Pay close attention now. This year saw the unveiling of two documents mimicking the 1994 Contract with America (which emphasized decentralization and internal congressional reform); the Tea Party-generated Contract from America (which is pretty straightforward) and the Republican Party-generated Pledge to America (which features several bits of weasel language, unsurprisingly), the Pledge meant to steal some of the "Contract from"'s thunder.
Check it out.
The Contract from America calls for Congress to:
1. Identify constitutionality of every new law.
2. Reject emissions trading.
3. Demand a balanced federal budget.
4. Simplify the tax system.
5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality.
6. Limit annual growth in federal spending.
7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010.
8. Pass an "All-of-the-Above" Energy Policy.
9. Reduce Earmarks.
10. Reduce Taxes.
Not perfect, but a good start. By contrast, the (far longer) Pledge to America says that if the GOP retakes Congress, it will aim for:
1. A repeal of the health-care reform.
2. A spending freeze for most domestic programs, exempting some programs for seniors, such as Social Security, and others that affect veterans and the military.
3. Extending the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003 including those for those earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples).
4. A ban on any federal funding for abortions.
5. A hiring freeze on all federal agencies except those necessary to national security.
6. A requirement that Congress post all bills online three days before a vote.
7. A requirement that lawmakers cite the specific constitutional authority that enables the legislation.
8. A ban on trials on U.S. soil for detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay.
9. A hold on all unspent funds authorized as part of last year's stimulus bill or the 2008 TARP legislation
10. A tax deduction for small businesses on up to 20% of their business income.
(And note that Kevin McCarthy just died on Sept. 11, 2010 yet is credited with writing the text of the Pledge just in the past few weeks, which is clearly suspicious -- possibly a hint of alien activity. Oh, wait. The actor from Invasion of the Body-Snatchers is not the same Kevin McCarthy who wrote the bulk of the Pledge. Never mind.)
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