From the Washington Times, Senate Republicans are outlining their "2008 Senate Conservative Agenda to Secure America's Future." It sounds like a modernized version of the winning 1994 "Contract With America."
The Contract With America helped catapult the Republicans into control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. And Republicans made good on all but one point in the Contract, passing all the rest within the first 100 days.
I think something like this is the right way to go, and they should have done something like this long ago that clearly outlined a conservative agenda for leadership.
The only problem at this point is that the Republicans have spent the last 7 years showing us what big-spenders they are, and that they don't respect the Constitution, and they're perfectly fine with big government as long as it's "their big government."
Did they learn their lesson from the 2006 election losses? So far I haven't seen a whole lot of evidence.
And after seeing Republicans spend like drunken sailors, voters are probably going to be skeptical about trusting even a good-sounding agenda like this one.
Here's what the Times says the agenda includes:
• Reform the tax code and make permanent President Bush's tax cuts that otherwise expire in 2010;
• Reduce government spending and stop pork-barrel earmarks;
• Expand access to affordable health insurance by addressing unfairness in tax code and allow Americans to buy coverage across state lines;
• Demand United Nations reforms by withholding U.S. dues;
• Increase U.S. competitiveness by cutting the corporate tax rates, increasing energy supplies, and providing regulatory relief for small businesses;
• Secure the U.S. borders;
• Ensure at least 4 percent of the nation's economy is invested in national security;
• Amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget and to limit tax increases;
• Stop spending Social Security surpluses on other government programs;
• Offer states flexibility and give parents more choices under No Child Left Behind Act;
Sounds pretty good, for the most part. Not as ambitious as the Contract With America, but a start.
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