Insofar as the pent-up K Street agenda includes good ideas, then by all means let’s pass those pieces by huge margins and send them to the president. But a new Republican majority must also make clear that our support for free enterprise cuts both ways—we’re pro-free market, not simply pro-business. To prove that point, we must target the crony capitalist policies that rig our economy for large corporations and special interests at the expense of everyone else—especially small and new businesses.
The easiest bipartisan measures to pass are almost always bills that directly benefit Big Business, and thus appeal to the corporatist establishments of both parties.In other words, Republicans should seek common ground between conservative principles and the interests and needs of the general public, not just between Washington Republicans and Washington Democrats. And the search for that genuinely common ground will point to a lot of low-hanging fruit too, even when it comes to the proper relationship between government and business. We could pass legislation winding down the Export-Import Bank or the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. We could—and really, must—eliminate the taxpayer bailouts for big insurance companies in Obamacare’s “risk corridors” program. Or we could start to break up taxpayer subsidies for the energy industry or large agribusinesses.
Anti-cronyism legislation is win-win for the GOP. It is good policy, restoring growth and fairness to an economy that Big Government and Big Business have rigged against the little guy. And it’s even better politics, standing up for the middle class while pinning hypocritical Democrats between their egalitarian talking points and their elitist agenda.
A lengthy proposal with a wealth of terrific ideas. As a framework for driving legislative priorities it would be difficult to surpass.