The Corner

Politics & Policy

Romney’s Child-Allowance Plan and the Republican Future

Today’s Bloomberg Opinion column concerns Senator Romney’s plan to make the welfare state more parent-friendly. While the details are important and deserve further scrutiny, I close with a general thought about how policy proposals like this one could help the intra-Republican debate break out of a rut:

There are some Republicans who want to go back to a pre-Trump conservative orthodoxy that shortchanged families in its obsession with lowering marginal tax rates and other free-market goals. There are other Republicans who in practice reduce the idea of a conservatism that works for lower-income Americans to fealty to Trump’s policies or, worse, to the man himself.

Romney is the least Trumpy Republican imaginable, but he is not pushing all and only the same ideas he did when he ran for president in 2012. Maybe, just maybe, the party can find a productive way forward on social policy that isn’t defined either by Trump or what came right before him.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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