Vol. 56, No. 1

In this edition

Latest Ripon Forum Examines Beijing’s Competitive Strategy & Battle Plan, and the Implications for U.S. Policymakers & Business Leaders in the Years Ahead

Taming Inflation: What Policymakers Can – and Should – Do

Inflation is the top economic issue this year but is largely attributable to Washington’s policy errors in the past year.

Ocean Shipping Carriers: It’s Time to Realign the Interests of Shippers and Ocean Carriers

Supply chain delays and port backlogs impact all of us. It does not matter whether you’re a business owner, consumer, or agriculture producer – we’ve all felt the strain.

Affordable Housing—Wisconsin’s Secret to the Labor Shortage

We are pursuing an agenda that encourages the construction, restoration, and renovation of affordable housing units for job seekers and their families.


The size, scale, and level of coordination between Chinese companies and the Chinese State is not only unprecedented, but is something business leaders and policymakers can no longer ignore.

Speaking with One Voice on China

We must approach U.S. policy towards China in a bipartisan way, remaining focused on the country’s manipulation of global free markets, threats against its neighbors, and ongoing human rights abuses.

America Cannot Turn a Blind Eye to the Plight of the Uyghurs

We must wake up and realize that the Chinese Communist Party has fully committed to leveraging oppression, torture, and genocide to further its geopolitical ambitions and economic prospects

How the U.S. Can Deter Chinese Aggression into the Next Decade

There is an ongoing revolution in military affairs, and if China is the first to redefine the way that great powers fight and deter wars, there could be perilous geopolitical implications.

Preventing the Next Ukraine

The unfolding crisis in Ukraine should serve as a wake-up call that we are running out of time to deter aggression against an even more vulnerable partner: Taiwan.

China’s Looming Challenges

From hosting the Olympics to containing the pandemic, it might seem that China is on top of the world. But beneath the surface, the country faces serious problems.

A Better Prepared Public Needs Clear Communication

Practical plain language explanations of risks along the way could have better prepared the public for the long haul.

Messaging Failures of the Pandemic

The best course of action is empathy and evidence over partisanship and intimidation.

Dear CDC… About that Latest Announcement

Effective or successful “communication” encompasses more than what you say and how you say it. It involves listening, learning, and understanding those you are seeking to inform.

Ripon Profile of Rodney Davis

The Representative of Illinois’ 13th Congressional District talks about the biggest issues currently facing his district and talks about his proudest achievements since coming to Congress.

Ripon Profile of Rodney Davis

Name: Rodney Davis

Occupation: Representative for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District

First job & lesson learned from it: I worked at McDonald’s and I learned a couple of things. First off, if you got time to lean, you got time to clean. I was constantly trying to figure out how to multitask and perform my job the best I could. Another lesson I learned that helps me today as a member of Congress is that customer service matters.

Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: I always recommend the book Back in the Game by my good friend, Steve Scalise, because it is a miracle that Steve was able to survive the shooting that morning we were on the field. All of us were able to witness his miraculous recovery, and to see Steve running around the Capitol today is just an amazing reminder about the importance of faith and perseverance.

Proudest achievement since coming to Congress: Throughout my career as a staffer, and throughout my career as a member of Congress, we’ve always talked about reforming our tax code. The last time we reformed our tax code in Washington was in 1986. I was 16 years old, I had a great mullet haircut, and I was probably cruising around our local square listening to new music from the rock band Poison.

When I got to Congress, I talked about making our tax code flatter, fairer, and simpler. Working with the Trump Administration and President Trump, we were able to do that. I helped craft some very good provisions in that bill that I think led to historic economic growth and historic employment prior to the pandemic. Our tax code changes put American companies on par with the rest of the global marketplace. America was growing in all sectors until COVID hit. And I think we can get back to that if we focus on keeping our taxes low and we focus on investing in America rather than losing our competitive edge to other countries.

Challenge facing your District that you’re working hard to address: My current district includes four public universities, four private universities, and up to eight community college districts touching my region. Student debt is a major issue that my constituents are facing, and it’s frankly an issue that the country’s facing right now. We have more student debt in this country than we have auto and credit card debt combined – it’s a total of $1.7 trillion. Instead of looking at realistic solutions, we have people out here in Washington like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren falsely promising young Americans, and in many cases those Americans who can at least afford to borrow more, that their debt is somehow going to be forgiven. That’s not going to happen.

So to address the student debt problem, I passed language in the CARES Act to allow employers to help pay down student debt and be incentivized to do so. It’s a great retention tool and it is a public-private conservative solution that’s already law right now. This is a benefit through the tax code. The employees that get this benefit don’t have to pay taxes on their employer’s student loan repayments on their behalf for up to the first $5,250 a year. This is how Republicans should solve problems in Washington.

Finish this sentence: “If I could change one thing about American politics, it would be…” The polarization.