ‘conservative’ ‘solutions,’ with the obligatory references to decentralization, federalization, ‘civic renewal,’” are either “useless and inapt” or else “utopian and unrealizable.”
If so, then there’s an urgent need for stronger solutions. And in politics, “strength” requires not only clarity of purpose, but also, big numbers. So that would suggest a strategy of zeroing in on the Democrats’ political weak spots; Publius suggests targeting, for example, “inanities like 32 ‘genders,’ elective bathrooms, single-payer, Iran sycophancy, ‘Islamophobia,’ and Black Lives Matter.”
We can immediately observe that Publius did not suggest targeting the Democrats’ strong spots, such as tax fairness, infrastructure, and Social Security and Medicare. And that only makes sense: The wise general attacks the enemy’s weaknesses, not his strengths.
Thus we can see: In the hurly-burly of politics, we should go for the lightning strike—beat the Obama-Clinton Democrats.
And yet at the same time, in the patient domain of statecraft, we must be the Good Shepherd, looking out for the interests of all citizens, even as we stay true to bedrock principles of work, justice, and family.
Indeed, as we think about prospects for a new center-right majority today—that is, reviving the success of Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon—it quickly becomes clear that we need to be precisely selective in our political targeting.
So yes, of course, we should say “no” to the Democrats’ worst ideas, but instead of just saying “no,” why we don’t we somewhat alter our strategy? Why not say “yes” to the best of their ideas—as a way of isolating the worst?
If we do, it’s a safe bet that we’ll discover that some on the left—the moderate old left of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Maynard Keynes—would be quietly delighted to join with pragmatic bricks-and-mortar Republicans.
We might also note that by “old,” we don’t mean chronologically old; instead, we’re referring to those of any age who associate themselves with the economically activist New Deal tradition. This dynamic tradition is badly out of step with the bulk of today’s Democrats, focused as they are on static issues, such as “climate change” and identity politics.
Yet the neo-New Dealers are still around, even if submerged. We see them, for example, in the labor movement and among workers in general—they actively want better jobs at higher wages. Indeed, we might posit that many of today’s young trendy-lefty types will grow up and discover that they actually need jobs and houses of their own; thus we can see, many of them, too, are likely to change their views.
Indeed, New Deal-minded Democrats would be delighted to be working against the far-left enemies of the lunch-bucket welfare state, including the Malthusians and the mass-immigrationists.
We can find a repository of such constructive thinking in an influential blog, Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Realist Alternative to the Modern Left; the author, interestingly, goes by the handle @Lord_Keynes2. On September 7, LK outlined an Old Left manifesto: It includes, of course, a denunciation of libertarianism and neoliberalism—not much of a surprise there. But then LK breaks with the familiar left, offering instead those centrist platform planks:
Rejection of the extreme aspects of cultural leftism . . . rejection of open borders and mass immigration.
Indeed, LK goes even further, telling Old Leftists that they should take seriously a core conservative idea:
Be open to serious and rational discussion of the breakdown of the nuclear family in the Western world, and what harm this may have done to our societies.
So we can see that not everyone on the left wants the crazies to be in charge.
Almost all Republicans, of course, will be happy to see a lefty cozying up to the idea of family values. And many—but by no means all—GOPers will appreciate new support in the battle to get immigration under control.
However, most Republicans will likely disagree with favored Democratic growth policies, such as deficit spending on public works and infrastructure—regarding them as dubiously porky redistributionism.
And yet I hope to demonstrate that in the current environment, when it’s obvious that ordinary people don’t have enough money, such neo-Keynesian policies aren’t so bad. At a minimum, I hope to persuade Republicans that we can live with them—better Lord Keynes than Nancy Pelosi.
Indeed, if agreement on the carefully considered common ground of growth policies helps to forge a constructive bipartisan alliance that excludes the far-left ideologues, well, that’s good news for a united America—TR would heartily approve.
Here’s an example: Earlier this month, a prominent left-leaning think-tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP) published a monograph entitled, “To Raise Productivity, Let’s Raise Wages.” In that piece, economist Brendan Duke considered, and dismissed, various possible solutions, including tax cuts. Then he offered an answer of his own, albeit one with a deep Democratic heritage:
A more promising way to raise investment is to raise aggregate demand. Businesses are unlikely to invest in new plants and equipment when they think a weak economy will translate into weak sales. International Monetary Fund and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development research using a traditional model of investment growth does indeed show that weak demand is the main reason for slow business investment growth in the United States. This suggests that policies that raise demand—such as low interest rates and increased infrastructure spending—will cause companies to raise investment as they expect stronger sales as a result of job and wage growth.
Lest he risk not making himself clear, Duke hammered home his point in the conclusion:
A substantial investment in infrastructure—as the Center for American Progress recently proposed—would go a long way toward getting business investment back on track.
There, these liberals said it: They want more infrastructure. And one Republican who would likely have immediately agreed was our 34th president, Dwight Eisenhower, the father of the interstate highway system.
Yet the CAP paper doesn’t mention any personalities or parties. The author is simply making an economic argument, an argument that merits a careful hearing.
As we have seen, Republicans like tax-rate cuts—and again, they’re right.
Yet for their part, Democrats say that working people today aren’t making enough money—and they’re right, too.
In fact, wages for most workers have been stagnating for decades, even as overall GDP has risen sharply. In other words, the proverbial rising tide has not raised all boats; times have changed since JFK’s era—most obviously, the rise of China. Today, American investment capital is not confined to the US; it can go almost anywhere, and create jobs almost anywhere.
To further illustrate this point about the mobility of capital and the attendant loss to American workers, here’s an important factoid: Wages and salaries as a percentage of the overall economy have plummeted in the past four decades, from around 52 percent of GDP to around 43 percent today. That is, since American workers have lost their economic bargaining power—Mr. Employer, you have no choice but to hire us—they’ve also lost the economic bargain. It’s that simple: In the era of global capitalism, high wages tend to fall toward the global median.
The math is impossible to argue with: Working people are getting a smaller share of national output. We might ask: Who can think that this surging inequality is a positive development, except, maybe, some ivory tower ideologue, unconcerned about politics, elections, national morale, or statecraft?
In addition, we might give the subject of “aggregate demand” a closer hearing. Aggregate demand has a liberal tinge to it, but it’s just another name for buying power. It was a phrase heard frequently during the Depression in the 30s, when, in truth, most people didn’t have enough money, thus causing the whole economy to suffer.
Now today, the reader might ask himself or herself this question: If I had more money, would I spend more? Buy more? Stimulate the economy more? If the answer to any or all of those questions is “yes,” then CAP has made a reasonable argument; indeed, there might be more validity to the demand-side perspective than most Republicans, long fixated on the supply-side, have been willing to admit.
Do I hear any objections? Why yes, I hear three substantial ones:
First, some Republicans, especially supply-side fundamentalists, will doggedly insist that just tax-rate cuts, and tax-rate cuts alone, will solve the problem of slow wage growth—although not of drastic inequality, which, of course, they have never worried about.
This objection is duly noted, but since this article is not an economic treatise, it will have to be answered elsewhere. Yet for the time being, we we can simply note that the American people obviously don’t agree on the tax-cut-only approach—as Mitt Romney discovered in 2012.
Second, many on the right will bridle at the thought of agreeing with the pro-Democratic CAP; after all, its former head is John Podesta, now the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
This objection is duly noted, too, and in response we can say this: The wise strategist is always careful to pick and choose his or her fights; after all, some battles are more necessary than others. Moreover, as they say, you can’t win ‘em all—so as a matter of strategy, we must choose our battles.
To illustrate this point about the necessity of strategic choice, we can assert that some fights are much more important—even vital:
For example, stopping the greens from shutting down the economy in the name of the phantom of “climate change” is, indeed, a crucial conflict. By contrast, stopping neo-New Dealers from building roads and hiring people is not a vital fight.
Moreover, we can further say that if Republicans choose to see all Democrats as an undifferentiated enemy, it’s a safe bet that Democrats will see—or, if one prefers, continue to see—Republicans the same way. And that’s not a promising prospect for problem-solving. Nor is it, we might add, a promising of a vision of national unity.
Yes, it’s time to revive the large, and enlarging, vision of Roosevelt. We can observe: Republicans might hear that name and think of Theodore, the 26th president, while Democrats might hear that name and think of Franklin, the 32nd president.
And from a Republican point of view, that should be okay, because either of the Roosevelts would be a vast improvement over either of the Clintons—Bill or Hillary.
To be sure, some on the right might respond, Okay on Theodore Roosevelt, but Franklin D, Roosevelt? FDR, really? Yes, FDR: the man who wielded America’s newfound industrial strength to decisively win World War Two.
Without a doubt, many on the right continue to denounce Roosevelt in the strongest terms. That’s their privilege, of course, but here we notice something interesting—and politically debilitating. And that’s this: Those who go fulminating against FDR also usually go defending his predecessor, Herbert Hoover. One again, they are free to so, but in doing so, they have left the realm of majoritarian politics, and entered the realm of minoritarian ideology. And there’s no path to the 60 percent that way.
We can summarize the two presidents like this: During Hoover’s four years in the White House, the unemployment rate rose from 3 percent to 25 percent. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Average fell from 313 to 53. So that’s Hoover in a nutshell—no wonder he garnered less than 40 percent of the vote in his doomed re-election campaign.
The man who beat Hoover in a landslide, of course, was FDR. As we have seen, no the day he was inaugurated, a full one-quarter of Americans were unemployed. Twelve years later, when he died in office, unemployment was just one percent. Even the stock market had tripled. And oh, by the way, Uncle Sam was on his way to defeating Hitler and Tojo.
We can, and should, study the Roosevelt presidency, because mistakes—including economic mistakes—were made. Yet it’s hard to argue with success; certainly, at the time, the American people didn’t: he won four national landslides.
Indeed, probably even FDR’s most relentless critics on the right would concede that he was a different kind of Democrat from what we see today—lightyears from the Clintons, or from Barack Obama.
For instance, back in the 1930s, no environmentalist stopped FDR from building the Tennessee Valley Authority. To cite just some of the blessings that the TVA conferred on Dixie and on America, it was the massive public works project that built the dams that provided the electricity that refined the plutonium that made the A-bomb that ended World War Two. Surely, that’s the sort of no-nonsense Democrat that Republicans could learn to like, if not love.
And speaking of FDR, if we include in our meet-the-Democrats-halfway public-works plan a provision for hiring inner-city youth and others at the bottom of the well—in the mode of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration—we’d endear ourselves further to old-line Democrats.
Heck, if we wanted to, we could make the work program mandatory, as with a draft or national service. Now that would transform American politics, as well as the American landscape. Needless to say, the greens and multicultis would be completely horrified at the thought of people wearing uniforms and working hard.
And yet maybe, as wits like to say, that’s a feature, not a bug. That is, since we’ve already established that green/multiculti antipathy can be turned into a major selling point for the normal middle—that is, those who yearn for economic growth and law and order, aka, the Silent Majority—we should welcome the splutterings of Tom Steyer and Al Sharpton.
As we look to that 60 percent goal, let’s have the GOP be the party of work and the work ethic, and let’s have the Democrats be the party of non-work—the party of dilettante trust funders, ideological plutocrats, and welfare-rights activists.
Indeed, if we can woo away these neo-New Dealers, it’s all the more likely that those Democrats who remain will be the Social Justice Warriors, George Soros, and Al Sharpton—the more visible they are, the better!
For a moment, let’s put ourselves inside the head of the average working stiff. He or she doesn’t trust Wall Street, that’s for sure, but nonetheless, accepts that it’s business that will have to provide most of the jobs and economic propulsion. So the better for business, the better—so long as the interests of working people are protected. Is that such an outrageous view?
Thus we can see a plan: On our side, we’ll rally all the workers, strivers, and entrepreneurs, without regard to race, creed, nationality—or sexuality. In this scenario, it’ll be the colorblind GOP plus the neo-New Deal vs. the identity-and-sexuality-addled New Left. If that center-right coalition can be assembled, against that vision of the left, we’ll win every election.
Third, some will argue that cutting taxes rates, while simultaneously spending more on public works, will increase the deficit. Ah yes, the deficit, which has fallen by nearly three-fourths in the last eight years, even as the economy has stayed anemic. Which is to say, the deficit doesn’t seem to have much to do with the question of whether people get good jobs at good wages.
We Republicans are said to be biologically required to obsess over red ink, even if former Vice President Dick Cheney famously said, “Deficits don’t matter.” Given the dubious linkage between deficits and anything else, why don’t we Republicans admit it: As a party we’ve been worrying about the deficit forever—and where has that gotten us?
We might further note: Winning wars means deficits, and yet it’s more important to win wars than it is to shrink the deficit. As a percentage of GDP, deficits and debt were vastly larger in World War Two than they are today—did anyone notice then?
And today, does anyone who is not already a Republican care about the deficit? Bringing new people into the tent means new priorities, and leaves less room for lesser priorities. Wall Street financier Pete Peterson might have rediscovered his inner Herbert Hoover, late in his life—he committed a billion dollars to the quixotic, and toxic, cause of raising taxes and cutting entitlements—but the Republican Party ought not to be dragged down in his sinking astroturf.
In the meantime, we can dwell on a more positive, winning point: Economic growth reduces the deficit. We can further add that such growth comes from wise investments in productivity-increasing technology—think mass production, think Internet, think GPS, think fracking—not from shaving a few dollars off the federal fisc. It’s always meritorious to cut waste, fraud, and abuse, but history tells us that such cutting doesn’t have much to do with the practical question whether or not an inventor-entrepreneur starts up the next big thing.
Or as Publius Decius Mus, whom we met earlier, might ask, as a nation, what’s most important: stopping the country from falling apart today—or stopping the rise of some abstract number in the future?
In any case, the real issue for debt and deficits is carrying capacity: After all, it’s possible for an individual to have a big mortgage and still be fine as a happy homeowner; the critical variable is earning power. If there’s enough money coming in, then the debt, and the debt-service, is manageable. So let’s focus first on the economy: If size of the pie is growing, the deficit will be all right.
Finally, we know this much for sure: With interest rates hovering at one percent or less, there’s never been a better time to borrow money—so long as we use that money to create productive assets here at home. And that, of course, is why we need non-neocon Republicans doing the governing, and not Democrats. Note to self: Let’s win the 2016 election on the big issues—not lose it over side-issues.
Okay, so now to today: What exactly, do we do?
Maybe, if we are to achieve progress in Washington, D.C.—a town where even a minority in Congress can cause gridlock—we need to try something new. Maybe we need a fusion of two traditions: That is, Main Street Republicanism, plus old-style Keynesianism. Nobody’s talking about any sort of “grand coalition” here; the goal is not simply to lump the two parties, as they are, together. Instead, we should seek a new sorting of constituencies within the parties—especially among the Democrats, separating out their pro-growth and anti-growth factions.
Specifically, let’s cut tax rates, just as Kennedy (and Reagan) wanted to do, and at the same, spend more on key projects—such as JFK also wanted to do, viz. his dam in Heber Springs. It’s easy to see Donald Trump getting behind that sort of agenda: In fact, he already has.
To be clear: As a matter of national policy, we don’t need more bureaucrats, or more welfare, or more useless environmental impact statements that prevent infrastructure from actually being built. What we need instead, in the short run, is more productive national assets that create good jobs at good wages and, in the long run, more total wealth for the country as a whole.
Yes, if we can craft a package that couples our Kudlow-Moore-type tax cuts with their useful spending with, we would have a win-win-win. That is, a win for tax-rate cuts, a win for infrastructure, and a win by expanding the size of the center-right coalition.
To be sure, none of this let’s-work-together-on-key-issues argument obviates the importance of working hard to win elections. I support Donald Trump, and I support the Republican ticket. With enough GOP victories, it will be easier to make real progress.
Yet at the same time, like it or not, we must recognize that there are Democrats, and others, who feel the same way about their candidates. Maybe the GOP will win this year—I’m an optimist—but we have to remember that there will still be opposition; indeed, sooner or later, there will devastating down years.
So with that in mind, let’s do some strategizing. Let’s think about putting in place policies that we can live with, even if we have lost the most recent election.
Hence let’s promote the idea of combining the best of Republican supply-side and the best of Democratic demand-side economics.
Maybe we should call it Fusionomics. Here at Breitbart, I wrote more about this possible supply-side/demand-side synthesis back on August 28. That’s how, we might say again, we get to the 60 percent solution.
Time is of the essence: As we seek our unifying Roosevelt—Teddy, Franklin, or maybe both—we need a vision, starting in 2017. Yes, we need a plan for growth and jobs and unity. I’ll bet that most Democrats would agree.
So that’s the 60 Percent Solution: a vision of a center-right commonsense majority.
It sure beats what we have now.