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Not Obama is Not Enough


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National Review:

Not Obama Is Not Enough

There are risks involved, but if Republicans are to be taken seriously, they must be willing to detail specific alternatives to the Obama agenda.

Republicans will shortly need to stand for something more than just being against much of the Obama agenda. Only a superior and detailed alternative can win more lasting support than just a midterm correction.

Obama, after all — with nationalized health care, amnesty, cap-and-trade, financial overhaul, government absorption of private enterprise, takeover of the student-loan industry, and gorge-the-beast deficits that will ensure a generation of higher taxes — at least seems to have some sort of plan to change America.

The absurdity of $1.5 trillion annual deficits is easy to run on; but where in the budget should we freeze or cut spending? To restore fiscal sanity, we need details rather than vague promises to reduce red ink to a particular percentage of GDP. Is there to be an across-the-board spending freeze or targeted cuts? How much, if at all, does defense get cut? If it does, where and how?

Fairly or not, we are at the stage where, at least in the short term, each proposed dollar of tax cuts needs to be matched by a proposed dollar of spending reduction. The supply-side notion of expanding federal revenue through tax cuts and business stimulation remains of course valid. But in the here and now, the public needs concrete reality, not assurances about more money to come in within a year or two.

Amnesty — under the euphemism of “comprehensive immigration reform” — would be a disaster. But in critiquing Obama’s policies, Republicans need to explain precisely how employer sanctions, increased patrols, and the completion of the fence will result in near-zero illegal entry. Then they must detail what exactly to do with the existing population of illegal aliens, which may well exceed 12 million — of whom most are neither felons nor unemployed.

What exactly is earned citizenship, and how does it differ from amnesty? Does one have to go back to Mexico to apply for readmission for American residency or to obtain citizenship? How would fines be levied and collected? Are we to close the border first, and let various agencies incrementally deport illegal aliens over several years as they come across them?

If the Republicans are not prepared to answer these questions and more, then they will get hit with the charge of advocating “mass deportations” — and with 60 Minutes–style stories of a valedictorian Victoria Lopez or a football star Jorge Garcia detained during a traffic stop and cruelly put on a bus to Oaxaca.snip
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