The YG Network, originally a creation of House Republican leaders, has offered a blueprint for policy innovation with Room to Grow. The tone is set by Yuval Levin, who notes in his introduction: "Our government has too often been getting in our way rather than helping us along. Many families now face stagnating wages, excessive tax burdens, rising health and higher education costs, barriers to mobility and work, disincentives to marriage and childbearing, and an economy increasingly held back by overregulation, cronyism, institutional sclerosis, and mounting public debt ... In each case an overreaching, hyperactive, unwieldy, and immensely expensive federal government lies near the root of the problem."
The concrete proposals advanced in Room to Grow include a replacement for Obamacare that is modeled on Medicare Part D, "a real marketplace that has restrained cost growth while also yielding high levels of choice and satisfaction for seniors." There is a proposal for payroll tax relief for families raising children on the grounds that parents pay twice for Social Security and Medicare -- once from their paychecks and again because they bear the expense of raising the next generation of taxpayers.
Room to Grow encourages drastic reforms to higher-education funding; competition and choice for K-12 schools; reform of the deadening occupational licensing regimes that inhibit job growth; paring back Social Security Disability Insurance while ramping up the earned income tax credit so fewer people become disengaged from the world of work; ending "too big to fail" for the financial system; a series of steps to reverse the disincentives to marriage buried in federal programs; and other reforms addressing poverty, energy and more.
These reforms won't please everyone, but if widely touted by Republican candidates and officeholders, they could begin to change the perception that Republicans care only for the rich. If enacted, they could revive not just the party but also the country.
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