RALEIGH — During the late 1970s, a young congressman from upstate New York named Jack Kemp began pushing for across-the-board tax rate cuts to cure the nation of its economic ills.
Unemployment was rampant, interest rates were sky high, and the president of the United States — Jimmy Carter — described America as being in a state of “malaise.”
Carter was right. His nonsensical economic policies and those of the Democratic-controlled Congress were punishing job creators and productivity and rewarding big government at all levels.
But back to Jack Kemp. He was a force a nature when it came to promoting what commonly came to be called “supply-side economics” and later, legislatively, the Kemp-Roth tax cuts.
His economic ideas, along with those of economists Art Laffer and Jude Wanniski, were incorporated into former Gov. Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, resulting in Kemp-Roth becoming law and the nation experiencing an unprecedented period of sustained growth from the mid-1980s through the 1990s.
Fast forward to February 2014.
Once again we are seeing massive government overreach at all levels, this time by President Obama, his administration, and his Democratic allies in Congress.
It began on day one of Obama’s administration when he set out to “transform” America and to redesign one-sixth of economy (America’s health care system) into what only can be described as socialized medicine.
The outcome of this massive redistribution of wealth scheme has been confusion and chaos.
The calamities include: the colossal failure of the rollout of the Obamacare website; higher premiums; canceled policies; families and individuals being denied treatment by the doctor of their choice and limited access to their health care networks.
And, of course, what Politifact called the “lie of the year” in 2013 was really the lie of the century: If you like your health care and you like your doctor, you can keep them.
Enter Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah) with a common-sense alternative designed to fix the mess Obama and his cohorts have gotten us into.
The bill is known as the “Obamacare Replacement Plan.” It is, in essence, a legislative road map to repeal Obamacare fully. The key to the Burr, Hatch, and Coburn plan is choice and trust in the free market system.
Just to hit the highlights, the legislation would do the following.
— It would repeal Obamacare and instead focus on targeted reforms designed to lower costs and expand access to care.
— It would let families and businesses make their own health care decisions.
— It would empower us consumers to make our own choices on what plan and what doctors we want and need and takes the decision-making out of the hands of the federal government.
— The “Obamacare Replacement Plan” also would increase transparency, which sadly is lacking in the Affordable Care Act.
With the introduction of this bill, Sens. Burr, Coburn, and Hatch have offered a serious and practical proposal to replace Obamacare with something much better for the American people.
And let’s not kid ourselves — this effort by three prominent senators serves another purpose, as a political rejoinder to Obamacare in the upcoming 2014 elections.
In other words, it gives candidates running for federal office against Obamacare an answer to the question, “What’s your solution?”
As was the case with Kemp-Roth, the Burr-Hatch-Coburn “Obamacare Replacement Plan” is not only good policy — but also it is good politics.