Conservatives need to focus on big, bold ideas. Here are some:
Secure Our Borders
The current situation is a national security crisis. Pawns of the drug cartels are pouring into our country, driving the trafficking of drugs, firearms, and humans. The Biden administration is shipping those who illegally enter our country to cities all across America.
To secure our borders, we must finish the construction of the wall along the border. We must reinstate the Remain in Mexico policy that successfully worked throughout last year. And we must aggressively prosecute those who illegally enter the country and return them to their place of origin. I visited the border in the past, and it has gotten significantly worse since Joe Biden took office.
Get America Working
Early on in the pandemic, the federal government approved an unemployment benefit on top of what each state provided to those who were unemployed at the time. In many cases, the total amount was far greater than what the individual was making before the government shut down the economy. My advice at the time was to make people whole but not pay them more than they were making while employed. Sadly, federal officials did not listen, and we now see significant staffing issues all across the country.
During my time as Governor of Wisconsin, we went from 8.1 percent unemployment to under the historic low of 3 percent. I was proud to help create a better environment for job creators. In turn, more people were working than at any time before in Wisconsin. We reformed public assistance to transition more people into the workforce. Help from the government should be less like a hammock and more like a trampoline.
With that in mind, able-bodied and working-age adults should be required to work or be actively enrolled in job training and a work search to obtain any level of government assistance. Employers are looking to hire people. Many who are unemployed need an incentive to return to the workforce.
True freedom and prosperity do not come from the clumsy hand of the government. They come from empowering people to pursue their dreams through the dignity of work.
Joe Biden and his supporters love to talk about “fairness” in taxation. They point to hypothetical corporations, and wealthy individuals who they claim are not paying their share of the tax burden. Never mind that the top one percent of taxpayers pay 40 percent of the overall taxes in America. They continue to use examples of some people paying lower tax rates than many big government workers. More than anything, they want to raise taxes to fuel more big government spending.
The better alternative for those who care about fairness is a flat tax. Everyone gets a basic standard deduction, and they pay the same rate on their remaining income. No loopholes. No exemptions. Just a straightforward rate for everyone.
That means someone who makes ten times more money each year than someone else pays ten times more in taxes. If tithing is good enough for God, why isn’t it good enough for the government? We don’t need more government spending. We need a fair system, and that is a flat tax.
Excellence in Education
One of the few benefits of the pandemic is that parents are starting to pay more and more attention to what their children are being taught in school. While some politicians like Terry McAullife believe that parents have no say in what their sons and daughters learn in school, most people—regardless of party—think parents should be involved in their children’s education.
Every parent should be able to choose the school that is right for their child. It could be a school that provides in-person learning–or not. It might be a school that has a mask mandate–or not. It may be a traditional government-run school, a charter school, a private school, or even a homeschool environment. Every child deserves access to an excellent education, and I trust parents to make the right choice for their children.
Plus, schools that receive government funding should be required to teach objective American history. Students should learn about the leaders of our nation, our founding principles, and the Judeo-Christian values that were important to our founders.
Furthermore, colleges, universities, and public schools should be prohibited from teaching or engaging in curriculum or actions that discriminate against people based on their race or sex. Sadly, many on the left use things like “Critical Race Theory” and the 1619 Project to try and pit one group of people against another.
We should counter that with a love for America and a belief that all citizens should have access to the same freedoms. We should be focused on equal opportunities, not equal outcomes. Living in a free society demands that individuals determine their own outcomes. That is an America worth fighting for.
• Scott Walker is the president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.
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