The Ripon Forum

Volume 40, No. 2

April - May 2006 Issue

A Note from the Chairman

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A Note from the Chairman

by BILL FRENZEL

We have tried to continue that tradition in this issue by focusing on a number of important topics that we believe will have some prominence in the coming weeks and months. We lead off with a discussion of the Suburban Agenda, an effort by a group of House Republicans to craft a positive, issues-oriented strategy that they hope will not only help a vital part of the American voting population, but also help the GOP hold and build its majority in the elections this fall.

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The Suburban Agenda

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The Suburban Agenda

by JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

There are two basic truths to mid-term elections in America – they are won on themes, and, historically speaking at least, they are usually lost by the party in power.

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Suburban Health Care

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Suburban Health Care

by NANCY L. JOHNSON

The legislative agenda developed by the suburban caucus is meant to address our everyday concerns: the safety of our children at school, congested and overcrowded roads, and dwindling open space, for instance.

At the very top of that agenda is health care. Seniors enjoying their retirement, couples raising children, and individuals in the suburbs face barriers to quality, affordable health care.

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Q&A with Dave Reichert

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Q&A with Dave Reichert

Dave Reichert represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in 2004, he first came to national prominence as the detective who led the effort to capture the Green River serial killer. He serves on three committees in Congress, and is Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science and Technology. He is also a member of the Suburban Caucus. The Congressman discusses his role in the Caucus below.

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How I See It

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How I See It

by JOHN BOEHNER

The question is simple enough. What do I think about increasing access to health insurance for American workers? Strengthening border security? Lobbying reform? I’m for them all, and House Republicans are taking aim at each. But beneath the veneer of these simple questions is, I believe, a fundamental misunderstanding of the role a Majority Leader is supposed to play.

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A Bipartisan Solution to Our Big Government Problem

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A Bipartisan Solution to Our Big Government Problem

by THOMAS A. SCHATZ

The issue is the establishment of a Sunset Commission. For the second straight year, President Bush is proposing the creation of such a commission as part of his budget plan. Under this proposal, every federal agency and government program would automatically receive a 10-year expiration date, at which time they would essentially be required to justify their existence. It would be the job of the Sunset Commission to determine whether their justifications have merit.

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Devising a Terrorism Insurance Solution

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Devising a Terrorism Insurance Solution

by CHARLES M. CHAMNESS

When Congress enacted the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (also known as TRIA) in 2002, the government-backed terrorism reinsurance program it established was designed as a temporary stopgap to give insurers time to regroup and sort out the complexities of dealing with terrorism risk.

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Dynamic Scoring: The Time is Now

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Dynamic Scoring: The Time is Now

by WILLIAM W. BEACH

It is hard to find any serious economist who would argue that the federal government’s tax and spending policies make no difference to U.S. economic performance.

Indeed, all across the political spectrum and throughout the leading schools of economic thought, a broad consensus exists that what governments do with tax dollars and how they raise those revenues matters in the larger, dynamic, economic world.

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Dynamic Scoring: Not So Fast!

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Dynamic Scoring: Not So Fast!

by RUDOLPH G. PENNER

They are frustrated because formal revenue loss estimates used by Congress during the budget process ignore revenues recouped from the increase in economic activity which occurs as a result of the pro-growth tax cuts.

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Politics Never Sounded So Good

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Politics Never Sounded So Good

by ROBERT J. THOMPSON

We wring our hands in this third century of the American Experiment. More of us, we’re told, can identify Paris Hilton than Paris, France. Frothy celebrity magazines thrive while serious political journals struggle. Citizens seem more excited about voting for the American Idol than the American President. Entertainment trumps civic engagement; staying amused is more appealing than staying informed; and in the struggle for the American soul, Hollywood, not Washington, seems to have been our capital for a long time now. Perhaps it’s because Hollywood knows how to talk. In the ancient old art of rhetoric, Hollywood has Washington beat hands down — even when it’s telling stories about Washington.

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