On Tuesday evening, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) conducted an “America Speaking Out” town hall with his constituents. Gingrey explained that Republicans would solicit ideas from the public using their America Speaking Out online platform to generate a new version of the 1994 “Contract with America.” However, he said regardless of the input received, the new political document outlining the GOP agenda would focus on extending the Bush era tax cuts for the richest two percent of Americans. To reinforce his point, Gingrey said that extending the Bush era tax cuts “at any level” would be a promise so strong it would be akin to “God’s covenant with Moses,” and a “a pledge of your sworn sacred honor.” He also said that he would “sign it in blood if necessary”:
GINGREY: I had somebody say you know a Contract with America is a little redundant, going back to 1994. And I had somebody suggest at a town hall meeting recently maybe it ought to be a “Covenant with America.” Just as God’s covenant with Moses, really this is a convenant. This is more of a commitment, more than a contract. This is a pledge of your sworn sacred honor. And maybe that’s the kind of thing that we need to get, to truly get attention and sign it in blood if necessary. So we think it would be not be appropriate at a time like this to raise people’s taxes, at any level. At any level. [….]
GINGREY: When you start taxing men and women who create most of the jobs, you know that’s not the answer. So, our opinion I’m sure will be part of this covenant with America will be to keep taxes low for everybody.
Despite Gingrey’s colorful language, all President Obama is seeking to do is to keep tax cuts affecting the middle class, while allowing the tax cuts for some of America’s richest individuals to expire, returning to Clinton-era rates. Oddly, Gingrey also attacked public sector jobs and government spending, while in the same breath empathizing with “the pain that our teachers in Georgia are feeling.”