A Centrist Top 10 List

A Centrist Top 10 List


Writing for Roll Call, Mort Kondracke suggests that the Bloomberg-led, Centrist confab in Oklahoma should develop a list of the top 10 most pressing issues along with post-partisan solutions. Kondracke has suggestions. These are paraphrases, so be sure to read the whole article if any particular point interests you:

1. Strengthen the No Child Left Behind law and promote a grand bargain for teachers and principals — professional pay for professional accountability.

2. Provide universal early-childhood education.

3. Double federal support for basic scientific research.

4. Make Social Security solvent by 1) indexing future retirees’ benefits to inflation (not wage rates); 2) lifting the income cap on payroll taxes; 3) establishing a personal savings account system.

5. Means-test Medicare benefits and push the U.S. health care industry toward rewarding providers for keeping people healthy, not simply treating illness.

6. Reform the U.S. health care system by making private insurance coverage mandatory, with tax credits available for people and small businesses that can’t afford premiums.

7. Control America’s borders with fences, where needed. Provide legal opportunities for guest workers and avenues for illegal immigrants to earn legal status.

8. Enact an escalating carbon tax. Expand domestic oil drilling. Encourage all forms of available alternative energy, including nuclear power and “frontier” alternatives.

9. Rebuild America’s infrastructure with maximum possible use of private funding and competition to improve efficiency.

10. Reform America’s tax laws to make them fairer and simpler and encourage savings and investment, rather than consumption.

Whatcha think? My initial reaction: sounds expensive. But it’s definitely more pragmatic and achievable than what we usually see from the Dems and Repubs. I’ll be interested to see if the Oklahoma gathering produces anything like this.

  • BG

    It does indeed sound expensive. If you ask 100 “centrists” what “centrist” means, you’ll get 100 different answers. But in my book it means fiscally conservative and socially liberal. These suggestions sound more like tax and spend to me, and that equals more Democrat than anything.

  • http://rosecityrumblings.blogspot.com pdx632

    Don’t you think that the term “fiscally conservative” has been hijacked by anti-government, anti-tax crusaders? The reality is is that taxes are needed to make this country work and that is never going to change. Instead of the GOP “cut taxes for the rich and starve government” or the Dem’s “tax more, tax alot more” mentalities, what we need is someone who will effectively use tax funds to accomplish the most with them. A better term might be “fiscally responsible.”

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com/ Jim S

    The education proposal isn’t enough. Does anyone really think that we can shoehorn enough learning into a year unless we kill the summer vacation? Quit sending kids to school so early that they aren’t awake for their first hour class, while we’re at it.

  • Doug Jackson

    Look at the other side of the “no child left behind” coin. It also says “No child gets ahead” this means we keep spending and teaching to the stupidest kids. We should invest in our brightest and most motivated children.

  • http://centristsound.blogspot.com/ Dave Berkley

    I completely agree with that top ten. Fiscally conservative is a difficult term. I agree with PDX when he says he prefers the term “fiscally responsible.” My definition of centrist is that I believe in the waves of political leadership. In other words, no centrist will ever be elected because as has been stated before, the definition of centrism is very broad. In may cases it simply refers to a Republican or Democrat who is unhappy with their party. However, I have come to a point where my vote is cast based on the current needs of the nation (or state, county, etc.). When Republicans start talking about helping the poor I know it’s time to vote for a Democrat. When Democrats start trying to figure out how to help develop businesses and grow the economy, it’s time to vote for a Republican. I am not opposed to taxes, I am simply opposed to the irresponsible use of my tax dollars. I am also opposed to allowing wealthy CEOs to collect multi hundred million dollar salaries while saying they can’t afford to provide insurance for the employees who actually do the work of the corporation. Check out my blog, The Sound of a Centrist: