I originally posted this on facebook, but I think it makes sense to put this on the blog as well:
First, read the contract here: http://www.thecontract.org/
Second, thank the flying spaghetti monster that they aren't in power (yet)
Here is my point by point critique, which I normally wouldn't do, but since it was requested:
1. Protect the Constitution
Yeah, sounds great, until you read the fine print - which would require congress to prove (to who?) that their legislation is allowed by Constitution. Last I checked, most everything Congress does is Constitutional, and if it's not, they are brought before the Supreme court. I assume this point stems from the health care bill - which is completely Constitutional and the vast majority of legal scholars agree. So, this is a ridiculous red herring for the fact that tea partiers, who tend to be old white guys, just hate the health care bill.
2. Reject Cap and Trade
I actually agree with this - I'm against Cap and Trade because I'm suspicious of it's ability to be geographically or socioeconomically equitable. But, I disagree with the subtext which says we should reject ANY legislation that is 'regulation that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices....' Frankly, I think we need (at some point in time) some legislation that could do just that. This point has the same problem also that the first one does - who decides what regulation is "bad" and "good?" Sarah Palin? Count me out, bro.
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
OOOOh how original. First of all, Obama AGREES that we need to re-institute PAYGO. I like that generally, but again, the subtext is the kicker: a "2/3 majority vote for a tax hike?" Seems kinda random. What about a tax CUT? What about changes in tax code to maintain progressivity over time? What about spending to increase public infrastructure and tech improvements that the private market fails to do? I don't like GM bailouts, and I agree much of our spending is out of proportion, but I'm not prepared to be so absolutist and black and white like the tea party crazies.
4. Enact Fundamental Tax reform
HAHAHA. This one is easy. It's conservative code for a flat tax. I thought Forbes was dead, but I guess not. Limiting the tax code to be the same length as the Constitution??? Not even worth a comment.
5. Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility (or as I like to call it, "Repubicans in disguise")
Every President that has been in office since I've been alive has done some version of this so-called blue ribbon task force, including Clinton and Obama - so I don't really see the point or value added here.
6. End runaway government spending
Not really seeing the difference between this and "5" above... they all start to run together. There's some merit, nevertheless, in limiting government spending to changes in inflation and population growth, from an economics perspective, but again, it seems like a 'hand-tying' kind of legislation which, if it were in place at the start of the financial crisis, would likely have crippled our economy.
7. "I hate health care"
Yeah, yeah, we get it. Too f-ing bad. You lost, get over it. I had to bare the damn Iraq war which I was against when it popular... I never said it was unconstitutional (immoral, maybe)
8. All of the above energy policy
I agree. This is what Obama campaigned on, and what he is doing. So what's your point?
9. Stop the pork
I agree with this - and I bet Obama would agree.
10. Stop the tax hikes
Wow, just wow. Only the tea party crazies can contradict themselves in their own contract. See point "5" above.