GOP: A Pledge To America

You’ll probably read a lot about this tomorrow:  A Pledge To America
I debated closing comments for this post, since I have zero interest in a partisan debate here, but I decided to leave them open so that people can pick specific quotes from the “Pledge” that they like or dislike.  If you have something to say, please refer to a specific quote and page number.
I’ll start:  I liked this, from page 5:

“We will also prevent Washington from forcing responsible taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible behavior by ending bailouts permanently, canceling the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

I’m interested in this claim, from page 7 (although I immediately expect all such claims – by both parties – to be suspect):

“So far, Washington Democrats have passed, and the president has signed into law, at least 14 violations of his pledge that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.””

Oh wait – here’s a clue, from page 14:

“Taxes. The new health care law includes at least a dozen violations of President Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class families. The Obama administration has conceded that the ‘individual mandate’ at the heart of the new law is indeed a tax, a notion the president “absolutely” rejected last fall.”

So there’s “at least a dozen” of the “14” violations cited above – seems like a slightly twisted way to look at it… Anyway.
I laughed at this, from page 15:

“Strengthen the Doctor-Patient Relationship: We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.”

That reminds me of my first job on Wall Street, at a firm I will not name.  This firm, back then, was one of the also-rans, a commercial bank trying to compete with the big broker dealers who were ruling the roost.  The CEO came and talked to us, the new hires, in the first week, and blathered about teamwork, and about how we’d crack the top 3 in the next 5 years.  Not wanting to waste the opportunity to fire a question at the CEO, when the floor was opened for questions I raised my hand and asked, simply, “Look, I understand the pep talk, but what are we going to do – call up Goldman’s clients, Morgan’s clients, and say “Hey – come to us – we’ve got teamwork?””
Needless to say, the CEO was slightly taken aback, there was an uncomfortable silence in the room,  and the coordinator for the new hires program looked at me with his jaw open and his eyes wide.    The CEO cleared his throat,  gave some BS response, and went back to answering mindless rote questions from MBA grads.  
The new hires coordinator came up to me after and said “Where do you keep the wheelbarrow?”  “Huh?”  I was puzzled.  “To carry your gigantic balls!” He explained. 
“Look,” I responded “I wasn’t trying to show my “balls” – I was trying to take advantage of a rare opportunity to gain some insight from the CEO and hoped that he could tell us something that wasn’t fluff and bullshit.”  Turned out, he couldn’t.
Oh – by the way – this firm, 12 years later, is the king of the mountain.  They have a new CEO (perhaps have had more than one, I don’t know), and have surpassed all the competition, just like the 1998 CEO said they would.  I don’t think it had anything to do with him, his decisions, or “teamwork,” but hey – he was right – it just took a little longer than he expected, and required a complete meltdown of the entire financial system.
What’s my point?  That’s what “We want to strengthen the Doctor-Patient Relationship” sounds like to me.  Really? You’re going to legislate that?  Good luck…

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