Hold Their Feet to The Fire

Republicans made big time gains over the last several years. However, I am not seeing them act on a lot of the issues that are important to everyday people. Now is the time to hold their feet to the fire.  What are Republicans afraid of?  They should be bold right now and pass legislation that will help everyone.  Stay away from the shiny objects that always distract them.

Where is the legislation on public pension reform? Only Indiana passed it under previous governor Mitch Daniels as far as I know. Reforming pensions will be good for workers, and ease the burden on taxpayers. It will also be attractive to new workers.  The Federal government would recognize huge cost savings in budgeting by enacting pension reform.  So would state and local governments.  It’s time to do it.

My own state of Illinois is 100% bankrupt because of public pensions.  So is virtually every county and city.  In states like California, New York, New Jersey and Kentucky, it’s not much different.  Pension reform has to happen now and there is nothing to be afraid of.  Public unions don’t support Republicans.

Where is the legislation on school choice? I am hopeful that Trump’s Education nominee will help enable all states to pursue school choice.  If we want to give everyone equal opportunity, we better give them a chance when they are young.  School choice can break the back of a highly bureaucratic stuck in the mud standardized guaranteed to fail public school system. Create hope for communities that need it via school choice.  Remember, competition is good and there is no competition for public school systems today. School choice will raise up the public school system too.

Where are the modifications of workman’s compensation regulations? In Illinois, we have stringent workman’s comp regs that cause businesses to flee the state. More importantly, there is a large opportunity cost from businesses from choosing to NOT locate here.  Certainly, we need to protect workers.  But, we can’t have unfair laws and regulations that are applied unevenly.

Why aren’t corporate taxes and regulations dropping in these states? Corporations can create jobs. That can create side businesses and small support businesses that create even more jobs. When are the 32 states going to get into gear and make it so people in their state can participate?  If Trump rolls back corporate taxes to 15%, there will be a lot of corporations looking to expand inside the US.  States that have 0% tax and low corporate regulations will benefit.

If Republicans go back to their traditional business as usual, they are cooked.  If you have confidence in the ideas that you talk about, put them into action.  Having 32 different school choice programs in 32 states will allow 32 different experiments to take place all at the same time.  People complain about not having good data-32 simultaneous experiments will give them good data.

It’s up to Republicans to show they are on the side of individual liberty and property rights-things they campaigned on.  I think there are some Democrats that Republicans can persuade to get on board.  Certainly, many of the Senators that will be up for re-election in states that Trump won handily should be persuadable.

I totally love what Economist John Cochrane wrote about Trump’s first 100 Days.  I suggest every Republican governor read it and put it to work.  It’s up to us as citizens to hold their feet to the fire-and toss em out if they don’t make it happen.


thanks for the link Instapundit.   Too many people are focusing exclusively on Trump. What about the state legislatures.  Time to get into action and do what’s right for the people.  It’s easy to talk the talk.

  • awaldstein

    I’m with you.

    Not at all optimistic however.

    • We will see. As you and I know, money talks and bullshit walks. We see a lot of bullshit from politicians.

  • Fiftycal

    Hell, the main thing is that now there are “conservative” state governments in 35-40 states. It’s time to have a convention of states and put term limits on Congress and reign in borrowed spending. Congress will NEVER change itself, it’s how they semi-legally line their pockets with MY MONEY. And the convention of states does not require ONE GOVERNOR to OK it. Otherwise we might just as well fire all the border police and start handing out voter ID and welfare cards to anyone that can fly, swim or walk here.

    • Term limits are a great idea. Even Democrats would agree. How about an end to gerrymandering so there is competition too?

      • Trevor White

        You can actually express, mathematically, how gerrymandered a district is: square the perimeter, and divide by the area. So, if a “Gerry quotient” is over a certain threshold, then the entire map goes back to the legislature for reconsideration; if a second map emerges from the legislature that has an illegal district, then the MINORITY party of that legislature draws the districts at its pleasure, and that map is binding until the next census.

        (If you’ve ever lived in Maryland, you’d understand.)

        • richard40

          Good idea for the gerry quotient formula. One observation, if a district is going to be on an uneven seacoast, it will have weird borders no matter how hard you try. I would suggest the formula only count land border perimeter, and not seacoast, which cant be changed by man.
          You also want districts with as even a population as possible, so the idea formula would be a total of the gerry quotient and the deviation from the mean district population.
          On the 2 parties, how about having a competition between the parties. Each major party caucus presents their plan, if the minority plan has a 5% better quotient than the majority one they win. This will give each party an incentive to get a minimum quotient in their first plans.

          • Trevor White

            I used to live in Maryland. I know all about crazy borders. So the first thing you’d do, is get the Gerry quotient for the entire state AS A WHOLE, and permit a certain level of variance based on that. Wyoming and Michigan are going to have different ranges, as will South Dakota and Florida. I get it.

            The point is, there are ways to show, mathematically, how gerrymandered individual districts are.

            Here’s a research question, one I wish I had the ability to look into: does a district’s Gerry quotient correlate, in any way, with corrupt behavior by its representatives? Do congresscritters who have had their voters pre-selected by their state legislatures, go to Washington and behave badly? What does the data show?

          • R Evans

            How about let all parties registered with the state draw up a plan, not just the two (or rarely three) which have seats in the legislature.

  • Jeremy Klein

    I’m with you, and…
    It’s time for the Republicans who now hold the power in the various states to do what Madison and Jefferson called for them to do when confronted with grossly unConstitutional Federal action. Don’t protest, don’t file suit, don’t wait for a change in the Federal gov’t. Simply refuse to comply. Period. If/when the Feds attempt to enforce their ruling/reg/law, meet force with force.
    E.g.: any state should consider itself free to enact laws limiting or outlawing abortion. The Constitution clearly has nothing to say about it. The same is true regarding homosexual ‘marriage’, anything from the EPA and OSHA, and a host of other items. Pick the issue, pick the state, then for crying out loud ACT! Otherwise we’re just continuing to rearrange the deck chairs.

    • R Evans

      Yes, yes, yes. Except for those pesky ninth and tenth amendments which says that certain powers (unmentioned) belong to the people. Not to the states, not to the state legislatures, but to the people.

      And SCOTUS has ruled that the right to seek abortions (in various circumstances) is one of these rights. This recognition limits the ability of the states to legislate. Just as they are limited in their ability to legislate on any of the other amendments.

  • gunsmithkat

    Having been on the receiving end of so many onerous regulations at every level I think/hope that President-elect Trump will make this a priority issue. Returning control to the states and reducing Federal regulations. He’s already announced a policy of two rules must go for every new rule enacted.

  • douginsd

    “My own state of Illinois is 100% bankrupt because of public pensions. So is virtually every county and city. In states like California, New York, New Jersey and Kentucky, it’s not much different. Pension reform has to happen now and there is nothing to be afraid of. Public unions don’t support Republicans.”

    This is a worthwhile endeavor; however I don’t think you appreciate how difficult it is to undo what unions have baked into state constitutions over the years. In some states like Cali, you can’t even change the pension accrual for existing employees for future years – you can only do so for future employees. In Cali, the Democrats have a supermajority, and any politician, State or local, that goes against the CTA, CNA, CCPOA, etc, gets primaried successfully. You cannot get reelected to even a City Council or School Board unless you toe the Union line.

    Do you think Arnold went RINO on fiscal issues just because? All his ballot initiatives lost, and he was toast.

    • Dave M.

      We’ll build a wall around “Cali” and make the “Calis” pay for it.

    • They did that in Illinois too. But, California isn’t Republican dominated. Texas is. Where is the reform?

  • These are great suggestions!

    There should certainly be a “truth about gov’t pensions” law to require more honesty in the economic status of the pensions. But reform must mostly mean “lower than currently promised” pensions.

    But let’s remember it’s Republicans in office, not necessarily conservatives. Still, I’m particularly hopeful on school choice coming.

    I’d also like an American National University, mostly based on MOOCs and on-line learning, with multiple campuses plus live Teaching Assistants as well as increasingly smart AI bots. Low cost tuition, open to all, with tough tests.

  • R Evans

    “school choice. If we want to give everyone equal opportunity, we better give them a chance when they are young.”

    But of course no one does this, they give their parents the choice. Never once have I seen someone indicate that it might be best to talk with and evaluate the child’s interests and abilities in helping them find the right educational path for them. At best you get an evaluation of their abilities alone for those with IEPs.

    Are there any schools following the British O and A-level framework in the US? Any which do not have artificial quarters and semesters which break up study and force task-switching? And magnet schools are few and far between, especially for those living in small cities and towns. Will any amount of school choice change this?

    Competition means crap all when the primary stakeholder, the student, has no free choice. Because seriously, how many parents actually know their kids well enough to know what’s best for them? And how many teachers know their students well enough to even guess at this?

  • R Evans

    “Public unions don’t support Republicans.”

    Some union members do.

    They’d get a lot more support if Republicans supported the republican ideal of the right of people to assemble together and form a government to advocate for their interests.

    A union lobbying for their interests is no different in kind than a city lobbying the state for tax dollars or other matters. I don’t see states trying to strip cities of their power to incorporate or expand their boundaries through annexation and forced participation.

  • R Evans

    “But, we can’t have unfair laws and regulations that are applied unevenly.”

    Isn’t this the Republican argument in favor of federalism?

    You say it yourself here: “Having 32 different school choice programs in 32 states will allow 32 different experiments to take place all at the same time.”