The Republicans need to shape up…at least the ones in congress. They avoided a huge Democrat takeover in the November election, staving off advances in the Senate and the House, but in order to maintain their lead in both houses, they need to make sure that they do some things to get them through 2020. It’s not going to be easy for them.
1. Come together as a party. This is the toughest thing for the GOP. You’ve got several conservative factions of varying degrees all wondering about how they are going to answer to voters back home. They didn’t want to back the Ryan Plan for healthcare because it wasn’t a true “repeal” of Obamacare. Paul Ryan needs to understand that moving forward. The party needs to understand that unless they can show the American people that they can effectively govern, then the old adage of the out of power party in the legislative branch will probably retake at least the House of Representatives next year. It’s America’s weird way of making its own checks and balances. If you have Democrat in the White House, have a Republican Congress (or at least one of the houses), or vice versa.
2. Repeal Obamacare. Notice I didn’t say “replace”. That is a key for many on the right. Obamacare was this monstrous bill that was just too invasive in Americans’ lives, and too costly. It would have been much cheaper to go out and buy a Cadillac plan for every uninsured poor person in America for the rest of their lives than waste the money we’ve thrown down that rat-hole. The GOP needs to finally stand up, while they’ve got majorities in both houses of congress and someone in the White House that will back them, and get rid of this piece of crap plan. Don’t replace it, repeal it.
3. Tax Reform. Time is running out for the GOP to do anything on tax reform this year. It’s a mammoth job in any year. It doesn’t matter what you cut, you are going to gore somebody’s ox. You have to decide that you’re going to probably piss off the wealthy at some point and take away some of their loopholes, you’re going to piss off special interest groups, like the real estate industry, and take away the mortgage interest deduction, and you’re going to piss off the healthcare insurance guys and the doctors and hospitals when you say you can’t deduct medical expenses any longer. But in reality, you have to get as close to a flat tax as you can. 15% is 15% regardless how much you make.
4. Immigration. There is no way in hell this is going to happen. Oh, I know…Trump says it is…but a wall on the southern border is going to cost hundreds of billions to do it right…and you’re NOT getting Mexico to pay for it. You’re going to add excise taxes on goods coming FROM Mexico, which basically means Americans that buy Mexican products are going to pay not just for that avocado, but also the wall. And fixing the immigration problem is going to be another mountain to climb. I will say that reports I’ve seen from the southern border say that illegal entry is already down some 75% since Trump took office. Just the threat of arrest has been enough to deter a lot of folks from coming into the country illegally.
If the GOP hangs tough and gets those four things done this year (because nothing ever gets done during an election year), they have a shot of hanging on to both houses of congress for another two years. I doubt the Dems have the oomph to take the Senate…and that’s why they’re eyeing the House.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!