A Pledge To America: Checks and Balances

My thoughts on the final section of the Pledge to America and whether this Pledge is a commitment to something new, or a promise to continue with the same old mindset and policies that we have seen in the past.  In my view this section was more talking points and summation.  I didn’t see a lot of substance  – there was a bit of new information about union card check and energy policy, but nothing of significance not already mentioned.   The full text is here, and the text of the section with comments is below.

Page 43  Our founders built a system of checks and balances to slow the growth of government and prevent the tyranny of the majority. The ultimate power in this system of government is held by the people, who were given the tools by our Founders to hold those they elect as their representatives accountable for their actions. Government exists to be the servant of the people, not their master. I agree that the government derives its power from the consent of the governed.  I also agree that governments are an institution appointed by God to protect society and individuals.  Government should exist to serve the people under it.

Unfortunately, the metrics used to hold Congress accountable are often flawed. Rather than using the scale of how well elected representatives represent the views of the people, the scale is often currently measured in bills passed, dollars spent, and programs created. This must change.

Every American must ask: what has Congress done to ensure opportunity and to safeguard my liberty and the freedoms guaranteed to me in the Constitution? We stand ready to be judged by that standard.

We will stand committed to our principles and fight to renew the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. We will promote and advance solutions that get people working again, stop out-of-control spending, repeal and replace the government takeover of health care, make Congress more open and transparent, and keep our nation secure at home and abroad. Sounds like more fluffery to me.

At the same time, we will serve as a check and a balance against any schemes that are inconsistent with the priorities and rights of the American people:

• We will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government.
• We will continue to fight the growth of government and oppose new stimulus spending that only puts our nation further in debt. We need to reduce the size of government.  We need to drastically reduce our spending.  I would home for some stronger language than this.
• We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law.
• We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national “cap and trade” energy tax.
• We will fight for the rights of workers and oppose “card check” schemes that put Washington union bosses before individuals’ right to a secret ballot.
• We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain.

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