The GOP Idea Factory
Republican candidates are bursting with solutions for repairing America.


Deroy Murdock

Whether or not the GOP wins the U.S. Senate, several Republican contenders for the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body hope to promote some rather unique proposals. Republicans are running on such ideas as repealing Obamacare, curbing federal spending, and making permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Those are all fine concepts, but several candidates have gone beyond the old perennials to promote good, less-familiar ideas.

• Among others, California’s Carly Fiorina highlights two particularly intriguing proposals.

First, she recommends something called “Jobs for Americans Zones.” In these specific geographic areas, federal tax benefits would be coupled with relief from state and local regulations. This would create conditions designed to lure manufacturing jobs back to America that have fled for more appealing economic climates. These incentives would include:

• A 10-year tax holiday for facilities repatriated from overseas

• A five-year tax holiday for start-ups and expansions

• State and local permitting and land use assistance

• State and local holidays from local uncompetitive regulations (e.g., higher labor costs from uncompetitive work rules)

“Carly believes we must compete and fight for every single job,” says campaign press secretary Andrea Saul. “That means both creating jobs at home and bringing jobs back from overseas. She believes we should ensure that the incentives we offer for high-skill and manufacturing jobs are competitive with what foreign governments offer.”

Second, Fiorina advocates something she calls “Letting Americans Pay Down the Debt.” In short, taxpayers could steer part of their levies to curbing America’s $13 trillion in deep-red ink. As Saul explains, Fiorina “understands that, in order to put Americans back to work, get small enterprises back in business, and boost economic growth beyond just 2 or 3 percent, we must reduce the stress that record-high federal spending places on our economy. To do that, among many other ideas, she has proposed that Congress give taxpayers the opportunity to designate 0 to 10 percent of their federal tax liability towards debt reduction.”

• Connecticut’s Linda McMahon spotlights congressional pay. She would slash legislative salaries to match the U.S. median income. If McMahon prevailed, congressional pay would plunge from $174,000 to $44,389.

“If Members of Congress want their own salaries to rise, they will need to support policies that will help boost incomes for average Americans,” McMahon spokesman Shawn McCoy elaborates. “Career politicians will probably do their best to block such a proposal, so it might be easier to push for capping Congressional salary until median income catches up.”