We must also be mindful of the fact that Democrats have made headway speciously attacking Republicans for being the party of "no," when in fact the GOP has presented proposal after proposal that couldn't even make it out of committee. The pledge, like the contract, covers a wide spectrum of issues and contains enough specific items to be credible, but not so many as to be impracticable.
Obama and the liberal establishment have already played their hand in telegraphing how they will try to attack the pledge. They see it as a gift that they can open to paint Republicans -- amazingly -- as the party of fiscal irresponsibility, as well as an opportunity to ratchet up, once again, their class warfare rhetoric.
Stephanopoulos pressed Ryan to explain how Republicans would "pay" for their two "main proposals" of extending the Bush tax cuts and repealing Obamacare, which he said would cost $4 trillion alone. What is this guy smoking?
In the first place, repealing Obamacare would save trillions, ultimately, and it's time young George quit spewing the long-discredited Democratic talking point that Obamacare is budget-neutral. It's a fiscal disaster, among its many fatal flaws. And as Ryan pointed out, Obama's plan to extend the Bush cuts for all but the top 2 percent of income earners covers some $3 trillion of the $3.7 trillion Democrats are claiming the extension would cost.
More importantly, Republicans shouldn't concede Stephanopoulos' premise, which is rooted in static economic analysis. The Bush tax cuts have not cost revenues and won't in the future. Repealing them would surely suppress growth enough to negate any increased revenues from the higher rates, not to mention the smothering effect they would have on an already depressed economy.
Obama flippantly says that the pledge would just revert Republicans to the policies that "got us into this mess." But seven of Bush's eight years saw healthy economic growth, despite the drains from 9/11, and the subprime Fannie-Freddie nightmare was far more the fault of liberal Democrats than it was of Republicans. But the pledge gets Republicans back on track to not only lower taxes but also drastically reduce spending, a long-omitted, essential part of the equation.
The pledge, notably and admirably, also covers entitlement reform and key national security initiatives and affirms a commitment to traditional social values, all important steps in the right direction.
The pledge will make it easier for voters to see the great differences in their electoral choices in November. Democrats were worried before; they are even more worried now.
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