Saturday, March 25, 2006

Republican Study Committee's "Contract with America Renewed"

I like to listen to talk radio quite a bit. I really like Glen Beck; he is my favorite. I enjoy Michael Savage. I listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity occasionally; but, I can only listen to them in small doses; they are both far too partisan for my tastes...

Limbaugh and Hannity have been blasting the Democrats for years about being tired, having no ideas, not fulfilling their promises, etc.

I wonder why they are not BLASTING The Republican Party over the Contract with America from 1994 or the newest version of The Contract with America?

The Republican Study Committee is a core group of conservatives that is supposed to advance conservative ideals. They have turned out to be a complete failure if you measure them in terms of growth of government over the last 12 years. The RSC is led by the capable Mike Pence from Indiana. Mark Souder is NOT a member of the RSC (Imagine that)...

I have posted a lot of comments about how the Republicans lied to America in the "Contract with America" that allowed them to sweep to power in 1994.

The RSC has issued a "Contract with America renewed" and it is pitiful...

Let me summarize it here: We promise to do all of those things that we promised to do in 1994 and failed to do! We really mean it this time.

DO THEY THINK WE ARE COMPLETELY STUPID?

Lets look at the renewed contract The RSC is proposing:

1. Balances the budget by 2011. Note in 1994 The Republicans promised to balance the budget as well. In the intervening 12 years our nation has not had a balanced budget even ONE year. There are two years they came close; however, they had to rob the Social Security Trust Fund so they could falsely claim to have balanced the budget.

2. Includes pro-growth tax policy. Note in 1994 they promised the same thing. They have implemented some pro-growth tax policy AND they have added THOUSANDS of pages to the tax code and made it more complex and they have ensured that it favors certain businesses over others...

3. Makes real reductions in discretionary spending. They made the exact same promise in 1994 and growth in these programs has EXPLODED under the Republicans...

4. Proposes 358 billion in reconciliation spending. This one is hard for them to backup at all. If they are going to really cut this much spending they should be able to balance the budget next year right?

5. Increases defense spending. They made this promise in 1994 and overall you would have to say they have kept this promise. I am very pro-military; but, we spend WAY TOO MUCH on our military today...

6. Reduces foreign aid by 31 billion over five years while ensuring support for Israel. They promised to decrease foreign aid in 1994 as well. They have not. Foreign aid has grown under the Republicans to record levels...

7. Significantly restructures Commerce, Energy, and Education. They promised the exact same thing in 1994. Since 1994 these programs have grown and have become even larger, even more inefficient, and received new powers. So what do they mean by re-structuring this time? Does it mean they are going to keep growing these programs? Maybe Bush will start a new program called "No nuclear power plant left behind..."

8. Proposes elimination of over 150 Federal Programs. They promised the same thing in 1994. There are FAR MORE government programs today then there were in 1994. Heck, The Republicans will not even cut funding to Amtrak, why should anyone believe they have the nerve to cut anything now? In the last five years The Republicans have had control of the entire government and they have not eliminated one Federal program. They sure have added a lot of programs though...

9. Includes budget process reforms (earmark reform, Constitutional line-item veto, and a federal sunset commission.) They promised to reform the budget process in 1994 and actually have made the budget process worse. We need to eliminate earmarks, require each bill to cover one area and one area only, and we need to prevent politicians from inserting language in the bill at the last minute without anyone's knowledge.

10. Proposes 392 billion in net deficit reduction. They promised to balance the budget in 1994. They are actually promising less this time... We have had several years of record high deficits under The Republicans...

11. Makes no changes to Social Security. They promised the same thing in 1994. This is one of the worst promises I have ever heard. Social Security is on a collision course with disaster. The longer we wait to fix it the worse off America will be. Where are the fiscal conservatives? We need them... They are not in the Republican Party or in the RSC that is for sure.

12. Block grants Medicaid. They promised the exact same thing in 1994.

13. Block grants most Federal Education Programs. They promised the same thing in 1994. We need to abolish the Federal Department of Education. The fifty States need to handle education and The Federal government needs to get OUT OF EDUCATION NOW.

14. Block grants WIA job training programs. They made the same promise in 1994.

15. Rescinds highway bill earmarks. They promised the exact same thing in 1994. The last Federal Highway Bill the Republicans passed broke all records for earmarks... They lie...

16. Caps Medicare growth at 5.4% annually. They of course promised the exact same thing in 1994. Does anyone think they kept this promise over the last 12 years? If you do, I have some land you can buy near a peaceful village called Tikrit...

17. Allows drilling in ANWR. The promised to allow drilling in ANWR in 1994. We still are not drilling in ANWR in 2006... What happened? Did they lie? They have a majority in BOTH Houses of Congress people...

18. Repeal the Davis Bacon Act. They promised to this in 1994 as well. It is still in effect.

19. Reforms agricultural production programs. They of course made the exact same promise in 1994. Since 1994 we spent even more money to subsidize farmers. If by reform they mean "spend even more money on" then they are doing what they promised.

There are some glaring omissions as well:

1. Nothing about immigration.
2. Nothing about term limits. 8 of the Republicans who promised to be in office for only 12 years are up for re-election in 2006... So much for that promise...

Wow. What has the Republican Party come to? The Republican Party is a Party of larger and larger government and broken promises...

Mike Sylvester





11 comments:

John Good said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John Good said...

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Tim Zank said...

Lots of good info Mike. You have to keep everything in context though. I remember the "contract with America" vividly, and while your right to point out the numerous failures and broken promises, I think it's fair to say (like most messes) it began with the best of intentions. A lot of these guys (on both sides of the aisle) start with the noblest intentions only to realize they can't change a damn thing unless they actually become what they used to despise. Souder is the most glaring example, and he admitted just that a few years back. He said he now believed it was more important to go back on his word (term limits) because he finally has some power to "get things done"..... as sad as it is that is true..the trouble is, For decades we have been electing "lawmakers" (my ass)whose sole responsibility has become to go to washington and "bring back our share" to Indiana...All these morons run on that platform "Elect me and I'll go to Washington and get our fair share" Our system was not designed this way, the "fair share" these guys talk about isn't supposed to be in washington in the first place...it never should have left the state!! All that happens now is we lobby for our own damn money back, only in the form of some pork barrel project...at any rate...where I was going originally with this was:
It's just the lesser of two evils and even this time around the republicans still look a fuzz better than the dems...it's just a damn shame...Sorry for the rant, sometimes these guys really piss me off...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I understand what you are saying Tim...

I just do not quite agree with you. I think we SHOULD hold politicians accountable to their Campaign promises...

I think we should vote for the candidate, NOT THE PARTY...

Mark Souder is awful...

Mark is a big government Republican who has broken too many promises...

Mike Sylvester

William Larsen said...

Tim you wrote "He said he now believed it was more important to go back on his word (term limits) because he finally has some power to "get things done"..... as sad as it is that is true.."

Power, what is power? What power does Souder now have that he did not have when first elected? Does not each house member have one vote? Does not each senator have one vote. Power, there is no power, only the conviction to vote for what is right. As a member of the house, look at how the media reports even the simplest of statements from Souder. If you have something of value, the media will definitely pick up on it. Use the "bully" pulpit to educate the people of the problems faced. Do not vote to cover them up. Be a leader, not a follower.

What has Souder accomplished?

Tim Zank said...

Mike and William, we actually do agree on a lot of things, I just did a lousy job of expressing myself. I didn't mean to excuse Souder for his broken promises, merely to say I understand why he did it.I hold him accountable for his actions by NOT voting for him since 1998. I don't vote the party either, I'm all over the map but right now overall I think the majority of Repubs are more in line with my ideals than dems...that doesn't mean I like 'em all or vote for 'em. And William, my comment about the power Souder has now relates to his power through associations and committees to lom onto pet projects for constituents. I don't condone his actions. As for the media picking up on his simplest of statements...They do NOW but they didn't give him the time of day 94 to 98...after all those associations and committees and pandering he now has the power to get coverage...it's a viscious cycle. He figured out early on if he spoke up too soon, he wouldn't have been re-elected.

Mike Kole said...

The problem is that Republicans often find that nothing is at stake from their fiscal conservative base, because that base would sooner slide down a sliding board of razor blades into a vat of rubbing alcohol than vote Democrat. So, if fiscal conservatives are unwilling to vote Libertarian to send the message that the actions of GOP officials aren't cutting it, and they keep voting GOP, the Republicans get the message that they are doing right by their base.

I tire of the argument that a vote for a Libertarian is a wasted vote. I'll show you a wasted vote: a fiscal conservative who keeps voting Republican. You aren't getting what you voted for!

Fiscal conservatives are taken for granted because they don't make the GOP reclaim them.

Put it this way: If you go to McDonald's five times and order a Big Mac five times, but each time you get a McChicken, would you go back to McDonald's a sixth time?

No way! And yet, fiscal conservatives keep voting Republican. McDonald's keeps a close eye on the bottom line. If they find they are losing customers by failing to serve them, they change their ways and provide better service. That is customer driven, just like voting, where voters are the customers of our representative government.

William Larsen said...

Mike, I liked the analogy of McBurger replaced with McChicken. It is very much to the point of the problem. Instead of voting for the individual best qualified, I would bet that close to half if not more, vote for the party they believe represents them. The majority of republican house and senate representatives do not represent what I would consider Republican values. They have hijacked the Republican Party.

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