WASHINGTON – Six weeks before midterm elections, House Republicans vowed to cut taxes and federal spending, repeal President Barack Obama's health care law and ban federal funding of abortion as part of a campaign manifesto designed to propel them to victory in November and a majority in the next Congress.
The "Pledge to America," circulated to GOP lawmakers Wednesday, emphasizes job creation and spending control, as well as changing the way Congress does business. It steered clear of controversial issues such as Social Security and Medicare, big drivers of deficit spending.
Tis the season. No, not Christmas shopping. It's election season. Around here, the big race is for Governor of Pennsylvania, replacing Ed Rendell. The TV ads are coming fast and furiously, and as usual, every one of them thinks they're going to change the way government does business.
If you've lived through a dozen or so of these elections, as I have, the messages start to sound the same. I'm guessing that they hope we will forget what was said the last time. The thing that amazes me about these guys (and girls) is the tremendous ego it must take in order to say and believe the junk they say. "I'm going to change the way Pennsylvania is run," they say, hoping that we will leap into the air and scream, "All right! Finally!"
The party in control is going to tell you the great job they're doing and the party out of power is going to tell you how much the other guys stink and how they are going to come in and change things. Around and around it goes. It's worse when the sitting governor is leaving, because both parties tell you how much the old governor stank and how much better they are going to be. Those are amazing claims for people who have no job experience.
One after another of them says they're going to lower taxes, improve service (two conflicting areas), rid government of corruption and generally clean things up. It's all what we call 'low-hanging fruit,' and it's easy to pick at. Who doesn't want a governor to do those things? The difficult problems are left for after they're elected and they have to tell you that they need to raise taxes so that they can pay for all the stuff the guy before them put in place.
All the while I ask myself, "why would they spend millions of dollars to get a job that pays $165,000 a year?" I think we all know the answer to that question, and it's the main reason that nothing ever changes about government except the people running it.