7:31 AM, Mar 4, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah have returned to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to tout their latest tax reform proposal. The Republicans call their plan both "pro-growth" and "pro-family," and say it addresses inequities in the tax code for businesses and middle-class families.
Here's an excerpt:
We seek to simplify the code and lower rates for families and individuals, by consolidating the seven existing tax brackets into two simple groups—15% and 35%—and by making remaining deductions available to all filers.
Our plan will also put an end to the unfair treatment of our ultimate investor class: America’s moms and dads.
In addition to eliminating the well-known marriage penalty—which taxes married couples at a higher rate than if they had filed individually—our plan will reform another, less-familiar inequity in the code: the parent tax penalty.
The current tax system charges parents twice for federal senior entitlement programs. Parents pay payroll taxes like everyone else, but they also shoulder the financial burden of raising the next generation of taxpayers, who will grow up to fund the Social Security and Medicare benefits of all future seniors. Parents, in effect, pay twice for the same Social Security and Medicare benefits as everyone else.
Therefore, to equalize the tax code’s treatment of working parents, our plan would create a new, $2,500 per-child tax credit. This credit—like the correction of the marriage penalty—eliminates an unfair distortion in the code and helps level the playing field for working families.
The family-focused elements of the plan are pure Mike Lee, who has said he wants to influence the party's presidential candidates—a group which could very well include Marco Rubio—on tax reform and other domestic issues. From a recent WEEKLY STANDARD profile of the Utah Republican:
Lee knows he isn’t the presidential candidate conservatives are looking for, but he’s got his eyes on that “positive, innovative, and unapologetically conservative agenda.” He’s not shy about the role he’d like to play. “I do want to influence that debate,” Lee says. His slate of policy proposals isn’t light fare. Since 2013, Lee has introduced bills to make the tax code more family friendly, take on cronyism in Washington, reform the college accreditation system, and change the way the federal government funds transportation infrastructure. But what Lee really wants is to change the way conservatives think about domestic policy, reorienting the Republican party toward a family-focused, constitutional populism to help the GOP win back the White House. If Lee succeeds, it will make him one of the most consequential conservatives of his generation.
Lee’s touchstone is Ronald Reagan, but not in the rote way you might think. “It’s important for us to remember that by the time 2016 rolls around, we will be about as far away from Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 as Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 was from D-Day, and it’s important for us to update our agenda to make sure that it fits the times,” says Lee. “We need to stop simply talking about Reagan and start acting like him.” That doesn’t mean slashing the marginal tax rate or getting rid of the Department of Education. Lee says acting like Reagan means applying principles of limited government, constitutionalism, and a healthy civil society to the issues of the day—namely, the rising cost of living and economic insecurity of the American middle class.
8:04 AM, Feb 20, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Florida congresswoman and chairman of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz might have been the subject of a federal investigation, suggests a former Democratic politician and ex-con. Politico reports that Wasserman Schultz "offered to change her position on medical marijuana if a major Florida donor recanted his withering criticism of her."
Here's more from Politico:
3:05 PM, Jan 23, 2015 • By JAY COST
News today came that Marco Rubio looks likely to run for president. What to make of this?
12:10 PM, Dec 24, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Back in the late 1970s, when I worked for Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, our office followed the changing data about the Empire State closely. It was a habit of Pat Moynihan’s, indeed almost an obsession, to chart the state’s decline.
4:22 PM, Dec 17, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Jeb Bush is considering running for president in 2016, but he might have run in 2008 if not for the reasonable belief the country wouldn't elect brothers to the White House successively.
In 2006, Fred Barnes wrote about Jeb as America's "governor in chief"—a popular, conservative reformer who could lay claim to the title of best governor in the country. Here's an excerpt:
10:27 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Charlie Crist has lost his race for governor in Florida, falling short to Republican incumbent Rick Scott, the Associated Press projects.
Crist, who ran this year as a Democrat, won his first bid for governor in 2006 as a Republican. He left the GOP in 2010 in the midst of losing a Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, running and losing in the general election as an independent.
Scott was first elected governor in 2010.
An electoral blind spot for conservatives.Jul 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 43 • By MICHAEL WARREN
It looks like Florida legislators are heading back to the drawing board—literally. On July 10, Tallahassee circuit court judge Terry Lewis ruled that the GOP-run legislature violated the state constitution by redrawing two congressional districts “with the intention of obtaining enacted maps . . . that would favor the Republican party.” The state won’t be appealing the decision, and, following the 2014 midterm elections, the legislature will have to approve a new map.
4:04 PM, Apr 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll shows Florida Republican governor Rick Scott behind his most likely opponent, Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, by 10 points. The Quinnipiac poll of registered voters found 48 percent support Crist while 38 percent support Scott. Scott's fortunes would improve if he ran against former Democratic state senator Nan Rich, who polls 36 percent to the Republican's 42 percent.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:25 PM, Mar 12, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Podcast with executive editor Fred Barnes on the GOP win in the special election in Florida, and what it means for 2014.
1:54 PM, Mar 12, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican David Jolly won Tuesday's special election for an open House seat in Florida over Democrat Alex Sink, a former chief financial officer for the state and a 2010 candidate for governor. Jolly, a lobbyist and one-time congressional staffer, is succeeding his former boss, the late Bill Young, a 43-year House veteran and Republican. Young died in October of last year, opening up the St. Petersburg-area 13th district for the first time in decades.
'More than six weeks later after spending 50 to 60 hours on the phone his policy is still not canceled.'7:01 AM, Feb 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A Florida TV station reports that a man has spent 50-60 hours trying to cancel his Obamacare plan, and he still can't get off it:
4:00 PM, Jan 10, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new ad slated to start airing this weekend targets Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for opposing Iran sanctions:
The ad is being sponsored by the Emergency Committee for Israel.
"The ad contrasts Rep. Wasserman Schultz's very public pro-Israel rhetoric and tough talk on Iran with her behind the scenes obstruction of a new bipartisan Iran sanctions bill," ECI says in a press release accompanying the release of the ad.
11:27 AM, Dec 27, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Seems that New York is about to be overtaken by Florida as the nation’s third most populous state. As Jesse McKinley of the New York Times reports, this is: