Scott’s plan is a foundation for Republican victory and governance
You can’t beat something with nothing. That truism has not always guided political campaigns in our history, but to paraphrase Damon Runyon: the race is not always to the smartest, nor the battle to the principled … but that’s the way to bet. What that means in 2022 is that Republican candidates who intend to run on simply reminding voters of the Democrats’ numerous policy missteps and blunders are making a sucker’s bet.
Fortunately, a smart, principled agenda for Republican candidates has been crafted by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). Scott’s Plan to Rescue America is a potential game-changer for the GOP. It’s a thoughtful, forward-thinking agenda that can help Republican candidates win the midterms and give them a focused blueprint for governing in January.
Although built on sound policy and politics, Scott’s approach has not been without some critics. Unfortunately, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opposes the release of a Republican agenda and has falsely stated that the plan raises taxes. In reality, Scott’s plan would lead to a net reduction in taxes by drastically simplifying the tax code, and eliminating special interest tax carve-outs, many of which have been supported by McConnell for 40 years. As on so many other issues that matter to conservatives, Leader McConnell is out of step with the base.
Scott’s plan borrows a page from Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, which many credit with sweeping congressional Republicans — including me — into the majority in the 1994 midterms. Scott’s Plan to Rescue America offers a number of specific policy solutions showing how Republicans could lead.
Encouraging an economic bounce back is a key component of Scott’s plan. For starters, Scott realizes the federal government needs to first get out of the way and let America do what it does best: create jobs and prosperity. He wants to unleash our country’s job creators and expedite all federal permit applications so they will be granted or denied within 30 days. Government red tape can delay projects for months and even years, needlessly driving up costs not just for businesses, but for customers and, in many cases, taxpayers.
Scott has also outlined a roadmap to address the runaway Biden inflation and restore fiscal health to America. His plan prioritizes paying down America’s $30 trillion national debt. To make the government more in tune with the public, he proposes moving federal agencies outside of Washington, DC.
Other proposals add efficiency and transparency to the government. Vastly simplifying the tax code would be a popular and dramatic way to improve Americans’ lives. Bureaucrats would be prohibited from wasting taxpayer dollars on advertisements and would be required to publicly disclose all government contracts and bids so corporate cronyism can be crushed.
The senator also addresses education, a potent issue in the past year’s elections. During the pandemic, more and more parents began paying attention to our public schools, and were shocked into action. We saw parental action sweep Gov. Glenn Youngkin into office in Virginia. Even the liberal bastion of San Francisco saw parents revolt against the radicalization of their schools and recall school board members. Scott offers a constructive vision of education by expanding parental school choice and allowing parents to have more day-to-day oversight and control of public schools.
And no wonder. Parental school choice has proven highly effective at helping students succeed. An analysis of over 30 studies on school choice found that school choice improved educational outcomes and increased the instillment of civic values. Even the left-of-center Urban Institute concluded that school choice increased the likelihood of students attending college.
The fact that Americans are discontent with Biden and his Democrats only gets the Republicans so far. The Contract with America helped Republicans win the House for the first time in 40 years, and the Plan to Rescue America can help today’s GOP win back not only the House, but a majority in the Senate. It gives Republicans an articulate, positive message. Scott’s plan not only offers the public a demonstrable difference between the parties, but it shows how Republican candidates are offering solutions to the problems that concern voters most. All of which makes for pretty good odds this fall.
David McIntosh is the President of the Club for Growth.
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