This a reposting of a book review I wrote one year ago on August 10, 2011.
Young Guns, a New Generation of Conservative Leaders contains profiles and commentary on and written by Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, all three GOP members of the House of Representatives and TEA party conservatives. I read the book to learn more about three men who will be influential in the next Congress. At 191 pages, I learned less about them than I did from a three page article in the December 6, 2010 issue of The Nation.
McCarthy talked about recruiting candidates for the 2010 election with new ideas, supporting small government, less regulation and lower taxes. As far as I could tell, there were no new ideas, just a recycling of the GOP’s old ideas that they have been emphasizing to one degree or another since the 1930’s. McCarthy was not recruiting candidates with new ideas; he was recruiting clones. The GOP used to include some liberals and some moderates. The liberals are long gone and the moderates are being pushed out of the party.
The book is a mix of praise for themselves and the candidates they have recruited together with the standard false and misleading accusations against the Democrats, particularly Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. The only thing I learned from the books is how hard the Right is working to elect like-minded legislators to Congress.
From the much shorter Nation article, I learned a great deal about what they plan to accomplish in the next Congress or the one convening in 2013 if they manage to “take back the country.” They subscribe to Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future for radical change. Proposed changes include: privatizing Social Security, abolishing S-CHIP, replacing Medicare with vouchers, abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax and the alternate minimum tax, and eliminating income tax on capital gains and eventually all progressive income taxes. I don’t like paying taxes either, but I believe that the progressive income tax is the fairest tax we have. The rich benefit as much as the poor from government provided services and they can afford to pay more for them than the poor can.
Two web sites are described in the book: www.gopyoungguns.com and www.americaspeakingout.com I recommend visiting both to see what the Young Guns are doing. At the second site, you can read what others are saying and actually vote on the messages. Let’s give them a dose of reality and our wisdom.