Monday, September 27, 2010

MN-02 : Why Did Republicans Pledge NO to No Earmarks

On John Kline’s (R-MN-02) House website (which should deal with official government business – not campaign pledges), the Pledge to America is “unveiled” (what a weird word choice that Mr. Kline chose … is it some mystery, cloaked in secrecy, that after time is now safe to reveal).
The Pledge runs almost 8,000 words, complete with charts and graphs and inspiring quotations and photographs of “old” patriots and today’s patriots … beginning with a lengthy preamble modeled on the Declaration of Independence.

Sadly, the “new governing agenda for America” is pretty much standard fare; such as :
We pledge to advance policies that promote greater liberty, wider opportunity, a robust defense, and national economic prosperity.

We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.

We pledge to make government more transparent in its actions, careful in its stewardship, and honest in its dealings.

Hmmm … no mention of “earmarks” which Mr. Kline has pledged to not restrict ? And no mention of “rescissions
which could be an effective tool in reducing spending ?

The Pledge is broken into sections; such as :
A Plan to Create Jobs, End Economic Uncertainty and Make America More Competitive
It’s a good goal to create jobs however it should be noted that on the website that the Republicans used to collect job creation ideas , The Pledge does not address the prime suggestion :
Stop the outsourcing of jobs from America to other countries that do not pay taxes into the U.S. and stop the tax breaks that are given to these companies that are outsourcing. If there company is in the United States, hire people in the United States. That would create more revenue for the government as the American workers would pay taxes and the companies would be paying taxes to America as well.

No, The Pledge is actually to prevent “massive” tax increases by making all current tax rates permanent … okay, will that truly provide the funds to have a “robust defense” ?
Well, in reality whose income tax rates are being threatened … after all, President Obama wants to extend the tax cuts for virtually everyone except for families making over $250,000 per year … so what if they did revert back to the tax rates that existed prior to President Bush’s tax cuts … the top rate would go from 35% to 39%.
Which leads to the obvious question : did the Bush tax cuts help or hurt the country ? David Stockman, President Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget director said “(America’s) debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.” Further, Alan Greenspan stated : “I’m very much in favor of tax cuts but not with borrowed money and the problem that we have gotten into in recent years is spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money. And at the end of the day that proves disastrous.”
Extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest families has not helped our economy, nor will it in the future.

The second topic is : A Plan to End Out-of-Control Spending and Reduce the Size of Government
This is where the Republicans could have embrace Mr. Kline’s personal issue … the end of earmarks … but they did not. This is the charade that the Republicans have used for years.
As Shelley Madore, Mr. Kline’s challenger, has highlighted incumbent John Kline has refused to fund local transportation and other important community projects and recently voted against the Small Business Jobs Act. Incumbent John Kline voted for the Bank Bailout and the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.
Earmarks” are Mr. Kline’s personal crusade … a Don Quixote-ist fight against windmills that his fellow Republicans did not “Pledge” to end. Shelley Madore’s Thirty-Five Cents Tour points out how communities in the Second District have watched their tax dollars be spent in other states while their project requests are unheard by Mr. Kline.
If Mr. Kline cannot get his signature issue included inThe Pledge , why should constituents continue to endure his crusade ?

The last topic is : A Plan to Keep Our Nation Secure at Broad and at Home.

This is purely playing politics. Does any American not want a secure county … but at what cost ? For discussion sake, let’s ignore Iraq and Afghanistan and ask who is the enemy and how will they attack us ? No doubt your answer was a stateless terrorist group such as al Qaeda. The obvious question is : Are we investing wisely or are we spending to fight yesterday’s war ? Why does America need eleven Navy carrier fleets when no other country has more than one ? The simple answer is the one that Mr. Kline has given to explain his support for the F-22 planes that the Pentagon does not want … “it’s a good jobs program”. In terms of global world spending, Russia is under 5%, China is under 7%, NATO is just over 18% while America is over 48% … why are American taxpayers “Securing" the world ?
America can be safe, but still fiscally sound … but not with Mr. Kline’s unquestioning support for the military industrial complex.

My reaction to The Pledge is not alone. Erick Erikson on Redstate writes : This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy.

I suggest voters take a Pledge to review Mr. Kline’s record and ask what he has done to help families in the Second District.

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