links for 2010-09-22
Ryan Avent Is Overly Harsh...

There Is No Excuse for Anybody Who Cares Even a Smidgeon About Good Policies to Support the Republicans This Fall. None.

Ezra Klein:

Ezra Klein - The GOP's bad idea: "America is more than a country," begins the GOP's 'Pledge to America.' America, it turns out, is an "idea," an "inspiration," and a "belief." And the GOP wants to govern it. Their policy agenda is detailed and specific... a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it.

You're also left with a difficult question: What, exactly, does the Republican Party believe? The document speaks constantly and eloquently of the dangers of debt -- but offers a raft of proposals that would sharply increase it. It says, in one paragraph, that the Republican Party will commit itself to "greater liberty" and then, in the next, that it will protect "traditional marriage." It says that "small business must have certainty that the rules won't change every few months" and then promises to change all the rules that the Obama administration has passed.... It is a document with a clear theory of what has gone wrong -- debt, policy uncertainty, and too much government -- and a solid promise to make most of it worse....

Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it: The document never says that the policy proposals it offers will ultimately reduce the deficit.

Then there's the question of policy uncertainty. The health-care law, which is now in the early stages of implementation, would be repealed. In its place, Republicans would write a new health-care bill.... [T]hree sentences on shrinking and reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac... the two mortgage giants are backing nine out of every 10 new loans....

The agenda is least confused on the subject of reducing government... a cap on non-security discretionary funding... congressional review process for big-ticket regulations, a hiring freeze on federal employees, and weekly votes on spending cuts....

It is hard to believe in both deficit reduction and policies that would add trillions to the deficit. It's also hard to warn of the dangers posed by regulatory uncertainty and then propose changing all the rules...

But they do it.

As I say, repeatedly, America simply does not need the Republican Party as it is currently constituted. If it cannot reform itself, it needs to die.

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