POLITICS

Tim Carney: RNC's free-market populist rhetoric

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Someone at the Republican National Committee has been paying attention to those of us in the conservative media calling for a good dose of free-market populism. The RNC’s “reboot” says “The Republican Party must be the champion of those who seek to climb the economic ladder of life….” I agree.

The party also treads into territory that many donors find uncomfortable: “We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare.”

But this leaves plenty of questions. This passage in the RNC’s strategy memo goes on to talk about things corporations do that are unseemly, but hardly that should be illegal: “We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years.”

Republicans are currently opposing minimum-wage hikes — correctly, in my opinion. The GOP isn’t going to push CEO-pay caps. So, this is just about “blowing the whistle” and “speaking out”? Is this explicitly a call for empty rhetoric?

If so, too bad, because I can think of some real policies that the GOP could push in order to “attack corporate welfare” in more than just rhetoric.

Break up big banks, abolish the Export-Import Bank, replace corporate tax carveouts with across-the-board cuts, unwind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, oppose all future bailouts, end the sugar program, end the ethanol mandate, kill oil subsidies… just to name a few.

Alternatively, just keep griping about Solyndra and saying the words “crony capitalism!”

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