The budgetary consequences of this conservative pledge would be catastrophic and far-reaching, forcing the immediate cessation of more than 40 percent of all federal government activities (excluding only interest payments on the national debt), including Social Security, military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, homeland security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. This would not only threaten the safety and economic security of all Americans, but also have dire impacts for the economy and job growth.
3. Investigate the Obama Administration.
You may remember the last time Republicans held control of Congress under a Democratic president. The Clintons were investigated for accusations of insider trading, shady real estate deals, and even misuse of the White House Christmas card mailing list. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money were spent distracting the American people over the escapades of the president while Congress ran amok deregulating.
Well, we're there again. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has already promised "hundreds" of investigations as the new Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He's already publicly called the Obama Administration one of the most corrupt administrations in our modern history. I think it's safe to say that we'll be entertained for the next two years as Issa and his colleagues dig into the administration.
4. Cut $100 billion from the federal budget.
On the surface this seems like a good idea. Or rather it would have been a good idea had it been proposed during the last economic boom when the working poor were less reliant on government aid to weather a harsh economic climate. Trouble is the proposed cuts are supposed to come from discretionary spending, which is a relatively small percentage of the federal budget. Defense, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and the interest on the federal debt are not discretionary. This leaves a relatively small portion of the budget left for an enormous cut. The programs most likely to lose funding are precisely those we should not be threatening - things like medical research, education, regulatory oversight, etc.
It's come out that this was meant to be $100B from the proposed Obama budget, not the actual cuts, so the actual cuts will amount to $50B or less. That is if it can pass the Senate and the President signs this budget. Nevertheless, this is a frightening prospect. And more than a little duplicitous after the Republicans bargained for a $900B tax break, much of which goes to the upper tax brackets.
Voters get what they deserve and the next 2 years is shaping up to painful for all of us except the most wealthy. Well done, folks.