Three Simple Reaganite Ideas for the New Congress
Setting out on the right foot


Deroy Murdock

The incoming Republican House of Representatives and its reformist GOP brethren in the Democratic Senate will be embroiled in complex legislation. Feeding or starving Obamacare, accelerating or braking federal spending, and possibly even keeping or replacing the U.S. Tax Code will be among the huge questions that will keep the 112th Congress working day and night.

Beyond these momentous matters, however, pro-market Republicans should promote smaller initiatives that break with the Big Government Bush-Obama years. Reaganite Republicans should invite Democrats to join them in these commonsense efforts. Democrats then can demonstrate whether or not they learned anything last Election Day.

— Republicans should enact the HOT Tax. The Higher-Rate Optional Tax would satisfy liberals who don’t like their taxes cut.

“I am in the highest tax bracket,” an unidentified woman said in a November 30 commercial that attacks the Obama-GOP tax-cut compromise. “We don’t need the money. The country does.”

No American should be forced to accept an unwanted tax cut. So, the HOT Tax would require new language on IRS tax returns: “If you believe your tax bracket is too low, please indicate the higher rate at which you prefer to be taxed. Multiply that rate by your Adjusted Gross Income. Send in that higher amount.”

The HOT Tax would spare tax-cut opponents from accepting undesired tax relief. The rest of us can enjoy the lower taxes we need to pay our bills and take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Everybody wins.

Republicans should ask congressional Democrats to support the HOT Tax. If they would deny guilty liberals the chance voluntarily to pay even higher taxes, let them vote accordingly.

● Republicans should introduce a measure to require that federally funded projects and structures be christened according to the Post Office’s rules regarding personalities on stamps. If one must be dead for ten years before gracing a stamp (save for deceased U.S. presidents, whose memorial stamps appear upon their first posthumous birthdays), one likewise should be lifeless for a decade before getting one’s name slapped on a federally financed highway, bridge, or warship.

Public facilities that honor living, even sitting politicians — like South Carolina’s James E. Clyburn Golf Center and Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell Loop hiking trail – belong in North Korea, not America. This is a bipartisan embarrassment, especially when unhinged Democrats such as former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and jailed Republicans such as former congressman Robert Ney of Ohio have seen their names pried off of public works after they disgraced themselves.