Magazine February 9, 2009, Issue

Twelve Ideas for the Middle Class

(Richard Ross)
A policy symposium

Contemporary conservatism has too often lost touch with the concrete concerns of middle-class America. For a long time, conservatism thrived politically on the domestic troika of welfare, crime, and income-tax rates. The Left yowled when conservative Republicans ran on these issues, arguing they were distractions from the voting public’s true interests, or a cover for sinister sentiments, or both. But people genuinely hated the perversity of the old welfare system; they truly feared crime; and high income-tax rates — and inflation-driven bracket creep — really did take a big bite out of family budgets.

Conservative success over the years — through

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