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The GOP's bad idea

"America is more than a country," begins the GOP's 'Pledge to America.' America, it turns out, is an "idea," an "inspiration," and a "belief." And the GOP wants to govern it.

Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret. Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it.

You're also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe? The document speaks constantly and eloquently of the dangers of debt -- but offers a raft of proposals that would sharply increase it. It says, in one paragraph, that the Republican Party will commit itself to "greater liberty" and then, in the next, that it will protect "traditional marriage." It says that "small business must have certainty that the rules won't change every few months" and then promises to change all the rules that the Obama administration has passed in recent months. It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong -- debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government -- and a solid promise to make most of it worse.

Take the deficit. Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it: The document never says that the policy proposals it offers will ultimately reduce the deficit.

Then there's the question of policy uncertainty. The health-care law, which is now in the early stages of implementation, would be repealed. In its place, Republicans would write a new health-care bill. They offer some guidance as to what it would look like, but as every business knows, the congressional and regulatory processes are both long and uncertain. That's joined by three sentences on shrinking and reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the policy's anticipated effects on the housing market, where the two mortgage giants are backing nine out of every 10 new loans, are not mentioned -- and a promise to force a separate congressional vote on every regulation with more than $100 million in economic impact, which would force businesses to figure out a new, dual-track regulatory process.

The agenda is least confused on the subject of reducing government. Though it says little about specific cuts it would make, the pledge includes a cap on non-security discretionary funding, the aforementioned congressional review process for big-ticket regulations, a hiring freeze on federal employees, and weekly votes on spending cuts. None of these policies are spelled out in any detail, but nor are they contradicted by other elements of the plan. If you believe, as the Republicans say they do, in the benefits of reducing the number of public jobs and the amount of public spending in an economy that has too few jobs and too little spending, then this makes some sense. Otherwise, it doesn't. And as Republicans have been hammering Democrats over recent jobs reports where public payrolls fall and private payrolls rise, it's not even clear that they believe this.

Of course, you could say that about most of the plan. It is hard to believe in both deficit reduction and policies that would add trillions to the deficit. It's also hard to warn of the dangers posed by regulatory uncertainty and then propose changing all the rules.

At the end of the day, America may be an idea -- but it is also a country. And it needs to be governed. This proposal avoids the hard choices of governance. It says what it thinks will be popular and then proposes what it thinks will be popular -- even when the two conflict. That's an idea that may help you win elections, but not one that'll help you govern a country. Republicans would've been better off adopting Mitch Daniels' plan wholesale.

By Ezra Klein  | September 23, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
 
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Next: The Democrats need a plan, too

Comments

We are so screwed!

Posted by: Jose5 | September 22, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

What happens when the country goes to pot while Republicans control the House, possibly the Senate, but not the presidency?

More Republican gains?

If so, I expect 2 more years of pain. 6 more, if Obama is re-elected. I wonder what unemployment will look like under President Palin?

Posted by: will12 | September 22, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will say what they need to to get elected. Once elected they will not do what they say but will rely on what has been done and then take credit for it.

Posted by: justonevoice | September 22, 2010 10:45 PM | Report abuse

about what i expected.i believe in the two party system.but it cant work in this enviroment.or with this group we have or are going to get.passport up to date and hit the lottery is my reccommendation.

Posted by: donaldtucker | September 22, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed in the Republican pledge but I am far more disappointed in Obama, Reid and Pelosi running the country into the ground. With Republicans in control of the house at least it would the madness we have seen comming out of Washington.

Posted by: hfarmer2 | September 22, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@ezra: Well stated and truer that most people think. I've voted across party lines before based on the message, but there is nothing the GOP is offering, including some very "interesting" candidates (I'm from California, "demon sheep" country), that I will vote for. Fix health care, end the tax breaks, work on the deficit while maintaining a safety net for the least of us, and quit the smoke and mirrors pretense of caring about the other 98% of us.

Posted by: mjohnson1116 | September 22, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I am in dis-belief that the unemployment chart was put in the document. Only those who know absolutely nothing about Economics knows it does not illustrate that stimulus was uneffective. Rather it is a perfect illustration of the bankruptcy inflicted upon the country by the Bush administration financial regulatory failures. If anything is illustrated is that stimulus was far too small as Krugman presents. It was large enough to stop the collapse but not large enough to really stimulate.

If this plan were implement in the next 6 months, we would see unemployment above 12% to 15%.

That they are wasting time on useless drivel such as citing the Constitution when legislating only shows their contempt for the checks and balances. We do have a fully functioning court system with a right wing bias and it is still not trusted. Yes it is the Republicans that tried to bypass our laws, treaties, and Constitution with the legal abomination in Guantanamo.

Posted by: chucko2 | September 22, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

None of these proposals are going to create jobs.

Just horrible.

Posted by: maritza1 | September 22, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Thank God for you, Klein.

Posted by: ruefulman | September 22, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

excellent analysis, except, when has policy ever mattered to the majority of voters? it's all gonna be stuffed in soundbites and billions of dollars in ads.

Posted by: gonzalez4140 | September 22, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. I don't suppose there's a pledge to filibuster an extension of the Bush Tax Cuts unless it includes everybody?

I keep wanting the two party system to deliver the best ideas of both parties, but instead we keep ending up with the worst.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 22, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

There is a word for those republicans, Demagogues, in Europe we had them last century, the Hitler, the Mussolini, the Franco.....we all know how it went. does America really want to go that way? It is a way that brings nations to ruin, history doesn't lie....

Posted by: biglio | September 22, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

As a political ploy, this contradicting-strategies approach is brilliant: there's something for everyone here. And no matter what they eventually do, they can say, "but that's what we promised!"

Defeating this platform requires the electorate to recognize its brute cynicism and blatant dishonesty. Tragically, that looks like a sucker's bet these days.

Posted by: kentropic | September 22, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Well it's Bush II --- the sequel!

In a world where the voters have lost their memories, and their minds, watch as the failed policies of the Bush administration are back----with a vengeance.

See the wealthy get wealthier and the middle class and poor fall further behind.

Watch as corporations run amuck, the environment gets trashed and Wall Street wreaks havoc on the economy yet again.

See the GOP finally destroy the "evils" of Social Security and Medicare. Watch as they pay lip service to fiscal responsibility.

Get ready for ZERO net job growth with Bush II--the repeat of an error.

Coming this November to a voting booth near you.

http://www.thechicagodope.com/2010/08/16/republicans-introduce-%e2%80%9ckill-the-economy-plan%e2%80%9d/

Posted by: Mikeystyle | September 22, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What utter B.S. The Repugs are so effete in every way and in every thing. The dim bulb from Alaska as their leader, the anti-masturbator in Delaware, the cowardly mouth of Limpballs who hides behind his mic, the sheer worthlessness of most of their congressmen, wow, now their garbage plan to take back America. These jerks haven't lifted a finger for the middle and lower classes since taking office. The only thing they've been successful at is scaring the hell out of the morons who follow them and filling their pockets with money from big business. They have no mercy on America's working poor who make their already swell lifestyles even better. They don't care who dies because they have no health insurance. Their same old crap about stopping abortion and outlawing gay marriage is evident of their lack of any kind of knowledge or ideas. They have nothing to offer except defeat because surely we will be defeated if our citizenry actually votes these amateurs into office. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | September 23, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

"It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong -- debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government -- and a solid promise to make most of it worse."

Yup, that's pretty incoherent.

When I see this type of stuff, I grow ever more skeptical of government. There is a real risk that these guys will be behind the wheel in a few months time. How much influence over your life do you really want them to have? I for one don't want Christine O'Donnell in charge of anything related to my life. Nor for that matter Sarah Palin, Barney Frank, Charlie Rangel or the guy who thought Marines might cause Guam to capsize.

"That's joined by three sentences on shrinking and reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the policy's anticipated effects on the housing market, where the two mortgage giants are backing nine out of every 10 new loans, are not mentioned"

The housing market is dead. We've stimulated it to high heaven and are enjoying very low interest rates and sales remain miserable. Every dollar thrown at this problem went straight into the toilet. Now is as good a time as any to get rid of these monstrosities, not just shrink them.

Posted by: justin84 | September 23, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

I thought they were running on a satanic platform at midnight.

Posted by: kinoworks | September 23, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to figure out which party is worse for the country as a whole. We need people who will really cut spending. Can they get elected and can they get anyone to play along? Maybe not...

Posted by: staticvars | September 23, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

I found it hard to completely read the document. Much of it is misleading at best and childish at worst. I'm certain it will hold great sway with people who have little to no economics understanding, but to anyone who's done a bit of research over the last years, this plan is clearly contemptible.

Simplistic, stupid and idiotic and full of half truths. I am ashamed! The people deserve better than this melange of illogical and fiscally irresponsible (as in Keynesianism on steroids) rhetoric.

It will be fun, though, watching all the conservative economists and financial writers ripping it to shreds.

Posted by: valkayec | September 23, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that.
=========================================
If we make no effort to cut one dollar from budgets over the next ten years that we can't even prepare this year, even though college students in our COngressionalD Districts are more financially intelligent than us, and we decide to maintain the status quo in regards to our income, we will go into deficit (Hint, cut the increase in program spending across the board).

Save $100 billion? Old news, don' have the right program. Even the Secretary of HHS has said that our costs will continue to increase in an amount greater than stated by the Congressional Budget Office. And, according to Mr. Klein, the newest news off the press is that the United States Senate will actually hold proceedings to prevent the Medicare waiver cut from going through...They haven't Mr. Slein?

And besides, federal health care systems have never incresed about what was expected in the appropriate Congressional Budged Office Report. I mean, look at Medicare (Bad Example), Mediaid (ad grammar, etc.)

Posted by: PALADIN7E | September 23, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Get information on how to reduce your debt by filing for bankruptcy http://bit.ly/avB0jI

Posted by: chadwick23 | September 23, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Very eloquent, insightful assessment and summation of why this proposal should not -- and likely will not -- be taken seriously by most Americans who are truly earnest about the issues confronting this nation.

I must say, the notion that we can continue to cut taxes without specific offsets is literally the "very same agenda" that got us into the mess we're in now. The country simply cannot afford it, and we cannot allow individuals to govern who simply tell us what they think we want to hear. [We also cannot allow to govern people who aren't honest enough to own their desire to gut Social Security, Medicare and even education, among other programs, as a way to offset their proposed tax breaks to the wealthy.]

Voinovich said that it's "time to stop playing games." It's just too bad that his fellow Republicans didn't take that to heart.

Because of the recklessness Republicans exhibited when they ran this nation, this country is facing some hard choices, and must make some difficult decisions. With this manifesto, Republicans have made it abundantly clear that their time in the wilderness has not imbued them with the seriousness necessary for governing in these times.

I hope that the American people will, accordingly, reject their ruse.

[By the way, what will the Tea Party, which claims to be concerned about this nation's fiscal health, have to say about their lack of fiscal restraint? There are already rumblings among some conservatives that this manifesto falls short of their desire for greater, concrete proposals of fiscal responsibility.]

Posted by: associate20 | September 23, 2010 2:10 AM | Report abuse

My first observation is that John Boehner never missed a tee time, and Mitch McConnell doesn't have a clue what is going on in America. Such non sense. Did Bristol Palin waltz them into this?The only thing that can save America if the Republicans take power is, they lie and never do what they say.

This is first class bull. The wing nut tea bagers are yelling , no abortion and no exception-idiots. This is the Republican Taliban. A charge led by primary candidates that are incapable of having more than a third grade undertanding of history, economics or the constitution.

What do you crazy people think you are taking your country back-to what?

My Professor wife is brilliant. At first sight of the tea party, she said this is the religious right charging up the hill with more lies.

I surely hope American voters are smarter, especially the raped women without choice or voice

Looks like Christine O'Donnell is in charge of the GOP.

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 23, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, the sad part in this whole thing is that the Republicans actually believe their voters are this stupid.

Unfortunately they may be right.

Save your American flags, they will become Chinese collector items.

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 23, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

it is sad to see the great nation of the USA to become nothing more than a line up of bought and paid for mouth pieces, there are no more "statesmen" now we have "Palin", Sharon Angle, Ms ODonnell, Joe Miller, Joe "you lie" Wilson, Charlie (I didn't do nothing wrong" Rangel, Mr (the orange dude) Boehner, Mitch (NO) McConnell, Jim (NO) Demint not a true statesmen among them sound bytes buying and selling their power to the well off, it's obvious they don't listen to the average tax payer or the unemployed that can't afford to even donate to their campaigns for the life of me I can't see why most Tea Partiers who are on Social security and medicare are backing the nut jobs the Tea party and republicans are nomonating ofr office since their stated goal is to change the Medicare and Social Security system why vote to end the programs you depend on? Do they think once elected that these neocon on steroids will change their minds and beliefs and help the average retired voters? What kind of nation are they voting for their kids and grand children is it the same system they are enjoying or do they want the USA decimated and to become a 3rd world country where the rich like Erik Pricnce take their billions from federal contracts and move to Dubai to live large on their tax money is thiswhat they really want for the future, I doubt it as a veteran a disabled one at that and on SSD I want the same programs available to my kids and grand kids, change the system to work better not demolish it take the cap off of earnings for FICA taxes, for people making more than 250,000 a year re instate the tax rates that were in effect in 2000 39% sure seems to be more reasonable than the 50% they were paying under Eisenhower and Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon things could be worse but our tax rates under President Clinton created 21 million jobs Bush's tax cuts created the worst economy since the great depression and lost 8 million jobs in 2008 and 2009 I am jusy a dumb disabled infantry sergeant but me I think I will stick with the democrats as bad as they are at least they are not promising to bring bacl the Bush policies of the 2001-2008 period as this new "contract on America" does the orange due is pulling a "boner" tomorrow

Posted by: mikey30919 | September 23, 2010 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Ezra this "alleged" document is proof that the Republican Party is just a small group in the Tea Party.

Did they retype this stuff or just submit one of the seven carbon copies? Why is Goldwaters signature on this?

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 23, 2010 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Women they get raped, are not finished, the right wing christian zealots in the Republican Party want to continue that rape and pain for life.

Then the zealots pile on the raped woman, no health care and no health care if your brought to term fetus, has preexisting conditions.

And these religious zealots call the Muslims, sick. sorry and crazy.

Mike Pence is a hideous idiot, the man has some skeletons and a few young staffers in his closet. Newt Gingrich is a whacked out idiot. On and on, idiots.

Anyway they always lie, who knows what will happen.

Any American that can read and think should reject this worthless insanity.

I know know why the republicans want everyone to carry a concealed weapon, with thinking like this we are headed for a disaster.

Posted by: COWENS99 | September 23, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Great time for a Third Party!

Posted by: hariknaidu | September 23, 2010 4:04 AM | Report abuse

Looking for a job? Jobs are now opening at many of the following locations http://bit.ly/aCgJH5

Posted by: frankle23 | September 23, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

Right time a Third Party!

Posted by: hariknaidu | September 23, 2010 4:09 AM | Report abuse

If Ezra hates it, then it must be fantastic.

Posted by: PS7900 | September 23, 2010 4:42 AM | Report abuse

If only the Democrats can find someone to make the issues this clear. Professor Obama, are you up to it? It makes me sad that we haven't become a more perfect union with "no more red states and blue states, but only United states," but the gauntlet has been thrown. We need someone to speak the truth.

Posted by: rjmhudson | September 23, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Only in delusional Liberal-land would repealing an entitlement like Obamacare increase the deficit. There. is. no. way. that you can set up that law, extend coverage and mandates and save money. It is a lie. And they're no more depriving people of anything than parents promising kids something for Christmas and then losing their jobs. The kids can't be deprived of what you never had. Whatever coverage they have now is ill-gotten gains.

Posted by: ronjaboy | September 23, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Enjoyed your writing Ezra, the thing to keep in mind when reading the GOP pledge document, it is meant for the uneducated and the dim in American society.

Posted by: fimclennan | September 23, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse


Shut up Klein you half a commie. Klein, the Journolist hack who writes on the economy but has no degree in economics.

As the election day rout of the Democrats draws nigh, Klein the leftist hack does not even bother to disguise his left wing agitprop.


Posted by: screwjob21 | September 23, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

I have no idea how the Republicans plan to pass a repeal of the health-care bill. No matter what, they are not going to get a veto-proof majority in both houses. Do they really think, if they present a bill to the President for signature, that he is going to throw away his year of effort and sign the Republican's bill? So, one of their key proposals is a complete non-starter.

Posted by: warren5 | September 23, 2010 6:24 AM | Report abuse

When I see headlines announcing rich democrats are taxing their income at 90% and sending it in.You can do that you know!!Other than that the real rich are not included in our tax code.Real liberalism would take 99% of Oprah's wealth but it is easier to take it from small business.

Posted by: jmounday | September 23, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

The democrats have been ripping us up and ignoring both what the "little" people want and what the country needs for several years. Now, the republicans will for a couple. Then, in 2012, we'll vote them out along with Obama and keep alternating until politicians learn to balance loving power and $250,000 office space with doing their jobs well enough to get to keep them.

It's going to be a long haul...

Posted by: deadmanwalking | September 23, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like an earlier program called "Contract on America"

Posted by: chicagostanford | September 23, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

I have come to believe that the Democrats must have a small army of young, tech savvy hill staffers or admin staffers that immediately start writing in opposition to any article about Republican proposals and cheering any writer that agrees with them. It is called job security by maintaining a democrat majority. Here is to hoping Senator Harkin shuts down Kaplan and the Post goes poof and Klein and his I'll with it.

Posted by: John721 | September 23, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Why not call this by it's correct title?

W's Third Term.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: NomoStew | September 23, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

John 721, sorry, it's just that there actually are people out here not hypnotized by Fox, still attendant to fact, and still capable of thought. That's all it takes to see the idiocy of Republican policy.

Posted by: NomoStew | September 23, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of the specifics, it's just so depressing that the GOP -- a major party seeking to govern this country! -- is still taking positions that are simplistic, incoherent, or irrational on their face.

Posted by: simpleton1 | September 23, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

"Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret...." - the dirty dishonest Ezra Klein a liberal/progressive JOURNOLIST for the dirty POST and NEWSWEEK...


....Yeah Ezra "regret" becuase you dirty liberal/progressive JOURNOLISTS in our MSM wolfpack press will make sure of that won't you? ...............lol

Folks the most extreme and dangerous institution to all our freedoms comes directly from our Free left-wing press...

Ezra Klein........is pushing the usual left-wing smut, dogma, and propaganda....

Don't buy this nonsense..............sad

Posted by: allenridge | September 23, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Shut up Klein you half a commie. Klein, the Journolist hack who writes on the economy but has no degree in economics.

As the election day rout of the Democrats draws nigh, Klein the leftist hack does not even bother to disguise his left wing agitprop.


Posted by: screwjob21
----------------------
Klein may very well be most of those things included in your sophmoric post but I have yet to see you address any of the points he made. When people like you resort to name calling and makes no attempt at all to counter another person I tend to believe the other person and take folks like you less serious (if it's even possible to take you less seriously then I already do)

Posted by: 6thsense79 | September 23, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Anatomy of a Know-Nothing

Exhibit A: allenridge

Step 1: Attack the person making the argument
Step 2: Present no facts to refute the argument
Step 3: Appeal to emotion rather than reason

And of course, make sure to YELL while doing it all.

Posted by: OMG-Socialism | September 23, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Anatomy of a Know-Nothing

Exhibit B: screwjob21

Step 1: Attack the person making the argument
Step 2: Present no facts to refute the argument
Step 3: Appeal to emotion rather than reason

Bonus points: Use of Nazi or Soviet rhetoric.

Posted by: OMG-Socialism | September 23, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

The RepubliKlan Party is no longer about conservative, common sense government they are all about getting high ratings with the Jerry Springer demographic in America. The GOP is the last bastion for the common idiot.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | September 23, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

A vile, angry document. Call it the revenge of Dick Armey, who has been pimping this for months.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 23, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

justonevoice: "Republicans will say what they need to to get elected. Once elected they will not do what they say but will rely on what has been done and then take credit for it."
-----------------------------------------
No hoss, you're thinking of Democrats. That's been their SOP for decades.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | September 23, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I would never give the keys to the car back to the drunk driver who put me in the ditch in the first place. Whoever wrote this has an agenda and it isn't America, not as I define it which consists of good people of all shapes and sizes and colors who work hard for a living and want their kids to do as well or better than they did, first.

Posted by: SarahBB | September 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Ezra,

Please tell your readers if tax revenues were higher or lower than anticipated after the Bush tax cuts were implemented and by how much.

Also, please share with us your credentials with regards to economics because your blogs consistently go against 100 years of economic thought. I, for one, would like to know about your vast experience that brings you to these conclusions.

Posted by: overtaxedindc | September 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Now, how do I get 200 million adult Americans to read your column?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Taxes aren't our big problem. It's lack of opportunity for the average Joe.

Posted by: SarahBB | September 23, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

When confronted with big problems propose small solutions and add lots of apple pie in the sky rhetoric. IMHO, this seems to sum up the pledge to America (from what I have seen so far). This document really does make you believe Congress governs by catering to the highest bidder lobbyist.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | September 23, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

It seems to be a promise to stay the course of Bush and f___ -up the country at an accelerated pace. I find it so sad that this country is full of imbeciles (most of the GOP dupe supporters) and greedy sobs (the very wealthy few) that would send us into a never-ending spiral of debt.

Posted by: johng1 | September 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

maritza1: "None of these proposals are going to create jobs. Just horrible."
------------------------------------------
You need to qualify your first statement: None of the proposals are going to create GOVERNMENT jobs.

Oh, these proposals will create jobs. Just in the private sector, you know, out in the country. Government enterprises, unions, government-funded boondoggle agencies, and rest of the government waste will have to earn their own keep now instead of taking dollars from hard-working Americans everywhere else.

Got it honey?

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | September 23, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Boehner, always with a thought to symbolism, chose the hardware store for the kickoff because, he thought, "What better place to start this drive than a hardware store, with as many different screwdrivers as we have ways to scr** the country again."

Posted by: capemh | September 23, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Typical lib/commie/socialist/prog screeching whenever someone proposes spending less of the private citizens money on gov't garbage.
But, more good news from the current admin that WaPo won't cover:

More news from the Obummer Dept. of Hoax & Chains:

The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 23, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of Obama rhetoric this election is about who will control congress. The record is very clear. The last time the Republicans controlled congress the unemployment was at 4.6%, the economy grew at 6% and the federal deficit was $160 billion. The first thing the Democrats did when they gained control in 2007 was to increase the minimum wage by 38% which adds to young people unemployment. Then they increased the federal deficit more than 7 fold to $1.4 trillion. They increased the accumulated debt by over $5 trillion which is more than all of the presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined and they did it in less than four years.

Furthermore, they passed legislation using clandestine methods behind closed doors and using taxpayer money for bribes to gain consensus for Obamacare. In addition, they blocked bipartisan efforts for the Republicans to have any input into Obamacare. The speaker of the house arrogantly said we wrote the legislation because we won the election.

Posted by: hfarmer2 | September 23, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Ezra - Go read what happened when the luxury tax was passed and how many jobs were destroyed when wealthy people stopped buying boats and other "luxury" items. Reversing the Bush tax cuts will result in more destroyed jobs and lower investment which ultimately will result in lower tax revenues and increased deficits.

Posted by: rogernebel | September 23, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Gee, ya think Ezra's a little biased toward spending and taxing Dems? Duh...

Posted by: bryan37 | September 23, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

We elect them to do what's right not what's popular but they like their jobs too much. They will, to quote a former sales manager with whom I worked, "Lie to us, scam us, do whatever it takes," to get our vote.

I don't care which side of the aisle the politician sits...quit pandering for votes. Make the votes based on the facts and what is in the country's best interest not what will help keep a cushy office on Capital Hill.

Posted by: tim21 | September 23, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

If you control the House you don't need to actually repeal the health care law, you just have to not appropriate any money to fund it. No money is effectively a repeal.

Economics 101 - the budget of a government is not the same as a personal check book where you must normally balance incoming and outgoing. The budget of a government would normally incentivize the favored behaviors and de-incentivize the unfavored. If creation of jobs is favored then tax incentives for investment are necessary. This is not to be confused with jobs for everyone aka socialism. Just look at Cuba, or the Soviet Union, or what's happening in China with private company incentives.

Posted by: rogernebel | September 23, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

papafritz571 ~ when you referred to " lower classes" you betrayed your FOREIGN ORIGIN.

No, this is America. Social mobility is assumed and encouraged, and we never refer to LOWER CLASSES ~ just not done.

Best you keep your filthy foreign fascist frameworks out of our discussion of American affairs ~ or at least busy yourself with gaining a comprehension of the national vocabulary.

You people are so tiring ~

Posted by: muawiyah | September 23, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the analysis and many of the comments criticizing the plan. I would point out, however, that Democrats have no substantive, detailed plan either. Both parties refuse to make the difficult but responsible choices, and each side tries to shirk responsibility by playing the blame game. Both sides are intensely partisan and more interested in getting reelected than governing and leading. Like the first comment said, we're screwed.

Posted by: wireknob | September 23, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The Faux New Headline for the GOP plan ...

"GOD gives GOP THE Plan."

Support it or be called a socialist terrorist.

Posted by: James10 | September 23, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The ad hominem attacks by the right wing posters here are typical of right wing thought. Just call Klein a Commie and a wingnut thinks he's made a brilliant political statement. Truly pathetic.

Anyone who does not want this country to return to the swamp of GOP malfeasance and incompetence had better get his or her ass to the polls in November.

Posted by: raqualung | September 23, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

COWENS99 ~ you give a Democrat enough time and he'll get around to blaming everything on the janitor, and you just did it.

John Boehner tends to swarthiness because his mother had an olive complexion ~ AND he spent 7 years working as a janitor to get through college.

He's the second of 12 children in a poor family.

If you had any class consciousness you would recognize that the working class people in America have abandoned the phony elitism of the Democrats to return to the nation's roots.

The coming Revolution will throw all of you punks in the ashbin of history where you belong.


Posted by: muawiyah | September 23, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Republican Party! Now that they have written what they will do if elected, it is time for the Dems to get Obama to explain prime time what these policies will do to the American people and economy. Reagan wasn't the Great Communicator, Obama is.

Posted by: sashab1 | September 23, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

We are beyond the era of easy choices. The Republican "plan" refuses to recognize it. There's not a tough choice in the entire document. It's just more rainbows and unicorns.

Now, Democrats don't have that much of a plan either. But at least health care reform was paid for and doesn't make our fiscal situation worse--unlike two wars, a huge prescription drug benefit, and tax cuts.

By the way, the document refers to the "job-killing tax hikes" that would happen if we returned to the rates under Clinton, because we all remember all those jobs that were lost while Clinton was president....ahhh, reality check, please?

Posted by: dasimon | September 23, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

18th Century Language, Medieval attitudes.

Posted by: cbseer | September 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

No, the bad ideas are already on the table--from the Obama Administration. All the senior economic staff is leaving--even before the mid-term election--because of Obama's policies. Now even David Axelrod is leaving.

The truth is that President Obama knows nothing about economics and he knows less about how the American economy works. His solution--let the government do it. And we have seen in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia...that these policies simply do not work. Why? Because millions and millions of people, making billions of independent economic decisions every day, is far more efficient than some cabal of experts sitting in a room--armed only with economic theory and guesswork--trying to determine a positive outcome.

Unleash the private sector. Cut government spending (and out debt). Cut taxes and give people a reason to invest, and get government over-regulation the heck out of the way (among federal, state and local regulations and taxes, business literally cannot move without a lawyer and an accountant at the ready). Unleash America--get this Administration out of the way.

Even smart Democrats are coming around (not this writer, obviously). Even Terry McAuliffe realizes that Democrats have to drop their anti-business positions. Ezra Klein is still in the dark, though, and probably will be there forever.

Posted by: SherlockHolmes | September 23, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

No, the bad ideas are already on the table--from the Obama Administration. All the senior economic staff is leaving--even before the mid-term election--because of Obama's policies. Now even David Axelrod is leaving.

The truth is that President Obama knows nothing about economics and he knows less about how the American economy works. His solution--let the government do it. And we have seen in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia...that these policies simply do not work. Why? Because millions and millions of people, making billions of independent economic decisions every day, is far more efficient than some cabal of experts sitting in a room--armed only with economic theory and guesswork--trying to determine a positive outcome.

Unleash the private sector. Cut government spending (and out debt). Cut taxes and give people a reason to invest, and get government over-regulation the heck out of the way (among federal, state and local regulations and taxes, business literally cannot move without a lawyer and an accountant at the ready). Unleash America--get this Administration out of the way.

Even smart Democrats are coming around (not this writer, obviously). Even Terry McAuliffe realizes that Democrats have to drop their anti-business positions. Ezra Klein is still in the dark, though, and probably will be there forever.

Posted by: SherlockHolmes | September 23, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Ezra

I hope you realize you have lost all credibility as an objective journo-list.

you are a shill for the Democratic party...I do feel you have a brilliant future as a spin doctor for Obama's death-spiraling Administration....Good Luck!

Posted by: MichaelAreno | September 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

How are the Republicans going to enact this agenda without scrapping Pay-Go?

Posted by: mschol17 | September 23, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Of course they're "bad ideas" Ezra. Unless the idea originated with the DNC, all others are terrible.... Now, go take your liberal dictatorship and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Posted by: WildBill1 | September 23, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

What a surprise. Ezra Klein thinks these are bad ideas.

It must be because he's a racist.

Posted by: etpietro | September 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Whenever Republicans start their rants about spending cuts, you can be sure the only programs they are interesting in cutting are the ones that benefit the middle class, the poor and the minorities.

The issue for the GOP (and now for the so-called "Tea Party") has NEVER been about spending, the federal deficit or government overreach. If that was truly the case, we would have seen something from them long before this, while Mr. Bush was spending us into a hole and growing the government exponentially. What did we hear from these true blue, rock-ribbed conservatives then?

This new Republican pledge, with its lofty rhetoric, seeks merely to enshrine the long-held conservative principle that the government should benefit only the wealthy and powerful.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | September 23, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse


Our nation faces a choice. Do we want a stagnant economy, where the best business plans are based on government subsidies and regulation?

Or do want to unleash what John Maynard Keynes called the "animal spirits" that fuel vigorous economic growth?

Posted by: junomoneta88 | September 23, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

We've been through this before... they'll say whatever they have to in order to get elected, and once they're in office it will be politics-as-usual... every state will have its own "Bridge To Nowhere", and the national debt will go through the roof.

Posted by: gmcduluth | September 23, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Actually, great ideas. Just not sure we can trust the Republicans to implement them.

But maybe Ezra and his corrupt band of Journolisters can explain why Obama promised a "net spending cut" during the campaign if spending cuts are such a bad idea?

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | September 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

So what would we like to dismantle? FDA? CIA? FBI? How about the USAF, USMC, US Army? Even better, lets take out DHS, TSA! Lets kill the federal government right now! Then we get to blame the President on every single disaster in the US for the next 20 years!

Posted by: logicaldoubtofhumansanity | September 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

THE BOTTOM LINE: REPUBLICANS ARE POOR SPORTS AND SORE LOSERS. I THOUGHT ALL OF US LEARNED ABOUT THIS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Posted by: honeybee1 | September 23, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Let's also not forget that they appear to be embracing the fiscal priorities of unlimited spending for foreign wars and foreign reconstruction campaigns, but hard caps when it comes to any American tax money actually spent in America or on American citizens.

Apparently, Republicans believe roads and bridges in Baghdad should get the federal government's open checkbook, while roads and bridges in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania should just build themselves.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

Posted by: theorajones1 | September 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I read the Pledge and agree with it.

Whats wrong with cancelling the TARP funds that haven't been spent?

What is wrong with the Government NOT funding abortion?

What is wrong with Fixing Fannie and Freddie?

What is wrong with requiring congress to wait 3 days before voting on legislation that requires READING IT FIRST!

Ezra, I don't think that you actually read the Pledge to America.

Again, another one of your articles stink.

Posted by: JBfromFL | September 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

JBfromFL: "I read the Pledge and agree with it.

"Whats wrong with...."

The problem is not necessarily with any particular provision. The problem is that it's not a plan for long-term responsible governance. There are no numbers that add up. It's more hand-waiving than hard proposals about what would be enacted and what would be cut.

And that's because having numbers that add up involve making tough choices--choices that, admittedly, both parties refuse to make. (Though it seems to me that the Democrats' numbers add up less worse than Republicans' numbers do.)

Posted by: dasimon | September 23, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The Pledge means nothing unless each and every candidate is prepared to place their voting and sponsored bills along side of it to see how they compare.

In nearly every instance it will be clearly shown that how these men and women have voted in the past is contrary to this Pledge. And, no matter what they try to tell us, they are NOT going to change

Voters have an obligation to the nation to send the best possible candidates to Washington. The only way they can do that is to KNOW what the candidates stand for by their voting history and bills sponsored.

Check out your Congress Critters' voting history and compare it to the Pledge.


http://votesmart.org/index.htm

The vote is a powerful tool, use it wisely.

Posted by: asmith1 | September 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Don't fall into the GOP trap!

The main point of their 'Pledge To America' is this: 'It doesn't matter what we say or do - the cult will always vote for us.'

Do not waste your time dissecting it, or fact-checking it, or pointing out all the lies and nonsense. The cult doesn't care - that's why it's a cult.

Focus all energy on Democratic voter turnout - it's the only way to stop the cult from 'taking their country back.' Period.

Posted by: frank1569 | September 23, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

JBfromFL: Whoever wrote that stupid "Pledge" either didn't know or didn't care that TARP expires BY STATUTE on October 3, 2010. Two weeks from now. Before the November election.

In other words, in two weeks, there will be no TARP to cancel.

The rest of this "Pledge" is equally divorced from reality.

Posted by: tbetz | September 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

what a predictably sad little temper tantrum from Boy Wonder Klein. Did yu coordinate this DNC press release with your leftist friends on Journo-list, Ezra? Haven't you heard that te other Obama rats are deserting his sinking ship? Better hurry little rat - you don't want to get left behind.

Posted by: hill_marty | September 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Republicans want a "Constitutional rationale" for why the Federal government should care about helping out Americans. How about the Preamble to the Constitution?

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Posted by: AxelDC | September 23, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Klein, why would anyone disagree with what the pledge says that it wants to effect? Now, you could argue that they probably won't do it, but, opposing what they say they want to do is.....ridiculous or subversive. It is like railing against 'restoring honor', or 'restoring sanity' rallies. You may disagree with specific messages voiced during the rallies, but, do you really oppose honor and sanity? Klein, your columns usually come off as trying so hard to find fault with the right. It sounds like you really like the right, but have been told to fault it, and finding nothing to fault, you just sound ridiculous. There is plenty to fault the GOP with--do some investigating.

Posted by: coffic | September 23, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, This article is more of a screed than a thoughtful piece. Fannie and Freddie are the only mortgage game in town because they crowded out all private mortgage companies. Now they are costing the US taxpayer billions every year. We do not need the government to backstop every mortgage and we need to close Fannie and Freddie. Something will emerge on the other side, but no one knows what it will be. You seem to want to preserve the status quo, or even increase the government's role.

Posted by: bruce18 | September 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks that Republicans care about fiscal sanity have never heard of Reagan or Bush.

Posted by: AxelDC | September 23, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

A suggestion: the Washington Post should include the background and expertise a writer has in their bio so I can determine whether I should pay any attention to the opinions stated. The bios of most of the opinion writers mostly say they are editors of this, that or the other. What does that mean?

This is what we get for Ezra Klein:

"Ezra Klein writes an opinionated blog on economic policy, collapsing banks, cap and trade, health care reform and pretty much anything else you can attach a chart to. His blog points to the hottest policy ideas on the Web and provides his own up-to-the-minute take. Before coming to The Post, he was an associate editor at the American Prospect. Klein has appeared as a guest on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and C-SPAN and lots of online radio shows you've never heard of.

Klein, who makes a mean kung pao, will also be a regular contributor to The Post's Food section. He contributes to the group food blog the Internet Food Association."

Being an editor and appearing on shows and making kung pao are not qualifications or show any expertise.

This article lacked substance, just as the suggestions for cutting the budget are lacking in both the Democrat and Republican platforms.

Why is this? Because we are broke as a nation. We cannot afford all of the "free stuff." The politicians will try to "solve" the problem as they always have: with INFLATION. This time, it will be harder because the taxpayer is over extended with debt and is broke too.

Does anyone have the guts to stop the "free stuff" and pay for what we get?

Someone must pay for the "free stuff."

Currently it is the Chinese and future generations.

Posted by: Compost11 | September 23, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"You're also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe?"

Easy answer.

The single-issue parts of the GOP believe their view of their issues (be it guns, abortion, whatever) should apply to everyone.

The traditional GOP believes they must continue transferring wealth to the rich.

Posted by: ad9inaz | September 23, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Don't fall into the GOP trap! The main point of their 'Pledge To America' is this: 'It doesn't matter what we say or do - the cult will always vote for us.'

Do not waste your time dissecting it, or fact-checking it, or pointing out all the lies and nonsense. The cult doesn't care - that's why it's a cult.

Focus all energy on Democratic voter turnout - it's the only way to stop the cult from 'taking their country back.' Period.

Posted by: frank1569 | September 23, 2010 10:30 AM
=========

If you overlook the "cult" and vote for the other party - without knowing where they REALLY stand on the issues, and buying into their rhetoric, you are falling into the same trap - just different people spinning the web.

Voters need to think for themselves, rather than rely on campaign rhetoric.

Contrary to what anyone says, there is nothing wrong with splitting a ticket. At this time, it may even be a good thing.

Posted by: asmith1 | September 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I am an independent, so I try to look at each parties ideas on their merits, based on information that I am able to obtain. If substantial numbers of people think that this "Contract with America II" can be reasonably ACTED upon, not just a political short-term statement, we are truly in trouble!

Posted by: thinkfirst1 | September 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I read the Pledge and agree with it.

Whats wrong with cancelling the TARP funds that haven't been spent?

What is wrong with the Government NOT funding abortion? [Government hasn't funded abortion since Reagan.]

What is wrong with Fixing Fannie and Freddie?

What is wrong with requiring congress to wait 3 days before voting on legislation that requires READING IT FIRST!

Ezra, I don't think that you actually read the Pledge to America.

Again, another one of your articles stink.

Posted by: JBfromFL | September 23, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

***************
I did read the Pledge and it is long on rhetoric and short on specifics.

The tax break portion sounds very much like the same one the President proposes. The Republican ideas on this are doable only if it applies to small and family owned business and middle-class wage earners. But this section needs work. Its the proposal, but how will it be implimented, how long will it take and what is the budgetary implications?

The second section is the one that is truly problematic.

Ending TARP - The original TARP has ended mainly because all that money was distributed out to the banks,wall street and Auto. With the record profits Wall Street insurers have begun paying it back, as well as the Banks and Auto industry. For section one to work the Republicans would need to agree that this money would be used to impliment a small and family business investment act. Money that these business could use to invest in hiring and training workers, buy the necessary equipment and marketing tools for growth. Tax breaks alone for small and family owned businesses just isn't enough to jump start the economy. I also feel the Multi-nationals need to be held more accountable and this is not addressed.

Many states have already instituted Government jobs hiring freeze. But again a hiring freeze sounds good but I have a little problem that it only applies to non-security positions considering the number of contractors that have sprung up in the past 8 years to provide security for the US and receive government funding,which cost 5x the amount of a Government Security Agency - aka the FBI, CIA US Military and National Guard etc. I would be more comfortable if I saw that they were interested in reducing the number of security related contractor agreements.

I could probably go point by point but I am running out of characters(letters) for this posting.

Posted by: Tuathe | September 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Major GOP idea is to put a stop to this, month after month:

New Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly
Published September 23, 2010 | Associated Press

Initial claims for jobless aid rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 465,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The rise suggests that jobs remain scarce and some companies are still cutting workers. Initial claims have been stuck above 450,000 for most of the year.

Claims typically fall below 400,000 when hiring is robust and the economy is growing. These figures show that the economy ISN'T growing but, is shrinking. Initial claims, while volatile, are considered a real-time snapshot of the job market. The weekly claims figures are considered a measure of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies' willingness to hire. The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 48,000 to 4.49 million, the department said. But that doesn't include several million people who are receiving unemployment aid under extended programs approved by Congress during the recession.

The extended benefit rolls rose by about 200,000 to nearly 5.2 million in the week ending Sept. 4, the latest data available.

Hoax & Chains YOU can believe in!

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

All of you porgressives are missing the point the Democratically controlled Congress had the opportunity to shut things down from 2007 until W left in 2009. One fo reasons for our current economic mess is during the 90's the Dems wanted every American to buy a house. Didnt matter if they could afford the mortgage or not. So Freddie and Fannie became enablers.

Shame Mark Warner dropped out early and we had a choice between Hillary "I dont swallow" and Comrade Barry. The Republicans gave us an Academy graduate who wears Depends. Check out his office trash.

As a result we got a lawyer who has never held a real job and his Chacago Mafia running the country. Just what we needed with the economy going down the toilet. A lawyer running the country is not the answer when you need to create jobs. Either is a baptist minister, career pol or good ole thunder thighs Hillary. Someone with Warner's experience creating and building a company and meeting a payroll would have resulted a lot less pain.

Erza and his progressive butt buddies also need to realize Repiblicans and Independents own and know how to use firearms and C4 when it all goes to h*ll!

Chris Odonnell for prez 2012 We need a Virgin Queen as prez. But the chances are better she loses her virignity in prison.

Its times for all of us to take the country back from the progressive left who thinks we are too stupid to run our lives and the far right who think we are too immoral or amoral to run our lives. Just leave folks alone they can marry whoever they want and screw up their lives w/o the interference of a bunch of overeducated East coast condo dwellers.

Posted by: sheepherder | September 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

For all those who want to put all the blame on the Democrats you need to read the "Big Short" It will put everything into perspective for you.

Our first goal should be electing people who are little more that publicity hogs and power mongers. We need to begin looking carefully at the candidates and get them to explain to us why they are qualified for the job.

I hate to say this but looking at our congress and senate there isn't a handful of Legislators that I would hire to take care of my dog, let lone run the Country and that is on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: Tuathe | September 23, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that Ezra complains about the Republicans wanting to institute 4 trillion dollars worth of tax cuts but doesn't mention most of his Democratic bretheren, Obma included, want to extend (notice I said extend) the Bush tax cuts for the so called middle class. The middle class who's income extends all the way up to $249,000. This extension of the "middle class tax cuts" would constitute the vast majority of the $4 trillion Ezra mentions. Around $3.3 trillion to be exact. I also like how Ezra parrots the Democratic party line that the Republicans want to cut taxes for the rich. The taxes were cut 10 years ago so all the Republicans are talking about is extending those cuts into the future since raising taxes in the middle of a severe recession is not a smart thing to do. Of course Ezra all goes on as he ususally do claiming that by eliminating Obamacare would cause to deficit to increase even though recent studies show that Obamacare is going to wind up costing a lot more than advertised. Beside why wouldn't the Republicans advocate getting rid of it. Then have no vested interest in the plan since not a single member of the Republican party voted for it.

Posted by: RobT1 | September 23, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

hfarmer2 wrote:
The first thing the Democrats did when they gained control in 2007 was to increase the minimum wage by 38% which adds to young people unemployment.

wtf?
did they wrestle President Bush to the ground and force him to sign this legislation?
you are a joke

Posted by: strictly_liberal | September 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton years produced more jobs than the Regan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. combined!
That tells the real story of Democrats vs
Republicans policies.
Pledge on that for a while!

Posted by: lunetrick | September 23, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Ezra's opinion on the deficit is wrong for at least two reasons. First, it assumes no spending cuts. Second, it assumes no GDP growth--i.e., it focuses merely on the tax rate and not the base of taxable income. Anyway, regardless of Ezra's solidly left opinions, this formerly-Obama-voting Independent likes much of what he sees in the Pledge. I do wish, however, that it focused solely on fiscal issues.

Posted by: Fletch_F_Fletch | September 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

sheepherder
why don't you go read the Wash. Times?
that's where your ILK is.
our economic mess is due to the prior republican controlled congress, their tax legislation, and lack of regulation of the banking industry.
enjoy being miserable

Posted by: strictly_liberal | September 23, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"I am disappointed in the Republican pledge but I am far more disappointed in Obama, Reid and Pelosi running the country into the ground. With Republicans in control of the house at least it would the madness we have seen comming out of Washington."

Exactly how have Obama, reid & Pelosi run the country into the ground? We had the worst recession since 1929 starting in 07.

Posted by: jjj141 | September 23, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Strictly liberal,

No punk the current mess is the fault of both parties. Biggest blame goes to Barney Frank and his allies who forced Fannie and Freddie to realx the rules so everyone could get a home mortgage. The Dems ahd the chance since 2007 to stop W. Did they?

Where was the oversight? Since 2006 what party did the banks and Wall Street give the most money to? The Dems! It has recently gone back to Reps. And now we have Comrades Barry, harry and nancy wanting to install a Western European system of managing your economy in this country. Along with taking away our guns.

Our problems are a result of both parties being worried about getting reelected and not what is best for the country and scoring points.

BTW why are all liberal progressive female pundits on the tube so god forsacken ugly?
Many look like queens who got lsot on the way to the drag races.

At least the conservative pundits look good in short skirts and FMPs. and they have brains except for Michelle waht's her name

Posted by: sheepherder | September 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it obvious what the long term plan is? Say stuff that is popular at the moment - to gain control of House and Senate - then drive the country back off the cliff -- then, for 2012, present all of Obama's ideas all over again under the GOP platform -- to "fix" the country.

Posted by: BleedingHeartL | September 23, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Are the American people stupid enough to fall for this baloney? We are about to find out. The smart money is probably on the yes answer.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | September 23, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

GO OUT AND VOTE PEOPLE!!!!

Posted by: BleedingHeartL | September 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Take the deficit. Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it: The document never says that the policy proposals it offers will ultimately reduce the deficit.

------------------------------------------
Take the deficit. Perhaps the two most consequential policies in our dysfunctional entitlement system are Social Security and Medicare. The first increases the budget deficit by 100 billion per year over 30 years (there is no surplus, and promises, like love, must be paid for). The second depends on the system of calculation, but conservatively add another 150 billion dollars a year (at least until it is financially unaffordable) and many trillions of dollars more after that. There is nothing except an egotistical desire by the federal government to collect as many tax dollars as it can and pay the minimum out that it can to resolve the forthcoming entitlement crash. There is nothing in the most timid Democratic proposals which would either stop, or slow down, the upcoming train wreck, and in fact, there is much in the current democratic proposals more analagous to wetting the wood in the train hopper with jet kerosene rather than with water.

The policies cannot be saved by increasing the retirement age, or increasing the social security tax, or increasing the cap, as this will only reduce the short term deficit but maintain the long term debt. The choices are ruinous taxes, insupportable program cuts, or extended inflation to reduce the value of the accrued debt.

Of course, there is always actually trying to figure out, from available dollars, what can be paid to retirees and people to whom the govenrment now owes money and in actually trying to figure out, from available options, how to allow individuals the opportuntity to control their long term health, financial, and care needs without reliance on the government, while allowing those current employees who wish to stay on the markedly inferior govenrmetn run programs to do so.

I think they call it budgeting. Maybe the next Congress can learn how to do it. I know some good high schoolers who could teach them.

Posted by: PALADIN7E | September 23, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Much of the anti-Klein written-rhetoric on this page mis-uses/mistakes both grammar and spelling for anyone who's gotten past junior-high-school. Does this also mean that the unlimited hatred displayed by these written messages--displayed for all to see and wince at--are from those of "limited intelligence"; that a rather large proportion of the general-electorate are fools? I hope not, but I sometimes think so--see: "Presidential election, 2004".

Posted by: marc85 | September 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

This sort of thing happens because of the apathy and stubborn ignorance of so much of the American electorate, as much as because of the disingenuous demagoguery of political candidates.

Too many people have firm opinions that, unfortunately, were formed on the basis of emotion, and flawed, incomplete or even false information. Once they have adopted such an opinion, they see and hear only whatever appears to support that opinion, and they tune out contradictory data.

Too few will actually take the time to look into the big issues, or even to read the history behind controversies that they are asked, as voters, to help resolve. This is especially true about foreign policy... thus are we drawn into the intractable conflicts of others, and often act against our own interests.

We are citizens of a Republic. It acts in our name, here and abroad, and we are ultimately responsible for whatever it does. People are often heard encouraging EVERYONE to vote, as if that will help: nobody needs to encourage voting by those who take an active interest, and educate themselves on the issues...they will do it without cajoling. Nobody SHOULD encourage the ignorant and apathetic to vote. It DOESN'T help when they do.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh Ezra; journo-list for the DNC: at least the 21 pages of the Pledge sounds American in its initiatives. Where is the Dem plan? Oh wait,it was Obamaism that has failed over the last 20 months. Every Stimulus, every socialist bit of baloney, more taxes and spending under this phony in the WH than all of our Prez' put together, more Green baloney with cap and tax, Fannie and Freddie failures, no border protection. And you Dem flacks complain about the Pub plan when the Dem plan is planned economic failure??? Shameless. Vote Pub to cleanse your progressive souls.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | September 23, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats bad idea: November 2, 2010.

Posted by: jchu591 | September 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I find it hilarious that I can go to a column written by a Pro-Obama author and flip to the comments and they are all : "those retugs, the orange man, the ignorant" then I go to the conservative author and is all "the evil progressive". The truth is any documented presented by the GOP would have been shreed to pieces and ridiculed, but leave the BS apart and think; freezing spending good idea, cutting budgets-good idea, 72 hours to READ a bill -CAPITAL idea how are we doing so far? Using the constitution for every bill- who care, preservation of traditional marriage- neither here nor there- but remember Obama opposes gay marriage.So in the balance of all the proposal what weights more? By the way we the people will need to call for term limits-nobody will vote themselves out of a job. So yes I will vote against this administration this November, I will campaign, drive people , post signs and make calls everything I can do to change the dynamic of this goverment. Goverment should be small and responsive to the people not humongous and in command of the people.

Posted by: viaexports | September 23, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is not interested in governing. It was in power for 8 years with George W. Bush and never managed to govern. Bush II was like the guy in the film "The Candidate" who gets elected. The last line of the film is "What do we do now?"

The GOP is interested in getting elected so that members can be famous, get wined and dined by lobbyists and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

President Obama is trying to govern. Both Democrats and Republicans should both want him to succeed and help him. Republicans have opted out. When they did that, they sort of opted out of the governing thing.

I cannot understand anyone who wishes a president to fail. Look, I despised GWB, but I never wanted him to fail. That would be as if I were wishing the country to fail. But, I am sane.

On the other hand, we have the Republicans who always promise to reduce the deficit and always also increase it.

Posted by: yenta1 | September 23, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Well we knew that if the Republicans had miraculously discovered a way to pay off the national debt and solve all the world's problems Ezra Klein wouldn't like it! He prefers the arrogant left wing approach of giant costly Government ruling over everybody's lives, and trillions and trillions in corrupt spending and debt! In Nov the public will need to decide if they like Obama and the Democrat's 9.6% UNEMPLOYMENT, radical left wing agenda, and the massive contempt they have for working Americans, or the Republican approach. If we don't balance our Government in Nov like we did in the 90s we may never recover. Decision time is almost here?

Posted by: valwayne | September 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, your latest hit piece doesn't even pass the laugh test.

You claim that NOT spending money on the health care bill...will COST money? That repealing a bill that has forced many to go without insurance (everyone being dropped from now-nonexistent employer plans) will increase the number of uninsured? That continuing the current tax rate (stop calling it a tax cut) is somehow an expense? And you claim that we somehow, over $1 TRILLION later, have not spent enough of our money on wasteful public spending?

You used to at least be good at this. Go home, and try to disguise your blind slavish loyalty to the democratic party just a little better next time.

Posted by: devildog_jim | September 23, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

hfarmer2 writes:
I am disappointed in the Republican pledge but I am far more disappointed in Obama, Reid and Pelosi running the country into the ground. With Republicans in control of the house at least it would the madness we have seen comming out of Washington.
-------------
What short memories we have. I seem to recall it was Bush who brought us to the brink of a great depression (we won't even get into launching an unnecessary war and clearing brush at crawford while the 9/11 planners put the finishing touches on their plan.)

Posted by: donquixote3 | September 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, the republicans propped their version of Dean Martin behind a podium and got him to slur out some amazing comedy.

It comes down to this: "We're not going to do a single thing differently than we did back in the Bush days, when our polices resulted in the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression. Now who wants some of this GOP snake oil?"

Hic.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | September 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

What do we Republicans believe? Well, we believe the exact opposite of most of the liberal/leftist/socialist/anti-American/anti-Capitalist WP columnists.

Posted by: georges2 | September 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It is defiinely time for a parlement style govenment or three other parties to emerge. This group and entrenchment is insane and has to stop. Evan a cat will fight backed against the wall. Let's hope Americans get the picture or they will become a 2-tear class of surfs.

Posted by: crrobin | September 23, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Telling that the sheeple supporting this wingnut drivel make the dumbest comments(screwjob).

How pathetic is the GOP and how sad is their base....

Posted by: LABC | September 23, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Please Charlie Brown, trust me, this time you will get to kick the football.

Dupes.

Posted by: rusty3 | September 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Mr. Klein, nothing but another WashPost democrat stooge!!!

Posted by: jibe | September 23, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Extending the Bush tax cuts will not increase the deficit it will decrease it. The way you increase funds into the treasury is to promote policies that spur the economy. Keeping business taxes low is the best way to create an environment conducive to job creation, real job creation. The thousands if not millions of new taxpayers will more than make up for the tax cuts that created their jobs.

Posted by: vagolfmaster | September 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have run up 13 trillion in debt over the past 30 years. They proclaimed they wanted to "Starve the Beast" - put our government into so much debt it had to contract. Mission nearly accomplished. This manifesto of, by and for the Corporate Elite promises to finish the job.

Posted by: kcbob | September 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Biggest blame goes to Barney Frank and his allies who forced Fannie and Freddie to realx the rules so everyone could get a home mortgage. "

Wow ... that's a special kind of revisionist history right there.

Over here in reality, Fannie and Freddie didn't get into the subprime and secondary mortgage markets until 2006, well after the bubble had expanded beyond control.

The only people who were "forced" to do anything are the mortgage brokers and underwriters at lenders and banks who were told, by their superiors, to approve every loan possible. This was because the lender/bank would turn around and package those loans into CDOs.

Sure, they knew the loans were crap and likely to fail, but what did the superiors care? They were making money hand over fist on the back end, and by short-selling their own products.

But thanks for reminding us that conservatives don't inhabit the same reality a majority of the world does, choosing instead to hang out in a fantasy world in which facts have no meaning, and ideology trumps reality.

Thanks for visiting! Now run along ...

Posted by: Tke919 | September 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

ezra backing an anti-zionist regime.
will you be surprised when obama and
axelrod bargain isreal into the sea?
where will you go? Mecca?

Posted by: simonsays1 | September 23, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The republicans don't care about America, they care about electing people so they can control everything in washington and will give up two and a half years to gain it. Their idiot idea that more tax cuts are needed to get the economy rolling is plain stupid. Businesses have more cash on hand then they ever had. They have to money to invest but won't because the party of no, the idiot teabaggers that are willing to turn their back on America just to have power. They and anyone that thinks like them are a sick group and should take lithium to keep themselves in check.

Posted by: BKane32 | September 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

RepubliKKKans are shameless bigots!

Posted by: tedlpearson | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Amen, LABC. Many of the wingnut comments are a perfect reflection of the GOP "plan" itself - shallow, immature and overflowing with lame catch phrases. Too bad bumper sticker philosophy does not equal good governing.

Posted by: shstl | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ezra How can you expect to be taken seriously when you spout the nonsense that Obamacare will save the govt $100 million over the next 10 yrs.

Posted by: sgilligan1 | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The republicans don't care about America, they care about electing people so they can control everything in washington and will give up two and a half years to gain it. Their idiot idea that more tax cuts are needed to get the economy rolling is plain stupid. Businesses have more cash on hand then they ever had. They have to money to invest but won't because the party of no, the idiot teabaggers that are willing to turn their back on America just to have power. They and anyone that thinks like them are a sick group and should take lithium to keep themselves in check.

Posted by: BKane32 | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Ezra How can you expect to be taken seriously when you spout the nonsense that Obamacare will save the govt $100 million over the next 10 yrs.

Posted by: sgilligan1 | September 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of Obama rhetoric this election is about who will control congress. The record is very clear. The last time the Republicans controlled congress the unemployment was at 4.6%, the economy grew at 6% and the federal deficit was $160 billion. The first thing the Democrats did when they gained control in 2007 was to increase the minimum wage by 38% which adds to young people unemployment. Then they increased the federal deficit more than 7 fold to $1.4 trillion. They increased the accumulated debt by over $5 trillion which is more than all of the presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined and they did it in less than four years.

Furthermore, they passed legislation using clandestine methods behind closed doors and using taxpayer money for bribes to gain consensus for Obamacare. In addition, they blocked bipartisan efforts for the Republicans to have any input into Obamacare. The speaker of the house arrogantly said we wrote the legislation because we won the election.

Posted by: hfarmer2
=============================================
They passed the GOP budget in 07(continuing resolution) and the recession started in 07 continuing today. Min. wage raises did not cause the problem, outsourcing, homes worth 40% more than value mortgaged at 60% over value, regulators letting oil go to $140 eating twicefold the $600 rebate to stop the recession when gas is $5 a gallon. Goldman and Chase both bet against mortgages and hedged their bet by bidding up oil for pennies on the dollar. AIG was bailed out to protect these banking interests as US banks only could have been saved for half the price. Your being played by the right like the left is playing the race card. Both parties are in bed with special interests having Goldman agents Bernanke/Geithner in charge of the Fed/Treas. as proof. The Dems will throw a bone to the poor while enriching their social interest millionaires, while the GOP says do without and pay 4x more for Lipitor than Canadians.

Posted by: jameschirico | September 23, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope the republotards win; I'll never tire of writing about John Boner!

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | September 23, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been an appalling disaster.

Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have been worse than a Three Stooges movie.

Posted by: Jerzy | September 23, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ultimately, this is no Contract for America a la 1994. The specific policy proposals there were mostly workable, and the promise was to bring all of them to a full floor vote within a certain amount of time, which the GOP did. Not every proposal passed, but the Contract was successful both as a blueprint for leadership and as an election tool.

This Pledge, however, is a mess. Freezing spending, or even rolling back to 2008 levels, is not going to solve much. Spending was already too high in 2008, and given that Defense is exempted, and yet makes up the bulk of discretionary spending, and that mandatory spending wouldn't be frozen either, there is not much to be liked here for deficit hawks.

And repealing health care? Does anyone really believe that this would happen with Obama still in the White House? He'd veto any Republican rewrite immediately, and even before such a bill hit Obama's desk, the Senate would kill it because Republicans definitely would not garner the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

Some of the Republican proposals seem like positive gestures, but that's all they really are--gestures. The Contract for America offered policy proposals; the Pledge seems more rooted in gestures that will never get anywhere in Washington.

But what's to be expected with country-club Republican Boehner at the helm? Until Republicans get a serious, policy-driven leader in Congress instead of an establishment, good-ole-boys-club, lobbying-central figurehead, they won't have much of substance to offer.

Posted by: blert | September 23, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The GOP began their Stalinesque purges last year with the purity tests. It will continue. Big business will rule the roost. The middle-class will decline, as will health and education. They will spend and spend while cutting revenue, using fear-mongering paranoia to increase defense spending. They will be looking from the beach for the next war. They have no idea what they're doing as the the Bush years proved. We're in for more of the same war-mongering and out of control spending. They will try to keep America in the 17th century social climate. They will treat women, minorities and gays as second class citizens. They will push for their Daddy State: telling Americans to be good Christians, who they can marry, sleep with, if women will have control over their own bodies, what you'll be able to smoke, ingest and enjoy. They'll be in your bodies, bedrooms and private lives. They will over-extend the use of the already broken military. Foreign policy will consist of bullying and detaching from the world. If we don't engage, the terrible outside world won't exist. You know, like when a child covers it's eyes. Why in the world ANY thinking person could think things will get better under these clowns is beyond me. And, for some reason, they seem to think this President will sign into law whatever they present to him. Why should he? You folks are on your own, just like any victim of war, crime and indifference.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Pledge is NanNu NanNu stuff.

The need something simple and direct:

If elected to power we will create 500,000 new jobs each month during 2011 and 750,000 new jobs each month in 2012.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The Democrat Recession

No President of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus acting alone. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives and all taxes are voted into law by Congress.

When Pelosi / Reid / Obama took over Congress in Jan 2007, after 12 years of Republican prosperity, unemployment was at 4%, DOW was at a record high, we had had 54 straight months of economic growth.

The recession started in late 2007, nearly A YEAR AFTER the Democrat Congress took power, with the DOW is down 40% from when Pelosi/Reid/Obama took over The Republican Congress had 4 budget surplus years, and left in 2006, with the DOW at a record high, unemployment sub 4%, deficits were moderate and trending down, and after 52 straight months of economic growth.

100% of the recession, 100% of the stock market drop, 100% of skyrocketing unemployment, 100% of the bailouts, the crash of the Frank/Dodd financial system, a 40% growth in Govt spending, and $3.8 Trillion of new deficit debt, the worst environmental disaster in US history belongs to THIS DEMOCRAT CONGRESS.

Republican Congress average annual Deficit: $105 billion (1996-2007)
Democrat congress average annual Deficit: $1.305 TRILLION (2008-2010)

TWELVE LONG YEARS OF RECORD PROSPERITY with the Republican Congress,
THREE YEARS OF FAILURE, MISERY, FISCAL INSANITY, ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER, AND RUIN UNDER Pelosi/Reid/Obama...

Posted by: fury60 | September 23, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Pledge is NanNu NanNu stuff.

The need something simple and direct:

If elected to power we will create 500,000 new jobs each month during 2011 and 750,000 new jobs each month in 2012.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

The Republican plan is complete voodoo economics. 1/2 the federal budget is defense/national security. With that off the table, you have Social Security. But it's not a fund for general government operating revenue, but for old age pensions. It's self-supporting unless raided. That leaves us with small, irregular amounts the federal government gives to the states for education or health care. And, once cut, the states will be forced to raise taxes to make up the difference. And what will the Republican plan save? $100 billion? Just 10% of the annual USA national security spending, if even that much is saved. Meanwhile the deficit increases by $700 billion for the Tea Party/Republican tax cuts for the top 2%. What a joke your plan is, Republicans!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | September 23, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The liberals said Chris Christy would hurt New Jersey by doing wxactly what the GOP is proposing.......they were wrong as New Jersey's debt situation has improved greatly and the labor unions are on the run.......that medicine is coming to America and the disease called Obama socialism is about to be eradicated!

Posted by: Realist201 | September 23, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it..."

Well, nothing in current policy comes close to paying for the stimulus program, Wall Street bailouts, or health care bill. But that sure didn't stop the administration from ramming these things down our throat. (Hence the $1.4 trillion annual deficits, and MONTHLY deficts greater than annual deficits used to be.)

One other thing, Ezra: I object to this misnomer that you have to "pay for" a tax cut. What the heck is that supposed to mean? It's the PEOPLE'S money, not Uncle Sam's. You pay for a good or service, e.g. buying something at the store. You don't "pay for" letting people keep more of their hard-earned money.

Posted by: tb6503@gmail.com | September 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"You're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars."

This is pretty much all that needs to be said about the GOP's plan for governing. If enough independents planning a deficit/government/economy protest vote stop to look at what the Republicans are proposing, they'll have to conclude Republicans aren't ready to lead and would be far worse than Democrats.

How about a proposal that has the guts to propose detailed deficit reduction, like the conservative Tories in Britain produced? Seems they managed to win their election. But at present the Republicans think the American people are too dumb to figure out their plan doesn't add up. This really is the same garbage that ballooned the deficit during the Bush years.

Posted by: Nissl | September 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

GOP believes in completely turning America into a plutarchy by whites and, in particular, white males.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | September 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein, WaPo food critic and number one water carrier for the DNC.

Ezra Klien's credentials please? He watches lots of Ratchel Maddow?

Only in a propagandist's mind is spin equal to reality.

Posted by: pvr1 | September 23, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Typical liberal claptrap. These past two years have been the last gasp of big government liberalism...any more of this and we really will be done. You people are going to get the beating of a lifetime on November 2 and then maybe we can the ship righted (pardon the pun). I guess we always were going to see Jimmy Carter's second term and sure enough it has come to pass...oh well, just two more years of Obama, but at least he won't be able to do any more harm and we can work on getting him and more Democrats out of office in 2012.

Posted by: dcmowbray1 | September 23, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The 800 billion tax gift to the super rich and other Republican cronies is nothing compared with the other nation destroying blow the Republicans have embedded in their "Pledge to America". "Rigorous Enforcement of Iranian" sanctions is simply a code word for "a fun new war with Iran to watch on Fox News".

This will be a WWII level effort costing five to ten trillion dollars in the first few months of Fox News entertainment. And we will probably lose this war as we have lost all of the other wars we have been involved in since WWII. Russia and China arn't going to just stand by and watch some war mongering Republican kook steal the oilfields.

This is probably why the Republicans arn't that worried about handing over a measly trillion dollars to their pals the super rich. They know that if they come to power, the new war will destroy our currency and probably the nation, so this gift won't matter one way or the other.

Posted by: Deirdre_K | September 23, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

HOW WONDERFUL.. FOR A YEAR THE DEMS HAVE BEEN SAYING "COME UP WITH A PLAN." NOW THAT HAS HAPPENED AND ALL OF THE CRYBABY WRITERS CAN ONLY RIDICULE WHAT IS THERE. CAN ANY OF THE NEGATIVE WRITERS REALLY BELIEVE THAT THIS PRESIDENT AND HIS ENTOURAGE OF LOSERS WILL DO ANYTHING GOOD FOR MY COUNTRY. JUST THINK; FOR A YEAR OBUMA WAS TELLING THE PUBLIC THAT THE HEALTHCARE PLAN WOULD NOT CAUSE ANY INCREASES IN THE COST OF CARE. NOW THE LIER IS SAYING "OF COURSE WE RECOGNIZE THAT THERE WILL SOME INCREASES. HOW COULD THERE NOT BE? WHEN YOU ADD ALL OF THE DEPENDENTS UP TO AGE 26 AND GIVE LIFE TIME CARE WHERE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM? THE ANSWER IS, FROM US. HOW CAN ANYONE BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF HIS MOUTH OR FROM HIS ADMINISTRATION?

Posted by: MALBENNET | September 23, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

This article is absolute leftist BS but typifies the quality and politics of this left wing rag.

Posted by: rplat | September 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Ezra's another liberal in a great panic as he realizes his hope and dream of Obama's big government and higher taxes is about to end. He conveniently fails to mention with the repeal of health care goes the billions in new costs and tax increases. He certainly does not want to think about government being shrunk to reduce costs and the social control that comes with big government. It's time to get real - the days of Obama's Hope and Change have become the Hope that Change will occur with Obama out of office.

Posted by: topgun97365 | September 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

This article is absolute leftist BS but typifies the quality and politics of this left wing rag.

Posted by: rplat | September 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Great News! The GOP has just given the Democrats a big leg up on keeping the House. Many voters won't read this but enough will that soon the word will be out that the GOP plans to out-do Bush in borrowing and spending and has no clue about how to govern.

Posted by: cartercamp | September 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Great News! The GOP has just given the Democrats a big leg up on keeping the House. Many voters won't read this but enough will that soon the word will be out that the GOP plans to out-do Bush in borrowing and spending and has no clue about how to govern.

Posted by: cartercamp | September 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how easy it is for the Republicans to swindle their base.

The "Pledge" starts with a deficit of $4T. extending the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would mean approx $4T less in revenues. None of the subsequent plans or cuts that they propose covers this amount.

Rolling back spending to the 2008 levels; is that 2008 budget levels? If so then that's what we are living with now so how does that help?

Repealing and replacing health care...how and with what? At what cost? And who will sign it? Defunding the healthcare bill? Well let them try, this country has sick republicans too.

Finally the if all else fails then throw in abortion. How many years has the Republicans promised not to fund abortion? How many years have the promised to reverse roe v wade? I can't believe that people are still buying that line.

Same old lies dated in a different election year.

Posted by: justonevoice | September 23, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from Rep. John "Boner." Keep on bar hoppin', buddy!

Posted by: cakehydrant | September 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

'
If it was DemocRATS writing this "Pledge to America" then it would be a great idea, right?

'

Posted by: ahartnack | September 23, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

As Homer Simpson once said, "When will people learn, Democracy doesn't work!" I don't really believe this, but sometimes it feels that way.

Posted by: cakehydrant | September 23, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

rogernebel @ September 23, 2010 9:01 AM wrote "If you control the House you don't need to actually repeal the health care law, you just have to not appropriate any money to fund it. No money is effectively a repeal."

Not quite: if the law requires something, and the government does not fund it, the people appeal to the Courts which tell the government to fulfill the law. It's happened before. In practical terms, this approach is more expensive than if the Congress fully funds the law, because then the legislature is dictated to be the Courts.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | September 23, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"Klein has appeared as a guest on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and C-SPAN and lots of online radio shows you've never heard of."

This says a lot to show that Klein just doesn't know what he is talking about, he is playing the Democrats record straight out of their playbook.

Another left wing, tax and spend bigot, who doesn't care about America or the American people.

Posted by: tonyjm | September 23, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The RICH do not want to pay Taxes.

and
the Republican are thinking they are supporting them.

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 23, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If the alternative is Obama/Reid/Pelosi's spending on fantasy Govt schemes, payoffs to unions, and takeover of every part of the economy...

I'll choose the Republicans every time.

Posted by: pgr88 | September 23, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

As Klein's article and the bulk of the following comments show, Democrats and liberals react to anything they don't like with nothing more than snark and condescension. No substance, only name-calling and wink-wink "they're really just racists, we annointed few know the truth" sarcasm. Democrat logic seems to distill to the following:

1) Everything Democrats do is inherently virtuous and special, even if others ultimately pay the costs and even if it totally blows up in our faces, because Democrats "mean well."
2) Ergo, anyone who disagrees with Democrats must be some combination of a) uneducated, b) stupid, and c) manipulated by the tentacle-y netherworld inhabited by the 6 Republican reverse-vampires who control that racist evil party.

Sure, the Great Emancipator was a Republican.

Sure, overtly racist Southern Democrats routinely ran for, and occasionally won, the Democratic Presidential Nomination throughout the 20th century, and activities by laudables such as Senator Byrd (D-WVa) in forming his own freaking KKK chapter are written off as aw shucks schoolboy pranks.

Sure, Democrats filled the current Administration with so many inexperienced ivory tower-jockey "Tsars" that we blew $826,000,000,000 on stimulus for NOTHING, only to watch the so-called economists responsible turn around and flee straight back to their various protective university cocoons, where the nationwide misery and despair dished out by their insane policies and theories will be mulled over as case studies by their slavish graduate students and tittered over during grotesque wine mixer functions.

Sure, Democrats refused to support or even acknowledge a democratic grass-roots revolution in Iran, while systematically offending our allies near and far.

Sure, Democrats created and passed a 2,000+ page healthcare bill that almost none of them actually read, which imposes crushing taxes on small businesses, is already forcing insurance companies to raise premiums, will actually punish anyone who doesn't buy healthcare, and was enacted in part in an effort to fix the massive health overruns in two OTHER Democrat social programs that themselves have already blown way past the "cost savings" they originally claimed would result.

Sure, Democrats spent all summer telling us everything was hunky-dory and we were experiencing a "Recovery Summer" (sponsored by China), all of our lying eyes notwithstanding.

While no party has a monopoly on bad ideas, the Democrats have miraculously managed to combine terrible ideas with atrocious execution. Heck, Cash for Clunkers is now widely understood as blowing billions of dollars in encouraging car buyers to just buy a car a little bit faster, while utterly destroying the used car market. On the plus side, continuing to belittle and concescend to those voters who somehow fail to see the brilliance of such Democrat implosions couldn't possibly come back to haunt them at the polls. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: zippyspeed | September 23, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

MARK MY WORDS

Republicans are going to lose seats in the Senate and Congress.


ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

There are four basic tenants to the Republican Party: Ego, Arrogance, Terminal Greed, and Deceit. Yes America it really IS that simple.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | September 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Excellent as usual, Ezra Klein. The Republican Party's potion -- equal parts greed, selfishness and stupidity -- ensures Democratic Party majorities as far as we can see or imagine. Thank God for that.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | September 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, you got it right and you know it.

As I've been saying all along, if Republicans knew ANYTHING at all about the economy then we wouldn't be in the fix we are today.

The fact is, Republicans know NOTHING about our economy, and they made themselves look even more stupid by addressing something they know nothing about.

I mean, they weren't even savvy enough to get an economist to help them write it!

They put stupid Tea Bagger talking points on a piece of paper and held it up for all to see.

I can just image the countries overseas who are laughing their azzez off at the Republicans.


Posted by: lindalovejones | September 23, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein is a dishonest partisan hack. His posts are so blatantly biased and poorly reasoned that he seems like a child stomping and holding his breath.

This stuff may be red meat for nervous liberals quivering on the verge of a significant electoral defeat -- perhaps the loss of one or both chambers of Congress, but certainly the loss of their permanent "mandate" and any hope of pushing a far-left agenda any further in Pres. Obama's remaining two years -- but to the rest of the planet, it's just a rant from a narrow-minded hothead who considers any ideas but his own as irrational or mean-spirited. The self-righteousness and arrogance are breathtaking.

Among his many manipulations of the truth is this: "The first (proposal, maintaining the Bush tax cuts) would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that."

Let's set aside the misleading static treatment of tax cuts in this statement -- because the $4T figure assumes no behavior changes or growth differential due to higher taxes, which is never the case. Ezra, the Obama/Pelosi stance on the tax cuts is pure class warfare, because letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the "rich" will produce a projected $700B over 10 years -- so extending them for the middle class will "cost" $3.3T over 10 years. You conveniently omit that, because you'd rather obscure the real issue, which is that you can either extend the rates to foster growth (and risk higher deficits) or raise them on all to collect more revenue. The middle road is a populist pander.

On the subject of healthcare, you need to get up to speed: the CBO has already tossed the phony estimate of budget savings over 10 years for Obamacare. Google it. May 15, 2010 - ABC News - "The director of the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the health care reform legislation would cost, over the next ten years, $115 billion more than previously thought, bringing the total cost to more than $1 trillion." That was the first of MANY coming (upward) revisions. And that's not including Congress' coming failure to enact the "doctor fix" for Medicare, which will destroy the health bill's funding. Then its addition to the deficit will be above $250 billion in its first 6 years alone (remember: Obama and the Democrats fudged the numbers by pushing out federal costs for four years to 2014). Higher insurance costs for all, higher deficits, and a slow march to socialized medicine -- that is the reality of Obamacare, and reason enough to seek its repeal. The uninsured can be better handled through true reform.

No, Ezra, you're on the wrong side of the argument again. The Republican document is a press release, but it's better than the rotten cabbage the Democrats are serving. We'll see what November tells us.

Posted by: Imperfections | September 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

What do Republicans stand for? Cobbling together enough single-issue voters to slip into office with no clue of what to do once there.

Posted by: jack824 | September 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Thx for the objective thoughtful analysis Ezra! Right.

Hey check it out! I can write just like Ezra:

Republicans suck. Republicans are stupid. Republican ideas might maybe make some sense... if u are stupid too. Republicans suck.

Posted by: legalize | September 23, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's a simple plan for Repbublicans to pledge:

Any federal tax cuts approved since 2001 and after will be required to be implemented by local and state governments as well. So if the federal tax cut is 10%, then local and state governments must also cut taxes by 10% on the same date.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

To shill or not to shill? That is the question.

Posted by: stwoodworth | September 23, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Two thoughts: first, what the Republicans really need to say is "eliminate public employee unions whose only purpose is to negotiate with themselves"; and second, they need to advocate for scrapping the entire tax code and starting over. Lower, broader rates, maybe three or four progressive tiers with no deductions for anything. That way taxes can fund the government instead of driving political behavior. And let everyone pay SOME income tax...the reason we can't get our spending under control is because half the country doesn't pay income taxes, but benefits from the programs funded by those who do. (And payroll taxes here are a separate issue. Or, should be, if we ever want to have a hope of making progress on any of our entrenched disasters in the making.)

Posted by: liseliz | September 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein, creator of Journolist, the attack and smear secret organization that purported to discredit Karl Rove as a racist even without substantiation, is at it again with his lies. Klein ultimately shut down Journolist, only after the existence and smear agenda of this secret group of liberal and socialist journalists was exposed by Tucker Carlson.

One of the most blatant lies he has created in this piece is that Fannie Mae, which is a target for efficient remodel in the Pledge to America as it is a target for extinction of Barney Frank, accounts for 9 of every 10 new mortgage loans. This is false.

FHA, which is not named in the Pledge, would argue with the Klein ratio, given they backed 4 of every 10 mortgage loans (www.FHA.gov) last year, and the USDA accounted for another 1 in 20, while the private side accounted for another 3 in 10.

Refuting all of Klein's disingenuous statements made here would quickly run over the 5000 word limit allowed for comment. But this particular metric cited by Klein in support of his criticism of the Pledge to America can be refuted quickly.

This guy's a liar, and I call him out.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | September 23, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

What's amazing to me is that the repubichairs are talking to a constituency that includes less than 30% of the population. And in the same breath, they claim they are speaking for the majority of American citizens. Breathtaking.

Posted by: swatkins1 | September 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Looks good. Anything to stop Obama's radical spending and deficit bonanza.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Ezra - if you can wade through some of the comments to get to mine, take heart, and thank you for your succinct review of the weaknesses of the "new" GOP pledge. There are some of us who do think and can assess what is right and wrong in our government.

First thing to remember, is none of the political parties are always 100% correct or perfect. Each of them have their faults. The trick is to be able to differentiate the differences, and then decide how their proposals and policies will address the needs of the country. As you pointed out, the need to reduce the deficits is important, but the GOP proposals go exactly in the opposite direction - they will increase the deficits. This is not a matter of opinion - it it arrived by simple calculations and common sense. If people can't grasp this, or won't, then let's move on. If common sense can't penetrate minds that resist it, then we can only hope that the thinking, rational public will prevail in setting policies for our country.

Posted by: robinx | September 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Not since the new health care bill have so many words been used to say so little.

Posted by: Capn0ok | September 23, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ezra - if you can wade through some of the comments to get to mine, take heart, and thank you for your succinct review of the weaknesses of the "new" GOP pledge. There are some of us who do think and can assess what is right and wrong in our government.

First thing to remember, is none of the political parties are always 100% correct or perfect. Each of them have their faults. The trick is to be able to differentiate the differences, and then decide how their proposals and policies will address the needs of the country. As you pointed out, the need to reduce the deficits is important, but the GOP proposals go exactly in the opposite direction - they will increase the deficits. This is not a matter of opinion - it it arrived by simple calculations and common sense. If people can't grasp this, or won't, then let's move on. If common sense can't penetrate minds that resist it, then we can only hope that the thinking, rational public will prevail in setting policies for our country.

Posted by: robinx | September 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

what baffles me is that such a large percentage of our population is blinded by hate and fear that they actually vote gainst their best interests and put these animals in power.....

Posted by: kiler616 | September 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who thinks that Republicans care about fiscal sanity have never heard of Reagan or Bush."

Anyone who thinkgs that Democrats care about fiscal sanity never heard of Obama or Johnson.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

We are so screwed!

Posted by: Jose5

Hear, hear!

We are going to either be the victims of big corporations and Wall Street holding capital and jobs hostage until they can get rid of Obama one way or the other, or suffer the GoP agenda of:

- another pre-emptive Christian Oil Crusade in Iran

- more hateful divisiveness of race, religion and sexual preferences

- torture

- xenophobia

- education and health care are "socialism" while propping up defense contractors with endless war is not

- addiction to the teats of Saudi Arabia for oil while obstructing alternative energy at every turn for fear of its consequences on BP's profits

- a Glenn Beck Christian theocracy

- big oil profits at the expense of the environment

RepuBPlicans and Fox News are holding America captive with a bible opened to leviticus in one hand and a Glock in the other

Time for the rest of us to exercise some Second Amendment rights of our own before it's too late.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Looks good. Anything to stop Obama's radical spending and deficit bonanza.

Posted by: krazen1211
==============================

YEAH...Like Balancing the Budget..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

GOP Platform:
One in seven American’s living in poverty - to the GOP that’s 1-in-7 lazy Americans.
Man made global climate change? The communistic lies of a handful hippie scientists.
Foreign Policy? Bombs and bullets - hold the butter!
Poor immigrants yearning to be free? Anchor babies!
Equal rights for Gay people? Sodomy!
Medical care as a basic human right? Socialism! Communism!
Palliative care that increases quality of life and actually extends life? Death Panels!!!
One percent of the population that has accumulated more wealth in the past 30 years than any group ever in the history of the world? Cut their taxes!
First non-white President? Birth Certificate! Kenyan! Tyrant!
Department of Education? Starve it!
Social Security? End it!
Internal Revenue Service? Bomb it!
Department of Defense? Grow it! (so we can invade Iran)
Budget deficits: Against it until they’re for it

Posted by: HeavyD1 | September 23, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

"what baffles me is that such a large percentage of our population is blinded by hate and fear that they actually vote gainst their best interests and put these animals in power....."

There is nothing more amusing that elitist liberals sitting on an ivory tower telling people what's best for their own interests.

Can't wait to see queen pelosi thrown to the wolves.

If the Obama agenda was working, the Obama agenda would not budget record $10 trillion in deficits and record 23-25% of GDP in government spending over the next decade.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 23, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmm...

GOP must be doing something right if it strikes such a nerve with the head Journolista.....

TEA or GOP for a Recovery November

I am looking forward to GOP Committee Chairs with Subpoena Power!

There was a time when journalism sought to convey fact...today journalists seek to bolster one political party at the expense of both the truth and America

Posted by: georgedixon1 | September 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

After digesting this tripe, consider that Mr Klein is an extremely young liberal writer and blogger. Without any real life experiences, he is the founder of JournoList, the hate group made up of "open minded" creatures of his ilk for the sole purpose of dehumanizing and demonizing conservatives. Like the Ku Klux Klan, he makes a living by stirring the pot of discontent, hostility and bigotry.

Posted by: JAH3 | September 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

GOPers believe they can continue telling the same lies that have worked since the 1980 Presidential campaign and get away with it. Why not? The American voters are too stupid to think for themselves.

GOPers believe they can continue obstructing our government and society because BIG BUSINESS keeps paying them to do it. Why not? The American voters are too stupid to think for themselves.

The United States doesn't need enemies like al Qaeda or the Taliban. The Republican Party is pretty darned effective at destroying this once-proud nation.

Posted by: BigTrees | September 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The GOP represents a continuous appeal to the inner swine in human beings. Unique in American history in its success in ceaselessly mobilizing human stupidity.

Posted by: HeavyD1 | September 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are so bankrupt of ideas it should embarrass them. While the deficits are serious, significant cutbacks in government spending right now would reignite the recession as thousands of federal and state government employees are laid off. Everyond knows if you don't get into social security, Medicare, and defense there is nothing you can do to make an impact on spending. Republicans do not want to be specific because the American people want these services. They just do not want to pay for them. The people like getting their social security check, they like having their Medicare ID card, they like having public schools, they like having policemen and firemen. I can guarantee what the Republicans WILL NOT CUT, and that is tax breaks for corporations, subsidies for big oil and corporate farming and tax breaks for the top 2% of wage earners.

Posted by: wrw01011 | September 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"One in seven American’s living in poverty - to the GOP that’s 1-in-7 lazy Americans.
Man made global climate change? The communistic lies of a handful hippie scientists.
Foreign Policy? Bombs and bullets - hold the butter!
Poor immigrants yearning to be free? Anchor babies!
Equal rights for Gay people? Sodomy!
Medical care as a basic human right? Socialism! Communism!
Palliative care that increases quality of life and actually extends life? Death Panels!!!
One percent of the population that has accumulated more wealth in the past 30 years than any group ever in the history of the world? Cut their taxes!
First non-white President? Birth Certificate! Kenyan! Tyrant!
Department of Education? Starve it!
Social Security? End it!
Internal Revenue Service? Bomb it!
Department of Defense? Grow it! (so we can invade Iran)
Budget deficits: Against it until they’re for it"

Most of those look good.

The United States needs to end the government health care industry complex, and the government education industry complex.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the GOP must be raiding insane asylums for their candidates and policy.

Posted by: edanddot | September 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

With this "pledge" I am now very heartened about the Democrats' prospects in the coming election. Most Americans ARE truly earnest about the issues confronting this nation and they will give the Republicans feedback on election day. I can't wait for November even though all the leaves will be gone...

Posted by: mmrafferty | September 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The purpose of the GOP pledge is to exploit the emotions of voters in the coming election. The GOP did start out in a bad place. But it is being driven by an emerging political movement that is in a worse place. This development highlights a basic reality. The most serious threat for even more negative developments in the global economy is the emergence of political movements motivated by a reaction to recent economic problems.

Posted by: dnjake | September 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What do the GOPricks believe?

Answer: In the destruction of America and to give all our assets to our enemies whom happen to be the best friends of the neo-cons, to the middle east and sell out our country for their (maybe 50 peoples personal gain). The rest of us can live like those in Uganda or some other 3rd world country.

When can we start executing these republican traitors? After all, it's "Treason to criticize the President during a time at war!...(Karl Rove & Sean Hannity)."

Posted by: dcp26851 | September 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

You can't give small business loans costing the budget 30 billion but you can give away 200 billion a year to Wal Mart/Exxon/Goldman billionaires to open another factory and call center overseas at reduced labor/environmental cost. The GOP answer is to let current industries pollute our country like China, pay us like Mexicans, cut all social benefits (social security/medicaid/medicare/education), and forget about helping business unless they are billionaires. Remember people are dying from the unsafe drugs in Canada which is why we pay 4x more for Lipitor enriching pharma in a non free market. The Dubya tax cuts in effect today are job creators, look at the prosperity of jobs created by them. Trickle down has turned into outsource out and no regulation meant housing inflated at 30% over value and $140/bbl oil that burst the financial/housing bubble when gas went to $5 a gallon. Let AIG pay 100 cents on the dollar to the connected insured parties domestic and foreign, after all they are the connected firms. The Dems may be somewhat inept, the GOP is dangerously inept.

Posted by: jameschirico | September 23, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Everyond knows if you don't get into social security, Medicare, and defense there is nothing you can do to make an impact on spending. Republicans do not want to be specific because the American people want these services. They just do not want to pay for them. The people like getting their social security check, they like having their Medicare ID card, they like having public schools, they like having policemen and firemen. I can guarantee what the Republicans WILL NOT CUT, and that is tax breaks for corporations, subsidies for big oil and corporate farming and tax breaks for the top 2% of wage earners."

And this is where the ideological lies start.

Medicaid is a giant boondoogle that costs the Federal Govt $300 billion this year. It was only $200 billion when President Bush was in office.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 23, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Erza, to come up with a deficit number you have to have some spending assumptions right? Remember the Bush tax cuts under Bush's level of spending led to deficits in the $400B range, which pale in comparison to Obama's $1-2T plus deficits. Of course you know this because to get something that seems like Obama's trillions you multiply the annual Bush deficit by 10 and say "ten years". Cutting Obama spending takes the annual deficit from the $1-2T per year under Obama to a more reasonable $400B. When you are slashing budgetary problems, you start in the big areas first.

Now I have no clue what biased source you are reading that gives you the impression that Obamacare is going to save us $10B per year. They have left so many costs off, and already they are disguising funding for it as more stimulus spending. Obamacare if anything is going to baloon as politicians sweeten it up to give more for less pay in in exchange for your vote. Just eliminating taxpayer liability for Obamacare reduces greatly this balloon risk to the taxpayer.

Now as to the charge of taking healthcare away from 10's of millions, Obamacare is doing that now as child insurers go bankrupt, and other insurance providers go out of business. Remember the central tennant of Obamacare is to expand coverage and deny insurers the avenues to drop the highest risk patients. This drives up health care costs. However bad our health care system was under private industry, it will be worse under federal control, and the true aim of Obamacare seems to be to drive insurance providers out of business so we are left with nothing but a single payer government provided option. This is the deliberate destruction of an entire sector of our economy for political control and is intolerable. Obamacare has had ripple effects to Medicare advantage patients, shutting down otherwise functional programs. Over 60% of Americans opposed Obamacare, yet it was rammed down our throats thru backroom deals on party lines. Democrats ignored voters, and it is time to correct that mistake.

The consistant principal you fail to understand running throughout the document is that stimulus and bailout and centralized government entitlments are failed, wasteful, and corrupt solutions to social problems. You are right that the Republicans do leave off the military, and senior citizen benefits off the chopping block, but what is in this proposal is a good start.

Now the job for you and other progressive left people is to add to this list of Republican cuts your own list of Democrat cuts. The obvious compromise then is to pass all cuts. We all win then by the smaller role of government, as there is less money for them to mismange in a politcally corrupt fashion. The party that best realizes this severe voter dissatisfaction with the usual pork and Keynsian approaches will gain the most seats next fall.

Posted by: Wiggan | September 23, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The RepubliKlan Party is no longer about conservative, common sense government they are all about getting high ratings with the Jerry Springer demographic in America. The GOP is the last bastion for the common idiot.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | September 23, 2010 8:03 AM
***************************************8
I could not have said it better myself,even though i've been saying that exact thing for two years now....let us all vote and hope the common idiot is not the majority.

Posted by: kiler616 | September 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Get your facts right!
The day the Democrats took over was not January 22nd 2009 -- It was actually January 3rd 2007.
The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.
For those of you who are listening to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault", think about this:
January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:
At the time:
The Dow jones closed at 12,621.77. The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%. The Unemployment rate was 4.6%.
George Bush's Economic polices SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB CREATION!
Remember the Day.
January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?
BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!
THANK YOU DEMOCRATS for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP, and 4.6% Unemployment to this CRISIS by dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on
the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOS!
BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie- starting in 2001 because it was Financially risky for the US economy.
Author: CaptElaine.

Posted by: makom | September 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Pledge to America

ROFLMAO

Republicans cannot be serious. How comes they left out the serious ramifications of their pledges??

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

and the coarse we are on now is ok ? anything is better than marxist/socialism !

Posted by: corp21 | September 23, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

THE PLEDGING OF AMERICA, presumably in favor of the Chinese financiers, big business, wealthy, etc., at the expense of our standard of living, safety and welfare.

Posted by: seve2yoo | September 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

sounds to me that attacking is easier then defending your liberal big gov. crony's castostrophic economic failing policy's.

Posted by: corp21 | September 23, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

OMG! Pledge to America

ROFLMAO

Republicans cannot be serious. How comes they left out the serious ramifications of their pledges??

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The Republican 'Pledge' pays homage to what they have come to see is the IQ of the likely voter. They see that IQ (with ample representation of it in the Tea Party throng) as having gotten quite a bit lower in the past 20 years (say from 100 to 90). With a lower voter IQ, one can use smoke and mirrors and play the strong card *fear* and win elections and power.

It isn't that the Republican party has faith or respect in the electorate as they see it, rather they see the electorate which they can readily manipulate for their own goals -- which seem largely to be acquisition of political power, and returning things back to the good old days when ethnic groups and the poor had no power or representation in government.

The very sad thing is, their read of the credulity of the electorate may well be right.

Posted by: Barry8 | September 23, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Isn't this the same party that started two unfunded foreign wars of Republican adventure in countries that have ZERO al-Qaeda?

Isn't this the same guys who give tax breaks to companies to outsource US jobs to their comrades in Red China?

Isn't this the same guys who INCREASED the number of H1-B visas that bring foreign workers into America instead of employing and retraining American citizens?

Isn't this the same group that did the TARP I and TARP II bailouts of the Too Big To Fail banks?

Isn't this the same group that said corporations are people? Even if they can't go to jail, be drafted, or have their execs assets seized?

Isn't this the same group that actually DECREASED arrests of employers hiring illegal aliens and DECREASED arrests of illegal workers - which our current President Obama has actually arrested - in just a few months - MORE than Comrade Bush did during TWO TERMS of EIGHT YEARS?

Yeah, I don't think I'll believe a single thing those LIARS say.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Of course. Democrat logic: adding millions of new people to insurance costs LESS not MORE. It's not overhead to our overall national productivity, it's an INVESTMENT. Adding a new middle man (government) will absolutely bring down the cost... right. Have any of you ever ran a business? Huh Ezra? Look, if adding people to insurance saves us money, let's add the other 6 billion on the planet and get rich!!! LOL. Wunderkind my eye.

Posted by: dmorris1 | September 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Republicans...

Republicans don't offer any thing of substance of what they can do for our country and it's citizens.

Instead, Republicans offer to us a 20 page piece of paper of what they can TAKE from our citizens and our treasury to be used and abused by their Big Corporate Lobbyist and their Big Corporate War Profiteer's.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | September 23, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Let 'em continue to delusionally bet it all that there are more than 25% of Americans who can't see through their tired old Rovain chants of socialism, marxism, xenopobia, homophobia and racial and religious intolerance.

Because of their hateful wackiness,
the teabaggers will split the independent vote.

If you don't want to believe the rest of us who Fox News has hypnotized your little pea brains into believing are a bunch of bed-wetting, gay, Mexican, Muslim, non-believer, abortionist, Democrat liberals; ask your neocon heroes Quayle, Rove and Krauthammer.

They'll tell you the same thing.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"This proposal avoids the hard choices of governance. It says what it thinks will be popular and then proposes what it thinks will be popular..."

Democrats and liberals could learn a lot from this.

a) You don't get elected by saying or proposing what you think will be unpopular, and if you don't get (or stay) elected, you won't be doing anyone any good--no matter how virtuous you think you are.

b) It would be worth stopping to ask just why it is that cutting government spending, in the midst of the worst slump since the Great Depression no less, is so very popular to begin with--even in principle. Is this not a devastating indictment of the failure of liberal messaging on this issue? And what are we doing to try to overcome that failure? Anything?

c) At least one "hard choice" should in fact be avoided right now, like the plague: the false choice between cutting taxes or increasing spending. We can certainly have, and urgently need, more of both. Why have liberals and Democrats allowed themselves to be portrayed, yet again, as a perverse combination of profligates and kill joys?

Posted by: amileoj | September 23, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

What does the GOP believe in?

The Republican Party believes in advancing the financial interests of the nations wealthies 3% at the expense of the other 97%.

They have been making great strides in this goal since Reagan showed them how to use propaganda to convince enough of that 97% that their financial interests are the same as the 3%'s, which they are not.

The interests of that 3% don't have to and aren't usually aligned with the interests of the United States as a whole. That does not concern the GOP.

Their eventual goal is a reverting to a pre-New Deal America that more closely resembles a latin american culture where the wealthiest 3% live the lives of the old aritocracy, 7% live the lives of the middle class and the other 90% live the lives of the old peasantry.

Posted by: toc59 | September 23, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Real news - Allen Greenspan (in Forbes) says now is the time to RAISE taxes because we are reaching the breaking point with our deficit.

Finally someone with the knowledge, experience and cojones to tell the TRUTH.

And don't be blaming Obama for the national debt!! We have three GOP conservative presidents to thank for more than 66% of the debt (Reagan, Bush and Bush).

Posted by: Freethotlib | September 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

A "Christian Nation" is not one that freezes spending for education and health care for it's children but not for its addiction to endless war for oil, to prop up gun runners and war profiteers, to appease Israel and to bring about an ignorant Revelations bad acid trip of Palin's "rapture."

Poor old Jesus.

Posted by: areyousaying | September 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You don't get it Ezra, what the GOP does not say explicitly is that it will start new wars. Since only security spending is not capped that will cater to the military-industrial complex of which the GOP has been a faithful servant for as long as memory can go!

Posted by: benhibou | September 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, your conclusions are based on false assumptions. This is a campaign platform. It is based on solid historical facts. Conservative, free-market economic principles work. Our economy needs low taxes, smaller government, less government spending, lower government budget deficits and market based reform of health insurance. This is the exact opposite of everything that the Democrats have done over the last four years that they've controlled Congress. When their current legislation is combined with the expansion of government of LBJ's Great Society, it produces the current political and economic environment, which has had a negative impact on Americans in general, and produced the current outrage expressed by the Tea Parties. The Republicans cannot have any other platform, or they would risk being thrown out with the Democrats, perhaps not in this election cycle, but the next. This austerity movement is here for a long time. Get used to it.

Posted by: markbrunton | September 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

H.L. Mencken wrote, "No one went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." If Mencken were alive today he would re-write it as follows:

"No one except the government and the middle class went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Gee Ezra, you think you may have bias. Let's see if you're right on Nov. 2.

Posted by: wiredguy5 | September 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

valkayec wrote, "I found it hard to completely read the document. Much of it is misleading at best and childish at worst."

======================================

Are you referring to the "Pledge to America" or the Obamacare bill?

Posted by: josh27 | September 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

These remarks show how little Ezra and his like truly understand. The theme is "he who governs least, governs best," because government is the obstacle, not the solution to a flagging economy, and many Americans have deep concerns that your lot are taking us to a precipice, beyond which the central government (which has bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, and forced the states to bankrupt Medicaid) tries to manage the health care industry (along with banking and auto manufacturing), borrow and spend the country back to prosperity - something which has never been accomplished in history - and restrict our personal freedoms by making critical life choices for individual citizens which it has no authority or expertise to make.

We would be better off with no government than with the one we currently have. If we stop this nonsense and reduce the burdens government places on our citizens and yes, our businesses, the economy will rebound on its own as it has for three decades. The GOP plan seems to be to let Americans rebuild the economy ourselves, and I for one am OK with that (we're pretty good at it when given a chance).

Democrats have had their chance, controlling Congress for the last 4 years, and the White House as well for the last 2, and they proved that the only thing they can do when placed in a hole is to max out the credit card, buy an earth mover, and start digging.

Posted by: INTJ | September 23, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"Ezra Klein is a dishonest partisan hack. His posts are so blatantly biased and poorly reasoned that he seems like a child stomping and holding his breath.

This stuff may be red meat for nervous liberals quivering on the verge of a significant electoral defeat -- perhaps the loss of one or both chambers of Congress, but certainly the loss of their permanent "mandate" and any hope of pushing a far-left agenda any further in Pres. Obama's remaining two years -- but to the rest of the planet, it's just a rant from a narrow-minded hothead who considers any ideas but his own as irrational or mean-spirited. The self-righteousness and arrogance are breathtaking."

"imperfections" took the words right out of my mouth. Ezra and his JournoList cabal will be in "the dustbin of history," to quote their idol Karl Marx, and the WaPo will be in bankruptcy court very soon. Lucky the Post Co. has Kaplan to keep its nose above the waterline! Or is it Kaplan that keeps the WaPo as a journalistic hobby?

Posted by: djman1141 | September 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Guess it doesn't matter whether your JournOlist or Talking Points Memo or your conference call with Rahm is exposed or not, you can just say "We don't collect dues anymore" and go on doing the same old thing. Klein's output is a contribution-in-kind to the DNC.

Posted by: chatard | September 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

We already knew that the Republicans are frauds interested only in power.

What this document really indicts is the US voter, especially the clueless, whiny, needy, always-blaming-others “independents”. In any other developed country, the conservative party leadership would look at a document like this and say: “We can’t insult the voters’ intelligence with THAT! They’ll just laugh at us.”

But in the US, this sort of fact-free, feel-good, irrational nationalistic fluff is a proven winner. Look at the Contract with America. The GOP thinks Americans are dumb enough to fall for it AGAIN.

And I’ll bet they’re right.

Posted by: kenonwenu | September 23, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Starting today, insurers will be required to:

Keep you covered when you get sick.

Cover kids with pre-existing conditions.

Allow young adults to stay on their parents' plan up to age 26.

Remove lifetime limits

Phase out annual limits.

For any insurance plan that goes into effect after September 23, 2010, your insurance company must:

Pay for preventive care like mammograms and immunizations

Give you a better appeals process for insurance claims

Let you choose your own doctor

Provide easier access to OB-GYN services

Allow you to use the nearest emergency room without penalty

Many other new benefits of the law have already taken effect, including rebate checks for seniors in the donut hole and tax credits for small businesses.
...

The legislation is far from perfect, and we still need single payer, but if the GOP had its way?

NONE OF THIS would ever have happened, giant health insurance companies would still be cutting coverage and gouging you, and the teabaggers would be patting themselves on the back for "preventing socialism" ... as they, their children, or their parents died from lack of care.

Now this orange-tinted drunk GOP version of Dean Martin slurs out the promise to give America the same old snake oil from the Bush days? The very stuff that got us into this mess? NO THANKS!

Posted by: losthorizon10 | September 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

There is no theory about what went wrong. Only cold hard facts. The NYTIMES PREDICTED(!!!)on 9/30/99 that the Government would have to do a bailout because of the Clinton legislation. The articles title was : "Fannie Mae Eases Credit to aid Mortgage Lending."

Posted by: sportsfan2 | September 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Since you just got off the bus from Cuba, with a stopover in Venezuela, A Pledge to America goes over better with the American people, then A Pledge to Socialism. If you can't see a return to America is the only way for the economy, jobs, the deficit, and the debt to get better then you truly believe as Castro and Chavez believes. Nothing Obama offers if American. Obama believes anything American is going backward. Going forward to Obama is A Pledge to Socialism. The choice is simple. A Pledge to America by the Republicans or A Pledge to Socialism by Obama and the Democrats.

Posted by: houstonian | September 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The GOP Tea Party Pledge w/America!

I pledge, in the future, to keep my mouth shut and let people thing I am an idiot than to open it and remove all doubts like I just did with this stupid document!

Posted by: Citi__Street | September 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will say what they need to to get elected. Once elected they will not do what they say but will rely on what has been done and then take credit for it.

************
Just substitute "Democrats" and you've got the full, unvarnished truth of our situation.

Posted by: SavingGrace | September 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

We can CUT Gov't Spending once we STOP the Republican's from Robbing our Treasury for their Crony Corporate Lobbyist, Corporate War Machines, and tax give away's to the top 2% in this country.

Couldn't be more simpler.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | September 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Papafritz571 @ 12:10 am: "These [Republican] jerks haven't lifted a finger for the middle and lower classes since taking office."

Disagree. They did raise the middle one.

Posted by: bitterblogger | September 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The Plague to America, when enacted, will prove to Americans once and for all that a party whose ideology boils down to "government is the problem" is totally unfit to govern. Of course, the Contract on America, was just toilet paper too, discarded unused after the elections. All Americans got out of the Contract was trillions more of debt.

The Plague will bless us with more than oozing carbuncles, I'm afraid. Too bad most Americans are too dumb to read between the lines or perform even the simplest anaylsis of it. Based on past history and the characters involved in its creation, we can expect the worst.

Bunch of high faluting words with no specifics, that all. I'm getting it printed on my next roll of TP. That's all its worth.

Posted by: Chagasman | September 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm speechless Little Ezzie Boy Klein. I have never seen this number of non-sequitirs and false premises in a single document. But it is good Jerkolist stuff.

But please call your Mommie. She will tell you that you are the greatest.

Posted by: hz9604 | September 23, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

What a surprise - a democrat puff peice by a partisan hack on the front page a 'news' paper read by people who think Fox misses the boat when it comes to 'News'

Posted by: SayWhat4 | September 23, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I've come to the conclusion that the republicans represent "idiot america", the ones who have absolutely no idea whats in front of them except their guns and bibles.

Posted by: rryan007 | September 23, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

If Ezra Klein, the HNIC of the JournoList thinks it is a "bad" idea, then it must be a good idea!

Posted by: shivan | September 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Biglio must be looking in a miror and drinking the Kool-Aid. It is the Democrats who most reflect the policies of Hitler et al. How quickly we forget history. Social Security was introduced by FDR was to be temporary. 60 years later we still have SS. Seems FDR lied. It was supposed to be voluntary. It was to be deductible from income tax; eliminated by the Democratic party. The money was to be put in a trust fund, now it is in the general fund (LBJ). It was never to be taxed as income, under Clinton up to 85% can be taxed; Gore cast the deciding vote. And under Jimmy Carter annuity payments are granted to immigrants. Way to go FDR and the Democratic Pary; the Party of large, expensive entitlements.

According to Obama he inherited the failed policies and deficits of George Bush. If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

Let's understand health care needs to be "fixed" but not by a President and Democratic Party that rejects the will of the majority of the people who did NOT want the tripe the peddled. This is why the Democrats will lose big in November.

Posted by: TB_One | September 23, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

So far, the last CONGRESS, and also this CONGRESS agreed to Support & $BAIL - OUT the very Criminal Globalist DERIVATIVE/SWAPS 'PUSHERS' Whom caused this ECONOMIC CRISIS!! -- AMERICA,-- what in the heck is wrong with CONGRESS?-- Why would they Turn upon the U.S. CITIZENS,-- in favor of the Grand-THEFT $BANKsters?! -- This is more than Outrageous,-- it is Criminal, and TRAITOREOUS to the MAX!! -- Imagine,- Our' own CONGRESS is in $Bed with the Economic Terrorists! -- Now, waht do WE-the-PEOPLE DO?? -- It is up to YOU, -- up to YOU the VOTERS!!! -- Will the True & Real PATRIOTS Please Stand-UP!! -- - STOP BACKING and VOTING For the 'same-ol' same-ol'!! -- But how do WE Stop Voting DEMOCRAT or REPUBLICAN? -- tHINK ABOUT IT,-- YOU have the Solution,- if YOU have the cahonies to Act!! -- "Children do Not Apply"! - - If WE do Not Change,-- then WE will Default, and go down the Drain!!-- Taken over by the Globalist Criminal $BANKsters!! --- Is that what YOU want AMERICA? --- WE must Cut Spending; WE must also get OUT-OF $DEBT! - WE must End this "FIAT" BANKster PONZI SCHEME!!! -- WE must Repeal the UN-Constitutional 'Federal Reserve Act"-- IMMEDIATELY!!! -- END FUNNY-MONEY-- Created thru Criminal FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING PRACTICES & LOANS!!! That is where most of the $DEBT came from AMERICA!! --- But, the BANKster FEDERAL RESERVE NOTE PUSHERS- LIED TO YOU AMERICA!! - The "FED" has created $INTERST DEBT- upon $INTEREST DEBT!! -- WE must Pay off Our' National DEBT -- NOW,-- NOW, -- NOW!!! WE can figure this out. - But must STOP , LIKE SHEEP,- following these USURY SHYSTER PONZY $BANKsters!!! -- Do YOU AMERICA what it takes? -- Right now,- both parties are Owned by the THUGS!! -- So now what do WE-the-People DO?? -- YOU, ME, ALL,-- 'CAN' figure out the Solution!! -- Let's GET BUSY AMERICA!!! - UNITE PATRIOTS!! -- Our greta CONSTITUTONAL REPUBLIC, -- and LIVES,-- are at stake!!! -- Remember JFK!! - HE tried to End FIAT 'Funny-Money',- and paid the ultimate price!

Posted by: jward52 | September 23, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, We've seen what 4 years of Democratic rule has brought us. No Jobs and a dismal economy!!!!!!!!! Real unemployment rate near 17%

Yes 4 years! Remember the Dems have controlled Congress since 2007. Another inconvenient truth your JurnoList budies would like voters to forget.

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 23, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The "pledge" may have well been a blank sheet of paper, because that's what the republican plan is for the middle class. Why don't people realize that the country went to hell under them before. They're only concerned that the rich pay NO taxes, the rest of our jobs get outsources, the remaining unions get busted and the middle class disappears. It's already happening. People are blind.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for Boehner, most of us remember the fraud that was Gingrich's Contract With America in 1994. Promising to be honest, by 2006 the GOP was thrown out of control in Congress amid scandal and blatant influence of lobbyists.

Ask yourself seriously; after rubberstamping the Bush era that handed out gift tax breaks to the rich and failed completely to regulate banks, culminating in the 2008 crash - do you really trust these charlatans now?

Get real.

- Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | September 23, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Republicans would have been smarter to just run on the do nothing platform. Be the party of no and be proud of it. Seriously, they really do think we are stupid and without memory.

And did you see the Eddie Bauer everyman look of these guys who presented the platform? Just average everyday millionaires, like you and me. However, their wives credit for good taste in clothes.

Posted by: sr31 | September 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The truth will set you free!

WHOSE Fault??!! Just to set the record straight

The day the democrats took over was
>not January 22nd 2009 it was actually January 3rd 2007 the day the Democrats took over the House of Representatives and
>the Senate, the start of the 110th Congress. The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers
>for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening
>to the liberals propagating the fallacy that everything is "Bush's Fault",
>think about this:
>
>January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress:
>
>At the time:
>
>The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
>
>The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
>
>The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
>
>George Bush's Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of
>JOB CREATION!
>
>Remember the day...
>January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial
>Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
>
>The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the
> economy?
>BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES!!!
>
>THANK YOU DEMOCRATS for taking us from 13,000 DOW, 3.5 GDP and 4.6% Unemployment...
>to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic
>loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOS! (BTW: Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in
>2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy).
>
>And who took the THIRD highest pay-off
> from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac????
>
>OBAMA
And who fought against reform of
>Fannie and Freddie???
>
>OBAMA and the Democratic Congress
>
>So when some one tries to blame
> Bush...
>
>REMEMBER JANUARY 3rd, 2007.... THE DAY THE DEMOCRATS TOOK OVER!" Bush may have been in the car but the Democrats were in charge
>of the gas pedal and steering wheel they were driving.
Set the record straight on Bush!

>"It's not that liberals aren't smart,
>it's just that so much of what they k

Posted by: Jimbo77 | September 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse


The GOP doesn't believe in or have respect enough for Our Constitution or Our Freedoms. Their Pledge did not include securing Our ports and borders, including Our interior borders, enforcing Our existing Immigration and Naturalization laws, not tolerating sanctuary cities and deporting ILLEGAL aliens and running the Mexican drug cartel out of the land they've claimed within Our borders - NO TOLERANCE, NO AMNESTY and NO BENEFITS for foreign nationals that have entered Our nation Illegally or overstayed their visas - EVER!

ObamaCare MUST be Repealed completely and interstate free interprize commerse regarding U.S. Healthcare to be the only norm in Our country. The Patriot Act MUST be repealed, along with ANY other Unconstitutional Bill, Act,Treaty or regulation.

The important Fact here is that Our elected representatives have already sworn a legally binding Oath to uphold and protect Our Constitution, and Our nation from invasion (this IS their job), but instead they twist and spin and play on words and the meaning of words, bribe and lie. The GOP hasn't gone far enough in their 'Pledge', it's empty and still allows for betrayal.

Vote for a candidate that will honor his Oath, that is for small government, national sovereignty and protectionism (The advocacy, system, or theory of protecting domestic producers by impeding or limiting, as by tariffs or quotas, the importation of foreign goods and services).

God help US not to even try to believe their lies anymore - everything is at stake.

Posted by: AJAX2 | September 23, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse


Klein's been into the weed again.
.


Posted by: Billw3 | September 23, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Republican policy as defined by JOURNOLIST!

When you have zero credibility and continue to attack....

Well, people the actually believed the past journolist propaganda will like it.

Posted by: TECWRITE | September 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The Republican party is notorious for not having fruitful idea, isn't that the way it's always been with the "just say no" party??
www.thethrifters.net

Posted by: dtroppy | September 23, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

This Republican Pledge to America reminds me of Adolph Hitler's pledge to the German people that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years. Fortunately, Hitler fell 988 years short of that promise, but even 12 years of Republican control of Congress would be an even greater disaster for America and its people. With this pledge, the Republicans prove they mean to destroy America.

Posted by: dsrobins | September 23, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The party of NO sat on their hands for 2 years offering nothing but criticism, obstruction, and lies. Now they rush out the poor mans version of the Contract with America, part 2. It isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Keep Shrubs tax cuts, but we'll balance the budget. Repeal health care reform, and pass more tax breaks for the health industry. Do away with business regulations, and have more catastrophic disasters in the gulf. Control the growth of government, and watch unemployment and poverty rise.
The original Contract with America was a disaster, nothing was accomplished, but this stinker will push us into a full blown depression.


Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | September 23, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice the chart that the Wall Street Journal put up a couple of years ago?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123150742539367897.html

How about this one from 2009?

http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bb614577f8b9a1667ae0100/chart-020510-update.gif

No? Nobody noticed? Were you very sleepy then? Did you nod off? Or did you even care. YOu didn't care then, did you.

Not one whit did you "outraged" citizens care. Glenn Beck didn't weep back then, he just ironed his protective undergarments and went to the barber for a buzz cut and admired himself in the mirror back then and said "Ahh, isn't life just wonderful! I am so happy to be up Roger Ailes' but! It's so roomy and spacious and warm here.! I hope I can be his best friend form now on and live up her forever! If a Democrat gets elected, I'll do everything I can to stay up Roger's but, I'll even cry for him if I have to!"

Do you remember when the Republicans had the majority in both the house and the senate? What did they do with themselves when they had a majority in both the House and the Senate? Anyone?

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, formed by 3 Republicans and enacted when the Republicans held a majority in both the House and the Senate, not only allowed investment firms, insurance brokers and commercial banks to consolidate but allowed the newly-merged banks to take on riskier investments while at the same time removing any regulations requiring them to maintain enough equity, exposing the assets of its customers.

Now forget that was ever mentioned and blame the poor people who took out mortgages here in the US (as did everyone else - oops forgot that fact too) for the banks free-falling into an abyss and the mortgage meltdown.

Yeh, that's the ticket! Poor people!

Hey, poor black people! That's even better!

Yeh!

Posted by: redjanuko | September 23, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Yawn - does Ezra's jaded partisan rhetoric really surprise anyone.

He's not a journalist folks, he's a political butt boy.

Posted by: dnara | September 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Whatever the republicans believe in is secondary to what I believe, which is that the root problem of everything that is wrong with the the country has its origin in the leftist twist that was taken beginning with FDR and has continued right through the first 20 months of Obama. In fact Obama turned further left than any of his predecessors, and then pushed the pedal to the floor.

The republicans don't have all the answers, but it is painfully obvious that Obama and the dems don't even have a clue as to what the essential questions are. For starters, why demonize business and then act shocked when businesses are reluctant to hire anyone with all the uncertainties hanging over them coming from this government, the most anti-business group I have ever seen in my 6 decades of watching the political scene. Obama can't seem to find anything but academics, who are absolutely the worst possible choice for providing realistic advice or choices to improved the business climate. I could go on for days, but there's no need to - vote dems out, vote dems out, vote dems out, period and end of discussion.

Posted by: txoh | September 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"Only in delusional Liberal-land would repealing an entitlement like Obamacare increase the deficit. There. is. no. way."

You are paying now, for people who don't have insurance and then get in a car accident, or get cancer or whatever. They still get treated. They go on medicaid. You and I pay. Understand?

You want a real conservative approach to health care cost containment? Repeal EMTALA, the law that requires public hospitals to treat and stabilize everyone who presents at the ER. So if you don't have insurance, you get in a car accident, the ambulence pulls up, they check and find out that you don't have insurance, they leave you there. Now thats a republican health care program that would actually work.

Posted by: underhill | September 23, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

GOP PLAN MORE OF THE SAME FAILED POLICIES THE BANKRUPT THE USA IN THE FIRST PLACE

The "Bush tax cuts," passed in 2001 and 2003, remain the single largest cause of America's structural deficit -- that is, the deficit not caused by the collapse in tax revenue when the economy goes into recession. The Bush administration inherited budget surpluses from the Clinton administration. What turned these into deficits, even before the recession? There were three fundamental new costs: the tax cuts, the Medicare prescription-drug bill and post-9/11 security spending (including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Of these the tax cuts were by far the largest, adding up to $2.3 trillion over 10 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly half the cost of all legislation enacted from 2001 to 2007 can be attributed to the tax cuts.

Posted by: ChicagoSteve | September 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

They let the spell checker runon auto, so it changed the titled from their intended "Plague on America."

The gop is proving just how little they have learned in the past 100 years. They are offering EXACTLY THE SAME horse manure in heaping steaming piles they always offer -- in other words they PROMISE to skrew up the country PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE. the only difference is that they also PROMISE they will make sure we can all go back to being sentenced to death by health insurance companies who cut off our coverage, and they PROMISE to make it imposible for our kids to keep coverage while they are in their transitional years. PROMISE!

Posted by: John1263 | September 23, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered Republican who voted for Obama. I'm pleased with his progress, and I don't see anything in this pledge that makes me want to turn back.

If Republicans really want to save money, they should not start needless multi-trillion dollar wars. If you feel bad for our country, if you think it is going to hell, be glad you are not one of 30,000,000 iraqi men, woman, and children-- who are all ready living there, paid for by your friendly American tax payer. Ahem... well actually paid for by China, and put on credit by the American taxpayer. And it is probably a bit less than 30 million, seeing as at least a 100,000 are now dead, and 3 or so million more have fled the hell hole of a country.

Posted by: Geot | September 23, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Karl Rove needs to adjust Boehner's and Cantor's medications. What with the orange and the pasty faces, I feel like running to the toilet and vomiting.

Posted by: Tess6 | September 23, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Are you a journalist?

Posted by: andersonvalongueiro | September 23, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Here’s what the “current” GOP: Oil, Coal, Gas, Wall Street, NRA and Medical Insurance 'Rich’ have done for the American people lately:

*The Chamber of Commerce Offshored 8 Million of American Jobs to Mexico and China and supports China currency manipulation.
*Wall Street gambled and lost people’s life savings while awarding itself Billions.
*Offshore Drillers; Poisoning the Gulf Coast people, wildlife and Jobs
*Massey Energy and other Coal companies; killed its workers and threaten their lives on a daily basis
* Wall Street and The Chamber of Commerce enabled the Contraction of Industry and Production in America and Loss of over 10 million Manufacturing Jobs.
*Medical Insurance companies Gouge people and the government with Gross Administrative Overhead (20% of medical costs) and Duplicate Medical Procedures.
*Hydraulic Fracturing for Gas is dumping chemicals and poisons into regional waterways and local drinking water and is exempt (Halliburton loophole) from the Clean Water and Air Acts
*Millionaires and Billionaires pay $0.0 in Estate Taxes in 2010 in spite of America's wars, deficit and unemployment.
*Gun makers defeated regulations to require gun owners carry accidental death and maiming Insurance.

What’s up with That??? The Struggle between Good and Evil has seldom been more clear for America. For the “current” GOP the question is always; how can I pass Oil, Coal, and Gas Pollution and Poisons onto the Public without making the Polluters pay for it? Giving the Oil industry a Trillion and the Wealthiest Trillions when America is in desperate need is a crying shame.

How…How…How….Eureka…I’ll call it an Evil Energy Tax so Pollution can continue unabated to be paid for by the Public while I take the Profits. An Evil Tax is much worse, much for Fearful than a little Poison or CO2 that you cannot see.

Posted by: Airborne82 | September 23, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

his artical is a scare tatic filled with fiction

a simple example:"the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that."

CBO projects the current policy deficit to be 22.5 trillion by 2015, and it is over 14 trillion now

Government projections are revising the cost of the health care bill to 2 trillion deficit in 10 years - of which 5 years are tax collection

so...starting with an erroneous premise, and building an erroneous theory is nice fiction


but it's not reporting
- it's fear mongering

Posted by: JohnSpek | September 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

The simple fact of the matter is the GOP and radically dangerous “tea party” will destroy this nation if the stupid people who keep voting for them do not wake up quickly and realize that they are but mindless puppets of the top 1% in this nation. Many cannot vote for the immoral Democrats which means we need a new party that is morally sound in all issues of society and economics. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are immoral, stupid, or both.

Posted by: newsboy3 | September 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Ah the sweet smell of money . . . my father used to say on a hot day in Iowa when the wind blew manure fumes toward the house. I got a whiff of that when I read 21 pages of hot air backed up by nothing. I searched in vain for evidence that the Bush tax cuts had created thousands of jobs during the Bush administration. Well according to the labor department we lost jobs during all 8 years of Bush, we slowed growth and reversed to a loss -- but wait the economy was doing great until 9/11, no worries on the horizon right? All the tax cuts did was increase our debt - oh right Bush said deficits didn't matter and besides being a business major he figured he didn't really have to add them to the balance sheet -- he'd just put it as a special expense not debt -- along with two wars.

To the poster who insists that Obama is the cause of job loss and huge increase of the deficit. Two wars, two tax cuts and a host of other spending was never added to the deficit. Obama's premise was to deal with the deficit you had to have real numbers - somthing the Republicans ignore. Jobs were lost because all those "what me worry" days of Bush and the Republicans allowed banks and Wall Street to "game" the system. Bush said the housing bubble would never burst -- gosh, he was wrong -- so let's blame the Dems. Don't get me wrong the Dems have done wrong too -- Republicans lie and then tell you it's gospel and you are too dumb to understand that while you are poor, without adequate health care and no retirement their heart is in the right place so you just better learn to live without.

All they seem to do is hate, create fear and lie. I vote Independent or Democrat, I will not vote Republican - that's like insisting on holding the gun aimed at my head and begging to pull the trigger.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | September 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

excellent analysis

Posted by: Washington Post Editors | September 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse


The Present Dunce just got done saying, a few days ago, that Boehner & the Boobs had no ideas for him.

Now that the ideas have formally arrived, they are auto-rejected instead of examined.

This is WHY the deem-n-rats have outlived their usefulness and MUST be DUMPED in November.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by: wapoexile1 | September 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The repub pols actually think all of us are as dumb as their constituents.. more voodoo economics, religious tirades and psychobabble from a party that has nothing new to offer.. except more pain and suffering to Main Street America..

Posted by: VietVet68 | September 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

You're also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe?
-------------------------

They believe we are fools. We'll find out if they're right in Nov.

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth | September 23, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Only one political party is committed to fiscal responsibility.

www.lp.org

Posted by: BradG | September 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oi no matter who vins Israel cashes ze check! Zank God Israel ztill getz itz dollars!

Posted by: SSTK34 | September 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

""What happens when the country goes to pot while Republicans control the House, possibly the Senate, but not the presidency?"

A slow decline, then a tumultuous upheaval.

Basically every bad decision gets cast in stone as there are too many people who benefit from it to change it. The whole system continues to experience one setback after another with the government paying for it. Whether spending increases or decreases, the main issue is the ongoing deficit-spending.

By the time that we're ready to bring down the entire global capitalist system, the wealthy will have either moved their wealth offshore or borrowed against it to the point where its worthless as a new source of revenue. And then, as they say, we'll be up the financial creek without a paddle.

What happens then?
We all go fishing :)

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein wrote: "[Republicans would] create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it".

We are already there Mr. Klein. The lack of leadership in this administration has generally suffocated business. The other laughable thing in your article is that you speak in the past tense about the benefits of a cryptic health care bill that Pelosi proudly introduced as one that would reveal itself after passage. We still don't know what effect it's going to have on the economy or the systemic damage that will occur after implementation. The Republicans surely have some cleaning up to do in their party but we have the Democrat example in front of us everyday and it has become patently obvious this dog won't hunt. It's suffering wholesale rejection by the people even by a significant number of citizens who voted it into office in 2008.

Posted by: Galasso | September 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Well put Mr Klein.

I suggest to all that you look at a success story. Namely Australia.
Then you will see why the Republican Tea Party agenda is so wrong.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Boeher proudly claims to have played 190 rounds of golf last year.

He's on the course EVERY OTHER DAY AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE!

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 23, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse


The Democrats are a bunch of MORONS! They pass a small business bill today and now they think small businesses are going to be OK!!

Then in the next minute Democrats are sending the signal that they are going to let the Bush Tax Cuts expire!!

OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE MORONS!!!

STOP SPENDING MONEY!

GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR LIVES!!


Posted by: charko825 | September 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Still toeing the line for Obama, I see. But you must have not received the latest orders. Healthcare "reform" is no longer about cost savings (a fraud from the beginning), but about service. Keep up with the latest propaganda!

Posted by: ArlingtonHokie | September 23, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Odd, to hear accusations that the GOP pledge will increase deficits, reduce health coverage, and create uncertainty for businesses. This is a MASSIVE bit of projection. These are exactly the things the Democrats have accomplished - the accusations are empty. http://bethsaidafigtree.wordpress.com

Posted by: nomasir | September 23, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone vote for the Party of No? They have done everything they can to destroy the American middle class. Patriotic? I think not. They care only about themselves and their own personal pocketbooks.

Posted by: 76chelle1 | September 23, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"Small business" for the republicans are the Koch brother, Bectel and other MULTI-BILLION dollar corporations. These are who will be getting massive tax cuts. Great.

Posted by: blarsen1 | September 23, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Ezra shut up you punk propagandist. Go home to your momma you prissy Little pantywaist.

Posted by: harley2002 | September 23, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans want to get rid of the health care bill and replace it with .......nothing. They want to fight inflation when the markets fear deflation. They want government austerity when the private sector is unable to absorb the current number of unemployed. They want tax cuts to stimulate the supply side when the demand side is what is in such bad shape. The world must fit the Republican template ready or not. We're toast

Posted by: Waterloo1 | September 23, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Who ever wrote this plan for America was either drunk or stoned. Sounds like it was written by a 1st grader. OMG! The conservatives need to do much better than this garbage.

It essentially the same plan that was in effect between 1994 and and 2006 that lead to the financial collpase of 2008.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 23, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

My difficulty is that many people, including Mr. Klein, hate Republicans quite a lot, and even if they are right, I cannot exactly believe them since hatred is not typically a reliable source of truth.

On the other hand, I can hardly believe Republicans talking about themselves since that talk is bound to be biased.

So I am left in a state of uncertainty - as I suspect most of the nation is.

Posted by: rjpal | September 23, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

It's a mission statement. It describes what they will do if elected. It a set of principles which they claim will guide them in governing. It would do Obama well to issue his progressive principles and let the voters decide which road to travel.

Posted by: RayK1 | September 23, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will get nowhere with people like Sarah 'trailer trash' Palin associated with them.

Posted by: Classic60 | September 23, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Just what we need, a return to the failed policies of the worst administration in history from 2001 to 2008.

We got rid of the power of the GOP; now it's time to dump the rest of the party.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | September 23, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will get nowhere with people like Sarah 'trailer trash' Palin associated with them.

Posted by: Classic60 | September 23, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Just what we need, a return to the failed policies of the worst administration in history from 2001 to 2008.

We got rid of the power of the GOP; now it's time to dump the rest of the party.

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | September 23, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

GOP is the party of cheap labor and tax breaks for the rich. Vote for them you poor dumb suckers

Posted by: stikyfingas | September 23, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Haven't seen one good idea from a republican in 10 years. I've given up looking for them. They are incapable of good ideas for the middle class and keeping their top-2% masters happy. Send them all to Texas just to get them out of the USA, where they seem to be doing their best to screw the bottom 98% and the country as a whole.

What's that? Texas is part of the USA you say? That's not what I hear when I'm in Texas!

Posted by: Fate1 | September 23, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans are asking us to believe they will cut the deficit, they are contradicting their own history. The two presidents who added the most to the deficit (both added more than all the presidents before them put together) were Ronald Reagan and GW Bush. Most of the presidents since Reagan have been Republican, yet this is the time the debt increased the most. During the time (not all the time) the congress was mostly either Republican or mixed. The only recent president to actually make some headway on the deficit was Bill Clinton.

So what makes anyone think the GOP will change now just because they say so to get elected?

Don't trust either party when it comes to promising to reduce deficits. Reducing deficits will necessarily include raising taxes, and no politician will promise to do that.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | September 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

There is only one thing worse that the democrats, and they just made a pledge to screw us like they did for 8 long years if they regain power. Who in their right mind would jump for joy? Oh yea, top-2%, corporations, etc...

Posted by: Fate1 | September 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's cut through all the partisan BS shall we.

Have the Demcorats taken on the debt? No.

I also doubt you will hear many businesses complaining about the economic uncertainty that a repeal of the health care bill would bring about, since most oppose mandates and expansion of government.


The Democrats had a chance to fix Medicare, but refused to, while implementing a new entitlement on top of it which will likely be accruing debt once the subsidies fail to keep up with the price of health care.

The public has already said they do not want anymore stimulus bills, so calling for an end to government spending and putting a freeze on government employment is not something most Americans or I would complain about.

The housing crisis and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is not going to be easily solved by anyone (including the Republicans), but the Demcorats refused to deal with it when they were handling financial reform, so they are not much better than the Republicans.

While I am against raising taxes at this moment and making the tax cuts permanent, I don't see Democrats leveling with the middle class about the fact that their taxes will likely have to be raised to pay off the debt.

So what do the Republicans and Demcorats believe in?

Lying to the American people about the eventual need to raise taxes on the middle class and cut (or scale back) government programs in the foreseeable future, while debt spending.

I don't care for the Republicans, but we need a counterbalance in Washington- even if it's deadlock.

Posted by: moebius22 | September 23, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Excellent analysis and article. Unfortunately, the great unwashed masses of Americans will never take the time to try to digest this. They want their guns, their religion, and their NASCAR, not necessarily in that order. I have no faith in the electorate being able to make an educated decision about anything. They vote with their guts on emotional hot-button issues, and they vote the way they are told because most are sheep.

Posted by: ch4gas | September 23, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, what is the alternative to the The Pledge? What we are currently doing - "print and spend" - printing money to pay for massive spending programs? Believing the mythical Keynesian Multiplier is going to save us. Making everyone feel better by making up hypothetical numbers that can't be proven like "the unemployment would be 15% without it" or "we saved or created X number of jobs" or "extending the tax cuts will create 100 billion in deficits" or "more stimulus money would generate X number of jobs"...Gov't economic policy starting w/ Bush and the Dem Congress in 2008 through the Obama admin has failed miserably and hypothetical unproved statements don't change that. Print and spend generates deficits and redistributes wealth it does not create capital, the driving force to economic growth. The Pledge at least attempts to...

Posted by: idgafkurt | September 23, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, what is the alternative to the The Pledge? What we are currently doing - "print and spend" - printing money to pay for massive spending programs? Believing the mythical Keynesian Multiplier is going to save us. Making everyone feel better by making up hypothetical numbers that can't be proven like "the unemployment would be 15% without it" or "we saved or created X number of jobs" or "extending the tax cuts will create 100 billion in deficits" or "more stimulus money would generate X number of jobs"...Gov't economic policy starting w/ Bush and the Dem Congress in 2007 through the Obama admin has failed miserably and hypothetical unproved statements don't change that. Print and spend generates deficits and redistributes wealth it does not create capital, the driving force to economic growth. The Pledge at least attempts to...

Posted by: idgafkurt | September 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

OK, time for the Journolists to swing into attack position. Anything that subtracts from the push for socialism must be stopped!

Posted by: BillCarson2 | September 23, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I suggest to all that you look at a success story. Namely Australia.
Then you will see why the Republican Tea Party agenda is so wrong.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Australia is an economic success story.
No recession. Unemployment at 5.1%
The Republican Tea Party is proposing to continue failure.
The Small Government and Deregulation madness that led to the Global Finance Crisis in the first place.
Learn people Learn.
The Republican Tea Party stands for failure and recession.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

No deficits, we will cut spending too.

And no, it's not metaphysically impossible, you just choose to not mention the idea of cutting spending at all because you think your readers are so stupid that they imagine the deficit as revenues + ????? = deficit.

The joke is on you. You are, in fact, the stupid one.

Posted by: gorak | September 23, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Only in the Journ-o-list world does cutting spending mean higher deficits. Why does Ezra still have a job at a news organization that should put credibility above all? Because journalism is dead.

Posted by: RayGun_1 | September 23, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Australia is an economic success story.
No recession. Unemployment at 5.1%
The Republican Tea Party is proposing to continue failure.
The Small Government and Deregulation madness that led to the Global Finance Crisis in the first place.
Learn people Learn.
The Republican Tea Party stands for failure and recession.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Or they could be like democrats who apparently don't believe in things like passing budgets never mind balancing budgets or dealing with tax issues that snuck up on them like years ago.

Just another talking point hack who doesn't have an original thought of his own against the party line.

Posted by: bandmom22 | September 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Or they could be like democrats who apparently don't believe in things like passing budgets never mind balancing budgets or dealing with tax issues that snuck up on them like years ago.

Just another talking point hack who doesn't have an original thought of his own against the party line.
=============================
Compare and Contrast.
Australia and United States.
Australia comes out on top.
Why/
A REGULATED market with proper enforcement and not believing that government is in and of itself evil and in the way.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

If the Republican fiscal policies had any merit, ANY merit, we would be swimming is surpluses right now. Wake up people the GOP is playing you for fools.

Posted by: rcasero | September 23, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Australia has just announced it's budget deficit for the financial year just gone. It is AU$ 2 Billion less than expected. This is due to a reduction in outlays expected in unemployment levels.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

First of all, thank you Mr. Klein. Obviously, you have been working over time and have found your stride. These are, however, very scary times, and with all due respects to others and their posts, I am struck by the fact that a good part of the electorate has Alzheimer or are simply ignoramuses. To believe that the Republicans can govern anything is totally ludicrous. Lacking a coherent or believable message, I am sure however, voters, like Jimbo77, will vote for them, anyway. That is why we are in deep trouble. People think this is a football game, and that if their team wins, they win. Not really! Some one is always running for something but like, when do we govern? This country is starting to look like the frozen face of Jack Torrance in the "Shining." Perhaps our world is a little more complicated than the "Pledge," and that in the end the Republicans have only revealed their intention to simply take the electorate to the cleaners, one more time, again. Maybe, we are actually facing complicated issues that require some creative solutions that are neither republican or democratic in nature but are rather just the right thing to do at the right time. We did not put enough in to the stimulus, and the Republicans have put their boot in every part of the machinery possible, so here we are. Frankly, the democrats are not really fit to lead us out of this mess, either, so we will be talking about this for a long time, as the country, as an "idea," goes down the tubes. Listen, I do not mind rich people. They are OK. But we have a lot of poor people and a lot unemployed and a lot of illegal immigrants and these are all the result of a dozen years of disequilibrium in our economic practices as a country with little or no regulation and just a lot of greed. So? We are not getting out of this thing until put some regulations in place, redistribute income via our tax system, resolve our immigration difficulties by providing a path to citizenship, and fostering our economic system for small business owners to be productive and contribute to a rebirth of local industrialization, increased employment and decent wages, not to mention universal health care.

Posted by: rryder1 | September 23, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ezra thinks Journolist is a good idea?

Posted by: coconn | September 23, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ezra thinks Journolist is a good idea?

Posted by: coconn | September 23, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Wayne Swan Treasurer of Australia "We have less business closing and less unemployment directly due to stimulus spending. This is why our costs due to unemployment have fallen and we have spent less than expected."

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Erza Klein the founder of Journolist? WaPo has a coordinated effort with the rest of the media to focus attention on the Tea Party, Palin, Gingrich, McDonnel, etc...anything to take Americans attention away from Obama and his incompetent administration.

Now, WaPo is allowing the founder of Journolist a front page story? That's laughable. I doubt the media could be any less credible than it is today. It's a joke!

None of these cowards will write an article on Obama's policies because they know anyone with an ounce of common sense will shoot holes in it immediately. So, they attack anything slightly negative to Obama. I know Journolist was disbanded. I wonder what name they are using now as there is still clearly a united message to discredit Obama's opponents. Luckily, most Americans know better.

Posted by: Tostitos | September 23, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

They just trotted out the same lies in new clothes. Wow, I am disappointed. I was hoping for some new ideas. There aren't any, worse, the things they want to do would hurt 98% of Americans. The other 2% would get richer off the disaster.

What a pile of lying scum they are. It's amazing, this is the very same GOP that the Tea Party claimed to be fed up with.

Posted by: Nymous | September 23, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

See Australia proves it. The policies of the Republican Tea Party are policies of failure.
That is for those that did not learn the lessons of the GFC caused by banks collapsing on President George W Bush's watch.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Budget deficit improves by $2.3 billion

From: AAP September 24, 2010 10:23AM
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THE final budget outcome for the 2009/10 financial year was a $54.8 billion deficit, the Federal Government has announced.

The result was a $2.3 billion improvement on the $57.1 billion deficit estimated at the time of the May budget.

The final result, revealed on Friday, was due to lower-than-estimated cash payments - $2.6 billion - while cash receipts also were lower by $249 million.

Total taxation receipts were $14 million higher than previously forecast.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Senator Penny Wong said the budget outcome was in "far better condition" than other comparable nations.

"(It puts) us in a strong position to deliver a surplus in 2012/13," they said in a joint statement.

The final budget document said economic growth in Australia was now strengthening and tax receipts recovering after the impact from the global financial crisis.

At the end of 2009/10, the level of Australian government net debt was $42.3 billion - or 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - which was $445 million higher than expected at the time of the May budget.

"This is dramatically lower than the net debt position for the major advanced economies, which average a collective 70 per cent of GDP in 2009," the statement said.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

US - constitution and has over 300 million people

Australia - no constitution like ours and a pop of 22 million

What's your point? If you like australia so much, perhaps you ought to move there.

Posted by: bandmom22 | September 23, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

US - constitution and has over 300 million people

Australia - no constitution like ours and a pop of 22 million

What's your point? If you like australia so much, perhaps you ought to move there.
====================
Australia is an advanced Democracy.
Its economic policies have saved Australia from what America is going through.
Time to learn from success.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Lordy lordy, this Ezra guy has got an axe to grind. What's the deal Ez baby? The Dems have been in control for years, more than 2 by the way. Where have you been? Your math is screwy babe. Tort reform, insurance across state lines, holding on to the tax cuts-- you can calculate it your way or you can calculate it to the advantage of Americans who can get this thing moving the way history proves it will move. Believe me you're going to appreciate the effort when the WP is a handout tabloid at subway exits. Ah youth... Sigh. I sing it with me.. I found your resume on the printer.... I found your resume on the printer....

Posted by: rroco | September 23, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Lordy lordy, this Ezra guy has got an axe to grind. What's the deal Ez baby? The Dems have been in control for years, more than 2 by the way. Where have you been? Your math is screwy babe. Tort reform, insurance across state lines, holding on to the tax cuts-- you can calculate it your way or you can calculate it to the advantage of Americans who can get this thing moving the way history proves it will move. Believe me you're going to appreciate the effort when the WP is a handout tabloid at subway exits. Ah youth... Sigh. I sing it with me.. I found your resume on the printer.... I found your resume on the printer....

Posted by: rroco | September 23, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Budget deficit improves by $2.3 billion

From: AAP September 24, 2010 10:23AM
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THE final budget outcome for the 2009/10 financial year was a $54.8 billion deficit, the Federal Government has announced.

The result was a $2.3 billion improvement on the $57.1 billion deficit estimated at the time of the May budget.

The final result, revealed on Friday, was due to lower-than-estimated cash payments - $2.6 billion - while cash receipts also were lower by $249 million.

Total taxation receipts were $14 million higher than previously forecast.

Treasurer Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Senator Penny Wong said the budget outcome was in "far better condition" than other comparable nations.

"(It puts) us in a strong position to deliver a surplus in 2012/13," they said in a joint statement.

The final budget document said economic growth in Australia was now strengthening and tax receipts recovering after the impact from the global financial crisis.

At the end of 2009/10, the level of Australian government net debt was $42.3 billion - or 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - which was $445 million higher than expected at the time of the May budget.

"This is dramatically lower than the net debt position for the major advanced economies, which average a collective 70 per cent of GDP in 2009," the statement said.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Some loser wrote:
"What utter B.S. The Repugs are so effete in every way and in every thing. The dim bulb from Alaska as their leader, the anti-masturbator in Delaware, the cowardly mouth of Limpballs who hides behind his mic, the sheer worthlessness of most of their congressmen, wow, now their garbage plan to take back America. These jerks haven't lifted a finger for the middle and lower classes since taking office."

Hey stupid, stop lying about those you can never measure up to, loser. wHY DON'T YOU TRASH TALK the criminal frauds and thieving liars who are the ones mostly responsible for this mess in the first place who lied cheated and deceived their way back into power only to make it 10 times worse?

"THE BOTTOM LINE: REPUBLICANS ARE POOR SPORTS AND SORE LOSERS. I THOUGHT ALL OF US LEARNED ABOUT THIS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Posted by: honeybee1"

Wrong honeybee1, democrats are the sore losers, poor sports and lying cheating rats. Can't you come up with any facts or tell the truth? Accusing Republicans of what in fact is only true about democrats doesn't work anymore.

The party of democrats are incompetent because they are serial liars and criminal frauds and shameless thieves. That is why they are on their way out for good. Obama helped expose the party of perpetual fraud as well as himself. Thieves don't run Countries, the run heists and their mouths.

Posted by: RobLACa | September 23, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The poor writer is painfully ignorant about economics. He obviously supports Obama's multi-trillion dollar deficits and doesn't realize that the highest government revenues came when Bush cut tax rates. Ezra, my young neophyte . . . even if the Democrats let the tax cuts expire, their rosiest projections show they don't make much of a dent in Obama's deficit. YOU HAVE TO CUT SPENDING! Hope this helps.

Posted by: greendayer | September 23, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Some loser wrote:
"What utter B.S. The Repugs are so effete in every way and in every thing. The dim bulb from Alaska as their leader, the anti-masturbator in Delaware, the cowardly mouth of Limpballs who hides behind his mic, the sheer worthlessness of most of their congressmen, wow, now their garbage plan to take back America. These jerks haven't lifted a finger for the middle and lower classes since taking office."

Hey stupid, stop lying about those you can never measure up to, loser. wHY DON'T YOU TRASH TALK the criminal frauds and thieving liars who are the ones mostly responsible for this mess in the first place who lied cheated and deceived their way back into power only to make it 10 times worse?

"THE BOTTOM LINE: REPUBLICANS ARE POOR SPORTS AND SORE LOSERS. I THOUGHT ALL OF US LEARNED ABOUT THIS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

Posted by: honeybee1"

Wrong honeybee1, democrats are the sore losers, poor sports and lying cheating rats. Can't you come up with any facts or tell the truth? Accusing Republicans of what in fact is only true about democrats doesn't work anymore.

The party of democrats are incompetent because they are serial liars and criminal frauds and shameless thieves. That is why they are on their way out for good. Obama helped expose the party of perpetual fraud as well as himself. Thieves don't run Countries, the run heists and their mouths.

Posted by: RobLACa | September 23, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse
=================
Worry about the fraud and cheats and liars on your own side.
They are out for the rich not for the average American.
Otherwise they would be championing the same policies as conservatives as in Australia. That is recognizing there is a limit to the cries of Small Government and Deregulation.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

The poor writer is painfully ignorant about economics. He obviously supports Obama's multi-trillion dollar deficits and doesn't realize that the highest government revenues came when Bush cut tax rates. Ezra, my young neophyte . . . even if the Democrats let the tax cuts expire, their rosiest projections show they don't make much of a dent in Obama's deficit. YOU HAVE TO CUT SPENDING! Hope this helps.
-----------------
Australia increased spending. This paid off. Less Unemployment the rate is 5.1%. Thus more taxes coming in so more revenue. Plus paying out the costs associated with Unemployment fell. So the Australian Deficit fell.
Tax Cuts decrease revenue thus increasing deficit.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Ezra reminds me of those commentators I see on MSNBC whose analysis is so unsophisticated and juvenile, yet many of them attended fine Ivy League colleges.Maybe they were partying too much and sleeping in class? Or do they brainwash socialist claptrap at Harvard these days? Making everyone less affluent to make sure the very affluent don't become more so is a hell of a stupid economic policy, as Obama has demonstrated. The recession was purportedly over 5 months after he took office. Thus, his policies aredirectly responsible for the 15 MILLION still unemployed. And a trillion $ blown (I guess the money did bail out state/local workers who are still working for bankrupt states).

Posted by: cccarol | September 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Australia increased spending. This paid off. Less Unemployment the rate is 5.1%. Thus more taxes coming in so more revenue. Plus paying out the costs associated with Unemployment fell. So the Australian Deficit fell.
Tax Cuts decrease revenue thus increasing deficit.

Posted by: guytaur1 | September 23, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Republicans can start earning back their fiscal conservative credentials by repealing the things that made them lose those credentials in the first places, starting with the $500 billion spending increase passed by a Republican Congress and signed into law by then-President Bush, also known as Medicare Part D.

Posted by: paulflorez | September 23, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, you don't need to worry your pretty little head about these things.

The fact that you believe Obama and what he says Obamacare will do is just more proof that you have no idea about anything, especially economics.

Your education failed you.

Posted by: letscheck | September 23, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter - the population is getting madder - and it won't take it any more. No more wasted trillions on wars, drug wars, Afghan wars, Wall Street bailouts, failing slime that got us into this mess.

Obama is throwing away money all over the place - with the exception of job creation or helping people getting kicked out of their homes. Vote all incumbents out this year.

Posted by: alance | September 23, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Erza Klein the leader of the Journolist misinformation campaign saying the Republicans are wrong. Wow! how original. This is the guy who condones lying, character assassination and collusion to protect Obama and the Washington Post still has him employed. Says as much about his employer as it does him. A man at best of questionable ethics.

Posted by: georgiarat | September 23, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The fact that you claim that repealing a trillion dollar health care entitlement will add to the deficit shows why the dems have no chance in Nov. You have completely lost touch. Everyone other than the snobbish left knows that government picking up the health insurance tab for 30 million people will not save the government money!

Posted by: rocky5643 | September 23, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Whose money is it, anyway? It's ours and the Democrats have been throwing it around. Only a statist would come with the idea that keeping taxes as they are would result in a $4 trillion increase in the deficit. Good grief. Let the private sector recover instead of hammering it with more taxes.

Posted by: Gymrat3560 | September 23, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse


The GOP in a land slide in November... yeah baby!!!

so sick of this liberal crap.

Posted by: TimesHater | September 24, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

"The Republicans are so bankrupt of ideas it should embarrass them."

Really? The ones who are completely void of ideas are the ones rushing to make that exact false accusation against their opposition while not a single mention of theirs. What clever little cry babies. There is a reason for that of course. These "IDEAS" democrats talk about are just new ways of stealing from the tax payers and the productive to buy votes.

Talking about "who" should be embarrassed? You'd think the party that stole their ideas from our very enemies Americans have sacrificed their lives for hundreds of years would be the least bit embarrassed or better yet keep their stupid mouths shut. Naaaa, not the stupid and un-AMERICAN, they are today's party of democrats.

Posted by: RobLACa | September 24, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

I honestly don't know which party is worse, the dems or the gop.

Is it any wonder there is a tea party?

Posted by: invention13 | September 24, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

If John Boehner actually exercised what he believes and meant what he wrote when he helped author the 1994 "Contract with America," with term limits, he would have been gone years ago.

If you believe the party of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell stand for anything other than themselves and the corporatists that keep them rich and in power, then that must be nothing.

They are the Party of Stop. They brought America's economy to a halt for the benefit of the MIC/Security industry, CEOs and Wall Street fat cats, and left everyone who isn't rich holding the bag. If the Greedy Old Party with the help of those fascist Teabaggers take Congress, America is going to get very ugly.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | September 24, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

This is the most ridiculous proposals ever made. Let us look back a bit.

In year 2000 projected budget surplus was 1.4 trillions in next 10 years.

Internal debt was 5.7 trillions.

Our external debt was 500 billions(approximately)

In year 2008 budget deficit was 1 trillions(including the banks bail out).

Internal debt risen to 11.4 trillions(doubled in 8 years because of wars were not funded with tax increase /actually taxs were cut) and we borrowed ferociously to fund the wars.

Who is at fault? Now Tea party (who are sleeping from year 2000 to 2008 and they did not know the above numbers) and GOP thinks that it is only in last 20 months these deficits grew larger. Whom are they fooling.
Their agenda : Given tax cut to top 2%
Go to war with Iran by borrowing another trillion from China
Cut Estate tax and cut unemployment benefits.

Posted by: sasidhargv | September 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The Journolist cabal is out in force again to protect Obama's program at any costs.

The last time the US had a balanced budget was when we had a Democratic President and a Republican Congress. Anyone who thinks a Democratic Congress is going to balance the budget is smoking hopium.

Posted by: Illini | September 24, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Or they could be like democrats who apparently don't believe in things like passing budgets never mind balancing budgets or dealing with tax issues that snuck up on them like years ago. Posted by: bandmom22"

You seem to forget that in the twelve years the Republicans held control of Congress, They NEVER got within two months of passing a budget on time, rarely got it passed in the calendar year it was due, and didn't bother to pass a budget at all in 2006.

The Dems have the whole budget written, but can't get it passed due to republican Filibusters.

So who gets the blame when the republicans filibuster a budget extension resolution and the Government shuts down next week.

I don't believe that a continuing resolution has been passed so far, and come 1 October the Defense Department will be officially broke and Military paychecks will not be legal. (Although SOMETHING will undoubtedly be done in the next day or so.)

Posted by: ceflynline | September 24, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

So the word is out that this Republican "Pledge" is D.O.A. And, that all the Tea party candidates would do better running for Halloween than on Nov. 2. Dems rising. OK then!

Posted by: dudh | September 24, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

"Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language,...."

========================================

Are these the same "adjectives and soaring language" Obama reads from his teleprompter?

If it came from him, for you, agreement would have come, right?

'

Posted by: ahartnack | September 26, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

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