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 retireesâ€™ 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 itâ€™s definitely more pragmatic and achievable than what we usually see from the Dems and Repubs. Iâ€™ll be interested to see if the Oklahoma gathering produces anything like this.