GOP’s “Pledge” is no game changer

Exactly 16 years ago today, I stood on the steps of the Capitol with then-minority leader Newt Gingrich, and hundreds of other incumbent Republican Members of Congress and fellow challengers.  It was a sweltering hot day as we listened to several mercifully short speeches.  Then, one-by-one, we stepped forward and signed our names to a document titled simply, the “Contract With America.”

The Contract With America was unique in American politics.  It was a short and simple listing of 11 action items that followed two explicit promises.  We promised that — if rewarded with a majority in the House for the first time in more than four decades — on the very first day in office, we would adopt a series of procedural reforms to dramatically open the processes under which that institution operated. 

We also promised that, in the ensuing 99 days, we would bring to the floor of the House for open debate and vote, 10 specific measures that would – if passed by both houses and signed by then-President Bill Clinton – balance the federal budget, set term limits for House members, and enact a number of other significant domestic reforms. 

The Contract With America was then published in “TV Guide,” and Gingrich urged voters to tear it out and use it to follow the progress of the hopefully Republican-controlled House.  If we failed to deliver, voters were told to fire us in the next election.  The genius of this plan lay in its simplicity and its delivery.  Democrats, lulled into a false sense of security bred by 42 years of unchallenged rule, failed to see the coming deluge of voter unrest; many laughed off the Contract as a silly election year ploy. 

Following the election, the Democrats’ mirth turned quickly to anger; but to no avail.  The congressional reforms were instituted, and in the next three months, every one of the promised pieces of legislation was introduced, debated and voted on.  Some passed; others did not (term limits, for one); but the Republicans kept their promise, and the GOP maintained its majority for a dozen years

Now, eight congresses later, the Republican Party, under the direction of leaders far less savvy and energetic than Newt Gingrich, have proposed a new song sheet from which it hopes to orchestrate a takeover of the majority in the House similar to 1994.  However, the “Pledge To America,” announced last Thursday with far less fanfare than that which accompanied the signing of the original on September 27, 1994, is no “Contract With America.”

To be sure, the Pledge is a sound and good document.  It talks sincerely of cutting government spending, reducing taxes, strengthening national defense, and – like every modern Congress before it — rooting out waste and abuse in government.  And, like the Contract, it largely avoids divisive social issues. 

However, the Pledge To America is presented at a time when the American public is demonstrably weary of generalized promises by either major party.  The electorate is highly skeptical that either of those parties will deliver what it promises; especially when many of those declarations are a rehash of promises made every election cycle by candidates of both parties (for example, to “restore trust” in government).  Yes, there are a few specifics listed (such as repealing the “government takeover of health care”), but its rhetoric will be largely lost in the anti-incumbent fervor that has taken hold of the electorate with a vengeance.

Republicans stand to benefit significantly from this malaise, but it won’t be because of any great work the party has done over the past four years in the minority; and it won’t result from the unveiling of the “Pledge To America.”  GOP gains will come because its candidates are in the right place at the right time; and because they are not Democrats.

56 comments Add your comment

I pledge more or less of of the same

September 27th, 2010
7:44 am

Bob Barr waxed wisely in this shine on the GOP Pledge. A game changer in politics would involve a leader. The GOP has no leader. Its like the football team formerly known as the Dirty Birds. The Falcons could use a game changer. The Falcons could be for real IF they had a coach who knew about the play-action pass in the red zone. This has been the Braves and the Falcon’s curse for the past thirty years: No coach worth a punted bunt. (Or even a bunted punt). Or nuthin’.

We’ve always had the talent on the field, (and the best damn cheerleaders in the biz.) The Falcons would be better off if Chief Knockahoma was the damn coach. The Braves would be better off with no coach, (manager).

The feeling I got yesterday was that the Ain’ts were just methin’ wid us, and had a good laugh at some of our play calling. Sample of their comments in the locker room (after they were done with the sexual harrassment of the reporter/Hooter’s girl), “They tried to run on second down! What a bunch of maroons! How about that call on fourth down with minutes left! What a fall guy. What a dope. If they keep that coach, we don’t even have to play our A game!”

THe Atlanta Curse of no coach. hell. Our former nincomcoach Jim Mora is now an announcer and he’s a bigger embarrassment than Cynthia Tucker’s bug-eyed, tongue-tied and stuttered mumblings on “This Week”. No wonder she coddles (and dates) her trolls. Nobody else can wait long enough for her to finish a pass.

She’s a writer, not a speaker, (there’s a BIG diff), but she’s not as big a gaffer as COLBERT, who is a total schmuck. I knew he was a hack. I KNEW IT!!)

[...] groups work outside GOP to back conservativesLos Angeles TimesWashington Post -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Bloombergall 219 news [...]

hsr0601

September 27th, 2010
8:20 am

Gambling on party of “no idea” is sure to be much like Throwing an Egg of Economy Against The Wall.
Of the money by the money for the money is getting a society nowhere near prosperity

jw

September 27th, 2010
8:37 am

The posts here read as if written by drunks.

jconservative

September 27th, 2010
8:52 am

“To be sure, the Pledge is a sound and good document. It talks sincerely of cutting government spending, reducing taxes, strengthening national defense, and – like every modern Congress before it — rooting out waste and abuse in government.”

This is a fascinating two sentences. Let’s break it down.

“…cutting government spending…” is something we can all agree needs to be done. But we have agreed on that for 60 years and for 60 years spending has gone up. Why no list of specific cuts. For example, $100 billion a year from defense procurement.

“…reducing taxes…”. The National Debt is $13.5 trillion real dollars. Why is god’s name would anyone want to cut the revenue needed to pay off the debt? And do not tell me the lie that cutting taxes actually increases government revenue. We have tried that for 30 straight years and the result has been an increase of $12.7 trillion in the National Debt.

“…strengthening national defense…”. This is the opposite of the first item in the pledge, “reduce government spending” isn’t it? We cannot strengthen national defense and cut spending at the same time.
If you cut $10 billion from food stamps and buy 50 new F-35 fighters for $137 million each what have you accomplished? Not much!

“…rooting out waste and abuse in government.” Bob your comment of “like every modern Congress before it” pretty much says it all. This part is a joke. Congress could start with Congress. Why does a Senator need a staff of 40 people?

I have been a big proponent of a balanced budget for 30 years. But it will not get done by cutting taxes and not touching defense.

Supreme Being

September 27th, 2010
8:53 am

Term limits term limits term limits. Until we get these lifetime politicians out of the system, nothing will change. Their job is nothing more than to get releceted. That is why we have such an impotent and ineffective system. Politicians will say anything to get reelected but they say nothing at all. They exist unto their own end, that is to live off their office… not represent the people.

blday

September 27th, 2010
8:54 am

I seem to remember that in 2001 when Republican George W. Bush took the Office of the President of the United States, our country’s finances were in pretty good shape. I seem to remember that our “problem” was how we were to deal with the project budget surplus left by President Bush’s predecessor, President Clinton. I don’t know, but let’s just say it was 10 months, and under the leadership of a Republican president and his majority Republican congress, the projected surplus was gone! What happened to the money and federal spending during the six years (2000-2006) of Republican domination?

alli'msayingis...

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

The Republican Congressional victory in 1994 was in direct response to the voting populace feeling deceived due to Clinton pursuing a policy of openly allowing gays in the military as one of his first legislative efforts in office despite having campaigned strongly on (a) i will fix the economy and (b) i’m a new Democrat and not beholden to the very liberal wing like Dukakis in ‘88 and Mondale in ‘84.

The Contract with America impact was over-stated then and is being romanticized now by Bob Barr (understandably since he signed it).

Ironically, The Pledge with America is being under-estimated now. While the November 2010 election impact will be in line with what happens to each party following a presidential election victory (GOP lost seats in ‘82 under Reagan just as Dems lost seats in ‘94 under Clinton and this will happen again), having a Pledge helps GOP since they clearly lost their fiscal conservatism under “W” as their prolific spending policies were solely responsible for eliminating a surplus and incurring huge deficits (and please don’t bore me with the line about the War on Terrorism causing the deficits cause that’s a lie).

The question is will the American people believe the GOP when it says we’ve changed despite deceiving you and abandoning our ‘principles’ as we spent money far worse than drunken sailors when we were in power and we did nothing to address the entitlements in the federal budget (Social Security and Medicare) while actually making Medicare spending far worse.

I mean where was this supposed federal budget savant Congressman Ryan from Wisconsin and why was no one in the GOP listening to him under “W”?

Hypocrisy of the highest order.

Jawgian Politik

September 27th, 2010
9:08 am

Mr. Barr’s comparison of “The Pledge” vs “The Contract” is spot on. In both instances, it was after a resounding defeat in the mid terms ( and stunningly), after a major loss for President. the GOP tactic of rising against the Democratic President is astonishing, to be sure, but in the current instance, the GOP’s unwillingness to not work FOR the constituents who placed them in office (and the GOP needs to be reminded that they are not JUST representing their largest contributors), but for the CITIZENS of their districts. Given the political climate, they have been taken hostage by the fringe of the party, have embraced divisive platforms which distances moderates and independents. Have openly engaged in treasonists rhetoric and have failed to open any debate on issues that would forward the country as a whole.

This fantasy of a “Pledge” rings shallow and is mysteriously absent of any specific dialog as to just how the GOP plans on approaching the major issues of this country. Even more stunning is the complete absence of professional responsibility by not agressively accepting that this country was and has been pushed to the brink of destruction by their own hand. The electorate has seen them publicly act “Un-Republican,” Un-American,” and, summarily “IN-EFFECTIVE.” They have accepted the dumbed down politics of stupidity, anti-everything, and NO. The electorate, is more knowledgeable, have access to information (instantaneous mostly), and are feeling the brunt of the failed policies that they themselves (in most cases) advocated. And to have the nerve to even think that the citizenry of this country would return to power a completely out of touch politicians who clearly represent the interests of big corporations, repealing healthcare that benefits ALL Americans, stimulus programs to restart the economy that for some reason is a “bad thing,” and the continuous stalling of any vote or debate of any legislation brought by the congress and dies in the Senate as a result of these tactics, is ludicrous.

A warning to the GOP… with a few weeks left to the mid-terms, with Republican Tea-party candidates who seem to relish the idea of a narrow-minded, idiotic, and completely embarrasing rhetoric, outlandish views of other citizens, the thought of you winning control of the house and senate is a nightmare of titanic proportion. Look here in Georgia, Nathan Deal is running for Governor of the STATE OF GEORGIA??!! WTH? He had an “oversight” of $2M?? BUT, what remains incredible is that the (R)’s of this state still support him.

I think my point has been made….

Brad

September 27th, 2010
9:14 am

Tired of promises from both parties. Do something, already.

[...] ThemTIMENumbers Are In: GOP Is EnthusiasticWall Street Journal (blog)Los Angeles Times -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Bloombergall 215 news [...]

pcBobby

September 27th, 2010
9:23 am

This is just a sign that serious leadership is needed if such a pledge was enacted. The only way for the Pledge to work is to seriously cut popular programs – many of which are enjoyed by conservatives such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the U.S. Military. If this Congress slashed and burned all four programs, then maybe the budget will be balanced along with far lower tax rates. Until then Republicans, you are making ridiculous false promises. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and their minions won’t make any difference except for the fact that they will shut the government down sometime in the next two years.

The good thing about the original Contract on America is that it brought about much-needed Welfare reform and probably kept Clinton in line. The bad thing about it was that they never got term limits passed. We seriously need term limits. There is so much good talent out there and people like Boehner are squatting in these positions for far too long.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

September 27th, 2010
9:25 am

Bob, or are you Bruce Springsteen warbling about your “Glory Days”? your slightlt slanted account of history aside, as you note, above all else, the current “Pledge” swears allegience to the status quo. it is nothing short of disingenuous for the very same politicians who have presided over the debacle of the past 10 years (actually, the past 30, which includes you), to present Americans with a suddenly better mousetrap. the “Pledge” is akin to a toothpaste company unveiling a “new improved” product. essentially what the GOP is saying is; “we’ve been selling you an inferior product”. anything short of a mass, ritual resignation by ALL incombent house members, is just so much business as usual.

The Snark

September 27th, 2010
9:26 am

The 1994 “Contract With America” was a publicity stunt, not a blueprint for governance. Fewer than a third of the people who voted GOP in 1994 had even read it; they were voting against the Democrats. The current “Pledge” is even less substantial.

The Republican Party lost its soul when it traded in its governing philosophy for a marketing plan.

Road Scholar

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

I noticed that the pledge didn’t include telling the truth! (death panels, dismantling all of Obamacare,etc.)

paleo-neo-Carlinist

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

snark, agreed. we’re getting into a very weird “I think therefore I am/perception is reality” area. in the end, it really doesn’t matter if the ‘94 Contract With America worked. so long as the GOP “thinks” it worked, it “worked”. politicians do not “perceive” things (the economy, the national debt, national defense, governance) the way the rest of us “perceive” unemployment, the 2008 meltdown, 9/11, etc. ALL politicians sell their souls when they are sworn in. why would you think they’d be less inclined to sell our (national) souls?

DWTOO

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

The problem here is it tries to be everything for everybody. Strong national defense and keeping entitlement programs intact and reducing taxes is nothing more than pandering to the masses. Sorry folks we can’t have all three and reduce our national debt. We’re at a crossroads here – we have to decide what we want out of our government and man up enough to pay for it. The days of passing on our excesses to the next generation have to cease.

And one more thing strikes me as funny – it’s government regualtions. Exactly which regulations hamper business that you would like to get rid of? Mine safety? Food safety? Clean air and water? Generalities and platitudes look good on the news. I find it hilarious to read opinion letters espousing the garbage they hear on the radio without having the brains to do a little research. The devil is in the details.

David S

September 27th, 2010
9:48 am

The only pledge we need is for the elected officials to honor their oath to uphold the constitution. Virtually every Republican in office (and of course the democrats) wouldn’t know how to do that if their life depended on it. They could follow Ron Paul’s lead, but why bother when going along to get along is so much easier.

And thank goodness for the Contract with America. Without the Dept. of Education, local and state control has been restored (oh wait, that never happened). And of course elected republican majorities for the past decade and a half have certainly made the budget look better (oh wait, we are 10 times more in debt than we were).

And look at this pathetic pledge. Why cut the budget only back to 2008. Is this an acknowledgement that Bush’s budgets were OK????

What’s wrong with cutting back to 2000? What about to before Bill Clinton. If we did that, we could eliminate the personal income tax. Just think of the boost to the economy.

The Republicans don’t really want to change anything. They, just like the Democrats, enjoy the power, the control, the money they funnel to the military industrial complex, the civil liberties they destroy, the wars they wage against person liberty, the illusive “terrism” or whatever hobgoblin will scare the electoral into supporting the military waste.

There is a reason why the Tea Party movement is going strong, why the Libertarian Party continues to grow, and why this next election isn’t going to fix anything.

Until americans wake up and realize that the parties they have given their blind allegiance to have been screwing them since their formation, we will never get back on the right course to restore prosperity and freedom to this country.

[...] 'Pledge to America' is a big disappointmentKansas City StarWall Street Journal (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Bloombergall 226 news [...]

Barr Cod (and chinese Carp)

September 27th, 2010
10:01 am

I think Luckovich is dead on today regarding the pledge.

Give Me A BREAK

September 27th, 2010
10:21 am

The GOP Pledge is nothing short of a fluff piece. I’ll take these idiots sincerely when they present actual legislation to eliminate earmarks, drastically overhaul and reduce government subsidies and reform campaign finance rules (go all public). Oh yeah – and scrap that wasteful, stupid and militarily useless missile (ICBM) defense strategy proposed for Europe. What a crock!

Carlosgvv

September 27th, 2010
10:32 am

It would be much more accurate to call it the Pledge to Corporate America. You can be sure the Republicans wiil do everything for their corporate masters and the people will get the crumbs from the table.

bluishgreen

September 27th, 2010
10:33 am

This blog has been shared with the community at bleditor.com. Come check it out! If you love blogs and enjoy sharing, then this is a great place for you!
http://bleditor.com/bledit.php?bleditID=14732

Dennis

September 27th, 2010
10:56 am

The fact that the G.O.P thought that most Americans would think this a sincere pledge shows me that the G.O.P is not ready to win, govern, or repeal a centuries worth of progressive unconstitutional laws. They want this election to be “their turn” to take the powers seized and run with them, with a red branding to those powers, instead of a blue branding we have now. The purpose of government is to protect Individual Rights, not redistribute goods and services from one group to another group. This means, anything outside police, courts, and national defence is outside their Constitutional bounds. I see no acknowledgement of this in their pledge. This pledge accepts the premise of the left, then asks for the power to roll back 18 months of progressive legislation, then stop. It accepts the premise that the products and services of producers continue to be looted via government, into the hands of parasites. It is a pledge where Republican establishment elite seek to eat their cake, and have it too, by acknowledging the hardships of the producers, while simulaneously securing the unending needs of the parasites. It is a morally reprehensible pledge that blends the psychological results of decades of class warfare guilt with democratic pragmatiism, in an effort to save socialism, ‘from’ the socialists.

Gerald West

September 27th, 2010
11:07 am

“To be sure, the Pledge is a sound and good document.”

I’m not at all sure, Bob! The document is a lot of sentiment with no specifics. Nothing new at all; just the stuff every politician of either party “promises”: cut taxes, boost employment, bring down the federal deficit, avoid doing anything to bring down the cost of medical care, spend more on the military, etc. It also beats a few dead horses like TARP and stimulus spending. The Bush Administration’s TARP is superseded by the new financial regulation act. The stimulus spending is about finished anyhow.

The Republican politicians haven’t a clue about how to cut taxes without widening the budget deficit, or how to boost employment without federal stimulus spending, or how to cut the deficit without cutting military and Medicare spending.

This “Pledge” is just the usual hot air from the political party that initiated big-time, peacetime deficit spending in the Reagan administration, plunged the federal budget back into the red after the Clinton administration (with your help) brought it into surplus, racked up a further $6 trillion increase in the national debt, and finally tanked the American economy in 2007-2008.

Now what’s sound and good about it?

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 27th, 2010
11:17 am

As I remember, the terms of the Contract weren’t live up to.

jt

September 27th, 2010
11:18 am

The only “pledge” or document that counts—————————

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

The Common Man

September 27th, 2010
11:27 am

Carlosgvv…and the Democrats masters are the unions.

Dirty Dawg

September 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Bob, Bob, Bob….you of all people should know that this ‘pledge’ is nothing more than more window dressing designed to fool enough of the people long enough to ensure that the real goal of the Republican Party – making sure they can get their hands on a larger and larger share of the government cash flow – is met. My point, Bob, is that I really do believe that you not only know better but have shown that from time to time you’re capable of admitting it. Do you really think that this country can exist and thrive under more Republican rule? If so, then maybe you’re not as smart, and at times honest, as I thought.

Church of the Latter Day Dude

September 27th, 2010
11:47 am

Once, I was eating at the Big Chicken in Marietta with some bowling buddies.

One yelled “Oh My God, it’s Dr. Everett Scott from Rocky Horror”

I looked and said “No man. It’s just Bob Barr eating some chicken man.”

Pretty cool.

retiredds

September 27th, 2010
12:13 pm

The former “contract” of ‘94, to gain power (and power only) and the “new” (they think it’s new because of selective amnesia) “pledge”, or whatever glitzy name you want to put on it are just the “same old, same old”. You would think that the R’s could get more creative … oops, they’re R’s and creativity is not in their lexicon.

Carlosgvv

September 27th, 2010
12:26 pm

The Common Man

I’m sure you’re right. So, what’s to be done?

Jefferson

September 27th, 2010
12:30 pm

The GOP has no, zero credibility. Another gimmick to lure to short memory people back. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They will cut SS & Medicare before taxing the high income people. Cold money lovers, that’s all they care about is their own greed.

The Common Man

September 27th, 2010
1:16 pm

Calos gvv

Someone else was saying term limits. We need some true leaders to step up that aren’t in the back pockets of special interest groups (like Unions and Corporations) and are not just focused on getting a long term lease on a luxury apartment in Washington and the next re-election campaign.

I pledge more or less of the sameoldsheet

September 27th, 2010
1:35 pm

The Pledge of Allegience doesn’t need a rewrite. The Wingnuts are out of control: Glenn Beck is our Refounding Father, and the Tea Party wants to rewrite our Constitution.

The Supreme Court already rewrote the Constitition when they annointed Bush as our President in 2000. Nobody has satisfactorily explained that one yet.

The new Silent Majority is not fooled.

Dave

September 27th, 2010
2:02 pm

Pledge
Get a clue. Bush won in 2000, so get over it. The NYT did a review of what would have happened if they’d kept counting the way the Gore campaign wanted, and found that Bush would have won anyways. The Supreme Court simply said that you couldn’t count one way in one area of the state and another way in another state.

plow

September 27th, 2010
2:06 pm

Carlosgvv

September 27th, 2010
2:11 pm

Common Man

I agree we need those kind of leaders. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to get them.

I pledge more or less of the sameoldsheet

September 27th, 2010
2:16 pm

Bush did not win. He lost. Gore refused to press the issue because, unlike Nixon and the Right, he would not drag the country through another constitutional crisis.

If you want to know the diff’s between the Repudlickans and the Democlits, it’s this: The Repudlickans would rather see the country destroyed than allow justice to prevail for all Americans, thereby leveling the playing field and encouraging equal opportunity for all of it’s citizenry.

And thaz just a fact, Sparky.

ncgreybr

September 27th, 2010
2:38 pm

jcopnservative said: ” Why no list of specific cuts. For example, $100 billion a year from defense procurement. ”

Because a list of specific cuts would mean that someone’s district would lose jobs. No rep is going to take that chance. If they would worry a little less about their job and a little more about America….no…wait…I must have been smoking something!

Tax cuts for the rich? Oh, No! They provide jobs! WHEN? They’re had the tax cuts for ten years now! Isn’t it time for a few jobs? Clinton RAISED taxes and provided 3 point something MILLION NEW jobs. Bush CUT taxes and provided 200,000 new jobs. Oh, that’s right….the jobs are coming but only IF the tax breaks are continued….

Let’s face facts, If the government gives you a refund on your personal income taxes, do you go out and hire someone at your place of employment? Of course not! I’m a businessman. I hire employees when I have a need for them, not because I get a tax refund.

Dave

September 27th, 2010
2:48 pm

Pledge
Care to explain why you think Gore won? You know, in the absence of any actual facts to that effect? Hard to call it a conservative whitewash when even a liberal propaganda factory like the New York Times says that Bush won.

Unless you’re willing to backup your lies with some actual facts, then it looks like you’ve lost this debate (you as a liberal should be used to losing debates on the facts).

I guess you could call Gore’s loss in 2000 an “Incovenient Truth”.

Dave

September 27th, 2010
2:52 pm

ncgreybr,
Most small business file their business income as on their personal income tax, not as corporate tax. Because of that, cuts in personal income taxes for that bracket do have a positive effect on small business, whereas capital gains taxes don’t (although there are several good reasons for a low capital gains tax rate).

ncgreybr

September 27th, 2010
3:47 pm

Dave…still…no one hires anyone because they get a tax refund. They hire because there is a need.

I saw the other day a listing of “small businesses”. The defination of “small” business is that we have less than 500 employees. A lot of department stores qualified, some hospitals qualified, do you consider a multi-million dollar car dealership a “small business”, they do! Basically anything smaller than GM is a “small business” in the eyes of the GOP but where were they this week when it came to giving us a little help?

Netbanker

September 27th, 2010
5:05 pm

“Tax cuts for the rich? Oh, No! They provide jobs! WHEN?”

My partner owns a high-end residential cleaning business which caters to The Rich. What so many don’t realize is that these rich people DO create jobs by hiring folks like my partner to clean their home. As well as landscapers, a handyman, and the pool service to name a few. They also entertain other rich folks at corporate gatherings which means business for the caterers, the serving people, the florist, the company that rents tables and linens, and the company that temporarily stores furniture.

If taxes went up on these rich folks they would cut back on services which would impact small business owners and their staffs.

Let’s also consider that these rich folks save money which means that banks have it available to LEND to businesses.

Lastly…rich folks may save instead of spend, but saving means that banks have money available to LEND to businesses for expansion. The amount of cash that businesses are sitting on is unprecedented in economic history. Why aren’t they spending? Uncertainty about the future that could raise their taxes (i.e. Tax the Rich which catches most small businesses) as well as uncertainty about the tax/expense implications of Obamacare. Businesses don’t want to hire folks only to have taxes raised or healthcare expenses incurred which force them to layoff the people they just hired.

DawgDad

September 27th, 2010
5:47 pm

Politics isn’t a game to the people being governed. Playing a “game” in terms of GOP/Democrat seat counts will ensure one outcome: near universal dissatisfaction with both parties and growing pressure from the populace on the political establishment. There is a desire and movement to hold politicians more accountable to the longer term interests of the people and to their values; the GOP establishment is either going to embrace this movement or be relegated to permanent minority party status by it. If the GOP establishment prefers to sell out to the left then by all means let them slit their political throats and get out of our way.

DawgDad

September 27th, 2010
5:53 pm

Jefferson wrote: “The GOP has no, zero credibility . . . They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They will cut SS & Medicare before taxing the high income people.”

Actually, it is the Democrats who are doing this. Don’t let facts interfere with a good myth.

Hillbilly Deluxe

September 27th, 2010
6:29 pm

After reading here, I feel so sorry for some of the rich folks. I’m gonna have to get my hanky out.

[...] via GOP’s “Pledge” is no game changer | The Barr Code. [...]

marko

September 27th, 2010
7:27 pm

The government take over of the health care industry? The health care industry take over of the government is closer to the truth.

Don

September 27th, 2010
8:30 pm

“If taxes went up on these rich folks they would cut back on services which would impact small business owners and their staffs.”

Wrong. Tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy, tax increases don’t slow the economy. You can claim anything you want. Try documenting it. You don’t do it because you CAN’T.

It’s a 5% increase, and it returns the rates to what they were during the longest peacetime economic expansion in history. Do you know what tax rates were on high incomes during the 50’s? When the middle class exploded? 90%! How about that! Businesses grew, and hired people. Do you know why? Because they left money in the business, where it wasn’t taxed.

Jefferson

September 27th, 2010
8:45 pm

Dawg Dad, you are completely wrong and misinformed in when you say what Democrats are doing. This is the standard GOP defense mechanism.

The GOP has no credability, this is proven at the State and Federal level.

Bob Barr lost in 2008

September 28th, 2010
9:21 am

Barr Translation: Let’s just keep the Dems in office because………

Bob Barr lost in 2008

September 28th, 2010
9:21 am

“Dawg Dad, you are completely wrong and misinformed in when you say what Democrats are doing.”

See you in November, George.

“The GOP has no credability, this is proven at the State and Federal level.”

And you ma’am, can’t spell.

ncgreybr

September 28th, 2010
11:56 am

My “rich” lawyer (2 Mercedes) last night had some advice: Did the “poor people” in Wall Street get us in trouble? Did the “poor people” in the banking industry get us into trouble? Was it the “poor people” in the housing market that were making millions on bad loans and caused the housing market to collapse? No! It was the “RICH” people! So whay not punish the “RICH” people by making them pay their own way for a while and cut out all the little free gifts the governement gives them?

ncgreybr

September 28th, 2010
12:00 pm

Netbanker…did those “rich” people you do work for also have parties and lawn service and pool service and their house cleaned when Clinton was in office? Or did they give them up and do it all themselves when he RAISED their taxes and created 3.5 MILLION jobs??

Peg

September 28th, 2010
3:54 pm

Some pledge… looked good sounded good then Bob and his cronies voted for the Patriot Act and later admitted they’d never read it. Yup we sure gave up some civil liberties that day. Fool me once Bobby…..you and yours will NOT get a 2nd chance!