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Are Republicans listening?

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2010

Larry Kudlow shares my concern about whether the GOP leadership understands the lesson of the Miracle in Massachusetts. And he notes that Scott Brown owes much of his success to campaigning as a JFK Republican:

… Are the Republicans listening? Do they really understand why Scott Brown was victorious? If they do, why aren’t members of the Republican leadership loudly campaigning for an end to tax hikes, just like Scott Brown?

Remember that Brown ran on a JFK/Ronald Reagan platform of across-the-board tax cuts to promote economic growth. Take a look at what the senator-elect had to say during his victory speech Tuesday night:

This [health care] bill is not being debated openly and fairly. It will raise taxes, it will hurt Medicare, it will destroy jobs and run our nation deeper into debt . . . I will work in the Senate to put the government back on the side of people who create jobs and the millions of people who need jobs. And remember, as President John F. Kennedy stated, that starts with across-the-board tax cuts for businesses and families to create jobs, put more money in people’s pockets, and stimulate the economy. It’s that simple.

There you have it. Scott Brown could not have been any clearer. That’s the great thing about his message — its breathtaking clarity. Across-the-board tax cuts and a revival of free-market capitalism on the supply-side.

A recent Washington Post poll showed that by 58 to 38 percent, voters want smaller government and fewer government services. This, too, should be the Republican congressional message.

It is, in fact, an economic-growth message, the likes of which we haven’t heard since Jack Kemp promoted it in the late 1970s. And the brilliance of Scott Brown was to use the JFK tax cuts — an across-the-board reduction in marginal tax rates — to attract Democrats and independents to his message.

An across-the-board tax cut is the fairest pro-growth message of them all. Lower tax rates for everybody. Get out of the box of rich people and class warfare. For the Ted Kennedy Democrats, that box has been a loser for decades. But for timid Republicans always on the defensive, now is the time to break out and adopt the Scott Brown theme.

This is what Reagan did. This is why the Gipper touted JFK’s across-the-board tax cuts. Republicans must now be bold and fight for across-the-board tax relief, for families, individuals, and businesses, along with smaller government, fewer services, and across-the-board spending cuts.

That's what the Republican leadership should be talking about: across-the-board tax and spending cuts, not across-the-aisle deal-making. If they want to present a less partisan image, let them embrace the optimistic, pro-growth message of both Reagan and JFK — "across-the-board tax cuts for businesses and families to create jobs, put more money in people’s pockets, and stimulate the economy." Let them embrace JFK Republicanism.

I think that would resonate with voters. And drive the Democrats crazy. 🙂

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