One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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The Republican Party has a well-earned reputation for writing good policy platforms every four years at their Conventions – then doing the exact opposite of nigh all of it once in power.
To wit: Unless I am mistaken, the Platform has called for the abolition of the Department of Education every cycle since the abomination’s 1979 creation by President Jimmy Carter (as a payoff to teachers unions for helping get him elected). Yet there the DoE still stands – bigger and worse than ever. A monument to terrible government policy and overreach – and GOP fecklessness. Heck, the GOP has contributed to its growth almost as much as have the Democrats.
Well, this is the Year of Donald Trump. In large part because Americans have had it with everyone in DC doing what the GOP has been doing – tone-deaf awfulness combined with utter condescension.
A GOP nominee Trump would never have even been possible had not the GOP spent the last several decades talking small government – while actively participating in its expansion.
In football parlance – Trump is a Hail Mary pass (cue Doug Flutie). Throw the ball fifty yards into a crowded end zone – and hope someone who understands the titanic mess we’re in comes down with it.
It is with this pigskin optimism that we view anew the GOP Platform. Maybe this year, the Trump-led Party will actually do what the Platform says it will do.
To wit: The Platform says some very good things about our very bad farm and trade policy. Again, the Platform has said similar things in the past – but we’re hoping Donald “Flutie” Trump finally completes the pass.
And there are some additions this year that make it even better.Amongst the best of the great new:
“Get rid of the EPA and make environmental regulation up to the states….Republicans are calling for turning the EPA into a bipartisan commission, taking away much of the agency’s power and handing it over to the states….(T)he party also wants to scrap the waters of the U.S. rule, an issue that comes up at least twice in the document.…”
Getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) law would be outstanding – and not just for farmers.
More Platform goodness:
“While the platform doesn’t go as far as a full repeal of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it does call for ensuring that protections for species are based on science, effective, reasonable and balance the cost of compliance with the rights of property owners.…”
Just about all of government views the massive compliance costs they impose – $1.9 trillion by just the Feds, just last year – as a feature, not a bug. Farmers are pummeled with it – by the EPA, the ESA, the Department of Agriculture,….
“Farmers’ data should belong to them. While the platform stays quiet on whether the big data revolution in agriculture is good or bad, it does push for policies that protect farmers’ privacy and ensure their ownership of data from their operations.”
Given how the government egregiously over-collects our data,woefully mishandles the data it possesses and what the likes of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has for years now been doing to conservatives – the GOP can not be blamed for wanting the government to have less access to it. From farmers – and everyone else.
And proving yet again that being anti-bad trade deals does NOT equal being anti-free trade:
“Promote trade that protects U.S. products…(R)elying on trade to grow agriculture, the platform sees it as vital for the economy and commits to ‘expanding trade opportunities and opening new markets for agriculture.….’”
No product is more important – than food:
“There are a lot of trade items that reside under the national security umbrella. To wit: food. If you can’t eat – not a whole lot else matters. Food is..something of which we should never forsake domestic production.”
And truly free trade – means less government: “Less taxes and tariffs, less subsidies, less government-favoritism.”
Which should absolutely be our nation’s approach to global trade – for agriculture, and everything else:
“Florida Rep. Ted Yoho (has) put forth a resolution ‘expressing the sense of Congress that all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar by all major sugar producing and consuming countries should be eliminated.’…
“And we can take this free trade approach light years beyond just subsidies – and light years beyond just sugar. We join many nations at the negotiation table – and have conversation after conversation that goes something like this:
“‘Britain – how about if you get rid of this subsidy, we’ll each get rid of one. India – if you get rid of this tariff, we’ll each get rid of one.’
“Lather, rinse – and repeat. And repeat, and repeat, and….
“Zeroing out trade barriers of all sorts. Rendering much less government – and much freer trade.”
Despite the anti-Trump rhetoric – he’s not anti-free trade. As the new GOP Party Platform makes abundantly clear.
The Platform calls for what we want in trade – and all things. Less taxes, less regulations – less government.
Which makes trade – and all things – a whole lot freer. And thus better.