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Republicans Working on New, Jobs-Focused ‘Contract With America’

In May, House Republicans created a new website, America Speaking Out, that allows regular folks to submit ideas for policy solutions on jobs, the debt, national security and other crucial topics. The GOP hopes to create a new party platform — specifically, an update of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America” — using ideas from America Speaking Out, to be released in time for the midterm elections. (Tea Partiers have a similar project.)

Of course, the online project immediately attracted some, well, interesting suggestions. Via Steve Benen at Washington Monthly: “A ‘teacher’ told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish! And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story.”

But there are a number of commonsense conservative ideas on the site. The Hill has an update on how the new Contract with America is shaping up — and notes that the GOP is focusing on the economy and jobs for the fall.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has been charged with putting together the section on jobs, which Republicans see as a unifying policy position for a conference that unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package last year. “There’s a sense of clarity that jobs are something that we need to focus on, and who better to talk to than employers and small business[es] and job creators?” Roskam said. “Economists are interesting and charming and bright, but they are not running businesses.”

One could read a lot into that comment — including the implication that Democrats are relying on theoretical mumbo-jumbo to gin up the economy, whereas Republicans are focused on helping out the real job creators. (Notably, Senate Democrats are close to passing the Small Business Jobs Act.) But when it comes to jobs and small businesses, there is plenty of space for the parties to work together. A payroll tax holiday — an idea supported by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) — could be targeted at low- and middle-income workers, and could be offset with an increased tax on businesses holding onto cash. But if the GOP decides to cull jobs ideas exclusively from the Americans Speaking Out site, I fear the ideas won’t be very good. The most popular proposal in the jobs section?

Let us take a lesson from our past. Hoover ordered the deportation of ALL illegal aliens in order to make jobs available during the Depression. Truman deported over two million illegal aliens after WWII to create jobs and Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican Nationals so WWII and Korean Veterans would have a better chance at jobs.

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