But, unfortunately, Casey's one piece of concrete advice was the product of ideology and not research. According to The Wall Street Journal this week, new data from the IRS show that the tax cuts have resulted in high-income earners paying more, not less taxes. Share of total taxes paid by the top 5 percent of earners was 57.1 percent in 2004 compared to 56.5 percent in 2000. So, Casey's single idea would, in all likelihood, cost us money rather than generate revenue.
How about the nation's largest entitlement program, Social Security? Estimates are that unfunded commitments of the system are on the order of $10 trillion. This is why Bush tried to push reform, supported by Santorum, of moving to a new approach with private ownership and private accounts.
What's Casey's answer to this problem? Economic growth.
Even Tim Russert almost fell out of his chair: "So, so double the people on Social Security, and life expectancy approaches 80, and the solution is do nothing?"
When the question of making the morning-after-pill available over the counter arose, Casey finally had something clear to say. He's for it, while Santorum opposes.
But through what kind of reasoning does someone who is pro-life, as Casey claims he is, justify this position? He does it on technical grounds, buying the line that the pill is always a contraceptive and not an abortive measure.
To this I would say, technical issues aside, that anyone who truly is pro-life supports a culture of life. And I would say that anyone who appreciates and cares about what is happening in our poor communities _ sexual abandon, runaway incidence of aids, family life in disarray _ would not support the over the counter sale of this pill.
These are challenging times. Our future is on the line. Those running for office, incumbents or challengers, who are not serious enough to have clear, thoughtful ideas and a comprehensive vision to put before voters should be turned aside. I think Pennsylvanians are beginning to see that Casey is not serious.