[Editors Note: The editors of HUMAN EVENTS asked a group of well-known conservative leaders to outline what they believe the public policy priorities ought to be for the conservative movement following last week’s Republican election victory.] PART 6: With Tuesday’s election results finalized, enactment of major legislation previously held up in the United States Senate will move forward. President Bush became the first President re-elected while gaining seats in the House and the Senate since 1936. The gain of four seats in the Senate has paved the way for significant changes to tax policy, retirement security, and the tort system. Before Tuesday’s election, Republicans had 51 members in the Senate. Democrats were holding up legislation on procedural grounds requiring 60 votes. Now with 55 Republican members and crossover Democrats, many of these "filibusters" can easily be broken. Eliminating Death Tax The Death Tax will be eliminated. The 2001 Bush tax cut phased out the Death Tax and due to Senate rules, this onerous tax is set to reappear at pre-Bush tax cut levels in 2011. The House has passed legislation every year to make the tax-cut permanent but the Senate has been employing its 60-vote requirement. With the new members in the Senate, 60 votes will be there to finally bury the Death Tax. Major tort reform will be enacted. Trial lawyers are killing the economy and jobs by suing productive activity. Despite the damage being inflicted by trial lawyers, their money is funding the Democratic Party to preserve their ability to crush American industry and employment. As such, these changes are not only good policy–they are good politics by de-funding the Democrats money line. Broad based Class Action reform will finally be enacted after being held up by a filibuster in the Senate. Industries targeted by trial lawyers will be remedied such as asbestos and medical malpractice. The Bush Administration’s "tax cut a year" policy will continue, which brings the country incrementally closer to tax reform. In the next term, further changes will be made toward a tax system that taxes income one time at one rate. Discussion of flat taxes or national sales tax can be debated at a later time because the incremental approach is clearly succeeding. Bush’s legacy will be defined by the overhaul of the soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security system. Younger workers will hold their own personal retirement accounts, which will grow the investor class and open the capitalist system to every working American. Tuesday’s election has opened up many opportunities for the center-right coalition. If we continue on the same path as the past four years, Americans will become genuine owners of their own economic fortunes, and will be free to pursue their own interests as the one-size-fits-all approach of the past yields to an ownership society of the future. More:
<b>PART 6:</b> Helping Americans become owners of their own fortunes
Part 1: Enact School Choice, Cut Taxes, Improve Cultural Climate
Part 2: ‘Ownership Society’ Will Limit Growth of Government
Part 3: Fiscal Restraint, Marriage Amendment, Constitutionalist Judges
Part 4: Great Opportunity to Revitalize Reagan Republican Party
Part 5: Ten Steps Toward Smaller, Better Government
Part 6: Keep Moving Toward Lower, Flatter Tax Rates
Part 7: A Call For Conservatives to Debate Foreign Policy
Part 8: Get Borders and Illegal Immigration Under Control
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