Republicans Unveil “Contract With America 2: Rhetorical Bugaloo”

Here’s an officially looking news story.  You can read that for the basics.

To go right to the source, this is your click.  I actually read through this entire thing.  It is completely in keeping with the Republican tradition (enshrined since Reagan) of the “Two Santa Clauses“.   This is the rhetorical political device of promsing to do exactly what people want (cut taxes and increase/sustain services), without having to do the nasty part of paying for it.  There is a twist this year though, as Republicans are promising to not only cut taxes and sustain services ( and expand the military) but *also* they are going to cut the deficit.

This pie in the sky dreaming is exactly what the American people want.

With economic worries dominating the run-up to the elections, 57 percent of Americans want the U.S. government to cut the deficit in hard economic times while 39 percent support deficit spending to stimulate the economy.

Three quarters of Americans believe persistently high unemployment is a sign that something in the economy is broken, the poll found, and only 22 percent thought it was part of the natural economic cycle.

That second part I found interesting.  The jobs in America have been shipped overseas for a number of years now.  This is largely the reason India was one of the few countries in the world to have a positive opinion of George W. Bush near the end of his debacle, err, term.   Bush tax cuts allowed a HUGE amount of capital to flow overseas as investment, as ROI is usually far higher in developing economies and India and China, with their huge populations of new consumers, were perfect targets for that investment. 

So we cut taxes, that money flowed mainly to the wealthy, which then flowed out of the country in the form of foreign investment, taking millions of jobs along with it.    The money that was flowing *into* our country was mainly into our “innovative” investment vehicles (i.e. sub-prime mortgage shenanigans).  It wasn’t flowing into actual companies selling actual products employing actual people.  Then that all crashed, somewhat predictably (the only question was when) and we found ourselves stuck without all that money and without all those jobs and with all that debt we used to finance the whole game.

That’s where the jobs went, that’s what’s broken.

This is why I find the current debate regarding the Bush tax cuts somewhat infuriating.  Contrary to the beliefs of the dementia-driven hordes of Beck/Palin devotees, the U.S has one of the lowest tax rates in the developed world and the lowest tax rates we’ve had in over 50 years.  Thirty years of running on the “Two Santa Clauses” philosophy *has* had an effect.   Congrats, you won.  Tax rates are lower than they’ve ever been in your life.

But where are the jobs? (overseas, as I mentioned)

See, this is the problem with the current debate.  We had huge tax cuts.  We didn’t have huge job gains (we ended the Bush era with just about the same number of jobs as we started it, and with about 30 million more Americans, you can see how this was a problem). 

So how is it, precisely, that keeping these tax cuts, and not changing the status quo, is all of a sudden going to create millions of jobs when it hasn’t over the past 10 years?   Why is it all of a sudden just going to start working?

The only answer I get from this document is…well…just because tax cuts create jobs.   Even though they haven’t for the last 10 years, they just do.

So when the facts don’t matter, only the words you use do, what you get is “Contract with America 2: Rhetorical Bugaloo”.

[NOTE: for another example of this, check out this post.  In it you get to see that as much as Republicans profess to hate “Obamacare” they basically want to repeal it and replace it, with the exact same thing (but with protections for doctors and drug companies who kill people and then get sued.  They want to stop that.  The suing not the killing.)]

  Affordable Care Act GOP’s ‘Pledge To America’  
Insurance Across State Lines Allows for the creation of State Health Insurance Compacts – permits states to enter into agreements to allow for the sale of insurance across state lines. (SEC. 1333; p. 100-101) “We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live. ” (p. 15)
High-Risk Insurance Pools The states and the federal government have already established high-risk insurance pools to provide temporary coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions until 2014. (SEC. 1101; p. 30-33) “We will expand state high-­‐risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage” (p. 15)
Pre-Existing Conditions Children cannot be denied coverage starting today, but beginning in 204, insurers must accept everyone who applies. (SEC. 2702-2705; p. 46-51) “We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-­‐existing condition.” (p. 15)
Lifetime and Annual Caps A health insurer cannot impose lifetime limits and will be prohibited from placing annual limits on plans beginning in 2014. (SEC. 2711; p. 14) “[E]liminate annual and lifetime spending caps” (p.15)
Recissions A health insurance issuer cannot rescind a policy except for in cases of fraud. (SEC. 2712; p. 14) “[P]revent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.” (p.15)
State Innovation States can receive waives from certain requirements if they can cover the uninsured and lower health costs in a more innovative manner. (SEC. 1332; p. 98-100) “We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.” (p.15)
Conscience Protections The law does not affect existing conscience protections or discriminate “on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.” (SEC. 1303; p. 67) “We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses

Yes, that’s right.  The main problem, we see now, that Republicans had with Obamacare was that A) it paid for itself (they want to cut the taxes that do so) and B) they didn’t pass it.  Oh, and it didn’t protect doctors and drug companies from lawsuits after they kill people.

UPDATE:  Boehner came out and agreed with me, this document is nothing but empty rhetoric.

WALLACE: Congressman Boehner, as Willie Sutton said about banks, entitlements are where the money is. More than 40% of the budget. Yet, I’ve looked through this pledge and there is not one single proposal to cut social security, medicare, medicaid.

BOEHNER: Chris, we make it clear in there that we’re going to lay out a plan to work toward a balanced budget and deal with the entitlement crisis. Chris, it’s time for us as americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can’t have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions. […]

WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, isn’t the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid?

BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems. I know. I’ve been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let’s not get to the potential solutions. Let’s make sure americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

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