REPUBLICANS PLEDGE: “A TRICK BAG FOR AMERICA”

The Republican Party has spent most of the past two years as the “Party of No,” opposing nearly every policy proposed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress –a strategy that has worked politically, according to polls that say this November’s elec

by Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Chairman National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA)

The Republican Party has spent most of the past two years as the "Party of No," opposing nearly every policy proposed by President Obama and Democrats in Congress –a strategy that has worked politically, according to polls that say this November’s election could sweep Republicans back into the majority in the House and possibly the Senate. But until last week, the Republican Party had offered no agenda of its own–so party leaders finally produced one: the lofty-sounding "Pledge to America."

Sadly but predictably, this Pledge is nothing more than a promise to return to the failed policies that created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and threw millions of Americans out of work–with most of the pain doled out to those at the bottom of the ladder.

Those who yearn for a return to George W. Bush’s philosophy will cheer the Pledge’s promises of tax cuts for the rich and lax regulation of Wall Street. They will applaud the Republican call to repeal universal health insurance and to hand the Social Security Trust Fund over to Wall Street.

But for African Americans, this retrograde Pledge is a recipe for disaster.

Our communities were hit hard by the Great Recession, and the economic crisis continues. African American unemployment now stands at 16.3 percent. Working families are struggling to pay the rent and keep food on the table.

President Obama and this Democratic Congress led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Whip James Clyburn (the highest-ranking African American in Congress) inherited this dire recession from Bush and the Republicans, and they’ve directed help toward those who need it most — despite stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress. If the “Party of No” had gotten its way, the Great Recession could have been worse than the Great Depression – an economic hurricane instead of a bad storm. They opposed the Recovery Act. They opposed healthcare reform. They opposed ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. They even opposed 7 of the 8 tax cuts Congress has passed to help small business owners.

It is unconscionable that at a time of our nation’s highest unemployment in more than 60 years, the Republicans propose a $4 trillion tax cut for the rich. They’re trotting out the same tired argument they’ve recycled for 30 years: cut taxes for billionaires, and some of their wealth will trickle down to the rest of us. Meanwhile, the Republicans promise to repeal President Obama’s Recovery Act, which cut taxes for 110 million families who don’t happen to be rich.

The Republicans’ Pledge makes it crystal clear what’s at stake in November. We can’t sit home on Election Day and let the Republican Party turn back the clock on our country and on Black people definitely. I pledge, on behalf of 200 Black newspapers in this country, to do what we can to stop them!

You can mark my words:If they take back the House (of Representatives), they will launch an investigation on President Obama that will make the investigation on President Clinton look like child’s play.  They will make his next two years untenable and miserable, leading up to 2012. We will also lose two of our most visionary leaders of the 21st century in Speaker Pelosi and Majority Whip Clyburn. We can’t let that happen!

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