The following is the meat of a CJ article I caught. I especially agree with the parts in red.I do not necessarily agree with point # 1 since I feel fast tracking the FDA process has been kind of dismal for the end consumer and by no means of great benefit to either the health care providers or consumers of this nation.
From Tevi Troy at City Journal
First, Republicans should encourage innovation, especially in areas, like health care, that provide benefits to millions of Americans. During the health-reform debate, Republicans were eager to discuss how Democratic proposals would harm innovation, but they failed to explain how they themselves would help it. One way would be to promote the development of lifesaving and life-extending products by offering clearer pathways to FDA approval of new drugs and treatments. In addition, tort reform could help reduce what the Pacific Research Institute estimates is $367 billion that American companies lose in product sales each year by fighting litigation instead of developing new products.
Second, Republicans should work to ensure that America has access to the world’s best technological minds. Throughout our history, we’ve done this by both nurturing native-born brainpower (like Thomas Edison’s) and attracting great minds from elsewhere (like Albert Einstein’s). Our legal immigration system currently emphasizes family reunification. Refocusing it to award residency to people with desirable skills, as countries like Australia and Canada do, would help us attract more of the best and brightest. Another good step would be granting green cards to foreign nationals who earn advanced technical degrees in math, science, or medicine from accredited American institutions—instead of requiring them to leave the country and apply for reentry, as we do now. This change would take advantage of America’s top-flight universities and mask the weakness of our K–12 educational system. According to U.S. News and World Report, America has 13 of the world’s best 20 universities, and students from around the world clamor to attend them.
The failed Kennedy-McCain immigration-reform bill of 2005 did create a points system for those with certain education or employment credentials. Unfortunately, the skills-based features of the bill were lost in the larger battle over illegal immigration. Republicans should try to divorce this issue—which divides the party—from the potentially unifying one of encouraging skilled legal immigrants. The GOP could then draw a sharp contrast with Democrats, who tend to oppose skills-based immigration.
The third way that Republicans can regain the elite, tech-friendly votes that they’ve lost is recommitting themselves to free trade. In the past, Republicans were overwhelmingly in favor of free trade and could find enough like-minded Democrats to pass multilateral and bilateral trade agreements, NAFTA being the most famous example. Nowadays, Democrats generally resist free trade and cooperate with enough protectionist Republicans to block free-trade agreements, regardless of who controls Congress.
President Bush must take some of the blame for this reversal, especially by imposing steel tariffs during his first term, fulfilling a campaign promise made in West Virginia. On the other hand, he did promote bilateral agreements to jump-start free trade while cumbersome multilateral negotiations like the World Trade Organization’s Doha round dragged on. President Obama, for his part, has been largely unfriendly to free trade, imposing a fee on imported tires from China, for example. According to the Washington Post, the Chinese unsurprisingly saw this as “a political concession to U.S. labor unions” and retaliated, worsening trade tensions between the two countries. Incidents like these have given Republicans an opportunity to rediscover their inner David Ricardo.
Fourth, Republicans should capitalize on the Democrats’ recent spending spree, which has opened the door for a message about fiscal discipline. It’s true that cutting personal income taxes no longer has the resonance it once did, since only 47 percent of Americans pay any federal income tax. (When I served in the Bush White House, I worked on policy papers bragging that the president’s tax cuts took 5 million Americans off the income-tax rolls; what the papers didn’t say was that this change made 5 million more Americans uninterested in what had been the GOP’s strongest talking point.) But the party should not retreat on other questions of taxation and especially budgets. Innovation-centered voters understand that our current fiscal path of $1.4 trillion deficits is unsustainable. Republicans need to issue a mea culpa for their past contributions to the nation’s fiscal problems and articulate a serious plan for digging us out of our crushing debt hole.
At the same time, Republicans should promote tax simplification, as President Reagan did in 1986. Administering the 67,500-page federal income-tax code requires 100,000 IRS employees and costs our economy between 2 and 5 percent of GDP in lost efficiency, according to the Government Accountability Office. Limiting the number of rates and loopholes, while increasing the standard deduction, would help reduce these inefficiencies and costs. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire have created a bipartisan proposal along these lines, and Republicans should make sure that they remain out front with other tax-simplification proposals.
Fifth, Republicans should put improving our educational system front and center, so that we can increase the number of high-skilled workers. One way to do this is to use Title I, which is supposed to help educate 10 million poor children and to promote flexibility and better educational outcomes. Republicans used to support Title I “portability”—that is, attaching Title I dollars to students rather than linking them to a bureaucratic formula that rewards specific schools, regardless of performance. Republicans dropped this idea as a concession to Democrats during the No Child Left Behind negotiations, but they can pick it up again. Having Title I’s $14 billion follow our neediest children will encourage schools to be accountable to parents and allow parents to direct money to schools that work best, whether public or private.