This morning, Republican Party leaders rolled out their “Pledge to America” in Sterling, VA. I was planning to congratulate 30-year incumbent Frank Wolf and his colleagues on finally coming up with an agenda that doesn’t start and end with “no.” Regretfully, I cannot do that. There is little by way of an agenda in the 21-page Pledge that the Republican Party is putting forth.
The Pledge manages to hit many of the hot button GOP issues; make the Bush tax cuts permanent for the top 2%, repeal health care, assail federal employees through hiring freezes, cut spending but pledge to fully fund missile defense programs. It also fails to include one single plan to move the country forward towards progress and prosperity.
The Pledge to America is chock-full of rhetoric…and not much else.
Where is the Republican Party’s comprehensive energy plan? Every day we send $2 billion abroad to feed our oil addiction and put 16,000 tons of CO2 into the air. Shouldn’t we pledge to America that we will fight global warming and make meaningful strides in the development of renewable energy?
Where is the Republican Party’s plan to improve public education? Our test scores drop compared to our global competitors. The cost of higher education keeps going up. Shouldn’t we pledge to America that a quality public education and access to post-secondary education will be top priorities, because our children must be given the tools to compete in this globalized economy?
Where is the Republican Party’s plan to prevent jobs from going overseas? We help companies with R&D in America then watch as they ship jobs that harness new technologies abroad. Shouldn’t we pledge to keep jobs in America so repatriating jobs isn’t necessary? Shouldn’t we pledge to identify and build the industries that will keep Americans in good, high-paying jobs for years to come?
The Pledge to America answers none of these questions. I am proud that I belong to a party that has.
The Pledge to America reaffirms why I am a Democrat and why I am running for Congress. We’ve seen this Republican game before. For six years in the 2000s they devastated the middle class, ran up the biggest deficit this country has ever seen, and drove us to the brink of depression. Now they want to recycle many of these same policies to get us out of the muck. That makes no sense.
The people who got us into the mess are not the ones to get us out of it. Especially when they offer nothing but the very proposals that set us on the path towards economic devastation in the first place.