Tag Archives: republican party

Governor John Kasich Draws Jack Kemp Comparison

Governor John Kasich is making interesting moves as he considers a run for President in 2016. The New York Times ran an interesting profile of Governor Kasich yesterday, and the profile included this interesting comment by Newt Gingrich:

“John Kasich is in some ways the most intuitively innovative person in the Republican Party since Jack Kemp,” said Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, who served with Mr. Kasich in the congressional leadership in the 1990s, referring to the party’s 1996 vice-presidential nominee. “He is very conservative, but he is very unorthodox. So if he does run, it will be interesting to watch him.”

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Kemp: Immigration reform will help keep this nation strong

By Jack Kemp

July 17, 2006 for Townhall.com

Last week I warned the Republican Party that failure to pass the Voting Rights Act extension would further alienate African-American voters. Thankfully, the VRA passed. My warning now is this: Failure to address the legitimate issue of immigration reform could also do great harm to the Republican Party. At this critical moment in the immigration debate, Republicans need to examine the role they are playing in this great national issue.

In many respects, the way Republicans position themselves on immigration will determine whether the party retains the mantle of majority leadership. Will we remain a party that governs – that offers practical solutions to the problems facing the country? Or will we revert to the harsh rhetoric of criminalizing illegals and even those who provide services, albeit unwittingly? Immigration – including the robust annual flow required to keep our economy growing and the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country — is a fact of life in the United States today. And the only practical way to deal with these stubborn realities is with a comprehensive solution, one that includes border security, interior enforcement, a guest-worker program and status for the illegal immigrants already here.

Some counsel that Congress should start with tougher enforcement and border security but wait to create a guest-worker program or address the illegal population. Only in that way, it is said, can we avoid the mistakes of the failed 1986 immigration reform.

In fact, the lesson of 1986 is that only a comprehensive solution will fix our broken immigration system. The 1986 legislation combined amnesty for 3 million illegal immigrants with a promise of tougher enforcement, particularly in the workplace. But the law did not recognize the need for future immigration to meet the demands of a growing economy, and the new enforcement never materialized. Twenty years later, illegal immigration is unabated. While immigrants continue to be drawn to the jobs created by our economy, they have no legal way to enter the country.

As a native son of Southern California, my past knowledge with guest-worker programs bears this out. Illegal immigration reached a peak in the mid-’50s, and more than a million people were apprehended trying to cross the border in 1954. Then Congress expanded the Bracero work-visa program, creating a way for 300,000 immigrants to enter the United States legally each year.

This new legal flow replaced the old illegal influx, and by 1964, Immigrantion and Naturalization Service apprehensions had dropped to fewer than 100,000. As the Congressional Research Service noted in 1980, “Without question, the Bracero program was … instrumental in ending the illegal alien problem of the mid-1940s and 1950s.” The Bracero program and the 1986 failure point in the same direction: A comprehensive solution is the only real and lasting way to address immigration. The American people understand this, which is why in poll after poll they choose a comprehensive approach over one that relies on enforcement alone. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Americans prefer a comprehensive plan to an enforcement-only proposal by 50 percent to 33 percent.

Of course, there are things in the Senate bill that need fixing – and we must stand strong in favor of assimilation. New immigrants need to learn English, U.S. history and the historic principles that have made this country great.

President Reagan, who was in favor of strong borders, once remarked that “a nation without borders is not really a nation,” but he constantly reminded us that America must remain a “beacon” and a “shining city on a hill” for immigrants who continually renew our great country with their energy and add to the nation’s economic growth and prosperity.

Americans and immigrants share the same values of work, family and opportunity. There is no reason to fear the newcomers arriving on our shores today. If anything, they will energize what is best about our country.

The only way to realize America’s vision is through comprehensive immigration reform legislation. I urge the House and Senate to work out their differences and help make our nation one of respect for the law as well as a nation of immigrants and to meet the demand of the American people that we act on this critical issue in a comprehensive and compassionate way.

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Kemp: From poverty to prosperity

By Jack Kemp

August 30, 2004 for Townhall.com

The Republican National Convention is under way in New York City – the capital of capital, the epicenter of economic exuberance. This year, the Republican Party has a historic opportunity to capture the hearts, hopes and imagination not only of current shareholders but also the rest of America yearning to participate in the Ownership Society. By offering a pro-growth, pro-family tax system and creating opportunities for all Americans to own their own retirement accounts, their children’s education and their own homes, Republicans have an opportunity to garner support from the Democratic base and reshape the political landscape for decades to come.

Workers are no longer concerned merely with wages and salaries; they are increasingly interested in saving and investing – in the process of wealth creation. One can’t get rich on wages; the only way to get rich is to earn, save and invest.

I cringe when I hear the rhetoric of class warfare, which seems to have become the raison d’etre of the Democratic Party, whether they are ranting about “the people versus the powerful” or increasing taxes on the “top 2 percent.” They just don’t get it. The American dream is to become rich, not to punish them.

It’s not that Democrats hate the rich – so many of them are rich – or that they care more about the poor; they have little faith in poor people and think the only way the poor can improve their lot in life is for government to take from the rich and redistribute the lucre to them.

Poverty in America is a disgrace and must be addressed through expanding ownership opportunities. It is also, in many cases, more a function of the life cycle than one’s station in life. Research shows that as much as 25 percent to 40 percent of Americans move from one income quintile to another in a single year. Today’s laborer is tomorrow’s investor, owner and job creator. The worker and investor is the same person, just at different stages of his or her life.

Stock ownership in America has expanded dramatically and is at all-time highs with well over half of American households owning stock. While stock ownership has expanded dramatically in America, far too many Americans are still being left out of this new prosperity. After many American workers are through paying Social Security payroll taxes, they have no discretionary income left to save. The problem is not capitalism run amok or too much capitalism, as Democrats suggest, but rather that some areas of the economy are starving for lack of access to capital.

The day after the Census Bureau released its annual report recently, the headline in USA Today proclaimed, “Poverty rose by million.” These numbers are overstated and misleading. For one, we should not measure poverty by income but by standard of living. Roughly 50 percent of people living in “poverty” own a home. Two-thirds have air conditioning, 97 percent own a television – 50 percent of those own two – and 26 percent are obese. We don’t have a poverty problem in the traditional sense of the word; poverty in this country generally does not mean people are going without food, clothing or shelter. More importantly our poverty numbers, because they are based on income, omit many kinds of cash and noncash income such as Medicaid, food stamps and public housing.

That said, we can do better, and indeed we must. In the past we made the mistake of treating poverty as if it were a chronic disease from which we could alleviate the pain but for which there was no cure. We created welfare and entitlement programs to ease the pain of poverty. Social Security was originally designed to save older Americans from poverty, and for years it did just that. But today, 80 percent of workers are paying more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. The program that was designed to keep seniors out of poverty is preventing too many workers from escaping it.

We reformed our welfare laws by enacting welfare-to-work to restore incentives to work, but that was not enough. Now we must take the next step and make it possible for all workers to save for their homes, their education and their retirement.

The real problem of poverty in this country is a poverty of ideas and imagination among public officials such as Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said recently that we must cut Social Security benefits because the government can’t “afford” to pay what it promises retirees.

Of course it can’t; neither could the Soviet Union for all those years nor can communist Cuba today keep the promises it makes. The key to modernizing Social Security is not to cut benefits to save the socialistic tax-and-transfer program that demands each successive generation of workers pay for the retirement of preceding generations but rather to transform Social Security into a true worker-based investment program that allows each worker to save for his own retirement.

The pain of paying for the transition to personal retirement accounts should fall on obese government, not individual Americans. The Congressional Budget Office projects that under current trends, the size of government will increase by two-thirds between now and midcentury.

Only a small fraction of the increased spending (about 5 1/2 percent) would be required to pay for the transition to personal retirement accounts without cutting benefits or raising taxes. Empower more workers; pay fewer bureaucrats!

The key to creating an investor nation and making every worker an owner by creating a fully funded personal retirement system will be modest government spending, growth restraint and continued long-term economic growth, which is where tax reform enters the picture. By offering voters a realistic vision of these reforms, the Republican Party will take a giant leap toward becoming the All-American Party capable of competing for every vote in every district in America. Sen. John Kerry has demonstrated he intends to keep the Democratic Party as a cradle-to-grave security blanket.

President Bush intends to position the Party of Lincoln as a party of poverty-to-prosperity opportunities.

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