Last week the Republican Party released its much awaited list of campaign promises. Titling it “A Pledge to America” it laid out a political agenda for actions they will take when they achieve congressional power in the midterm election just a month from now. In some parts of The Pledge they give specific actions they plan to take while, in other parts they speak in vague generalities giving broad philosophical views. The Pledge is really nothing new. Party leaders stayed with the tried-and-true message of conserving traditional Republican values of the past. I was hoping for something new, especially in economic policy. With the burgeoning debt, caused by runaway spending at the same time as we have decreased income at the federal level, we will soon face a major crisis if change is not made. Unfortunately the Republicans have no better plan than the Democrats do.
The Pledge contains some things that, from my perspective, would be beneficial to the political process in the United States. They pledge to reform Congress and to restore people’s trust in that institution. They will make sure that every congressperson has time to read legislation before it is voted on. They also promise open and bipartisan debate. Most important in my view is the pledge to keep proposed legislation simple and straightforward rather than having it be a conglomerate of competing ideas which makes any legislation more complicated than most of us can understand. Republicans failed to deliver on these things a few years ago when they had complete power over all three branches of the federal government. Hopefully they learned the error of their ways and this time they will get it right.