Connect with us

Opinion

Mitt Romney leads the way on the pro-family GOP of the future

Published

on

Mitt Romney leads the way on the pro-family GOP of the future

Mitt Romney has often put himself at odds with the GOP’s populist base, but the Utah senator is right on one thing: Pro-family policies matter more to the US working class than just about anything else, especially in the pandemic era. The Family Security Act, which Romney proposed last week, is a once-in-a-generation chance for Republicans to seize ground and support families.

The bill would meet and surpass President Biden’s proposed expansion of the existing child-tax credit in several ways. Romney’s plan offers parents of children age 5 and under $350 per month, declining to $250 per month between ages 6 and 17. For a family of three children under 5, that amounts to a hefty benefit of $12,600 a year.

Better, it has the simplicity all too often missing from efforts of the kind. Instead of a complicated tax credit, most of the benefit will be administered through a direct monthly payment. Long shunned by Republicans, direct payments help families budget and make the benefit tangible.

Better still, the FSA is fiscally sound: By consolidating existing benefits and moving them under the monthly payment banner, Romney’s proposal would remain deficit neutral, covering the $250 billion in annual expenditure through elimination of other deductions (such as for state and local taxes), which perversely benefit the upper crust.

In 2019, I put forward a similar proposal called FamilyPay, a monthly stipend program a bit more generous than the FSA. At the time, Republicans were hesitant to embrace direct payments and complained about the potential budgetary impact. The pandemic has upended those concerns.

As harsh lockdowns have stifled the economy, raising a family has become even more difficult, especially for low-wage workers. In December, the Brookings Institution reported that 2021 would see hundreds of thousands fewer births than normal; social distancing is no way to start a family.

Fear of the future and of widespread precarity, already the ambient music of American life pre-pandemic, is now felt even more intensely. To start a family, Americans need greater assurance that they would be able to support their children through the vagaries to come. The old GOP attitude — tough luck, just work harder — doesn’t work when work disappears.

For the post-Trump GOP to be successful, the party will need to embrace the FSA as a beachhead for future policy efforts. Now that even an establishment stalwart like Romney is shifting, it’s important to think beyond the immediate future.

Luckily, American conservatives now have 10 years of successful policy to consider from across the pond. Beginning in 2011, Hungary aimed to reverse a 30-year downtrend in its birth rate. Under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s conservative-nationalist government, Hungary has committed 5 percent of GDP toward a Family Protection Action Plan.

Hungary’s plan not only addresses child poverty, but incentivizes family formation and expansion. Married couples seeking to have a child can receive a $30,000 loan that is completely forgivable after three children. Mothers of four children have their income tax reduced to zero — forever. How’s that for a flat tax?

Since 2010, Hungary’s birth rate has increased more than 25 percent, and the annual number of new marriages has doubled, showing that financial support can strengthen family formation.

Committing 5 percent of US GDP toward families would be a game-changing conservative goal. With family-oriented tax cuts, Republicans could regain and firm up a core area of their support, while with direct payments to parents they can encourage family formation and childbearing.

It’s time to shake off the Republican image of old: a party that offered moralistic rhetoric and little else. If Republicans don’t seize this opportunity, they can expect a federal daycare system administered by their opponents.

Romney is right: It’s time to make social conservatism economically relevant.

Gladden Pappin is deputy editor of American Affairs and an assistant professor of politics at the University of Dallas.

Twitter: @GJPappin

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Published

on

Benjamin Netanyahu’s reckoning a sour ending for a transformative prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu showed the opposite of grace as he exited from power on Sunday.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

Published

on

Letters to the Editor — June 14, 2021

The Issue: The discussion of law and order at last week’s Democratic debate for mayor.

If any one of these five candidates becomes mayor, it will be the continuation of the de Blasio era (“Crime focus of Dem debate,” June 11).

Many of them are in favor of defunding the Police Department, which is why there is so much crime, and shootings are rising every day.

The people of this city had better wake up when they go to vote. Haven’t we had enough of this? When will it stop? These candidates will not put an end to all this.

Rob Johann

Queens

Thinking that a Republican candidate could not win the mayoral race in New York, I switched my party to Democrat so I could vote.

After listening to all the Democratic candidates during the debate last week, I want to immediately switch my party back to Republican and vote for Curtis Sliwa.

He is our only hope to live in a city that values law and order. He won’t cave to these left-wing zealots who will further destroy our city and our quality of life.

We need a mayor who can bring back the tourists, help our economy and ensure a better life for all of us.

We cannot let the city go into further decline with any of these Democratic candidates. Please, wake up and vote for someone who will lift all of us up.

Susan Green

Manhattan

The fact that Andrew Yang is slipping in the polls is the only good news in the mayoral race.

Eric Adams is talking about crime, while Yang thinks the biggest issues for the city are AI and climate change.

If Yang wins, people will be dreaming of “the good old days” under Mayor de Blasio, formerly thought to be the bottom of the barrel.

Andrew Delaney

Miami, Fla.

I am not impressed by any of the Democratic candidates for mayor of New York City.

What each of them is proposing will cause further crime, divisiveness and decay, raise taxes, make life more miserable for residents and visitors and drive more families out of the city.

What does it take to get through to the New York voter? How bad does it have to get before they abandon a party that is becoming more idiotic with every election cycle?

Take a look at cities and states that have been doing well under Republican leadership and consider voting Republican.

D.M. Diana

Greeley, Pa.

Even Adams is falling for it. He said the “solution” to city violent crime is to reach out to youth and improve mental-health services.

These chic answers are a guarantee that innocent New Yorkers will continue to be murdered, raped, thrown onto subway tracks and maimed.

Get the violent off the streets first. Whether they are criminal or mentally ill, sort that out afterward. Get them away from the rest of us first.

Paul O’Keefe

Union City, NJ

I generally agree with The Post’s endorsements, but I am baffled by its support of Adams for mayor.

His stance on the NYPD changes at his convenience. One day he’s anti-cop and a fierce critic of the NYPD (even though he was employed by the NYPD), and then he switches and comes across as pro-police.

Can New Yorkers elect a mayor who lacks common sense and leadership skills? His suggestion last summer to New Yorkers to settle disputes about illegal fireworks on their own and not call the police was deadly. Shatavia Walls, 33, died as a result.

Adams lacks the moral compass and common sense required to be a winning mayor. The people of New York deserve better.

Susan Berger

Brooklyn

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

Continue Reading

Opinion

Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

Published

on

Maya Wiley can’t contain her contempt for cops

Maya Wiley again proved what a disaster she’d be as mayor last week, by refusing to commit to not disarming cops.

At the debate, WCBS’s Marcia Kramer pushed Mayor Bill de Blasio’s former legal adviser on what she thought of state Attorney General Letitia James’ suggestion to mandate that law-enforcers use force only as a last resort. Wiley dodged: “Safety is job one, and I’m going to keep New Yorkers safe when I’m mayor.”

So Kramer asked if she’d take guns away from the NYPD, and Wiley dropped her bomb: “I am not prepared to make that decision in a debate.”

Huh? What decision is there to make? It’d be absurd to disarm the city’s cops at any time, let alone one when the bad guys are firing their weapons at an ever-higher rate. Yet Wiley’s refusal to commit is an announcement that she finds the idea attractive.

Not that it’s a real surprise: Wiley is a police-hater who demonized NYPD officers in a campaign ad in which she claimed cops don’t think she and other black New Yorkers “deserve to breathe.”

In reality, the NYPD’s work has saved tens of thousands of black lives in recent decades, by bringing the murder rate to historic lows — though it’s now starting to inch back up because Wiley and her fans imagine that police violence is now the greater threat. Literally: She’s vowed to slash the NYPD’s budget because “trauma” from dealing with cops is a bigger problem than crime.

In reality, most minority New Yorkers want more cops in their neighborhoods, though of course they want the police to do their jobs as politely as possible. Then too, the force itself is now majority-minority.

All of which is why Eric Adams wisely made fighting crime the signature issue of his campaign and why he leads in the polls. But a large and fractured field plus the advent of ranked-choice voting could let a loon like Wiley sneak into the Democratic nomination and likely victory in the fall — unless all sane New Yorkers make sure to leave her entirely off their ballots and choose only pro-public-safety candidates.

Continue Reading

Trending