So, any of you folks that pay attention to the political circus in the USA probably heard about the GOP's "pledge to America". You can read the thing right here (it's a PDF).
Now, a lot of it is just the kind of nonsense I'd expect. It's quite vague, and actually proposes very few specific courses of action and where it does it avoids all the hard questions. It also presses some of the usual rhetoric, like blaming Obama's policies because they haven't turned this massive crisis (that they caused) around in two years, or emphasizing his scary, job-killing taxes while ignoring that he only intends to let tax cuts expire for people earning over 250k a year.
But the really striking thing that's suggested in this pledge, and has been less implicitly, more clearly suggested by Republicans on the campaigning trail, is this set of three promises they've been making: That they are going to make the Bush tax cuts permanents, that they are going to cut the deficit, and that they will exempt money concerning seniors and troops/veterans from their big cuts.
This is impossible. They are not going to raise taxes. They presumably won't cut medicare or VA spending (if they were really honest, SS spending, too), and between the troops thing and just knowing Republicans, not one bit of the defense budget will be cut either. Yet in the midsts of this, they will reduce the deficit.
Again, it just does not add up, it's mathematically impossible. But what's scary is not that they have promised something they can't do, but what they might do in an attempt to make it look like they are carrying out their promise if they got power. To even approach those promises, there would have to be massive cuts to education, infrastructure, environmental protection, law enforcement, health care, research of all stripes (except defense dept. research!), and all unspecified welfare programs (they aren't afraid to admit that). You can throw in anything else I missed that isn't in their small circle of exceptions.
So in other words, they'd let this country atrophy. They would just gut all of its domestic maintenance and development and leave it to rot. And for what purpose? They're pledge says very little about how to energize the economy. It's all about cutting the deficit, reducing the size of government, and not raising taxes. How are we going to get out of this hole that they love pointing out so much? They hardly say! Their pledge then amounts to making the country stagnate while it is still reeling from the damage of a massive recession.
I'd like to think my opinion of this thing doesn't divide down conventional political dimensions, but rather, is divided on whether or not you have the will and capacity to actually analyze that document or not.