What Would You Hope for from a Reformicon President?

 

PresidentialLecternImagine it’s January 2017, and the Republican presidential candidate has triumphed while the GOP retains its congressional majorities. Upon being sworn in, the new president governs in a thoroughly ReformiCon manner. (I put it this way because everyone knows that what a candidate says on the campaign trail often bears little resemblance to how he governs.)

What do you hope for? What would count, for you, as success after four or eight years of a president Reformicon administration?

In order to avoid tying this question to any particular candidate I take the lawnmower book as a reasonable indication of a ReformiCon agenda. For example:

  • A replacement for ObamaCare that provides subsidies to low-income Americans, leaves middle-class health plans substantially in place, leaves insurers unable to take into account pre-existing conditions, promotes consumer choice in the Medicare Part D sense, caps tax deductions for employer-provided insurance, and imposes less regulation on States (but requires them to integrate the new Federal tax credits with Medicaid).
  • Tax reform by way of a new child tax credit to encourage/reward child-raising.
  • Use the Federal education bureaucracy to promote school choice (including “course choice”), increase reporting requirements on school performance, pay Top People to research education, and allow school districts to declare bankruptcy (so they can start over).
  • For higher education, require colleges to have skin in the game for student loans, allow private investors to fund students, bust the existing accreditation trust, support apprenticeships and job training, and collect and publish more statistics on college outcomes (e.g. job prospects and pay performance).
  • Consolidate welfare programs into something that allows for experimentation at the State level, and/or provides some kind of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)-ish benefit, and provide vouchers for early childhood education.
  • Roll back oppressive occupational licensing, help the long-term unemployed with information and travel grants, temporarily lower the minimum wage for the long term unemployed, and fix the perverse incentives of the EITC.
  • Eliminate Too Big To Fail, nudge mega-banks to shrink by requiring extensive asset coverage, reform [not entirely clear how] patent and copyright protection.
  • Replace Depression-era labor regulations with regulations adapted to the flexible work practices of the modern world, consolidate child-centered tax credits and spending into one tax-credit for parents, etc.
  • Eliminate the “marriage penalty” in tax and benefit regulation.

Now these are policy tools for the achievement of goals. My question is really about how one would measure the success of these proposals.

How do you tell if Reformicare is better than Obamacare?

What should the marriage rate be in 2024 (it was 6.9 per thousand population in 2014, down from 8.2 in 2000)?

What should the birth rate be? (It was 62.9 for every thousand women of childbearing age in 2014.)

What should the experience of unemployment be like? (The average duration of unemployment was 28.9 weeks in January. Is this a relevant measurement?)

What should the experience of employment be?

How many young people should be in college? (The percentage of 18 to 24-year-olds enrolled in colleges was 41 percent in 2012; 2.9 million students were postgrads.)

At the end of president ReformiCon’s time in office, would you hope to care less about what was going on in DC than you do today, more, or the same?

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    • #61
  2. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print …

    Which is where I recommend Michael Oakeshott’s distinction between societas and universitas.

    • #62
  3. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    So true.  That’s why I live in a house.

    • #63
  4. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    genferei:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print …

    Which is where I recommend Michael Oakeshott’s distinction between societas and universitas.

    I’ll have to look that up.

    The upshot IMHO is that if it’s inappropriate for me to tell you what to do, then it’s inappropriate for the federal government to tell you what to do, with some very obvious exceptions.  Those very obvious exceptions are enumerated in the Constitution.

    • #64
  5. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    BastiatJunior:

    genferei:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print …

    Which is where I recommend Michael Oakeshott’s distinction between societas and universitas.

    I’ll have to look that up.

    Well, quick Google:

    Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 4.28.54 PM

    • #65
  6. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior:

    genferei:

    Which is where I recommend Michael Oakeshott’s distinction between societas and universitas.

    Well, quick Google…

    Can I suggest that a quick Google of secondary sources is not as rewarding as the leisurely consideration of Oakeshott’s original work? Which is challenging. And not easily reducible to a quick summary. (I admit that this could be an indication that Oakeshott’s argument is stronger rhetorically than it is logically.)

    Still, the distinction between a group that exists because of its proximity vs a group that exists because of a shared conviction of its destination seems an important one.

    • #66
  7. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    genferei:

    Can I suggest …

    Woah. This sounds pretentious even for me. I admit I was half trying to channel Pseudo, but still… Sorry, folks.

    • #67
  8. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    genferei: Can I suggest that a quick Google of secondary sources is not as rewarding as the leisurely consideration of Oakeshott’s original work?

    Undoubtedly. But it is handy that Google lets you go from zero idea what the terms mean to having some idea in about two seconds. Which precludes no one from eventually getting around to the original.

    • #68
  9. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    BastiatJunior:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    So true. That’s why I live in a house.

    Yeah that’s not a sure fire way to escape HOA agreements.

    • #69
  10. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Jamie Lockett:

    BastiatJunior:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    So true. That’s why I live in a house.

    Yeah that’s not a sure fire way to escape HOA agreements.

    Depends on the neighborhood.

    • #70
  11. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    BastiatJunior:

    Jamie Lockett:

    BastiatJunior:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    So true. That’s why I live in a house.

    Yeah that’s not a sure fire way to escape HOA agreements.

    Depends on the neighborhood.

    More and more municipalities are essentially mandating that any new construction be common-interest development, usually as a way to get around the municipality’s own restrictive zoning codes.

    • #71
  12. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    (This page accidentally left blank.)

    • #72
  13. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior:

    Jamie Lockett:

    BastiatJunior:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    BastiatJunior: It’s a different situation if one knowing[ly] moves into a Condo complex like that, and I know you get that.

    That said, given how many people move into condo associations without reading the fine print, and how petty some condo disputes get, I wouldn’t be surprised if some day, there was a dispute about some hapless resident unwittingly becoming too fat and unsightly for his condo association!

    So true. That’s why I live in a house.

    Yeah that’s not a sure fire way to escape HOA agreements.

    Depends on the neighborhood.

    More and more municipalities are essentially mandating that any new construction be common-interest development, usually as a way to get around the municipality’s own restrictive zoning codes.

    Fortunately, my neighborhood was built in 1959, so I can eat as much as I want.  Until the feds get involved.

    • #73
  14. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    genferei:

    genferei:

    Can I suggest …

    Woah. This sounds pretentious even for me. I admit I was half trying to channel Pseudo, but still… Sorry, folks.

    Nah!  “May I suggest …” would have been pretentious.

    • #74
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    genferei: Woah. This sounds pretentious even for me. I admit I was half trying to channel Pseudo, but still… Sorry, folks.

    No probs! (Anyhow, I think reading original sources is a good idea, too, when people are able to make time for it.)

    • #75
  16. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen
    @DuaneOyen

    BastiatJunior:

    Duane Oyen:

    David Carroll:My wish list …..

    1. Dump Obamacare ……….
    2. Mass elimination …… Federal agencies
    3. For those federal agencies that remain ……slash by 2/3 their federal regulations.
    4. Simplify the income tax code, either with a flat tax or replacement with the Fair Tax.
    5. End all social welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.
    6. Stop (to the extent feasible) illegal immigration.
    7. Dis-incentivize legal immigration………………
    8. End all federal subsidies for private businesses.
    9. End all federal protectionist legislation including tariffs …………
    10. Promote interstate commerce whenever possible …………
    11. Replace retiring or deceased Supreme Court justices …….

    ……………..

    Were you going to accomplish all of this, plus implement transition programs, in 4 or 8 years? You need either a switch to benevolent despotism as the form of government, or 20 years of LBJ 1964 majorities to implement even half of these.

    …….

    Several items are quite doable (1, 4 and 11) and others can be partially done, even in one term.

    Besides, it’s a wish list. It’s ok to aim high.

    If you got the three accomplished in one term, you would be the most consequential president in history.  The way stuff gets done is by focusing laser-like on specific objectives.  I might like a lot of the list- but tell me how much Reagan accomplished of an equivalent 1980 list.  Call me names- but “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

    When everything is top priority, nothing is- and that is why it is usually self-defeating to “aim high” indiscriminately with a unicorn wish list.

    • #76
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