Last week the House Republicans released their Pledge To America – a poor substitute for the Contract With America, which came in at more words that the U.S. Constitution they are pledged to defend.
Remember back on 2008 when everyone was complaining about George W. Bush’s spending? Well, the Pledge pledges to get us back to that level of spending. Only Barack Obama could make George W. Bush look like a fiscal conservative.
The reality, however, is the Pledge will not make a big difference. It is a myth that the Contract With America somehow pushed the Republicans over the line in 1994. They did not need the Contract then and they do not need this silly Pledge now.
Ed Crane of CATO noted in 2000 that between 1994 and 2000, “the combined budgets of the 95 major programs that the Contract with America promised to eliminate have increased by 13%.”
The real pledge must come from the American people. We must pledge to continue challenging wayward Republicans in primaries who claim they are for limited government and then go to Washington to grow the government. The American people are tired of the status quo. They want government out of their lives. It is a bipartisan frustration.
This year, unlike years past, the American people are so engaged that no pledge, no contract, and no promises will motivate the people more than Barack Obama’s continued spending spree will motivate them. The GOP is succeeding this year by being the party of “No You Can’t” and should remain so. Erick Erickson