September 22, 2010

It's the new Contract With America: the "Pledge to America."

The written document.

158 comments:

Seven Machos said...

I liked the highlights I saw. The length of the entire thing struck me as too long. It needs to be distilled into a few concrete, achievable objectives that average people will look at and agree with.

prairie wind said...

Under "Jobs": Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Under "Cutting Spending": Repeal and Replace health care.

And so it begins. Will the GOP do the right thing and repeal the health care bill altogether, or will they try to "fix" it by picking it apart, saving some things and changing others? "Repeal and Replace"?? What the heck? Replace with what?

I think I know the answer, and that's why I refuse to donate to the GOP.

Seven Machos said...

Repeal and Replace

Okay, dude. Think this through. Brilliant ObamaCare has created things that exist now. Therefore, you can't simply repeal Brilliant ObamaCare. All of those things (agencies, jobs, forms, and much more) will be left in limbo if you do not replace the law with something else, however minimal.

John Lynch said...

Lies, damn lies, statistics, and then there are campaign pledges.

edutcher said...

Some won't be doable until The Zero is pensioned off in '12, but they can have up or down votes to separate the RINOs and Demos from the Americans.

I have to say giving 3 days to read all bills sends a good message, but I really hate that "Repeal and Replace health care".

Forget replace, just repeal the damned thing.

Marcia said...

Is there anything about repealing the incandescent lightbulb ban?

prairie wind said...

All of those things (agencies, jobs, forms, and much more) will be left in limbo if you do not replace the law with something else, however minimal.

In limbo? You mean the way America's healthcare is in limbo now? The way I don't know if my policy will still be there next year? The way we don't know how long we'll have good healthcare before the whole system collapses under its own over-regulated weight?

We need to repeal healthcare so we don't spend the trillions, but you think we should leave the agencies/jobs/forms in place because...why was that again?

MadisonMan said...

The fine print at the bottom: If we attain a majority, we will spend like celebrating drunken sailors.

GMay said...

Agreed that this is too long, but first I'd like to see a pledge from Republican candidates who lose their primaries that they will pack their bags and get the fuck out instead of trying to get back on the ballot.

Almost Ali said...

Patronizing nonsense, setting up the standard quid pro quo.

Welcome to the congressional Back Slappers Cub.

garage mahal said...

Kind of like the old.

AJ Lynch said...

Good one Mad Man!

Alex said...

Of course you know that the MSM/Democrat machine will not let the GOP get away with "replace". They will demand specifics as a steady drumbeat for the next 6 weeks. Also the document does not address entitlement programs or the military budget at all.

1jpb said...

"The length of the entire thing struck me as too long."

"Agreed that this is too long"

Sheesh, you cons are tough to please.

First, the detailed health care legislation was too long at something less that three thousand pages. Now, twenty one pages is too long.

What do you want? A single page, with giant font that says "BHO is a commie/dope, But Rs love America and they will protect the constitution"? Such may or may not be good politics, but it's definitely a little light serious detail.

Silly me, I thought that the twenty one page document lacked concrete specifics. I would have appreciated more pages to show that the Rs had a plan to cut actual dollar amounts from specific programs/services. But, I guess that I (after being fooled in the past) don't trust the Rs as much as many of you seem to.

John Lynch said...

I think the best thing about the last ten years is that it has made everyone more cynical and less trusting of leaders who promise more than they can deliver.

Cynicism in politics is a good thing.

Alex said...

1pbj - forgive me if I don't care too much for your concern trolling.

1jpb said...

Alex,

One person's concern trolling is another's mocking. I was aiming more for the latter. Too subtle?

MadisonMan said...

I'd be less cynical if Boehner's marvelously bronzed face wasn't in the picture. What he was doing during the Bush Administration was not exactly fiscally sound.

Wouldn't it be nice if a journalist covering this "event" asked a question along those lines?

Alex said...

1pbj - go on mock. Ever heard of whistling past the graveyard?

Alex said...

MadMan - yeah good point. Why should we trust the SAME Republicans who spent like drunken sailors from 2001-2006.

Titus said...

This is very exciting.

I am actually getting a little hard just reading it.

Seven Machos said...

I will simply ask all of you to recall that the American federal budget became balanced in 1996.

Titus said...

My Indian UK husband called me while on business in Chennai.

He told me that there are stop lights in order to let the buffalo and cows cross the road. This is a city of over a million people. We are not talking Dane, Wisconsin.

Cows are sacred, they actually get fed before the family eats.

Cows, utters, tits.

Milking a cow, touching it's utters. MMMMM.

John Lynch said...

7m-

Because of divided government. What happened in 2000 to cause the deficit to come back? Republican government.

The way I see it, both parties wanted to spend. The Democrats spend more.

The best way we've found to check them both is a Republican Congress and a Democratic President (the opposite didn't work- Reagan and Bush I had Democratic Congresses most of the time.)

So, maybe the best thing to happen is to duplicate what we had from 1995-2001 as closely as possible.

MadisonMan said...

Titus, it baffles me that you are from Dane Co and you can't spell udders.

Is the Waunookie Schools District that bad?

HDHouse said...

wow...is that some document.

i'm terribly impressed.

Titus said...

Speaking of utters what do we all think of farm subsidies. I am driving around with my folks and seeing all these huge farms in Dane/Colombia County and all these farmers are receiving thousands of dollars from the federal government.

Some as much as 100k a year.

To look at them they look like they don't have a pot to piss in (my pop's saying) but they are as rich as rich.

Tits.

Hogs.

Rare Clumbers.

Oh, and the rare clumber came out of surgery great. The mass on his anus has been removed and he is shitting perfectly, thanks so much for your concern and all of the well wishes. Nice perfect solid logs are streaming out without any effort or discomfort. You are all great, I mean that. Special hugs.

Titus said...

I have milked a cow. It was hot.

Misty said...

One thing I liked is requiring a bill to have the constitutional authority attached to it. Maybe the Feds can leave us the heck alone as was intended.

Dead Julius said...

Can we crucify them-- literally!-- if they don't follow it? 'Cuz if we can't then it ain't no "pledge", it's just marketing material.

GMay said...

1jpb said: "First, the detailed health care legislation was too long at something less that three thousand pages. Now, twenty one pages is too long."

Looks like someone can't tell the difference between a pledge and legislation.

Too subtle?

GMay said...

Alex said: "Why should we trust the SAME Republicans who spent like drunken sailors from 2001-2006."

True, but the spending didn't really get ludicrous until 2006.

Of course, it went plaid in 09-10.

AJ Lynch said...

Titus:
Does sacred cows mean they can't use cowhide to make shoes? Is that why so many Indians are shoeless?

The Musket said...

One of the problems with the Dems is that they are mainly focused on sticking their hands into big bags of government money. The Rino's want to get control of congress, regardless the principles of the candidate, because they want it to be their hands in those money bags. It's all about money and power - oh, and did I say MONEY!!!! Take 5 friends to the voting booth on Election Day -- encourage them in the 'correct' way to vote.

wv oubitty -- vote the ou bbitty out

Seven Machos said...

I don't really mind RINOs. A Republican in, say, Delaware has to be liberal in a lot of ways. Just like a Democrat in, say, Arkansas has to be conservative in a lot of ways. That's just how things work in a system where voters decide who holds office.

It's silly to put up hardcore conservatives in leftish states and it's crazy to put up hardcore liberals in rightish states. You can say that you'd rather lose, but having power does matter in an over-arching way because bills are largely conceived in committees, and the committees will have a majority of whichever party has a majority in the chamber.

Christine O'Donnell is gonna lose. Castle would have won, and that would be huge for the Senate infrastructure.

Peter V. Bella said...

I agree with Seven- it is too long. But, it is several thousand pages shorter than the health care bill, which does nothing to reform health care, the Wall Street reform bill, which does nothing to reform Wall Street- but creates affirmative action- and, and, ah, er, um, eh, hey, who stole my teleprompter!!!

Nannnnnnnnnnnncy! Harrrrrrrrrrrrrry!

Revenant said...

I'd be less cynical if Boehner's marvelously bronzed face wasn't in the picture.

I don't know a Republican who would disagree with you there, MM.

bagoh20 said...

I have a better pledge: Elect us and we pledge to cut spending ACROSS THE BOARD by 10% and then go on vacation.

I would vote for that. They would like it, and everyone thinks we should cut something, so we all win.

Besides, anything less is still part of the decline of the U.S.

WV: "trywar" ... if needed.

1jpb said...

"One thing I liked is requiring a bill to have the constitutional authority attached to it."

None of you other cons are falling for this one, are you?

Who is going to "certify" these bills? Maybe we can get someone who is fair and balanced (Palin?) to hand out advisory opinions or a royal assent.


GMay,

My earnest concern is that this pledge is a load BS. The stupid blather in the supporting twenty one pages is the typical vagueness that allows pols to avoid making concrete promises. They avoid cutting real benefits/services/programs that, inevitably, some constituency wouldn't like (but other constituencies would approve and those folks could later use the specifics to identify broken promises when the pols don't follow through).

It really is a slimy (though not rare) document. They fool the folks who want cuts. And, they also fool the folks who don't want "their" programs cut. They can pander to both diametrically opposed objectives at the same time.

So, yes, it is a pledge. But, it's a pledge that is designed to let politicians avoid accountability. And, it's got stupid gimmicks, like the (sans Supreme Court) constitutional certification. Not my cup of tea.

You can believe them if you want to. But, I'm going to pass.

Seven Machos said...

Who is going to "certify" these bills?

No one. Congress is going to cite the power the Constitution gives Congress to create the bill to be signed by the president.

What about that do you not understand? What makes you believe that Congress needs some authority to look at the Constitution to find the part giving Congress the power to make a law? Any sentient human being can do this, and probably even you.

1jpb said...

7,

Hey, if that's meaningful to you, good for you.

BTW, except for the 9-0 decisions, every Supreme Court decision that determines a law was unconstitutional does produce a document that says the law was in fact constitutional.

So, I'm not impressed by pols inventing constitutional justifications for their laws.

What a joke.

Cedarford said...

edutcher said...
Some won't be doable until The Zero is pensioned off in '12, but they can have up or down votes to separate the RINOs and Demos from the Americans.
=====================
Last I looked, there are a lot of RINOs and Dems that are as good a bunch of Americans as those that believe in Palin or the 6,000 year old Earth or Free Trade "race to the lowest wage globally" & all-wise CEOs.

My Mom was a Carter Democrat. I actually went door to door with her in 1976 because she thought it cheaper than getting a babysitter and saying that Carter was for her 3 children the children! - was a campaign selling point.
By 1980, she was a Reagan Democrat, by 1984 she left the Dem Party. She rejoined the Dems in 2006.

In the mid-80s, my 1st summer job was with union workers in a factory. Who were patriotic as anything and had Reagan stickers on their hardhats - in part to really piss off the steward and visiting higher up union drones wholly sold out to the Dem Party.
But they also worshipped JFK and thanked god for social security and medicare for their parents and democrat work to keep Republicans from selling the workers out to the Japanese.

Seven Machos said...

except for the 9-0 decisions, every Supreme Court decision that determines a law was unconstitutional does produce a document that says the law was in fact constitutional

Well, no, this isn't true at all, because even in 9-0 decisions there will be a brief on behalf of the government. However, and this is where you shallowness and lack off understanding really shows, that document is not produced by Congress. That document is produced by the Solicitor General, who belongs in the executive branch.

Unless you have some other document in mind. I don't have any idea what it could be.

So, I'm not impressed by pols inventing constitutional justifications for their laws

But you are impressed, presumably by judges inventing constitutional justifications for the laws of pols. Tell us, 1jpb: by what magical process does a Supreme Court judge become imbued with the special ability to adduce constitutional justification? Is it when the president selects the judge? Is it during Senate confirmation? Is it during law school (because I went to law school)? Is it a special blend of herbs and spices found in the Marbury
mandamus?

Yes, 1jpb, please humor us and tell us the peculiar way by which Supreme Court judges can determine constitutionality but members of Congress cannot.

1jpb said...

"Yes, 1jpb, please humor us and tell us the peculiar way by which Supreme Court judges can determine constitutionality but members of Congress cannot."

Isn't the answer obvious?

Because that's their job... according to the Constitution.

P.S. Aren't they Justices rather than Judges?

Seven Machos said...

Because that's their job... according to the Constitution.

Dear Uneducated Dumb Ass: Please, oh please, 1jpb, point us to any part of the Constitution that says that the judges on the Supreme Court determine constitutionality.
Tell us also where the Constitution says that Supreme Court judges do this but members of Congress do not.

Looking forward to it...

1jpb said...

7,

Why are you referring to the Justices as Judges?


"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution..."

Seven Machos said...

"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution..."

Please learn to read. Where does it say that it is up to Supreme Court judges to determine the constitutionality of a law?

For bonus points, please contemplate the difference between a case and a law. Get to here in three weeks, but not until then.

Also, judges on the Supreme Court are judges. That's why I call them judges.

Titus said...

I miss the restaurant The Gobbler in Johnson Creek between Madison and Milwaukee.

The bar turned around ever so slightly while you were having your brandy old fashioned.

The Gobbler's design internal and external was fab. You can still see remnants of this design scattered throughout Wisconsin.

Oh Wisconsin.

Titus said...

Have you all heard of the term "doggie bag"?

Yes, it is a Wisconsin term.

Do you know what it means?

If not you are commie blue state fags.

John Lynch said...

Hey, the Supreme Court can be wrong about what is constitutional.

They overrule themselves all the time.

Just because they can do something doesn't mean they are right.

It's quite possible that a law can be unconstitutional and is left alone, or that a perfectly good law is struck down. Happens all the time.

As a practical matter, they aren't any different than any other branch of government in their ability to screw up.

This is why it is very important for the legislature and the executive to care about the Constitution, too.

Don't depend on the courts too much.

1jpb said...

7,

"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States..."

GMay said...

7M,

I agree completely regarding putting up candidates with better chances of winning for the benefit of infrastructure. I leaned toward the pragmatist side myself regarding the DE Republican primary. I may not like RINOs too much, but I'm not big on automatic purges of them either. (The RINO discussion is one for another day.)

But that wasn't my point. My point is that once the voters of your party vote you out, it's time to let go instead of trying to play spoiler to the party you allegedly supported. These clowns want voter support, but don't want to support the voters' coice in the end.

Seven Machos said...

A case is not a law. A law is not a case.

Lem said...

Drunks promising to hide the liquor better.

or something.

1jpb said...

7,

You're welcome. I'm happy to teach you that the constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to determine the constitutionality of "Laws of the United States."

Now, where in the Constitution does it say that the Congress has the power to determine the constitutionality of the Laws of the United States? And, why haven't past Congresses been using this power to determine the constitutionality of their laws, instead of leaving this task to the judiciary?

John Lynch said...

1jpb-

No, it doesn't.

Marbury v. Madison did that.

Seven Machos said...

ijpb -- Face it, dude: you have no idea what the Constitution says and you just demonstrated it.

School's out, sucka. Sweet, dumb dreams.

1jpb said...

J.L.

Yes it does. That may have been the first time that the power was implemented, but the power was granted before it was used.

Seven Machos said...

the power was granted before it was used

Dude, you simply are out of your depth here and you have no idea what you are talking about. It was a Supreme Court judge who said that the Supreme Court has the authority to say "what the law is," in dicta in a case.

There is no basis for the Supreme Court reviewing Congress in the Constitution itself. This is Constitution 101, dude. It's real simple. It's real clear.

You are embarrassing yourself.

I am glad that I was able to get you to look at the Constitution itself, though. First time?

1jpb said...

7,

Of course the Constitution empowers the Judiciary to decide the constitutionality of a law.

1) They are empowered to make the final call re conflicting or unclear Laws.

2) The Supremacy Clause exists.

So obviously the Supreme court can toss out a law if it bumps up against the Constitution.

Duh.

Seven Machos said...

1jpb -- Where in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court makes "the final call re conflicting or unclear Laws." Please provide the text.

All you need to do is copy and paste, dude. But remember: a case is not a law.

1jpb said...

"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority"

The structure of this sentence has

"The judicial Power shall extend to"

referring to three things, the middle is

"the Laws of the United States"

So, we have:

The judicial Power shall extend to,...the Laws of the United States,....

Seven Machos said...

No. The list for the cases. Not a bad try, but you are still flailing.

You really should just stop. This is a very settled issue, dude.

Seven Machos said...

Also, dude, I just want to reiterate how happy I am to see you forced to try with your limited abilities to read the Constitution.

It makes my heart glad to know that I have been the cause.

1jpb said...

7,

I've provided you the a two piece argument that together directly connect the Supreme court's ability to strike down laws to the literal text of the constitution. And, it sounds like you've never been able to make these connections on your own.

1)"The judicial Power shall extend to...the Laws of the United States..."

2) the Supremacy Clause

In response you've only managed to fool yourself into believing that I didn't notice that you ignored my request for you to back up your love of the R Congressional certification thing. Can you use the Constitution to show how Congress has the power to establish the constitutionality of their laws, sans the Supreme Court? Which, was the original point of this jabberfest.

P.S.

I almost didn't want to mention it, because you seem so excited w/ your misconception, but, at the risk of bursting a bubble--you didn't introduce me to the constitution.

Revenant said...

So, we have: The judicial Power shall extend to,...the Laws of the United States

That doesn't tell us what authority the courts have over the laws.

The way you read it, the Supreme Court could decide tomorrow that federal tax law calls for all black people to be shot on sight, and the executive branch would have no choice but to shrug and start shooting. Sure, their reading is ridiculous and at odds with both the text of the law and the text of the Constitution, but they get the final say... right?

Wrong. They get the final say within the context of judicial proceedings. Judicial proceedings themselves are constrained by precedent and by the Constitution. If the court violates either the rest of the government not only may, but *must* ignore them.

Jim said...

It is long past time to contain spending, or roll it back.

It is the regulatory maze that is sending jobs overseas. They must get very aggressive there.

Start with fossil fuels exploration and refinement. Also, the government runs 90% of the hospitals; stop that.

You'll see jobs explode.

Skyler said...

I'm still waiting for them to comply with the 1994 Contract with America.

This schtick has been done. It's not innovative anymore to come out with a contract with America.

Some boring agreement is not going to inspire us. Our pitchforks need to inspire them.

HDHouse said...

The GOP Contract explained.....

edutcher said...

pb&j apparently knows something every American History course ever taught doesn't about judicial review. He's a legend in his own mind.

HDHouse said...

The GOP Contract explained.....

No, that's stimulus and ZeroCare explained.

Pogo said...

An electable RINO just kicks the can down the road, and keeps playing the same old game, in which Dems and the GOP alternate in seeing who can kill the golden goose the fastest.

I don't think most Americans have figured out how far down the road of socialism we've gone, and this take two steps back approach is just another delay tactic.

Unelectable? Probably.
But if unelected, the country spins ever downward.

Not much different than getting a junkie to stop. They either quit using or they die. Americans have become handout and control junkies. It looks like they want the free shit to keep coming, and they love telling people what to do with every aspect of their lives.

You can't cure that sort of idée fixe. The fact that an unrepentant Marxist is likely to win in Delaware is proof enough that Americans have lost the will to be Americans.

And they will get their wish, good and hard.

A 60 year old guy from the Twin Cities told me yesterday his new factory is going to locate in China, because it's too expensive (by regulations and taxes) to keep it in Minnesota.

I am talking to my kids to be prepared to leave this country, because we may have to. Yes, I think it's that bad, and no, I don't think our governments can stop their drunken ways.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Lem, that is perfect.

Original Mike said...

Jobs:
- Stop job-killing tax hikes
- Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income
- Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit
- Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:
- Repeal and Replace health care
- Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)
- Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward
- Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:
- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority
- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

Defense:
- Provide resources to troops
- Fund missile defense
- Enforce sanctions in Iran


What's not to like? Frankly I think there should be a month allowed to read bills, and I think Fannie and Fredie shold be abolished, but all these are steps in the right directions.

HDHouse said...

edutcher said...
Some won't be doable until The Zero is pensioned off in '12, but they can have up or down votes to separate the RINOs and Demos from the Americans...."


like the senate is having up or down votes now? if right wing hypocrisy were the coin of the realm we'd be rich.

Salamandyr said...

Dahlia Lithwick made the same mistake 1jpb did; which is really embarrassing for her, since she's supposed to be a legal expert and all that.

1jpb, every member of Congress swears an oath to defend the Constitution, as does the President. It's an abrogation of that oath to vote to pass a law, or sign one, that they believe is unconstitutional.

Original Mike said...

An electable RINO just kicks the can down the road, and keeps playing the same old game, in which Dems and the GOP alternate in seeing who can kill the golden goose the fastest.

I think an argument can be made for voting for an electable RINO in the case we just saw in 2008. Full control of the government by the Dems allowed the very destructive, and probably permanent, health care bill to be passed. In 2010, however, it seems pretty sure (knock on wood) that the House will change hands. Given that, I think it's important to "explain" to the Republicans that if they're not fiscally responsible, then they are on the other side and will not receive support from conservatives.

Pogo said...

Original Mike, I hope you're right, but I get the feeling I'm being played by a Dem-GOP tag team.

Jack Wayne said...

Seven Machos,
The budget has not been balanced in a very long time. Clinton definitely did NOT do it. Look up the national debt and find out for yourself that every year under Clinton the debt went UP. He balanced the items that were in the Budget but he did NOT balance the total budget. Remember, Congress has taken some items out of the Budget so they don't look quite as bad on deficit as they really are. Educate yourself on how venal and criminal Congress really is. Especially, don't embarrass yourself further by thinking that Congress is capable of balancing a budget. You have bought into a HUGE lie!

k*thy said...

I agree, Pogo. This looks like a mid-term, PR piece that identifies what the GOP should already be doing - and short on specifics of any meaningful long term sound public policy. Lots of rhetoric. Yawn. Where’s the leadership?

Original Mike said...

Pogo - Don't get me wrong; I have NO faith in the Republicans as a party. It's why I am happy to see Tea Party candidates defeat establishment RINOs. Whether it will be enough to change things, I am pretty pessimistic, but it's the only game in town right now.

Roger J. said...

Count me in with Jack Wayne and Kathy--a PR piece. Its not better than Mr Obama's campaign promises and only an effort in attempting to regain power to screw over americans except as republicans rather than democrats.

Original Mike said...

Two years from now, when the GOP has done nothing they promised to do, this document can provide fresh ammo for another wave of Tea Party candidates.

But, truth be told, I think we are so screwed.

Pogo said...

"...but it's the only game in town right now"

That's the sad truth, man. It's like we're choosing our airline pilot based on which one is less drunk than the other.

Original Mike said...

Michele Bachmann and others are talking of a Tea Party cacus in the House. They need to do that, and they need to take these "commitments", turn them into bills, and force votes in Congress on these issues.

Will they? I doubt it.

Original Mike said...

That's the sad truth, man. It's like we're choosing our airline pilot based on which one is less drunk than the other.

Hey, I bought that Northwest pilots defense (to a degree). IF I had to choose between two drunk pilots, one a novice and the other an alcoholic who's done it many times before, I'd choose the alcoholic.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But, truth be told, I think we are so screwed.

I agree. The point now is just trying to find the one party that will actually respect us in the morning.

AllenS said...

Democrats pledge: BOHICA

Hoosier Daddy said...

Michele Bachmann and others are talking of a Tea Party cacus in the House. They need to do that, and they need to take these "commitments", turn them into bills, and force votes in Congress on these issues.

Well what is needed is a viable third party that will keep the tax and spend Democrats and the tax and borrow Republicans in check.

I don't really care one way or the other about social cause issues. Just quit spending the country into oblivian.

Original Mike said...

Well what is needed is a viable third party that will keep the tax and spend Democrats and the tax and borrow Republicans in check.

Third parties are so difficult. I think a more promising strategy is taking over the Republicans from within, which seems to be what the Tea Party people are trying. It's why I am really pleased to see them defeating the establishment Republicans in primaries.

It's a long, long road, however. I don't give it a high chance of success. But like I said, it's the only game in town.

LarsPorsena said...

I didn't see anything about 'earmarks'.

Pogo said...

"I don't really care one way or the other about social cause issues."

I'm ready to go full metal libertarian on all that if only fiscal conservatism was part of the package.

'Just shut up and quit spending' needs to be their motto.

Salamandyr said...

Remember a fair number of these aren't the "Same Republican Party" that spent so much in 01-06. A lot of them lost their job in the Dem takeover of 07. There's a pretty big Freshman class coming in that has the Tea Party to thank. It's fair to be suspicious of the Party leadership though.

Original Mike said...

I don't really care one way or the other about social cause issues. Just quit spending the country into oblivian.

AMEN.

It's the spending, Stupid.

Pogo said...

Seriously, why is anyone bringing up abortion or DADT right now?

What the hell?

It's like trying to find a good radio station right when you're being attacked by zombies. Makes no difference whether you're listening to Lynyrd or the Village People when the undead are breaking down the door.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The Lithwick piece that Salamandyr is referring to is here. It has to be read to be believed. Though I don't think even her missing the point about the Congressional oath is as embarrassing as misattributing to Sarah Palin the Declaration of Independence's assertion about the God-given nature of rights. You'd think that word "unalienable" would have been a hint.

Pogo said...

Like having your plumber fix the flooded basement and he starts tellin' you all about Jesus.

Whaaa...?

k*thy said...

Two years from now, when the GOP has done nothing they promised to do, this document can provide fresh ammo for another wave of Tea Party candidates.

True, and it could give the Dems a better defined target, now (if they should choose to use it).

Also, what's with a 'pledge'? Sounds like half-measures.

Salamandyr said...

Shoot Paul,

I missed that part. Man, that's fire-ably stupid.

Scott M said...

I think a case can be made for sitting back and watching your opponent lemming into the sea. On the other hand, given the severity of the problems we face, I think it falls on the potential new boss to show what he wants to do in order to fix what's either gotten screwed up or, if you must blame Bush, wasn't fixed well enough or not at all.

To all of the social conservatives out there, please cool your heels. You had a couple of decades to ramp up and have the run of the place while the federal government grew and grew and grew. Give the fiscal conservatives an honest shot at it. Frankly, I'd say that goes for the pinkest liberals among you as well.

Roger J. said...

I am shocked--shocked I tell you--about the cynicism expressed hereon

I cannot believe that americans distrust their politicians

Marshal said...

"Forget replace [Obamacare], just repeal the damned thing."

This would be a huge mistake. As long as this issue remains on the table the left will take it up as soon as they return to power. If Reps have a chance and don't enact anyhting in its place they give ammunition to those who will re-enact Obamacare or worse push for single payer.

If Reps were smart (they're not, but what's the point of commenting if you don't recommend an action?) they'd promise to have hearings with a wide variety of experts across the spectrum before deciding what changes (if any) to implement. Beyond that they should promise only that their preference is to enact incremental rather than radical change, and that they promise every stakeholder will have input. Obviously they should live up to these promises.

The first policy they should specifically consider is ending employer participation in healthcare. This eliminates many inefficiencies and allows the insurance industry to design products for the healthcare recipient rather than for businesses. It moves healthcare away from government and prevents the creation of another government constituency.

Pogo said...

Fortunately, Stephen Colbert will be testifying before Congress, apparently in character, to talk about illegal aliens.

Caligula's horse comes to mind.

Triangle Man said...

I'm ready to go full metal libertarian on all that if only fiscal conservatism was part of the package.

You say that now, but the family values contingent will want their taste in exchange for votes.

garage mahal said...

Full control of the government by the Dems allowed the very destructive, and probably permanent, health care bill to be passed.

Ah yes that mild health insurance reform package that covers kids and eliminates pre-existing conditions , rescission and reduces the deficit by billions. Coincidentally Repubs chose the same day these measures take effect to roll out their new contract.

Pogo said...

No doubt.

That's why I endorse the Get Offa My Lawn Caucus, a faction of the MYOB Party.

Original Mike said...

What Marshal said.

Pogo said...

"Ah yes that mild health insurance reform package that covers kids and eliminates pre-existing conditions"

In response, insurance companies have deleted child-only plans.

Thanks, Obama!!

Original Mike said...

...and reduces the deficit by billions.

Even you don't believe that. You're not stupid.

sonicfrog said...

Yawn.... A party regurgitating old material, pretending that it's new.


And what's with the term pledge? Feels squishy. Too much like a promise, which are made to be broken. Couldn't they have found a more solid term to use? At least a contract seems like it has some weight to it... unless you're dealing with sports.

Pogo said...

Will we get a pledge pin?

Hoosier Daddy said...

.....and reduces the deficit by billions.

LOL!

knox said...

Ah yes that mild health insurance reform package that covers kids and eliminates pre-existing conditions, rescission and reduces the deficit by billions.

Well, someone on this thread still has unquestioning faith in politicians and big government. Quaint!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Third parties are so difficult. I think a more promising strategy is taking over the Republicans from within, which seems to be what the Tea Party people are trying.

Hey I like that idea. You know, kind of like The Borg.

The Borg Party. Assimilate, resistance if futile.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, someone on this thread still has unquestioning faith in politicians and big government.

Well its the same guy from unreality based community that thinks the government presses a button and money magically springs forth. The entire liberal mindset is based upon the State being the answer to all. Some people put their faith in God, the luck of the dice or kharma. For garage its The Federal Government.

Original Mike said...

That's make a good ad, Hoosier.

garage mahal said...

Even you don't believe that. You're not stupid.

You don't believe it because you don't want to believe it.

Original Mike said...

Hell, garage, the head of the CBO felt compelled to explain that the official CBO scoring of the document was not realistic.

You are smarter than this. Stop with the bullshit.

Scott M said...

I didn't believe it when they were spouting it. I don't believe it now because they don't appear to believe it themselves or they would be running on it. I also don't believe bogus CBO numbers (garbage in-garbage out comes to mind). Further, I believe most of the bill was built on bullshit to begin with, so, no...I don't believe it.

GMay said...

Jesus garage, even the CBO isn't pushing that line anymore.

GMay said...

Regarding the length of this pledge, this comment from another site sums it up well:

"Did anyone else read the Republican document that outlined their plans?

I am less than impressed. It essentially does nothing. No major cuts to entitlements or anything.

It's 21 pages long. More than twice as long as the Declaration and Constitution together. Probably 20 times as long as the Gettysburg Address and the Magna Carta.

Too many words to say "We're done. We're fucking done, people." And that's because that's not what it says."

knox said...

You don't believe it because you don't want to believe it.

I'd say the reverse is true. You believe it simply because you want to. Because there is no accounting for your faith that a massive program is going to "save billions."

garage mahal said...

Hell, garage, the head of the CBO felt compelled to explain that the official CBO scoring of the document was not realistic.

I'm on the Director's Blog right now. What are you talking about?

Well, someone on this thread still has unquestioning faith in politicians and big government. Quaint!

But I bet you trust the gov's numbers when it comes to the deficit and debt held right? Republicans trust the CBO when it agrees with them, and don't trust it when it disagrees with them. If you were truly worried about spending and the deficit they would have taken a serious look at the health care costs and debated it honestly. But of course conservatives aren't really interested in spending and deficits and being honest.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Jesus garage, even the CBO isn't pushing that line anymore.

Guys, for liberals like garage, this is a faith based belief. So it is written, so shall it be done.

Beleiving you can add 40 million additional people to the health care rolls AND reduce health care costs AND reduce the federal deficit is the equivalent of fundamentalists believing the earth is 6000 years old.

I thought garage was smart too until he tried to educate me on monetary policy. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he was just intoxicated. I mean its always happy hour somewhere.

Original Mike said...

Somebody explain it to garage, I have to go to work.

On second thought, he knows full well what we're talking about. Don't waste your time.

bagoh20 said...

This nation only has one serious problem that the congress can address: Spending.

Revenue as a percentage of GDP has been stable forever despite all the games played with the tax code.

The only thing that has gone wrong is that spending as a percentage of GDP has skyrocketed.

Over the last 100 years spending has gone from 7% of GDP to over 40%.

It's really simple. All that's needed is will or disaster to fix it. Which will come first?

knox said...

garage,

You use "republicans" and "conservatives" interchangeably. This entire thread demonstrates that conservatives have anything BUT unquestioning faith in republicans.

Your whole approach to this argument is based on the assumption that we are making judgments on a partisan basis. That we cherry-pick information based on what serves republican candidates.

Hardly. We want fiscal sanity. We are skeptical and sick of republican politicians, who--you nailed it-- are dishonest about spending and deficits. Re-read this thread if you still don't get it.

Scott M said...

But I bet you trust the gov's numbers when it comes to the deficit and debt held right?

Nope. I believe it's much worse. What I do believe is that this Democratic-led Congress is giving the Fed a pass on transparency and direct congressional (ie we the people) oversight. Why do you suppose they would do that, Garage?

GMay said...

Hoosier said: "I thought garage was smart too until he tried to educate me on monetary policy. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe he was just intoxicated."

You're a tolerant man. I never did think much of the old boy before he waded into that monetary policy tangent the other day. Now I realize he truly is an idiot. You can explain stuff in detail to him and he'll still cling to his ignorance out of spite or something.

He actually is worthless in a debate.

GMay said...

"Hardly. We want fiscal sanity. We are skeptical and sick of republican politicians, who--you nailed it-- are dishonest about spending and deficits."

But knox, that's just way so far out there on the extreme right wing doncha know? It's just absolutely nutty I tell ya! All those extremists out there on the right wing tip screaming about fiscal sanity. It makes me shudder to even think of those kooks.

garage mahal said...

Guys, for liberals like garage, this is a faith based belief. So it is written, so shall it be done.

Actually I rely on numbers. See here.

"The CBO estimates that the law will produce "$143 billion in net budgetary savings over the 2010-2019 period."

How many of you know the budgetary impact of repealing the entire health care bill? Didn't even look did you. Don't care. But it's in that pdf.

Scott M said...

Why even bother working from CBO numbers? They are forced to compute their results from a set of assumptions given to the by politicians pushing an agenda. Not the best place to start if you're looking to model reality.

garage mahal said...

Hardly. We want fiscal sanity. We are skeptical and sick of republican politicians, who--you nailed it-- are dishonest about spending and deficits. Re-read this thread if you still don't get it.

Knowing this, would you be for or against, health reform measures that reduce our deficit?

Marshal said...

garage,

Be serious. The CBO "scores" bills under a specific set of rules defined by congress. Dems gamed these rules allowing them to show positive budgetary contribution for the ten year analysis period even though we know the plan costs more than it raises. These gimmicks include but are not limited to :

- Showing ten years of taxes but not ten full years of costs.
- Assuming medical payments can be drastically cut without repercussion.
- Assuming the tax increases have no negative effect on the tax base.

I'm presuming you know this and are merely hoping some of those reading your comment are ignorant of this reality. But if you're not aware of these simple facts you should educate yourself.

bagoh20 said...

The thing about CBO estimates is that they are now completely gamed by the congress in the way the majority wants. They can force the CBO numbers through the way the law is written.

Regardless of the estimate, a wise reader will always expect the actual result to be worse in the direction opposite of what the majority would like the public to believe, and not in a small way. History has shown this to always be the case, but I'm sure it will be different this time.

Scott M said...

- Showing ten years of taxes but not ten full years of costs.

As with everything in the American political realm, I tried to enter the health care debate open-minded and looking to see if the Democrats could actually get something workable done.

When it became apparent that a group of chronologically adult people were pushing this fantasy on the rest of us and expecting us to take them seriously, I became skeptical of everything else. For good reason, as it turns out.

Answer this, Garage. If it's such a panacea, why aren't they running on their record?

garage mahal said...

Oh Jesus. Like talking to a brick wall.

bagoh20 said...

In short, if the CBO says it will cost a lot, it will cost a lot more. If they say it will save money, it will still cost a lot more.

This is exactly the mechanism that got us where we are, regardless of what party was in charge.

garage mahal said...

Answer this, Garage. If it's such a panacea, why aren't they running on their record?

Ah, the President was doing just that, yesterday. Versus the Paul Ryan "Roadmap", that he can only find 5 other sponsors for in the House. Get real.

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...
Oh Jesus. Like talking to a brick wall.


Yes. The best solution is for you to switch from being wrong to being right. Then we'll agree with you.

Scott M said...

Ah, the President was doing just that, yesterday.

Ah...the President isn't running for office this cycle and it serves him directly to pimp it as much as possible. Try again.

bagoh20 said...

Despite being a life long Democrat, I never vote for them anymore. I would vote for any Dem who promised to cut more than his Repub. opponent. Then of course I would have to hunt him down when he does the opposite.

WV: tratier

Hoosier Daddy said...

Knowing this, would you be for or against, health reform measures that reduce our deficit?

LOL!

Hoosier Daddy said...

In its August 2010 report on the budget outlook, CBO extrapolated the estimated effects of the legislation to cover fiscal year 2020. On balance,the two laws’ health care and revenue provisions are estimated to reduce the projected deficit in 2020 by $28 billion, and the education provisions of the Reconciliation Act are estimated to reduce the projected deficit in 2020
by $2 billion


Cool we're spending almost a trillion bucks to save $30 billion in ten years.

I am overfrickingwhelmed.

peter hoh said...

They will replace ObamaCare with some version of RomneyCare.

As for spending cuts -- real spending cuts are not possible as long as Defense, Social Security, and Medicare are untouchable.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As for spending cuts -- real spending cuts are not possible as long as Defense, Social Security, and Medicare are untouchable.

I'm sorry, since when is Defense spending 'untouchable'? If he'd just declare victory in Afghanistan and get us the hell out of the hellhole, the defense budget could go back to 2000 levels overnight.

Defense spending has always been on the block for being pared down. You can't even whisper the same for Medicare or SS without the blue hairs lighting torches.

peter hoh said...

Defense spending became untouchable when defense contractors realized that they didn't have to build everything in one place. Now they have 300 different parts of a fighter jet built in 300 different congressional districts.

peter hoh said...

Jonathan Chait: Republicans keep running on platforms consisting of specified measures to increase the deficit and unspecified pledges to reduce it.

Inevitably, they fail to reduce it.

Then the party faithful decide the problem was leaders who lacked true conviction, and so the new leaders promise to mend their ways.

Then they do the same thing all over again.

knox said...

peter,

Chait is right. That's why the Tea Party exists. Republicans will never have the unquestioned support that they have enjoyed from conservatives up til now.

The only thing that is unknown is... how do democrats really feel about all this? Are they proud of the stimulus and Obamacare? Obama himself? Or are they regretful? Hopeful?

It is very difficult to tell if democrats feel like the massive debt we are facing is "worth it".

knox said...

Regarding defense cuts...

Washington Post article

Excerpt: "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Tuesday laid out details of his plans to save $100 billion in five years as he tries to run the Pentagon more efficiently."

LarsPorsena said...

"Defense spending became untouchable when defense contractors realized that they didn't have to build everything in one place. Now they have 300 different parts of a fighter jet built in 300 different congressional districts."

You have bassackwards understanding of the problem. Defense contractors have to spread out the contracts all over the country in order to win broad congressional support to build any large system. They would actually love to centralize the process as much as possible but it's politically impossible. In congress, it's always 'What's in this for my district?' Not, 'what's best for defense?'

Cedarford said...

Skimmed the "Pledge". 1st take was it is too long. 2nd is it takes no shot at any major Entitlement that drives 70% of Fed Gov't spending. 3rd is it goes tax-cut happy in a time of off-the charts deficit spending. (Showing its Drafters are NOT aligned with the Tea Party folks)

Then my biggest peeve is over the "Pledge" that they will look at all expenses and all programs EXCEPT those that are Security-related.
Why not those? The Washington Post and others have identified vast, bloated DOD and "counterterror heroes" Empires created that started staffing and expensing exponentially more in an era of blank Dubya checks handed them.

That is sort of like Democrats "pledging" to belt-tighten in all Fed spending areas EXCEPT those that affect poor people, minorities, heroic schoolteachers and government union employees.

Things I liked? Even though it failed to talk entitlements?

1. No Federal mandate that costs more than 100 million (the economically significant on citizens threshold) can be forced on people without a Congressional Vote. Presumably, that will also be applied to activist judge decrees that then fall on the Executive to tax and regulate the citizens on that cost more than 100 million. (say bye-bye, Delta baitfish).

2. No vote on bills without 3 days to read it.

3. Each Federal bill analyzed to check if it Constitutionally usurps power and money from the states and The People.

4. Significant roll back of Obamacare.

5. JObs!

peter hoh said...

Lars, I don't have it backwards -- I just didn't spell it out all the way.

Of course it's inefficient to build parts all over the country, but that's the price of winning congressional support.

peter hoh said...

Do the people who sign the pledge get some kind of purity ring to remind them of their pledge?

Alex said...

peter hoh - I want a blood oath.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@1jbp:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_the_United_States

At the federal level, there is no power of judicial review explicitly established in the United States Constitution, but the doctrine has been inferred from the structure of that document. At the time of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, five of the thirteen States included some form of judicial review or judicial veto in their state constitutions. Delegates at the Convention, including South Carolina's Charles Pinckney, spoke out against the doctrine of judicial review....

Since the argument of Marbury v. Madison before it in 1803, the Supreme Court has ruled that it has a power of judicial review. This power does not mean, however, that the judiciary is the only branch of government that decides the meaning of the Constitution. Article VI requires federal and state officeholders to be bound "by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution."

And Article III also gives Congress the power to restrict the Supreme Court's jurisdiction except for cases involving

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party...

Judicial review makes sense, but it was not in the Constitution as written and people like Thomas Jefferson had reservations about it:

"You seem ... to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.... Their power [is] the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves."

Seven Machos is right on this one, and you are wrong. Guess you didn't pay much attention in high school social studies (where I learned this).

Gabriel Hanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

And so it begins. Will the GOP do the right thing and repeal the health care bill altogether, or will they

The GOP will compromise. Then compromise their compromise. Until their fierce opposition to ObamaCare has been watered down to a nonbinding resolution strongly condemning something or other.

Count on it.