This afternoon on Yahoo Finance I found an NYT article by David Leonhardt offering pretty much the same criticism of the “Pledge to America” that I offered below in “Delusions of a Prodigal Nation”–only they have good quotes and good statistics and good journalism to liven it up. It’s well-worth a read. “Congressional Republicans have used the old trick of promising specific tax cuts and vague spending cuts,” Leonhardt laments. It pretends that cutting out a little fat from a few wasteful programs will do the trick, but
The bulk of the deficit problem instead comes from three popular programs, Medicare, Social Security and the military, and they happen to be the ones the Republican pledge exempts from cuts. But it’s impossible to fix the deficit without making cuts to these programs or raising taxes. To suggest otherwise is to claim that 10 minus 1 equals 5.
“In short,” Leonhardt summarizes, “the pledge imagines a world without tough choices, where we can have low taxes, big government and a balanced budget.”