Monday, August 22, 2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Path to the Nomination and the White House and Beyond, Part 3

In The White House and Governing From the Right

[Editor’s Note:  With Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry having entered the Presidential race, The Dismal Political Economist takes a look at his chances, and how he would govern if elected.  Part 1 explained how he could win the nomination; Part 2 how he can win the Presidency and Part 3 how government policy would be expected to transpire under a Perry Presidency.]

If Texas Governor Rick Perry wins the White House in the 2012 election, the governing of the United States in 2013 will undergo a cataclysmic change. 

Mr. Perry's New Residence in 2013?

Here’s why: 

If Mr. Perry wins the Presidency, Republicans will almost certainly gain control of the Senate and gain seats in the House.  While they would not have the 60 seats need for a filibuster proof Senate, they could be expected to weaken the filibuster rules to an extent that would make their majority much more powerful than the Democratic majority they are replacing.  The agenda of the Congress and the President would be in total sync.  The era of divided and dysfunctional government would be over.

That agenda would look something like this.

  1. Health Care:  Mr. Perry would be inaugurated on January 20, 2013.  By January 30, 2013 the entire Obama health care reform would be repealed.  It would be relegated to a short sentence in the history books, if it is mentioned at all.

  1. Financial  Regulation:  Within six months almost all of the new fianancial regulation put in place in the past four years would be repealed.  Additionally, most prior regulation of banks and financial institutions would be relaxed or eliminated outright. 

  1. Medicare:  Mr. Perry will have run on the Paul Ryan plan for Medicare, it will be required of any Republican nominee.  The Ryan plan in its basic form will be adopted, and possibly implemented sooner than the 10 years window in order to save costs sooner.

  1. Medicaid:  The current program will be replaced with uncontrolled block grants to states who may operate the program as they see fit.  Most will eliminate all but care for life-threatening situations, a few states will provide care similar to current levels.

  1. Social Security:  The attempt will be made to privatize the system.  More likely is a cut in benefits from changing the cost of living adjustment.

  1. Environmental Regulation:  Largely eliminated, in fact the Republican House is already attempting to do this in 2011-12.

  1. Federal Aid to Education, Energy Programs, Commerce and Labor Departments:  Eliminated.  The new President will need savings and this area will be a prime target.

  1. Abortion:  As soon as a vacancy opens in the Supreme Court for one of the five justices who support abortion rights (probably Justice Ginsburg) Mr. Perry will appoint a Justice who is openly in favor of repealing Roe v Wade.  Ultimately abortion policy will return to the states with 30 to35 prohibiting it and 15 to 20 allowing abortion

  1. Constitutional Amendments:  Four at least will be attempted.  One of them a "Revised Freedom of Religion" Amendment to allow prayer in public schools, public events and to display religious symbols on public property is likely to pass.  Three others, defining marriage as between a man and a woman, outlawing abortion and a balanced budget amendment are likely to be tried and to fail.

  1. Tax Reform:  The corporate income tax will be reduced and taxes on estates, capital gains, dividend and interest will be eliminated.  A flat rate income tax with limited deductions will result in a large tax reduction for the wealthy, and permanently reduced federal revenues to 13-15% of GDP.  Taxes will be imposed on many of the 47% of Americans who currently do not pay Income Taxes.

At the end of a first term of a Perry Presidency the Conservative goals will be largely met.  Government will have been transformed and substantially reduced.  State governments will be the source of programs for social benefit, if any.  America will have undergone a transformation that ended the 80  years of the New Deal.

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