After the beating the GOP took in November, PJ media offered some advice for the party leadership.
Here are two of their ideas and my comment on them:
4) Investigate the possibility of reducing American forces in Germany: While NATO served an honorable and crucial role in winning the Cold War, the chances of another war in Central Europe are currently very low. Drawing down American troops to a “trip-wire” force could save up to $20 billion .
5) Consolidate and eliminate departments: There is also precedent for this. In the 1950s and the 1990s, programs that were duplicative were combined to save money (both decades saw balanced budgets). One possible department to consolidate would be the Department of Energy (whose budget was $27 billion last year ). Many of this department’s functions can be handled by other cabinet agencies. For example, regulation of oil and gas drilling can be done by the Environmental Protection Agency. Grants in the alternative energy field can be processed by the Commerce Department. Drilling permits can be handled by the Department of the Interior. And so on.
8) Make sure your members speak the language of the national interest: The 2012 CNN exit poll showed that Democrats were 38% of the voters, Republicans 32%, and independents 29%. So, any policy that comes across as appealing only to the Republican base isn’t likely to rally the nation as a whole. The good thing about “reform” themes is that they cross party lines, and especially appeal to independents.
9) National Guard/FEMA upgrade: The nation has repeatedly been hit by natural (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) and man-made (9/11) disasters over the last generation. More extensive training for the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency would seem to be a wise investment.
Why are US forces still in Europe? And don’t say it’s because of the middle east. Pull our forces out of Europe and leave a skeleton force to keep bases in Germany maintained. PATRIOT missiles, tankers and support units could be left in Germany. Navy ships, an infantry brigade and other units could rotate out on an as needed basis. Move the dependents home would save a vast amount of money. Make Germany a one year unaccompanied tour for most service members. Consolidate all the commands into one Joint Service Command and retire all the field grades who just sit in an office and drink coffee.
The National Guard needs to stop being the red-headed stepchild of the DoD. Upgrade their equipment and training. As the Active Duty force draws down, offer incentives to servicemembers to join the Guard. Newer vehicles and aircraft would help the Guard because they have a state mission AND are the strategic reserve of the DoD. No Rachel Maddow, they are not the unit at sit in the armory until a disaster strikes. If we’re going to use them, treat them well.
The education department should go back under Health and Human Services. The Department of Homeland Security should either go away or be reformed after a long hard look at how it does business. The silly “firewall” between departments could get the once over. The FBI and CIA should share data on terrorists.
The Democrats have set themselves up as the party of “free stuff”. We need to point out that under all their horseshit there is no pony. Hold the “reality based” community to reality. Point out that California and Detroit are disasters.
We need to show off the GOP governors and the states they are running. Show that our glasses are clean before we point out the turds in the liberals punchbowl.