Republicans are all out of interesting economic ideas

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Leftie rabble-rouser Harold Meyerson been on something of a roll lately in his column in the Washington Post. Last week there was his clever suggestion that maybe it was time to revive the House Un-American Activities Committee to look into American corporations’ lobbying against more rights for labor in China. (The argument being that such behavior directly harms the interests of American workers.)

Today there’s this. After listing a series of woes facing today’s workers, Meyerson writes:

To all of this, conservatives offer no remedy whatever save to make things worse. Employer-provided pensions collapsing? Let’s gut Social Security, too. Health insurance tottering? By all means, let’s preserve our private, for-profit system, which currently fails to cover 47 million of our fellow Americans. All income increases going only to the rich? Let’s switch to a flat tax (Rudy Giuliani’s most recent brainstorm), which further shifts the tax burden from the upwardly mobile rich to the downwardly-mobile everyone else.

You don’t have to endorse whatever Meyerson’s solutions to these problems might be to agree that the once full-of-ideas Republicans have become mostly brain-dead on social and economic issues. Ah, but at least they’ve got foreign and military policy all figured out!

Update: I realize I’m not being entirely fair here to Mitt Romney, whose Massachusetts health care plan is a real if inevitably flawed attempt to help the uninsured. But somehow I don’t think he’s going to be talking about that so much until the Republican primaries are over.

Update 2: Check out the fascinating comment below by Bruce from Las Vegas. My favorite part:

Alfred Maynard Keynes was debunked by Milton Friedman. The debated ended decades ago but apparently the news didn’t make it to the dinosaur media.

Yeah, we’ve definitely been covering up that whole Alfred Maynard Keynes debunking. He’s got me there. But I’m a friggin’ semi-Friedmanite! I’m one of those right-wing nutjobs who believes that 25 or 30 years ago the Republicans had many more compelling economics ideas than the Dems did! And I’m saying that now they have little to offer beyond the old cutting-taxes-raises-revenues canard.