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Thursday, September 23, 2010

GOP Releases 'Pledge To America' :UPDATE- Embedded Document Added

(Full GOP Pledge to America embedded at the end of this post for those that want to read the entire document.)

Some are satisfied with the newly released draft of a21 page GOP "Pledge to America" and some are underwhelmed by it.

To me it strikes the middle ground, not between the Democrats and Republicans, but within the two factions of the Republican Party, the hardcore conservative and the right of the center type, and will probably appeal to Independents who are unhappy with how bills have been written and barely glanced at before being passed through the House and Senate these last few years.

Fact is, political pundits will rip into this to address what they don't see in this Pledge, media will draw out the analysis for maximum benefit, ultra conservatives will want more, Democrats will criticize and generally everyone will have an opinion one way or another.

The typical, average American citizen, those that do not spend their days sifting through every piece of political news, is who this Pledge is aimed at and I think that is who will react positively to it.

Face it, ultra conservatives are not going to the polls and voting for a Democrat, Democrats are not going to the polls and voting for a Republican.

Moderates, Independents and right of the center voters are the people that need to be addressed because the majority is not ultra Conservative nor ultra Liberal, the majority of Americans are right of the center and those are the people, the voters, the GOP needs to connect with in a major way right now.

CBS gives a short quick run down, to include Jobs, Repealing and replacing Obamacare, Cutting spending, Reforming Congress and Defense. Below that I will highlight portions of the "Pledge to America" that caught my eye specifically.


- Stop job-killing tax hikes

- Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income

- Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit

- Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:

- Repeal and Replace health care

- Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)

- Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward

- Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:

- Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority

- Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote


- Provide resources to troops

- Fund missile defense

First and foremost and written, I am sure, with Obamacare and the issues of constitutionality involved in requiring Americans to buy a service, the "Pledge to America" addresses this on Page #5.

We recognize that these solutions are ambitious, and that we are proposing them at a time of intense public distrust in politicians and the political system. That’s why we are offering a plan to reform Congress and restore trust so that we can put power back where it belongs: in the hands of the people. We will govern differently than past Congresses of both parties. We will require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority. We will give all Representatives and citizens at least three days to read the bill before a vote. We will make sure that the floor schedule and operations reflect the priority of revitalizing the economy, and ensure there is an open process that makes it easier – not harder – to eliminate unnecessary spending on any legislation that spends the people’s money.

One of my personal big complaints is the way Congress packages bills, adding things into bills that have no connection to the actual bill, just to get unpopular legislation passed within the framework of something that absolutely has to pass.

It is sneaky, unfair and takes advantage of the public taxpayer as well as their money and the issue is addressed in this Pledge.

Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time: We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with “must-pass” legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.

Remembering Nancy Pelosi's infamous comment about having to "pass the bill before people could see what was in the bill", I especially like the addition below:

Read The Bill: We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on.

The Democrats promised that to the American people then went right ahead and passed bills without giving the politicians, nor the public, a chance to learn what was in the bills, so this was a major issue that I am glad they addressed.

Obamacare aka Healthcare is addressed as well, not just a "Repeal" refrain but with ideas of what the GOP will try to replace it with..

Our Plan to Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law and Put in Place Real Reform:

Repeal the Costly Health Care Takeover of 2010: Because the new health care law kills jobs, raises taxes, and increases the cost of health care, we will immediately take action to repeal this law.

Enact Medical Liability Reform: Skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates have distorted the practice of medicine, routinely forcing doctors to order costly and often unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits, often referred to as “defensive medicine.” We will enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine.

Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines: Americans residing in a state with expensive health insurance plans are locked into those plans and do not currently have an opportunity to choose a lower cost option that best meets their needs. We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live.

Expand Health Savings Accounts: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost-effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients withhigh-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.

Strengthen the Doctor-Patient Relationship: We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.

Ensure Access For Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions: Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick. We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.

Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion: We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion, this includes enacting into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

"A Plan to Create Jobs, End Economic Uncertainty, and Make America More Competitive" will be the portion that hits closest to home for many Americans. The economy and unemployment figures are the number one issue on the minds of those polled throughout the year, so addressing that specifically was politically shrewd and necessary in order to capture the attention of voters.

Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes: We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America.

Act Immediately to Reduce Spending: There is no reason to wait to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending. Congress should move immediately to cancel unspent “stimulus” funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending “stimulus” funds. Throwing more money at a stimulus plan that is not working only wastes taxpayer money and puts us further in debt.

Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels: With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.

Establish a Hard Cap on New Discretionary Spending: We must put common-sense limits on the growth of government and stop the endless increases. Only in Washington is there an expectation that whatever your budget was last year, it will be more this year and even more the next. We will set strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Budget caps were used in the 1990s, when a Republican Congress was able to bring the budget into balance and eventual surplus. By cutting discretionary spending from current levels and imposing a hard cap on future growth, we will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

Those are the aspects I believe will be the focus of the American people, not media, the White House, politicians or political pundits, but the every day voters that just want jobs, economy and the majority that wants Obamacare dealt with, repealed and/or replaced, focused on before dealing with anything else.

The expected these issues to be addressed and they are.

GOP Pledge to America

[Update] Reactions to this draft of the GOP "Pledge to America" are coming out fast and furiously, which is good, because even those criticizing are highlighting it as well, getting this into the hands of more people, getting more to read the entire document... in effect advertising it.

(Link is a snapshot of the discussions surrounding the Pledge at the moment, when you click over to Memeorandum, just refresh the page to see how many more discussions have been started since I posted the link)