04/02/2017

Purists Kill Whatever They Believe In

Dennis Prager, Investor’s Business Daily

According to The New York Times, 10 moderates, 15 conservatives and eight other Republicans would have voted against the Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare. So, then, 15 or so conservatives made it impossible to pass the bill favored by nearly every other Republican and President Donald Trump. If that is the case, what we have here is another conservative example of purism and principle ruining another major opportunity to do good.

The first purist conservative example were the Never-Trumpers, who believed it was better for Hillary Clinton to be elected president and for the left to have four more years of presidential power than for Trump to win.

There were valid reasons to wonder whether Trump was a conservative and valid reasons to oppose him in the primaries. There were no valid reasons to oppose him in the general election. I said all these things then and have thus far been validated beyond my wildest dreams.

In terms of policy, Trump is a conservative dream. From appointing a conservative to the Supreme Court; to approving the Keystone XL pipeline; to weakening the fanatical, hysterical and tyrannical Environmental Protection Agency; to appointing an ambassador to the United Nations who has moral contempt for that immoral institution; to backing Israel; to seeking to reduce economy-choking regulations on business, all of which are essentially everything conservatives would wish for in a president, Donald Trump is almost too good to be true.

But he's still not good enough for those conservatives who remain Never-Trumpers or the members of the House Freedom Caucus, at least with regard to the bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare that he worked so hard to have passed.

It is quite possible that I and most other conservatives who supported the bill agree with just about every criticism of the bill that House conservatives made. But just as the question in the general election wasn't whether candidate Trump was our ideal, the question now wasn't whether the bill was our ideal. The question during the election was: What will happen if the Democrats and the left win the presidency again? And the question now is: What will happen if the Republicans don't pass a bill favored by all but about 30 Republican congressmen and, most importantly, by President Trump?

But purists don't ask such questions. They live in a somewhat different world than the rest of us who actually agree with them on everything because we don't ask what is ideologically pure and true to our principles. We ask: What is closest to our ideology and our principles?

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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