Republicans want a better life for you that Democrats can’t stand

Written by Diana Furchtgott-Roth
With the publication of the House and Senate budget resolutions this week, the contrast between Republicans and Democrats could not be more stark.

Democrats want to take care of you. Republicans want you to get ahead.

It is not just that President Obama’s budget, released in February, projects an $687 billion deficit in 2025, up from $486 billion this year, and the Republican budget projects a surplus. It’s that Democratic proposals are centered on keeping people safe, and Republican proposals are focused on helping them get better jobs and higher incomes.

Democrats are telling us that they gave us Obamacare for 11 million and food stamps for 47 million.  They want to give us paid sick leave and maternity leave. They want to raise the minimum wage. They certainly won’t make us retire later or cut our Social Security benefits, even though Social Security is unsustainable.

Bottom line: Democrats are here for us when we are down. They are our safety net. In return for a higher chunk of our paychecks, and higher health insurance premiums, they will look after us.

But Democrats aren’t telling people how to become better off. And most people aspire to earn more, to get ahead, to buy that McMansion in the suburbs that Democrats call “suburban sprawl.” In contrast, Democrats say that sprawl is hurting the environment, and we should live in smaller homes and take mass transit.

Here are six ways that Republicans want to help people to get ahead:

1. Budget deficits:  By lowering the growth of spending to 3% annually from 5%, congressional Republicans have proposed to bring the budget into surplus in 2025.

Think of what that means for future generations. They would only have to pay for their own spending, not for the spending of parents and grandparents. Of course, these budget resolutions are going to be derided as cuts that hurt the poor.  But government spending is still projected to rise, just at a slower rate than before.  Over the next 10 years, interest on the debt would decline by almost $800 billion.

2. Lowering taxes: Republicans have published a number of proposals for lowering individual and business taxes and streamlining the tax code. One recent proposal, the Lee-Rubio tax proposal, would lower the top corporate and small business tax rate to 25% and maintain two tax rates, 15% and 35%, for individuals.

Lower taxes make it easier for people to start businesses and get ahead.  Businesses expand and employ more people, and people keep more money and spend it, creating more jobs.

3. School choice: One of the biggest divisions between Republicans and Democrats is over school choice. Democrats want to keep in place unqualified teachers and are vehemently opposed to programs that allow children to change schools.  In his most recent budget, President Obama once again tried to end the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program which gives scholarships to Washington D.C. residents to send children to schools of their choice. The Department of Justice sued Louisiana for its school choice program, a suit later withdrawn.

A better education pays off in terms of higher graduation rates and higher lifetime earnings.

4. Pipelines:  Even some unions are tiring of President Obama’s stubborn opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. The Laborers’ International Union of North America wants the jobs for its members. Refinery workers along the Gulf of Mexico want the job of refining the Canadian oil.

These refinery jobs dwarf the ones that would be created by pipeline construction. But Keystone XL is only a drop in the barrel, so to speak. America needs a new generation of pipelines to get the newly found oil and gas to refineries and then out to consumers and to the coasts for export.  At the end of 2014, oil produced in North Dakota was selling for about $5 per barrel less than U.S. oil produced elsewhere — because it could not be transported out.

5. Obamacare:  People are citing the new statistic of 11 million who have signed up for Obamacare as evidence of the program’s success. But people who are not offered insurance by their employers have few other options these days other than going to the exchanges. Policies that do not comply with Affordable Care Act guidelines are hard to find these days. That’s why new customers have to buy insurance through the exchanges, even though it is more expensive and less desirable than their old plans.

The forthcoming Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell is spurring many proposals on Capitol Hill in case the Justices invalidate Obamacare subsidies in 34 states. A variety of Republican proposals, such as the one put out by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton and Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, would free states from the shackles of Obamacare.

6. Fewer regulations: Republicans want fewer regulations, Democrats want more.

The Environmental Protection Agency is having a field day regulating mercury, ozone, and carbon, even though statistics from its own website show that the air is getting cleaner every year.  The ozone standards put in place under President George W. Bush have yet to take effect, but the EPA has called for comments on new ones. Under these new regulations, states would have to submit state implementation plans to the EPA for approval. These state implementation plans would require a reduction in power plants, factories, and vehicles on the road in order for states to come into compliance. This means less economic activity and fewer jobs.

America has gradually emerged from the Great Recession, and people are looking to the future. They want more than handouts, they want upward mobility. That’s why the Republicans’ economic package will catch on.

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