Hayward in National Review Post Election Issue

December 24, 2020

Hayward in National Review Post Election Issue

Steve Hayward, The Thomas W. Smith Distinguished Fellow at the Ashbrook Center has an article in the December 3 issue of National Review.

In the article Hayward addresses the pessimism that is surrounding the Republican party after the re-election of Obama as well as the impending fiscal cliff.

Here are two excerpts :

Conservatives are natural pessimists, based on a realism about fallible human nature that fuels our opposition to the coercive utopianism of the Left. The Founders shared this pessimism about human nature and the weakness of democracy, and kept it at the forefront of their minds as they designed our political institutions: “If men were angels,” and all that. But the conservative pessimism after the GOP’s poor showing in this election is  overdone. The Republican party and the conservative movement were said to be finished after Barry Goldwater’s landslide loss in 1964, and again in 1976, when the aftermath of Watergate and Jimmy Carter’s narrow presidential win installed Democratic supermajorities in both houses of Congress. In 1977, voters who identified with the Republican party fell to an all-time low of 21 percent.

Second and more immediately, the approach of the “fiscal cliff” in a few weeks ought to be regarded as a big opportunity for boldness rather than a narrow window for a defensive compromise. News reports indicate that Obama is settling in for a long slog on taxes and spending. So here’s an idea: the House GOP should call the Obama-Krugman bluff, pass a sweeping, pro-growth tax reform package right now, and send it to the Senate, coupled with an announcement that it is not going along with tax increases for anyone unless they are for everyone.  Heck, the House GOP could even just pass Simpson-Bowles, and rightly say they are passing the plan President Obama’s own commission recommended.  The House should be prepared to let all the Bush tax cuts expire, which will expose the liberal fiction that the Bush tax cuts only helped “the rich.”  The tax increase will happen without a vote to increase taxes, so no-tax increase pledges can be honored.  It will all be on Obama and Senate Democrats.  If Speaker John Boehner is serious that the House GOP has just as much of a mandate as the President, then this is the time to act on it.