Thursday, February 05, 2009

...Winning one more for the Gipper

The other night I was looking at Youtube clips of the life and times of Ronald Reagan, y'know the way you do. 2 things struck me.

The first, as always, was the deep affection and respect that I have for a man. An affection and respect which grows the more I learn about him. I am only just learning that as well as being a great communicator, he was also a great conservative thinker and writer.

I also learnt that the Conservative party could do worse than going back and reading his 1980 campaign literature: it has an extra-ordinary resonance, try this, covering the economy, on for size:

Strong leadership in economic policy means lower taxes, more jobs, and less inflation.

Governor Reagan has an economic program for America that will work because it's a comprehensive program. A program that recognizes the interrelationships and complexity of our economy...one that combines the wisdom of leading American economists with common sense.

Here is the basis of the Economic Plan that can be expected from a Reagan Administration:

The growth of federal spending will be controlled. A freeze on federal hiring will be instituted immediately. And Ronald Reagan will do as President what he did as Governor of California: create a task force composed of the finest minds from industry and labor, to isolate wasteful and fraudulent operations in government, estimated by the Justice Department to amount to as much as $25 billion. No longer will unemployment be used to fight inflation.

An immediate 10% reduction in personal tax rates, along with acceleration of depreciation schedules, will be initiated in order to help generate industrial expansion and the creation of new jobs. Changes will be made in the tax structure, especially aimed at removing those requirements which serve as disincentives in industry. It will be recommended that the tax on savings account interest be further reduced. Upon reducing the tax rates, tax indexing will be proposed to protect taxpayers from automatic tax increases resulting from cost-of-living wage increases.

Action will be taken to review those government regulations which clearly hamper, instead of encourage, economic growth -- and to then change them in as orderly a fashion as possible. This action will not affect regulations in such sensitive areas as health and job safety which do serve a useful purpose.

A sound monetary policy will be restored -- one designed to instill confidence in the American dollar abroad, as well as bring down the rate of inflation at home. The nation's economic policy, once established, will be adhered to. Abrupt changes in economic policy have, in recent years, aggravated existing problems and created new ones; they have played havoc with the confidence of those in both industry and labor. The right economic policy, held steadily and consistently on course, will do much to establish greater stability in America's economic system.

Beyond these broad economic steps aimed at expanding the economy as a whole, a Reagan Administration would recognize that special problems exist which require special solutions. A few examples:

For workers who have lost their jobs because they lack certain skills or are victims of a changing technology, Reagan would act to implement job retraining and job placement programs.

For disadvantaged youths and others unemployed because of the flight of industry from the cities, enterprise zones would be established in depressed urban areas in order to stimulate new businesses and new jobs.

For industries in trouble because of exceptionally aggressive foreign competition -- such as the auto industry -- he would initiate steps to permit American industry to be more competitive in the world market. These would include the elimination of unnecessary,costly regulations...and adopting a firmer, common sense view of future trade agreements with other nations, always with jobs for American workers uppermost in mind.

A clearly defined strategy would remove the unfair 'do-nothing' claims and enable some of DC's rhetoric to move outside the immediate and look further ahead to a post recession Britain and bring forward his version of the wonderful 'from shore to shining shore'/new Jerusalem / Morning in America' language that Reagan is best remembered for.

Come on David, let's win one more for the Gipper..!

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