Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The RSC Action Plan

I was looking over the new Action Plan from the Republican Study Committee, and noticed something odd. Part of the action plan is the following:

We will not wait on the Democrat Majority to end "Bridges to Nowhere" and "Monuments to Me"—we declare an immediate earmark moratorium and pledge to reform the system.

On their website, the RSC has a list of members who have sworn off earmarks. What's interesting about the list is our Representative Scott Garrett has not taken the pledge. I suppose it would be difficult for him to take the pledge when he's advocated for a $1.5 million earmark for a program after the Army ended it.

Beyond that, the Action Plan seems to be little more than a commitment to the Bush priorities over the last few years. Herb Jackson summed up the plan on Sunday in The Record.
The right-leaning Republican Study Committee issued an action plan that, among other things, calls for tighter controls on spending, looser controls on oil companies and agencies gathering intelligence on suspected terrorists, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, putting welfare-like restrictions on food stamps and housing assistance, and requiring people who are not elderly, young or disabled to work to get government help.

Among other things, it's disturbing to me that in a time of economic downturn, the RSC would advocate taking food stamps and Section 8 housing away from families in need. Here's how the RSC sums up their belief:
Such reforms will ensure a more stable environment for low-income children by encouraging their parents to marry and raise them in two-parent homes.

Nothing like stigmatizing those who need help in these economic times. The USDA has a fact sheet here, which highlights among other things this little tidbit of information:
The Food Stamp Program is a program that supplements the food purchasing power
of low-income Americans. The average time a food stamp recipient stays on the program is 9 months.

The RSC is declaring war on a largely short term, underutilized program (65% of those eligible), where 75% of the participants are children. Average monthly participation in the Food Stamp program has increased 50% since 2001, now covering 1 in 11 Americans in a given month. A large part of the reason for the increase are the very economic policies the RSC fought for.

This is the classic political bait and switch. Unfortunately, history shows this is an effective way to distract voters from things like the $15 billion in fraud the RSC allowed to occur or the deficit they exploded while in the majority.

Although touted as returning Republicans to their roots, there's nothing about balancing the budget, staying out of individuals' lives, or defending the Constitution involved in the plan. In a number of instances, it's the exact opposite. Since the RSC can't stand on their record, it's interesting to see them attack the results of the policies they have implemented over the years.

I guess we'll all have to wait and see how short term the American voter's memory is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You would think a 100% conservative like Garrett would do the honorable thing and swear off earmarks.

Guess that's not the case...