Lamar Alexander Touts Newt's 'Breakout' in Weekly Address

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 04:27 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Government should enable Americans to succeed, not pass mandates to control them, Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander says in this week's GOP address, citing a tech expert quoted in Newt Gingrich's new book saying that government should follow the example of Apple's philosophy for its iPhone.

“Just imagine if instead of mandating things for you to do, your government became a platform, just like your iPhone, enabling you to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life," Alexander said Saturday.

Gingrich, in his new book "Breakout," quoted tech expert Tim O'Reilly, saying that "The best way for government to operate is to figure out what kinds of things are enablers of society and then make investments in those things. The same way that Apple figured out, ‘If we turn the iPhone into a platform, outside developers will bring hundreds of thousands of applications to the table.’”

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“Then O’Reilly went on to say that smartphone development used to look like government does now: Vendors talking in a backroom and deciding what features to offer," said Alexander.

“Republicans want to enable you. We want to be the iPhone party. We believe government ought to be a platform that gives you opportunity and freedom to create a happier, more prosperous, and safer life," said Alexander.

"Imagine your government as your iPhone," said Alexander. "How can government empower you with the freedom and knowledge to make decisions to create a happier, more prosperous, and safer life for yourself and for your family?

Lamar said government has actually been enabling citizens for years, long before the Internet was invented.

"In 1944, the G.I. Bill enabled World War II veterans to attend a college of their choice—helping them become the greatest generation," said Alexander. "And today, half our college students have federal grants or loans that follow them to the colleges of their choice, enabling them to buy the surest ticket to a better life and job."

Just two weeks ago, the Senate voted to continue vouchers for working parents to pay for child care while they earn degrees to get better jobs, said Alexander.

In addition, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's 2012 JOBS Act cut red tape, making it easier for entrepreneurs to launch a businesses.

"While these ideas have attracted bipartisan support, usually in Washington Republicans are the enablers and Democrats are the mandators," said Alexander. “Republicans say the success of the JOBS Act proves that lifting the big wet blanket of Obama regulations will enable our free enterprise system to create plenty of jobs."

The Democrats' Dodd-Frank law, however, requires bankers to spend "more time filling out forms than they do making loans."

Democrats, said Alexander, "want to mandate fixed wages and more lawsuits, while
Republicans want to allow more flexibility for working parents, enabling them to attend soccer games and piano recitals."

Alexander, meanwhile, has proposed allowing states to turn half of their education dollars into $2,100 scholarships allowing parents to choose the best school for their children, but "Democrat mandators insist on telling those children what school is best."

“Health care provides the most glaring difference between Republican enablers and Democrat mandators," said Alexander. "Too often, Obamacare cancels the policy you wanted to keep and tells you what policy to buy, even if it costs more and even if it restricts your choices of doctors and hospitals."

Republicans, meanwhile, "would let you buy insurance across state lines; allow small businesses to join together and insure more people; expand access to health savings accounts; give governors flexibility with their state Medicaid programs; and allow patients to compare the price and quality of doctors and medical services."

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