November 26, 2014

We Pledge to . . . Avoid Specifics?

House Republicans have outlined their fiscal priorities and ideas about reform in their “Pledge To America.” But while it correctly warns about the hazards of rising government debt, the Pledge lacks a plan to bring deficits down to a sustainable level.

“As with most such campaign manifestos, it is long on base-pleasing rhetoric and short on troublesome details,” Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby says in a new blog post analyzing the Pledge. Democrats in Congress have fallen short as well, he notes, by failing to pass a budget resolution.

Bixby says that the Republicans’ Pledge -- with its large tax cuts, spending increases on defense and repeal of cost-saving provisions in this year’s health care legislation -- could lead to deficits that are even higher than those in the president’s budget. Bixby is particularly concerned that the Pledge fails to offer recommendations to deal with projected increases in the big entitlement programs.

“The Pledge To America makes it clear that House Republicans favor low taxes and limited government,” he writes. “That is a consistent and perfectly sound policy. What the Pledge lacks, however, is any indication that House Republicans are prepared to do what is necessary to achieve this goal.”

Read more with A Dubious Pledge