Sunday, July 21, 2013

Libertarian populism won't save the GOP

Libertarian Populism, Trashed by Krugman, Won't Save Republicans - Bloomberg - Ramesh Ponnuru:

July 18, 2013 - "New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has gone on the attack against a tiny conservative political movement before ... it has really come together as a movement.

"Krugman’s column trashing 'libertarian populism,' which showed no evidence of first-hand familiarity with the work of anyone who might claim the label, ran on July 11. It was not until Monday that Tim Carney, a libertarian-populist writer (and a colleague of mine at the American Enterprise Institute), got around to publishing a manifesto for the group. It is a document that contains several good ideas -- but not a viable political strategy for conservatives.

"The main focus of Carney’s work is that big government and big business collude at the expense of the little guy, and he recommends that Republicans run against that collusion in order to win working-class votes. In particular he wants them to break up the big banks, end corporate-welfare programs, clean up the tax code so that powerful interests no longer profit from it, and end regulations that protect established businesses from competitors (regulations that stifle food trucks, for example). He would also cut the payroll tax and end government policies that favor employer-based health insurance.

"I’m sympathetic to most of the items on Carney’s list -- and those on the list that fellow populist Conn Carroll has compiled. Taken together, though, they do not seem to amount to a winning political platform."

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