The House Republican "Pledge to America"
would make permanent George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest
Americans, at a cost of more than $3 trillion over the coming decade.
Yet, the GOP gameplan
proposes to address the massive shortfall with a freeze on only some
domestic programs that would save about $100 million a year.
How will the rest of the massive budget deficits proposed in the GOP pledge be offset?
Buried in the 21-page document is the real pledge: a discussion of
"reviewing" Social Security and other entitement programs" and a
commitment to a program "requiring a full accounting of Social
DC bureaucrat speak, to be sure. But it is not hard to translate.
"What's hidden in this pledge is the Republican pledge to privatize Social Security," says Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida.
Privatization of Social Security, a longtime GOP priority, was the
first focus of former President Bush and the Republican cogressional
majorities the last time they won an election cycle--in 2004. And, with
they scheme to lock in Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, the only way
Republicans will avoid creating the largest deficits in American history
is by ending the nation's commitment to its seniors and to its most
vulnerable citizens--by gutting Social Security and functional Medicare
and Medicaid programs.
"They clearly support privatizing Social Security. They clearly support turning Medicare into a voucher program," says Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz.
noting that two key players in the House Republican Caucus--Wisconsin
Congressman Paul Ryan and Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor--have are busy
championing such proposals. "Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor wrote a book
about it and are in the middle of a book tour promoting that."
Ryan and Cantor will have plenty of company if Republicans sweep this
year's mid-term elections. Some of the party's leading contenders are
explcit about their disdain for Social Security.
Appearing this week on an Alaska radio show, Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller--Sarah Palin's personal favorite--referred to maintaining Social Security programs as federal initiative where "government is into something that it shouldn't have gotten into."
Miller is blunter than Republican leaders. But the "Pledge to
America" makes the agenda clear enough. Either the pledge is an outline
for massive new debts and deficits or it is a roadmap to the
privatization of Social Secuity, Medicare and Medicaid.
To suggest otherwise would be to engage in what another George Bush once described as "voodoo economics."