This is what Paul Krugman, NYTimes, says about the Republican's "Pledge to America":
True, the document talks about the need to cut spending. But as far as I can see, there’s only one specific cut proposed — canceling the rest of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which Republicans claim (implausibly) would save $16 billion. That’s less than half of 1 percent of the budget cost of those tax cuts. As for the rest, everything must be cut, in ways not specified — “except for common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops.” In other words, Social Security, Medicare and the defense budget are off-limits.
So what’s left? Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government: “No more national parks, no more Small Business Administration loans, no more export subsidies, no more N.I.H. No more Medicaid (one-third of its budget pays for long-term care for our parents and others with disabilities). No more child health or child nutrition programs. No more highway construction. No more homeland security. Oh, and no more Congress.”
From the right, this is what Andrew McCarthy thinks of the "Pledge to America" (ht: Tiger @ the Observer)
Empty Promise - When it gets down to brass tacks, the GOP has no brass.
McCarthy argues that the Pledge is nothing more than "big wind, no rain". He says that the GOP is, like the Democrats, a big government, nanny state party that refuses to recognize that Social Security and Medicare are massive, unfunded entitlements which will saddle future generations with crippling taxes and worthless currency.
There are only three ways to deal with entitlements: default on promised benefits, turn the currency into Monopoly money, or figure out a way to pay them honestly, no doubt by tax levies that dwarf today’s rising tab. That is cruel reality, and it will saddle not only the young people currently paying into the system who won’t see a dime, but their children and grandchildren who for generations will be left holding the bag for the Baby Boom’s utopia. No one in his right mind, understanding these consequences, would ever adopt such a Ponzi scheme in the first place. So, since we understand the consequences in a way the nation did not in the 1930s, how can we in good conscience continue it?
Yet that is exactly what the pledge does. For all the preamble pizzazz about freedom and responsibility, when it gets down to brass tacks, the GOP has no brass: It assumes Americans are junkies hooked on entitlement smack, incapable of going cold turkey and insensitive to the fact that we’ve run out of other people’s money. Republicans obliquely promise to “make the decisions necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations.”