Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Pledge to America

This past Thursday, Republican leaders unveiled their legislative agenda for the next Congress, which they are calling the “Pledge to America.” Unfortunately, however, the plan contains the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place.

In short, the pledge calls for a reduction in government regulation, a repeal of the healthcare reform, extending large tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans, ending stimulus spending, and undoing all the successes the Obama administration has accomplished.

First, why do we need government regulation? Without it, Wall Street was able to conduct business in an irresponsible manner that resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Bankers got greedy, misled the public, and contributed to the housing market bubble. Without government regulation, credit card companies were able to raise interest rates on existing balances without notifying you and entrapped students into a never ending pile of debt. Without government regulation, private banks handled federally backed student loans, costing taxpayers billions of dollars in subsidies and making it harder for students to pay back loans.

Second, without healthcare reform, whose provisions only just started to take effect, millions died due to lack of adequate insurance; students were not covered under their parents’ insurance; pre-existing conditions dominated your insurance policy; Medicare finances were being depleted; the cost of prescription drugs steadily increased; and taxpayers were forced to pay thousands extra in premiums for unnecessary and avoidable trips to the emergency room.

Third, extending tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent will do nothing to help our staggering economy. One major proof: the tax cut for the richest has been in place since 2003. But instead of investing, they have saved; instead of increasing paychecks for employees they have given out large corporate bonuses; and instead of hiring American workers, they have outsourced jobs. Throughout Bush’s 8 years in office, even with a 35% tax rate (as opposed to 39% during Clinton), there was only a total net growth of 3 million jobs, and ZERO in the private-sector. Clearly, the tax cuts did not, and will not work. Also, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation and the CBO, extending the tax cut will cost an additional $3 trillion over 10 years in lost revenue.

Finally, what’s wrong with stimulus spending? What’s wrong with funding public works projects, extending unemployment benefits, and increasing support for cash-strapped state governments so they won't have to lay off teachers and police officers? What’s wrong with saving the auto-industry and allowing companies like GM and Chrysler to make profits and start hiring American workers again? What’s wrong with helping troubled homeowners avoid foreclosures; giving small businesses tax cuts and assist in their lending? What’s wrong with going from an economy where we were losing 750,000 jobs a month to now creating more than 3 million new jobs? The answer is nothing. But the very same Republicans who denounced the Obama stimulus spending plan are quick to embrace stimulus spending when it comes in the form of tax cuts for the rich.

If this is where Republicans are planning to take us after November, I want to get off at the next exit.


  1. Definitely agree, I feel at the end of the day, "Pledge to America" is looking out only for its creators instead of leaning towards bipartisan support to construct an efficient government. This post brought up great points to highlight some of the key issues regarding taxing the wealthy, healthcare reform, and stimulus spending.


    You pretty much summed up the major accomplishments Obama has had in helping get our country right on track!

    Im not sure where the Republicans want to take us, but it is definately NOT in the right direction.

  3. Once again, you completely mis-interpret the Republicans.

    Have you even read the "Pledge to America"? The Republicans want to undo the complete and utter destruction that this administration has created. How can you ruin the country if its already in horrible shape??

    We gave Obama his chance. And he couldnt accomplish ANYTHING. Not a single good thing for this nation or its citizens.

    The Republicans will win in November, and Democrats will have to spend the next 2 years trying to figure out why in the world they can't get anything done. I hope they will start to understand, but judging by the people leading this socialist party, I doubt that's going to happen.

  4. Good work Ashwani. Wonderful piece.


  5. I completely agree with the rationale. The Republican party is being too hasty in its so called "plans" to fix the state of our country. Unfortunately, there is so much disunity in our country politically these days, that its hard to tell what is right, what is wrong, and what will work. The economy is so unpredictable, the only solution seems to be a mixed liberal/conservative approach. I don't know if we need to spend a lot of money on public works, but unemployment benefits and supporting state governments is very important. I think helping boost the job market is the biggest concern we have, and we should try and solve that as soon as possible.

  6. There are definitely problems associated with the actions you pointed out. It would be rather ignorant to say there is nothing wrong with them old friend.

  7. There's nothing wrong with any of the initiatives, except that they cost money that we don't have.

    There haven't been any attempts yet from this administration to move toward a balanced budget, and this will come back to haunt us very soon.

  8. In regards to the last post by "Anonymous", these initiatives are not necessarily costing us money. They are simply redistributing the money that was spent on unnecessary tasks (such as corporate loopholes, tax cuts for the wealthy and funding for special interests).

    More importantly, they SAVE us money in the future. Without healthcare reform, for example, taxpayers paid thousands extra in premiums and were often left with the decision to pay for their medical bills or for their rent. Without financial regulation, millions were left without jobs.


Do You Agree or Disagree? Why? Please leave comments.