Republicans

Following Europe Will Lead To Collapse

In the Eurozone Spain is bracing for yet another round of painful austerity as a result of its unsustainable debt. These cuts will cripple entitlement programs that people built lives around, they will cause a spike in unemployment, and put the national security of its people at risk. This is the path big government takes you down; ballooning debt, then a crash where the bottom is not discernable.

Then why does this administration feel that the best way to fix our problems at home is to follow the same path that Europe has? Our budget deficit continues to balloon with no signs of stopping or slowing down. Historically when a nation’s debt reaches 90% as a share of GDP, economies will stagnate. Currently we are at 70% and will hit 90% in under 10 years.

This is unacceptable and can be avoided by adopting the Contract for America’s terms to pass a balanced budget amendment. This amendment will ensure spending does not accelerate at the rate it currently is and spending growth will be capped as a percentage of GDP.

Until this amendment is passed, politicians will continue to tax and spend faster and faster. When money is not coming physically out of their pockets they see no reason they can’t spend it. American government deficit spending needs to stop immediately.

POLITICO: Debt Ceiling Talks have Tea Party Ready for Disappointment – and Retribution

By Kenneth P. Vogel and Marin Cogan

Tea party activists braced for disappointment as negotiations on the debt ceiling finally resulted in a deal Sunday, but sent a clear signal to congressional Republicans that they are in no mood to tolerate compromise and will seek retribution against anyone who has not fully supported their agenda.

They are focused in particular on the fate of the concession they extracted from House Speaker John Boehner in order to get his debt ceiling bill through the House last week – a provision making a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution a prerequisite for raising the debt ceiling again that they regarded as a huge victory.

“If the final bill is passed by establishment Republicans and House Democrats and does not include a balanced budget amendment as a requirement, it will be completely unacceptable and will be seen as a violation of the mandate that the tea party and like-minded people gave Republicans in 2010,” said Ryan Hecker, the leader of a crowd-sourced tea party effort called the Contract from America.

“The tea party didn’t help elect Republicans because they liked Republicans. They elected Republicans to give them a second chance. And if they go moderate on this, then they have ruined their second chance, and there will be a real effort to replace them with those who will stand up for economic conservative values,” said Hecker, who helped conservative House Republicans rally support for the amendment.

Continue reading at Politico.com

NYT: The Tea Party Plans Its Own Debt Panel

By Kate Zernike

While the Tea Party movement has led the charge for cutting the national debt, its supporters have often struggled to explain how, exactly, they would do so.

Now some are out to change that, joining a Tea Party Debt Commission that plans to hold hearings over the summer, in the hopes of delivering recommendations to lawmakers by January.

The commission is being organized by FreedomWorks, the libertarian advocacy group that helped grow the Tea Party movement and mobilize it for the midterm elections. And its recommendations are likely to line up with the goals of that group, which in turn tend to reflect those of libertarian organizations like the Cato Institute. (FreedomWorks’ motto is Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom, and it has worked against environmental regulations and for increased privatization of health care.)

“If you look if you look at the landscape in Washington, D.C., there’s a lot of Democrats who control two-thirds of the process who are now sitting on their hands, waiting to point fingers at Republicans who propose something, and there’s too many Republicans who are afraid that the public won’t understand a serious proposal to solve the budget deficit,” said Matt Kibbe, the group’s president.

“We think, like with the first days of the Tea Party movement, that the only way we will ever reduce the debt and balance the budget is if America beats Washington and Tea Party activists take over this process, take over the public debate and engage the American people in the hard work of making tough choices.”

FreedomWorks held training for about 150 activists from 30 states at its headquarters in Washington over the weekend, with sessions dedicated to educating them about the budget proposals by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, both Republicans who strongly embrace libertarian economic principles.

The activists, along with FreedomWorks staff, came up with parameters for their budget proposals, declaring that they would have to balance the federal budget within 10 years, reduce federal spending to 18 percent of the gross domestic product, reduce the national debt to no more than 66 percent of the G.D.P., assume that revenue accounts for no more than 19 percent of the G.D.P., reduce federal spending by at least $300 billion in the first year and reduce federal spending by at least $9 trillion over 10 years.

All this is a tall order; for example, the debt now equals nearly 100 percent of the gross domestic product. And with its limits on revenue — and the politics behind those limits — it is unlikely that the Tea Party commission will allow anything that looks like a tax increase.

The commission, to be formally announced Monday, is intended as a rebuke to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that President Obama named, which delivered its recommendations last year. Those recommendations were met with generally negative reviews from both parties, who were unwilling to make the sacrifices that were called for. But the Tea Party commission is modeled after President Obama’s, in one way — it, too, will have 18 members (though this one is unlikely to be bipartisan, as the president’s was).

The members will be chosen from 18 swing states, and will hold hearings in those states over the summer, Mr. Kibbe said.

Continue reading at the New York Times

The Contract from America

We, the citizens of the United States of America, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items and advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

  1. Protect the Constitution
  2. Reject Cap & Trade
  3. Demand a Balanced Budget
  4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
  5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
  6. End Runaway Government Spending
  7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
  8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy
  9. Stop the Pork
  10. Stop the Tax Hikes

——————–

Click here for the full text version.

CASE STUDY: Tea Time in America?

Christopher F. Karpowitz, Brigham Young University
J. Quin Monson, Brigham Young University
Kelly D. Patterson, Brigham Young University
Jeremy C. Pope, Brigham Young University

The Impact of the Tea Party Movement on the 2010 Midterm Elections
Given the extensive media attention that Tea Party rallies and other aspects of the movement have received, a key question is: How have Tea Party efforts translated into votes? Specifically, in the 2010 midterm elections, did a Tea Party endorsement lead to an increase in vote share for Republican candidates?1 One of the challenges of studying this movement is that by philosophy and design, it lacks a central leadership structure that coordinates nationwide efforts. Instead, the Tea Party is a far-flung patchwork of organizations, some local and some national, with a related set of issue concerns and positions. Some of these organizations—the Tea Party Patriots, the Campaign for Liberty, or Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project, for example—choose not to endorse candidates. Other Tea Party–affiliated groups do offer official or public endorsements, although their efforts do not appear to be coordinated, and, as will become evident, patterns of endorsement vary widely across the different groups.

We identified several organizations or political leaders that either explicitly adopt the Tea Party label or are often identified by news organizations as affiliates of the movement. Groups that endorsed numerous candidates in numerous states and thus seemed to acquire a national presence included the Tea Party Express, the Independence Caucus, the Boston Tea Party, and Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks. Based on information from Tea Party organizations themselves and local and national press accounts, we compiled a dataset of variables charting whether each of these organizations endorsed the Republican candidate in every congressional district in the country.2 Because of her high profile within the movement and the fact that her candidate endorsements were heavily publicized,we also included a measure of whether Sarah Palin endorsed the Republican candidate. In addition to these national organizations and individuals,we searched the major newspapers within every state for any evidence of endorsement of congressional candidates by local Tea Party groups.

However, affiliation with the Tea Party also mattered in other important ways. Candidates endorsed by the Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin garnered approximately 8 to 9 percentage points more than candidates who did not receive an endorsement. Candidates who adopted the Tea Party label themselves by signing the Contract from America did even better, with their vote shares increasing by more than 20 points.11 In the 2010 Republican primaries, either bearing a Tea Party stamp of approval or showing a willingness to affiliate with Tea Party principles clearly improved a candidate’s electoral prospects.

Read the whole study here

NATIONAL REVIEW: Gingrich Weighs in on GOP ‘Pledge to America”

The former speaker comments on the Pledge:

Like with the Contract with America in 1994, a new generation of reform Republicans is offering the American people a clear choice about America’s future. Reconnecting Congress to the Constitution and based on listening to citizens in every part of the country — especially the 2010 Contract FROM America — the reform Republicans offer a choice between the job killing, big government, high tax agenda of the Democratic Party and a Republican Party agenda to reverse out-of-control spending, restore fiscal accountability leading to a balanced budget, create confidence in the private sector to spur new job creation, and strengthen the family.

Be sure to visit the National Review’s ‘The Corner’ for frequent updates on Washington politics.

POLITICS DAILY: Republicans Officially Unveil ‘Pledge to America’

By Patricia Murphy

STERLING, Va.– Far from the steps of the U.S. Capitol, 13 Republican members of Congress gathered Thursday at Tart Lumber Co. to unveil “Pledge to America,” a 45-page booklet they promise will guide their efforts to reform the government Americans say they no longer trust.

House Minority Leader John Boehner stood in shirt-sleeves between rows of raw lumber to explain that the pledge was drafted by listening to the American people and reflected their number one priority — jump-starting the American economy.

“Our pledge to America is that Republicans stand ready to get it done, beginning today,” Boehner said.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.), the man who led the effort to draft the Pledge, said he blamed the Obama administration’s “disastrous policies” for the country’s current economic struggles.

Pledge to America”The land of opportunity has become the land of shrinking prosperity,” he said. “From the bill to bailout the banks to the stimulus that failed to stimulate anything but the deficit to the government takeover over health care, [the American people] said stop. Well, we heard you, we heard you loud and clear.”

Unlike Republicans’ 1994 Contract With America, no candidates or members of Congress will sign the Pledge and no group will march up the Capitol steps to support it. And while the 1994 Contract aggressively promised to enact term limits, amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget and cut off welfare payments to teen moms, the 2010 document softens the tone and broadens the focus to include familiar GOP proposals on health care, national security and shrinking the size of federal government.

Boehner explained that the Pledge covered five areas — jobs and the economy, lowering government spending and reducing the size of government, repealing the recently passed health care law, reforming Congress, and strengthening national security.

Continue reading at Politic Daily

FOX NEWS: Is GOP “Pledge” A Direct Descendant Of Tea Party “Contract from America”

STERLING, Va. — House Republicans came to TART Lumber in suburban Washington, D.C. Thursday to unveil their “Pledge to America,” a sweeping conservative agenda that calls for reigning in federal spending, permanently extending all of the Bush tax cuts and repealing President Obama’s democratically passed health care reform law.

Republicans are hoping the document serves as a rallying call for conservatives to get out the vote this fall and propel them back into the majority in the House of Representatives. “The Pledge” also gives us a preview of the issues Republicans would push should they succeed in their efforts.

Although they won’t admit to it publicly, “The Pledge To America” bears some striking similarities to a Tea Party backed document called “The Contract From America.”

“There are a number of ideas in their document that come straight from ‘The Contract From America,’ said Tea Party Society Member and the “Contract From America” organizer Ryan Hecker. “Their ‘Pledge to America’ includes many of our Contract’s planks, including the top-voted idea to ‘Protect the Constitution’ by requiring every bill to cite Constitutional authority, rejection of Cap and Trade, the imposition of meaningful spending limits, repeal of government-run health care, and extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.”

When asked about any connection between the two documents during Thursdays event, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, downplayed any link. “We listened to all Americans as we put this together,” Boehner said. “Our members over the last four months have done thousands of town hall meetings, public forums, private meetings to listen to the American people and bring their ideas back to Washington.”

However, after the event a senior member of the Republican House leadership told Fox News, “That document had a lot of influence on ours. No question about it.”

Continue reading at Fox News online

Statement on the Republican “Pledge To America”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A HARDCOPY OF THIS STATEMENT

The Contract from America Foundation made the following announcement today regarding the newly released Republican “Pledge to America”:

We are pleased that the Republicans were so heavily influenced by the message of the grassroots Contract from America that their “Pledge to America” includes many of our Contract’s planks, including the top-voted idea to “Protect the Constitution” by requiring every bill to cite Constitutional authority, rejection of Cap and Trade, the imposition of meaningful spending limits, repeal of government-run health care, and extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. We are also pleased that they so admired the Contract’s model of allowing for real citizen input that they created their own website, America Speaking Out, to approximate the same function. This is evidence that Republicans are beginning to listen to the millions of ordinary Americans that are fed up with Washington’s ways.

Republican Congressmen, Senators, and candidates should still sign the Contract from America, which boldly tackles the challenges of fundamental tax reform, passage of a balanced budget amendment with a supermajority requirement for any tax hike, and real earmark reform.

The Contract from America is handed up from the true grassroots in this country. After garnering nearly half a million votes in less than two months, the Contract from America is a blueprint that reflects what the people want for their future. If Republicans sign the Contract, they will prove that they are listening to the will of millions of grassroots activists that have protested the unconscionable expansion of government.

Over 300 candidates have signed the Contract from America, including Senators DeMint and Coburn, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Representative Michele Bachmann, and Senate candidates Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Jerry Moran, Dino Rossi, Ron Johnson, John Boozman, Kelly Ayotte, and John Raese.

CBS NEWS: “Pledge to America” Unveiled by Republicans (Full Text)

By Brian Montopoli, Jill Jackson

CBS News has obtained a final draft of House Republicans’ legislative agenda for the next Congress, a 21-page “Pledge to America” that they will formally unveil Thursday morning at a Virginia hardware store.

“The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people cannot be overstated,” the introduction says.

It continues: “With this document, we pledge to dedicate ourselves to the task of reconnecting our highest aspirations to the permanent truths of our founding by keeping faith with the values our nation was founded on, the principles we stand for, and the priorities of our people. This is our Pledge to America.”

Highlights include:

Jobs:

  • Stop job-killing tax hikes
  • Allow small businesses to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income
  • Require congressional approval for any new federal regulation that would add to the deficit
  • Repeal small business mandates in the new health care law.

Cutting Spending:

  • Repeal and Replace health care
  • Roll back non-discretionary spending to 2008 levels before TARP and stimulus (will save $100 billion in first year alone)
  • Establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending going forward
  • Cancel all future TARP payments and reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Reforming Congress:

  • Will require that every bill have a citation of constitutional authority
  • Give members at least 3 days to read bills before a vote

Defense:

  • Provide resources to troops
  • Fund missile defense
  • Enforce sanctions in Iran

To continue reading the complete text of the document, please visit CBS News