Opinion: Here’s what Republicans should run on in November’s midterm elections

Republicans are a little too confident about the midterm elections and more vulnerable than they realize.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told major party donors that Republicans would not offer a legislative platform, but would instead run against President Joe Biden’s record.

Lots of ammo

On the face of it, they have plenty of ammunition – inflation at historic levels, grocery store shortages, social justice-elected mayors and prosecutors presiding over rising crime in Democratic cities, teachers’ unions advocating critical theory of race in our schools, debacle in Afghanistan and no credible response from the administration to the rising tide of imports from China.

It’s easy to tie them to Biden’s legislative agenda and incremental appointments. His $1.9 trillion US bailout was funded largely by printing new money. His energy secretary doesn’t seem to know how much oil the country uses – it’s in the monthly energy review his department publishes.

Biden’s approval ratings are below the belly of a snake and despite even poorer ratings for McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the GOP is leading in generic congressional polls.

However, Republicans would do well to remember that George W. Bush was elected with a very divided Congress. Like Biden with his stimulus package and infrastructure bill, Bush had bipartisan achievements and then defied historic odds to win seats in both chambers in his first half terms.

With the 2022 midterm elections just months away, the Democratic Party risks losing its majority in Congress due to a growing number of retirements. Photo illustration: Elise Dean

It’s still early

The world has a way of changing.

Biden may well have overwhelmed Vladimir Putin. The invasion of Ukraine will result in severe American and European sanctions, and Russia may be bound by terrible guerrilla resistance that the Americans may provide.

Inflation will moderate, although it remains too high and shortages persist. The economy is expected to improve in the spring and summer as the omicron variant wanes and COVID becomes rampant.

Everyone loves something for nothing. Subsidies for childcare, cheaper higher education and student debt relief, sick leave for frontline workers and some measure of social justice to repair the scars of racism are appealing – but not entirely convincing a discussion of how to pay for those.

In a political campaign, progressives like Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal can promise the moon without mentioning the country’s mortgage.

Practical ideas

McCarthy apparently understands this and, unlike McConnell, created seven task forces to draft a Republican platform. I shudder to think of what they’re going to come up with: impractical ideas and more tax cuts.

His parents’ bill of rights is resounding enough, but reaching out to local school boards, firing radicalized school superintendents and battling teachers’ union leaders is trench warfare for governors, state legislatures and school boards. premises, not for presidents and Congress.

Americans trying to get back to work and resume some semblance of normal life need help.

Republicans may offer to streamline existing programs supporting working families — the Child Tax Credit, the Working Income Tax Credit, the Dependent Tax Credit, and so on. – in a single payment for each child available for all families with at least one employed parent.

Along these lines, Senator Mitt Romney has proposed improving the CLC, which would allow hard-working parents to make their own choices.

Mothers who want to stay home while their husbands work should be supported and not told that they are living in a ‘Father knows best’ past. Those choosing careers, whether making sandwiches or designing semiconductors, should come prepared with cash to pay for childcare, transportation to schools, or whatever they see fit. .

A GOP congress could reform higher education by fixing student loans — denying credit for college programs that leave students in debt exceeding their starting salary and imposing a tax on large college endowments to help write off existing debt.

Believe me, I could use a scalpel for university budgets, which could actually lead professors to focus on teaching and advising students.

Push Biden back

A GOP convention could compel the US Trade Representative to come up with a credible tariff policy with clear annual milestones to reduce the trade deficit with China and shift supply to factories here and our allies elsewhere in Asia. And that the Secretary of Defense finally propose a credible plan for the modernization of the navy and the air force to meet the Chinese challenge in the Pacific and defend our allies, starting with Taiwan.

A GOP Senate could begin returning woke presidential nominations and forcing the president to find candidates with clearer plans to resolve issues in line with broad American sensibilities, not the preferences of Acela Corridor elites.

What is truly empowering is clearing a path and providing resources for Americans to solve their own problems and international leadership that reflects America’s courage and sane character – that’s what the GOP should sell.

Peter Morici is an economist and professor emeritus of business at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.

More ideas from Peter Morici

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