Despite all the political distractions, elections should still be about the future — about what Minnesota and our country will look like if we go one direction or the other this fall.
Rarely have the stakes been higher or the choices more clear. The mainstream Democratic Party of Truman and Kennedy is gone, and Democrats are veering left and hard — opting for self-described socialist candidates who seek to end capitalism, end borders and even end the First Amendment as we know it.
Today, disagreements are not about the substance of policy — they are about endless protests and even riots. Far-left anarchist groups like antifa even threaten their political opponents. This is what is dividing America.
But in the end, it’s policy that matters. So here is what’s really at stake in this year’s midterms:
• Taxes, jobs and the economy: Even after seeing 1.8 million new jobs created since tax reform, record low unemployment, and worker pay and benefits rising at the fastest pace in a decade, Democrats are promising to rescind the reform because it allows too many people to keep more of their own money. In Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, this means taking away a tax cut of $3,154 per family, which includes doubling the standard deduction and child-care credit, expanding 529 education plans and tax relief for small business.
My opponent even called the Tax Cut & Jobs Act the “worst piece of legislation in history” and vows to “repeal the whole thing.”
• Government regulations and competitiveness: Before tax reform, what really jump-started our economic resurgence was the most significant reduction of federal regulations in a generation. While the previous administration had been on a regulatory bender, imposing 600 “major” rules at an average of one every five days, the 115th Congress took action rescinding almost $4 billion in regulatory costs with a record setting 17 Congressional Review Acts.
But the Democrats are already promising to impose costly compliance costs on energy production at our refinery in the Second District, reinstate the onerous “waters of the U.S.” rule and regulate speech on the internet.
• Immigration, national security and public safety: It’s hard to believe, but abolishing ICE has become a litmus tests for radical candidates everywhere — including my opponent in the Second Congressional District, Angie Craig, who not only took $5,000 from open-border advocate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, but said she first decided to run for Congress because President Barack Obama’s amnesty executive order was in jeopardy. Imagine — doing away with an agency that arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges and seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in fiscal 2017 alone. Even worse, Democrats now back “sanctuary” policies blocking the use of state and local police to help immigration officials enforce established federal law.
• Health care: Liberal Democrats know the mess they’ve created with Obamacare. They promised lower premiums, more choices and that “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” But on exchanges like MNsure, premiums (along with copays and deductibles) have nearly tripled. Half the country has only one insurer available, and millions lost their provider of choice.
So now the Obamacare architects are going for the full monty — a $32 trillion socialized-medicine scheme that doubles your payroll and income taxes, throws you off your employer-based plan and ends Medicare as we know it. If Democrats take the House, real market-based health care reform is dead — and so is your plan.
• Government dysfunction: If you thought the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were good for the country, you’ll love Congress with a Speaker Nancy Pelosi and my congressional opponent in charge (she has taken $30,000-plus from Pelosi). As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “This is what the so-called ‘resistance’ has become,” and it’s bound to get worse if some of the most dangerous rhetoric encouraging this brand of reckless politics is rewarded with power.
Rep. Maxine Waters will chair the Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff will oversee the Intelligence Committee. Taxes will go up, the economy will go down and the government will grind to a halt.
In fact, Craig seems especially eager to embrace the politics of obstruction, saying she’d like to serve as “a roadblock to all of the things” we’re trying to do. I want to continue with the progress we’ve already made.
More than a half century ago, Ronald Reagan talked about “a time for choosing.” In that famous speech, the future Republican president said, “I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course.” Just as in the 1960s, the Democrat Party has been radicalized, and once again voters are facing a “rendezvous with destiny” that will determine the future of Minnesota and the nation.
Jason Lewis represents Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House.