Ramesh Ponnuru is a really smart guy, and on economic/policy matters, he's got an even-keeled, common sense approach. He should be listened to.
He's got an NYT op-ed out that urges Republicans to think anew about our current challenges, rather than just resorting to re-doing what Reagan did thirty years ago under dramatically different circumstances.
Ponnuru has always argued for family friendly policies and against focusing on the federal income tax rather than on payroll taxes. For instance, he's often gotten my dander up in his view that Republicans who talk about those who pay no income tax are missing the point--that payroll taxes take a huge bite out of voters we want to win over.
It is hard for me to walk away from the view that everyone should pay SOMETHING in income taxes. If Ponnuru would agree that everyone ought to pay SOMETHING (maybe a 1% bracket?) in income taxes while focusing primarily on the tax that makes the most difference in voters lives (the payroll tax), I might join him
But he is right about the general charge--it is intellectually lazy to say "if it was good enough for Reagan, it is good enough for me." We need updated thinking.