Ten Things I Wish the Republican Ticket Would Say…

by Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer on August 20, 2012

1.  Tax cuts have been effective historically at spurring growth of GDP.  Both Reagan and Clinton cut taxes in critical ways.  The economy boomed.

2.  Medicare and Social Security need to be addressed now.  Failure to do so will cause irreparable harm to the economy, and will render the government incapable of providing safety nets for seniors and the disadvatntaged fairly soon.

3.  We will not be able to repeal Obamacare.  Doing so will be fiscally irresponsible.  Instead, we will need to revamp the program without gutting it.

4.  We will not be able to control healthcare costs unless we address frivolous lawsuits and malpractice insurance and fraud.

5.  Our energy issues are not going to addressed in the short term by tilting at windmills and basking in the sun.  Responsible drilling is essential, as is the renewal of development on refineries, pipelines, and nuclear plants.

6.  Risk is part of every good plan.  What the government proposes, from either side of the aisle, comes with a modicum of risk.  We can’t categorically scrap plans because of what might happen.  We must minimize risk wherever possible, and develop contingency plans to respond to negative developments.

7.  Pro-choice and Pro-life are not campaign issues.  The Supreme Court currently has a law on the books.  What one candidate believes on the issue will never be the deciding factor in changing that law.  Stop pretending that people should decide how to vote by considering a canddate’s stance on issues like this.

8.  No president yet has been inclined or able to determine the course of the country by adhering to the tenets of his religion.  Once the President is elected, he is responsible to the people.

9.  By the time we get to a national ticket, all of the parties are products of the political establishment.  No one can truly claim to be outside the establishment after using the very system to get where he or she is.

10.  Four years ago you voted for Hope and Change.  We invite you to look at where we are four years later, and vote for hope and change again.


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott August 31, 2012 at 7:08 am



Archie August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

If tax cuts are so effective why not make them even more effective by passing targeted tax cuts? That is to say, attach conditions. Make the tax cuts contingent upon using a good portion of that money to create jobs in America.

Maybe tax cuts were effective back in the 1980s because there wasn’t as much outsourcing. Bush used tax cuts and our economy tanked.


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Taxes in general are a necessary evil. Cutting taxes willy-nilly is not a good answer. Some taxes are clearly punitive to business. Common sense says that punitive taxes that might/should/could stifle investment, expansion, and innovation should be as low as possible. Also common sense says that cutting taxes without cutting expenses is not going to be as effective.
Reagan cut taxes, but he also increased and added some taxes. the targetting is the whole point. Unfortunately, in the course of discussing these principles, one creates a false impression from time to time.
Bush’s tax cuts were very effective until 2007. The economy was booming from roughly 2003 to 2007. Two wars combined with foolish banking – and a few other things – set the stage for the collapse. Mind you, the economic downturn was coming, but it didn’t necessarily have to be as bad as it was.


Tom August 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm


Regarding your mentioin of the economy under Bush booming until 2007, check out this article from the Washington Post in January 2007. That’s when: “Democrats Take Control on Hill” according to the Post. Coincidence?



Tom August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

One further point on the boom/bust timing. In that article in the Post, it states that “Democrats took control of the House and Senate after 12 years of nearly unbroken Republican rule, …”. Pretty interesting that those twelve years included the two terms of Bill Clinton and the first term of G. W. Bush. Twelve years of a really good economy.

Clinton became a centerist during his term of office and got lots of support from Republicans. No problems stepping across the isle. You’d think others could learn from that.


Joe August 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

the economy was grossly inflated between 2003 and 2007. irresponsible deregulation of finance and housing caused that. It was good for a while but we are still picking up the pieces. i’m not saying that was all bush’s fault but he certainly did his fair share. i would also say that things could be a lot worse. people forget quickly how bad things looked when obama took over.


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm

You might be able to say that people have forgotten how bad things were when Obama took over, except that the Democrats have been telling us how bad it was for four years. How the heck could anyone forget how bad it was? Every mistake in judgment and each failed intervention has provoked the current administration to remind the world of Bush’s failures.

Incidentally, Bush asked Congress to intervene with Freddy and Fannie Mac something like 28 times during his second term. (Someone on this site will know exactly how many. I meant to look it up again, but forgot.) Bush was not up to the task of dealing with two wars, a faltering economy, and a Democrat controlled Congress at the end. He owns that. Please tell me what Obama owns? Each time his plans have proven ineffective, he summons the fickly finger of fate and points it to his predecessor. ENOUGH already.


Craig August 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Bill, it was actually Bill Clinton who got it right. During Clinton’s eight years in office, the budget deficit shrank, then eventually turned into a surplus. The first year Bush was in office, back to deficit. Google it. It’s all there.
Regardless, Clinton understood where to cut taxes, and where to cut ridiculous government spending. Another major hurdle he overcame was his ability to work with Congress. Clinton was a moderate, even though Republicans during election time were calling him a communist (sound familiar).
The problem today is that both the consumer and big corps are holding on to cash. This creates a sticky problem for Washington. Cutting taxes is not necessarily going to translate into spending. People are actually paying their debts and increasing their savings. We saw this deteriorate during the Bush era. The only possible solution is for the government to try and jump start the economy by pumping money into it. Unfortunately, that can backfire as well. So, in essence, what I am saying is, get ready, because no matter who is elected, the bill collector is coming.


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Just a monor adjustment to your commentary – Clinton was advised to adopt a strategy known as triangluation, wherein he adopted the policies of the Right, as well as the policies of the Left, thereby creating a third position that had elements of both. The idea was suppress partisan attacks while attempting to choose the most effective strategies regardless of party.
It worked, I guess. And I guess that would qualify as a moderate, pragmatic approach.


Erik the Red August 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm


Believe it or not, this article saddens me. I mean, your points of view are encouraging and the ideologies are ones that the GOP once largely embraced.

But I did say “Once”, as in “Once Upon a Time”.

Now, for what must be a variety of reasons, with the exception of blatant social and economic issues, which each Party exploits to brown nose their constituency (enter Abortion, Gay Rights, Unions, Church and State, etc), the proverbial aisle has become very blurred. This is not so much that there was a rainstorm and the colors on the painting got wet and blended together. This is more of a case, unfortunately, where the wet picture was picked up off the table, held by the Right side of the page, and the colors oozed to the Left to the point where it is so meshed together that it is hard to discern Red from Blue.

Escaping my everlasting tendency to use analogies and metaphors, your statements would be great for the GOP to consider. But I honestly can’t see it happening until many of them knock on the door of Hell and strike a deal to buy their souls back.


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I have been cursed from birth by having internal forces of equal strength directing me to be 1 part cynic and 1 part idealist. Consequently, I am ehtised by the knowledge of the way things ought to be while simultaneously being burdened by a dread of how people will screw it up.
Obviously, my idealistic side held sway while the above post was born. However, I suppose I can’t succumb to the cynic. I think Oscar Wilde declared it easy to be cynical, but arduous to remain idealistic, so that might explain it. So, I get your points, and don’t disagree, but conceding them feels like giving up, and I refuse.
I have said it before on this site. I want to believe that Romney will do the right thing, but I am convinced that Obama will dothe wrong things. A slight chance is better than no chance.


Cedric August 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

The fact that earth’s resources are being depleted has escaped your mind somehow. we need a newer cleaner source of energy therefore solar energy and windmills help give us time to solve the energy crisis. Also i didnt vote for hope or change matter of fact i didnt vote at all beacuse im under 18. But i do know that obama has been avoiding all of americas peoples need and he has just been addressing some. so therefore i agree with you more on point 8. He is responsible to all of americas people. I


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

Thanks for chiming in. I like it when younger people show an interest in politics, and I will not patronize you because you are young. Points 5 & 6 were references to energy plans. I clearly noted that windmills and solar power are not SHORT term solutions. I have no objections to development of alternate energy sources. Did you know, for example, that American cars get poorer gas mileage than European models because EPA regulations demand catalytic convertors – which no longer serve much of a purpose – must be part of the design for American made cars. (Seriously, improvements in engine design have made the device almost useless, but we are burning up more fuel every day because the EPA has not removed the requirement.)

I also call for responsible drilling with contingency plans. The current climate would have all coal plants discontinued starting yesterday. They make nuclear plants almost impossible to approve, and they have curtailed the expansion of the refinery business as well. Furthermore, we may have enough natural gas in Pennsylvania to make gas heating cost for homes decrease by 50% or more, but we won’t approve ANY attempts to extract the gas responsibly.

I do not advocate environmental foolhardiness. I have faith in man’s ingenuity to find a way to take advantage of our resources in a smart, effective way.


Cedric August 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

Thanks and yea i agree we do need mopre energy efficeint cars. my parents own two european sport cars and they get great mpg than their american cars. Also our government should consult foreign designs for enviromental plans.


Tom August 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm


Your point #10. While I didn’t vote for “Hope and Change”, I was hopeful that after the election we would be a better country and a better American society because we proved to ourselves and the world that we could elect a “non-white” person to the highest office in the land. One giant step for a country! Great stuff. We were all proud and we should have been. It was about time.

However, since then some challenging thoughts have come to mind. Namely that not all of us now have or had the most honest response to what we see from our President day to day. Everyone has chosen a “side”.

Some of us don’t want to seem anti-non-white and some of us want to say “hey, ain’t I great for proving I’m not anti-non-white”? Some of us say “Hey, don’t challenge his actions, because that’s racist!”

None of these responses is legitimate. If we were totally honest, we would just ignore race, which is completely irrelevant. But the reality is it very few of us can completely ignore race. Most of us want to and we strive to, but there is some effect, even if ever so slight, on our thinking. Too bad for us. This shouldn’t count. We need to keep striving for complete disregard for race.

Whites and non-whites have seminal reactions to things that are true for them and that are based on what they have learned and seen in their lives. Nobody can stop their internal responses, but we CAN, and SHOULD control our external responses. We need to keep on working on making our internal responses equal to our cerebral ones. Race doesn’t count and let’s keep it that way.


Thomas Goldsmith Oppenheimer August 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

I don’t know why you inferred that my Hope and Change reference had anything to do with the President’s race. I am scratching my head. I acknowledge that race is still, unfortunately, an issue throughout the country, but I honestly believe that each year it is less and less of an issue. Yes, the process takes too long, but I tend to argue ideology. I have no faith in the Democratic outlook.


Tom August 21, 2012 at 11:22 am


Your point # 10 did not mention race, but in my thinking about “Hope and Change” I started thinking about whether people are really honest about thier currnet feelings about Hope and Change and that led me to thinking about what motivates people’s thinking and so on.


Tom August 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I Couldn’t find a reference for the “Abe” in the two replies before mine. Duh? Sorry. What was the original reference?

BTW, J., it is not “their” money, it is ours.


Anonymous August 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

J. (Below) is contending that Abe Lincoln pressed for the abolition of slavery on the basis of enforcing Christian doctrine on governmental practice. My response was that many of us use principles found in religion in our decision making processes. That is not an overt indoctrination process; it is simply a human factor.


Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I think plenty of presidents have contemplated individual decisions by considering the morality and/or ethics of their decisions. The point above was that presidents haven’t built an ideological platform to conform with religious teaching. Don’t many of us try to find guidance in spiritual principles when faced with difficult decisions. I think Abe’s faith was not foisted upon the people of America, do you?


J August 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Good article, but….

#1. We can’t have tax cuts until we shrink government spending. Their money doesn’t appear out of thin air.

#8…read up on Abe Lincoln’s call to faith as he struggled in the abolition of slavery, and what he did for his country.


Tom August 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm


The way the economy works, or has in boom times as recorded in actual history in the USA, is that tax cuts make the economy grow (boom) and then the amount of revenue to the government grows tremendously, in which we all share. And the deficit shrinks. The money does seem to actually appear out of thin air to those who don’t know where revenue for the government comes from.

Ask Bill Clinton, since he’s still alive or if you dare, ask George W. Bush. They both understood this. Remember when we were booming under Bush before February 2007? So from January 2000 to February 2007, our economy was booming, even after the economic bust from the 9/11 attacks by al Quaeda.

Lincoln was a great man of principle. We need more of them. Do you think Obama is a man of principle? If so, read “Obama’s America”.


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