$1 of Bogus Tax Break Equals $1 of Spending

By Paul   10/01/12 02:35 AM

In any honest debate over the budget, two separate forms of spending needs to be recognized: direct spending by the government on goods, services and transfers and indirect spending consisting of forgone revenues due to private economic... Read more »

Extra Benefits for Government Employees Saves Taxpayer Money

By Paul   09/25/12 01:10 PM

In something that is sure to separate the efficient government conservatives and the stop-coddling-the-bureaucrats crowd, a number of recent studies show that government agencies can save money by providing on-site health care to government... Read more »


Rick Snyder: Using Behavioral Economics in Pricing Higher Education

By Paul   09/19/12 06:10 PM

Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan (whose ads described him as " one tough nerd "), instituted a plan that provided extra money for state universities that kept their tuition rate increases under 4.1% for the next year. This action is a great... Read more »

Training for Jobs in High Demand

By Paul   09/17/12 08:50 AM

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas is implementing a program that will provide scholarships to high school students to earn technical training and certifications in high need occupations. The scholarships will allow students to attend courses at... Read more »

Social Impact Bonds: Private Risk, Public Reward

By Paul   09/14/12 01:05 PM

A few local governments including New York City and Peterborough, England are experiments with a concept that rewards private investors if their programs reduce social spending. Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are contractual agreements between... Read more »


GOP Ideas .... The Goal

By Paul   09/11/12 03:20 AM

This site started after the drubbing Republicans took in 2008 with the goal of identifying and analyzing policy innovations that would serve three goals of conservatives: overall reduction in government expenditures, enhancing personal... Read more »


Mitch Daniels (Finally) Takes a Victory Lap

By Paul   03/01/10 06:30 AM

In the WSJ Mitch Daniels lays out one of his two major health care initiatives : Health Savings Accounts for state workers. As usual his logic is sound and his facts well grounded. However, he is once again two modest. HSAs contain costs, but... Read more »


Mitch Daniels, Green We Can Believe In

By Paul   01/20/10 04:20 AM

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is building a green economy the right way --- by focusing on recruiting viable companies (that happen to produce green technology) into his state --- instead of focusing on “green” government handouts.... Read more »

GOP Idea: Follow Texas' Example on Banking Regulation

By Paul   01/04/10 08:50 AM

As Congress begins to debate financial reform and starts batting around highly complex regulations, various regulatory structures, new departments and more government, conservatives would be wise to point to Texas as an example of how simple, but... Read more »

GOP Ideas: Use Enterprise Funds to Develop Emerging Economies

By Paul   12/14/09 04:10 PM

The Polish American Enterprise Fund (PAEF) was a foreign investment program that provided a return on U.S. taxpayer dollars --- and became the only foreign aid program to return money to the U.S. Treasury. PAEF was established in 1990 and endowed... Read more »

Three Ways to Ensure HAMP Doesn't Waste Taxpayer Money

By Paul   12/04/09 03:00 PM

Yesterday’s post and my initial post on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) focused on the fact that the Obama Administration is bullying lenders to give away equity to people who are mortgage delinquents. However, the more... Read more »

Does HAMP Give Taxpayer Money to Criminals?

By Paul   12/03/09 11:00 PM

Yesterday’s post and my initial post on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) focused on the fact that the Obama Administration is bullying lenders to give away equity to people who are mortgage delinquents. However, the more... Read more »

Thanksgiving Message

By Paul   11/25/09 01:45 PM

To keep with the focus of this site, not only do we give thanks for the bounty that is America, but also for the decision made by our forefathers that allowed for this bounty to be created. Specifically, the institution of limited free market... Read more »


Examine Maryland's Millionaire's Tax

By Paul   11/24/09 01:00 PM

As Democrats attempt to pass a health care bill, passing the bill along to the rich, they would be well advised to examine how well that turned out for Maryland . Amazingly, there were 30% less millionaires in Maryland after they were slapped... Read more »

For Every $1 over 65; $1 under 18

By Paul   11/16/09 06:40 AM

Joe Biden was right when he talked about one of his father's favorite truisms: "My dad had an expression, 'Show me your budget, and I'll show you what you value." If this is the case, then our current spending habits need to be examined and the... Read more »

GOP Health Care Ideas: A Great Response

By Paul   11/05/09 04:05 AM

The House Republicans have finally shown some true legislative chops --- and for this they deserve great credit. Their recently released health care plan is a legitimate legislative document that outlines serious solutions for many of the... Read more »

GOP Idea: Support the Health Care Trigger (then ask for a few others)

By Paul   10/26/09 04:00 PM

Olympia Snowe has floated the idea of a “ trigger ” option that would result in the creation of a “public option” if insurance costs do not decrease. Many Republicans and conservatives are appalled at the notion of even... Read more »

Friedman: Right Idea, Wrong Analogy

By Paul   10/22/09 07:35 PM

Tom Friedman wrote an excellent column yesterday detailing the educational challenges facing the United States, but his analogy between banks and schools is exactly wrong because the right prescription for banks is exactly the wrong... Read more »

Mitch Daniels: Why He's My Favorite Governor

By Paul   10/20/09 01:00 PM

Intellectual honesty is a rare trait and nearly extinct in politicians, but Mitch Daniels has it and should be praised for it. As discussed in earlier posts, many modern Republicans have been lacking in intellectual honesty. Specifically,... Read more »

Stopping the COLA Giveaway

By Paul   10/16/09 03:00 PM

Instead of finding ways to save money to ameliorate the largest deficits in American history, Democrats are inventing ways to give away more money --- in fact, they are circumventing budgetary rules for the exact reason those rules were... Read more »

GOP Idea: Acknowledge Fast Food is Bad

By Paul   10/06/09 08:55 PM

Instead of lamenting death panels and socialism, Republicans should focus on the most important (and ignored) aspect of the health care debate: curbing behaviors that lead to preventable disease. Estimates range from 60-80% of health care costs... Read more »

Creating American Energy from Pollution

By Paul   09/30/09 07:25 PM

The same carbon dioxide (CO2) that is being blamed for climate change can be used to produce more energy --- and innovative companies are doing just that, with the help of state and local governments. CO2 can be pumped into oil wells that are... Read more »

GOP Idea: Promote Government Innovations

By Paul   09/29/09 11:15 AM

A personal pet peeve of mine is when Republicans confuse “no government” with “good government” --- doing so results in electoral failure; deservedly so. Specifically, everyone dislikes government, unless we’re... Read more »

GOP Idea: Promote Drug Courts to Save Money

By Paul   09/22/09 04:45 PM

As state governments begin to determine how to balance their budgets, they are in desperate need of ideas to cut costs. One of the best possible ideas is to implement drug courts . Currently, about 55,000 people are adjudicated through drug... Read more »

A Novel Idea: Employ the Unemployed

By Paul   09/21/09 03:10 PM

The state of Georgia has found a way to get unemployed people jobs, provide labor to growing businesses and improve workforce skill sets and their program deserves recognition and replication across the country. Georgia Works is as effective... Read more »

Don't Hate, Appreciate: Republicans Happier, More Charitable Than Democrats

By Paul   09/17/09 03:10 PM

Recent media coverage has begun to spin the narrative that the town hall protesters are bitter , angry Republican cranks who seem to hate the world. Reasonable people might look at this analysis and believe that it buttresses the Democratic... Read more »

HAMP Update

By Paul   09/10/09 01:25 PM

I noticed another story today concerning the Home Affordable Modification Plan (HAMP), which had the predictable effect of making my head explode because all it does is make banks eat huge losses on mortgages, thus handing thousands of dollars... Read more »

GOP Idea: Create a National Sunset Law

By Paul   09/08/09 02:50 PM

For all of the flack that the state of Texas receives for having a few, shall we say, ultraconservative citizens, the state has a history of developing innovative policy solutions. One of these solutions is the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission... Read more »

Mitch Daniels' Free Market Health Care Plan

By Paul   09/02/09 09:25 PM

The state of Indiana enacted the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), a health insurance plan that provides highly subsidized health insurance to the working poor. HIP is operating under a federal Medicaid waiver , one of the conditions of which is... Read more »

American Investment Accounts

By Paul   08/31/09 09:20 AM

A previous post discussed the need to create "American Security Accounts" with the purpose of assuring Americans that they can protect their economic security. The other portion of the "SI Agenda" is the "American Investment Account": the... Read more »

Key to GOP Revival: Economic Mobility

By Paul   08/25/09 02:35 AM

The previous Republican administration and Republicans in Congress have often discussed an " ownership society ," but have failed to convince Americans of the merits of this approach. Democrats then argue that Americans want government... Read more »

American Security Accounts

By Paul   08/19/09 02:45 PM

Monday's post discussed simplifying the programs that are designed to assist with asset accumulation into "S" and "I" accounts. The "S" is shorthand for security and the purpose of these accounts would be to enable Americans to provide security... Read more »

GOP Idea: Simplify Asset Accumulation

By Paul   08/17/09 07:40 AM

The New America Foundation published a report last fall detailing 83 policy proposals that would promote asset ownership throughout society. Almost all of the ideas would address some aspect of the growing opportunity gap between those with... Read more »

GOP Idea: Don't Trust Future Politicians with Health Care

By Paul   08/12/09 06:20 PM

A previous post discussed the need to refocus the policy framework from an income focus (tax breaks and tax expenditures) toward an asset focus (personal ownership and control of wealth). Although the writing on this site is policy-focused, the... Read more »

The Social Contract Caveat: Account for the Asset Gap

By Paul   08/11/09 01:55 PM

The preceding post discussed the notion that Republicans should begin to turn their attention away from opposing all government and toward ensuring that citizens demand a return on the investments made by government. Future posts will focus on... Read more »

GOP Idea: Ensure that a Social Contract is Reflected in All Government Spending

By Paul   08/06/09 11:35 PM

A previous post , outlined the notion of a social contract , which references the idea that governments are formed when individuals cede rights to a government in exchange for certain protections of other rights. This simplistic definition has... Read more »

GOP Idea: Follow Mike Huckabee on Health Care

By Paul   07/30/09 03:50 AM

As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee proposed, implemented and executed numerous health care initiatives to improve the health of the state. More importantly, in the last years of his governorship, he lost over 100 pounds and cured his diabetes... Read more »

GOP Idea: Explain How the "Public Option" Destroys Private Health Care

By Paul   07/28/09 05:25 AM

Recently Democrats have been making the argument that was made here last month : If government is so terribly inefficient, and the private market so efficient and competitive, then why would the private market be fearful of a bloated and... Read more »

GOP Idea: Pass Obama's Health Reform ... With One Amendment

By Paul   07/23/09 01:40 PM

The fundamental issues of health care will remain the same, regardless of what plan passes Congress, provided that the economic incentive structure of the health care system is not altered. Specifically, if an individual can seek nearly limitless... Read more »


GOP Idea: Understand Both Sides of Supply Side

By Paul   07/22/09 01:15 AM

The notion of “intellectual honesty” is vital to true political discourse because it allows for citizens to have confidence that the arguments made by policymakers are not a compendium of facts engineered to lead to a conclusion that... Read more »

GOP Idea: Honestly Discuss the Need to Ration Health Care

By Paul   07/20/09 05:15 PM

A previous post discussed the inconvenient truths of health care and the most inconvenient of them all is that health care, much like any good or service in a market economy, is rationed. Have you or anyone you knew attempted to see a doctor,... Read more »

GOP Idea: Discuss the Inconvenient Truths of Health Care Reform

By Paul   07/17/09 02:20 AM

When thinking about your beliefs concerning health care policy, consider the following questions: How much would you be willing to pay to prevent someone you love from dying or suffering? If you think that something may be... Read more »

GOP Idea: Tie Carbon Restrictions to Electric Bills

By Paul   07/16/09 03:05 AM

The debate over carbon regulation/climate change is centered around the existence and extent of two fundamental tradeoffs. The first is whether carbon restrictions will create or destroy jobs and the second is whether restrictions on carbon will... Read more »

GOP Idea: Make Mortgage Bailouts Recourse Loans

By Paul   07/15/09 05:45 AM

The current Obama housing plan rewards irresponsibility by allowing individuals who accepted mortgages they could not afford and penalizing the creditors owed by the mortgage holders, as outlined here . Since the housing plan was not passed by... Read more »

GOP Idea: Variable Value Food Stamps

By Paul   07/14/09 04:20 AM

The first time this idea was floated in modern political memory was by Mike Huckabee during the Iowa primary campaign in 2007. The idea was not fleshed out operationally, but the goal and incentive was simple. The goal was to move people... Read more »


GOP Idea: Require Bailed Out Homeowners to Pay 80% of Their Mortgage

By Paul   07/10/09 07:15 AM

The idea that the federal government would practically hand a fianncial deliquent a house should outrage all Americans, but as discussed previously , the current "rescue" plan for people who cannot make their mortgages is rigged to ensure that... Read more »

GOP Idea: Praise Innovative Ideas

By Paul   07/09/09 04:10 AM

GOPIdeas.com is focused on driving the Republican Party to develop policy innovations, but an ancillary goal is to develop these ideas for the good of the country, not merely to embarrass Democrats. This necessitates a positive tone --- and... Read more »

GOP Idea(s): 10 Ways to Reduce Carbon Without Massive Economic Costs

By Paul   07/07/09 08:20 PM

The current climate change bill is a complex array of taxes, fees, rules, regulations, set asides and other complex administrivia with one goal: decreasing the amount of carbon emitted. Congressional Republicans were right in opposing the bill,... Read more »

GOP Idea: Fully Refundable Health Care Costs

By Paul   06/25/09 04:25 AM

The fundamental disconnect in almost all health care spending is that the individual who receives the service is not the one that pays for it. Third party benefit providers (insurance companies and government) bear all the cost, giving the... Read more »

GOP Idea: Dandong Consulate

By Paul   06/22/09 04:45 AM

North Korea has made a habit of playing the west like a fiddle: agree to not pursue nuclear weapons and then continue to pursue them. Agree to be paid off with oil and food and then continue to counterfeit, drug deal and produce nuclear material.... Read more »

Overview of Health Care Reform

By Paul   06/21/09 02:10 AM

As discussed previously , Republicans are on shaky ground when discussing health care reform due to their lack of attention during their six years in power. (They are even on shakier ground when arguing conservative principles, thanks to their... Read more »

GOP Idea: Be Intellectually Honest During the Health Care Debate

By Paul   06/16/09 06:15 AM

As the health care debate heats up this summer, Republicans have dusted off everyone's favorite arguments : government run anything = bloated, inefficient and incompetent. On the other hand, they have also dusted off the government... Read more »

GOP Idea: Make Other Countries Pay Their Share of Health Care Costs

By Paul   06/10/09 07:45 AM

In any debate concerning the allocation of resources there are two types of wealth transfers that occur: implicit and explicit. The explicit resources transfers are easiest to identifiy and thus get the most media attention --- but implicit taxes... Read more »


GOP Idea: Stop the Federal Government from Licensing Illegality

By Paul   06/09/09 06:00 AM

Though nearly impossible to believe, the U.S. federal government provides strong incentives to break immigration law in the form of the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN is a pseudo-Social Security number that allows for... Read more »

GOP Idea: Understand the Intricacies of Obama Plans

By Paul   06/08/09 02:55 AM

The brilliance of team Obama is their use of coordinated strikes of soaring ideological rhetoric combined with administrative knife fighting. Their housing plan combined the rhetoric of "saving" the homes of people who are breaking agreements... Read more »

GOP Idea: DIY Socialism Test

By Paul   06/04/09 12:50 AM

The Test : Ask all Americans to examine their monthly spending budgets. Erase expenditures related to goods and services the Democrats want to give away. Recalculate. Decide for yourself whether the percentage of your budget that the... Read more »

GOP Idea: Identify and Attack Bipartisan Intellectual Dishonesty

By Paul   05/29/09 04:25 AM

The demands of soundbite politics combined with the manufactured sensationalism required to break through the media clutter have obscured the real debate that needs to occur so the world can effectively manage global environmental issues,... Read more »

GOP Idea: Define the Republican Idea of Security

By Paul   05/26/09 08:10 PM

Many of the policy proposals of the Democrats focus on ameliorating some level of insecurity: insecurity over an individual’s health care, over the ability to pay for college, over the ability to find a job and over the ability to save... Read more »


GOP Idea: Support the Media to Hold Republicans Accountable

By Paul   05/26/09 07:40 PM

Dear Media: Hold the GOP Accountable Though the New York Times polling operation has a historic ability to inaccurately predict elections, their recent poll (which was generally confirmed by the NBC/WSJ poll ), provides two key findings:... Read more »

Freedom "To" vs. Freedom "From"

By Paul   05/22/09 03:40 AM

After Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrats, Jim Demint penned an article for the Wall Street Journal that articulately phrased the philosophy of conservatism, but failed to show how a "freedom agenda" benefits Americans. Republicans like... Read more »

Republican Intellectual Vibrancy

By Paul   05/12/09 09:50 PM

The mission of GOPIdeas is to push Republicans into debates and discussions on two fronts. The first is to provide specific ideas that Republicans can propose while in the minority that would provide both a positive vision for the future and a... Read more »

GOP Idea: Construct a Republican Social Contract

By Paul   05/12/09 09:10 PM

The notion of a social contract is a simple one: the implicit and explicit obligations made between a group of people and their government. Modern political thought in this area normally centers around Hobbes and Locke, with Locke being the... Read more »

GOP Idea: Bailout First Time Homebuyers

By Paul   05/12/09 05:10 AM

GOP Idea : Create an online database of houses that are having their underlying mortgage written down and allow first time homebuyers the opportunity to buy those properties at a value greater than what the lender would receive. As... Read more »

GOP Idea: Understand the NPV Test in the Obama Housing Plan --- Then End It

By Paul   05/12/09 04:20 AM

12/04/ 2009 Update : Three ways to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted (HAMP even allows for criminals to get handouts) The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) established by the Obama administration is a testament to their... Read more »

GOP Idea: Actually Understand Free Market Theory Before Claiming to Love It

By Paul   05/12/09 03:40 AM

GOP Idea : Ensure that Republicans who stress the virtues of “free markets” understand the theory behind free markets, the problems that arise in free markets and that the intersection of free markets and social morality explain why... Read more »

GOP Idea: Call Out Republicans Who Have No Fiscal Discipline

By Paul   05/05/09 12:15 AM

Over the past couple years I have attended a few events (local GOP gatherings, political Meetups, Solutions Day ) and invariably people are asked to share their thoughts about the current state of political affairs. When the chance was passed to... Read more »