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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Contract From America Will Destroy Us All

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.

12 comments:

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell said...

Wow, one post loaded with conventional myths. You seldom see that.

Contrary to popular wisdom, a federal balanced budget (#3)would destroy America. For a clear, brief explanation, click: HERE

Re. "tax reform" (#4), there first should be a purpose. If the goal is for a fairer tax, there is no such thing. See: THIS

Re. #6: "There's some merit, nevertheless, in limiting government spending to changes in inflation and population." What is the merit? Why limit money growth if money growth leads to GDP growth?

RE. #10 "Stop the tax hikes." What is the purpose of taxes? Are you aware that taxes do not pay for federal spending?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

amit said...

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Garth said...

Sorry Roger, I'm not going down the chartalism road with you.

Anonymous said...

To do an acurrate accounting of one trillion dollars would require every accountant and bookkeeper in the United states to work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for an entire decade to accomlish this feat. So any mention of a budget is foolish. The way the US moves money around would be criminal if any organization or person did this other than the federal government. There is alot of fraud connect with this "process" and alot people living off the hard work of others. The Tea Party Movement, which I am not part of, is a sensible and strong reaction to what is currently going on in the federal government. Those people are the givers and not receivers.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

nisha said...

The posts so far have been great - hoping for some more.
mba

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