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Renewing America's Promise Means Lots of Goodies

A Commentary By Debra Saunders

Democrats used to love to bash President Bush for sending America to war without asking Americans to sacrifice. Now that it is an election year, you won't hear the s-word coming out of their lips. The Democratic National Committee draft platform is all goodies.

The draft, "Renewing America's Promise," says the party will heed the American desire to "abandon the politics of partisan division" -- and they are eager to do so, as soon as they are done blaming Republicans for high gasoline prices, the mortgage meltdown and an "unnecessary war." (You would never guess that half of this year's Democratic presidential candidates voted to authorize that war.)

And: "The American people do not want government to solve all our problems." But the Dems still promise to "provide immediate relief to working people who have lost their jobs, families who have lost their homes, and people who have lost their way." (Read: everyone.)

Pay attention, grasshopper. The DNC wants an America in which "every American is empowered to be a watchdog and a whistle blower."

Other language is easier to understand. Just think dollar signs. Lots of dollar signs. There's the "immediate energy rebate" -- Obama has proposed a rebate sequel that would send $1,000 to families to make up for high fuel prices. It's part of a plan to spend $50 billion to jumpstart the economy. Seniors win, too. "Renewing America's Promise" calls for eliminating income taxes for seniors who make less than $50,000 a year -- because "every senior deserves to live out their life with dignity and respect." (Now they think it's not dignified to pay taxes?)

The draft platform promises to provide every American access to "affordable, comprehensive health care," and to achieve "long-overdue mental health and addiction treatment parity." That's right: The Dems will expand the number of people who receive subsidized health care, provide better benefits, and you apparently don't have to worry about costs going up. Because the Dems are going to eliminate waste in the medical system, they "will save the typical family up to $2,500 per year."

Also, under Plan DNC, "All Americans should be empowered to promote wellness." Tax cuts for most families. No taxes at all for millions of seniors. A boost in the Earned Income Tax Credit. Plus, health care for all -- that saves families money. Sound too good to be true?

But what if you don't have a job? No problem. The platform promises to "develop innovative transitional job programs that place unemployed people into temporary jobs and train them for permanent ones."

This draft does not reflect Obama's and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's newfound (if overdue) openness to offshore oil drilling. Ergo: "We know we can't drill our way to energy independence." There are the usual salutes to biofuels and plug-in hybrid cars, which should "help free us from the tyranny of oil."

The draft platform says the Democrats can "solve the problem of four dollar a gallon gas" -- one hopes not with $5 a gallon gas. And the draft pledges to make America 50 percent more energy efficient by 2030, to make 25 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2025, and they'll double fuel efficiency standards -- no date on that.

The Democratic platform would raise the child-care tax credit, "provide every child access to quality, affordable early childhood education," and double funding for after-school and summer learning programs. Then, there's the commitment to special education and "transitional bilingual education."

A "new American Opportunity Tax Credit" would cover the first $4,000 of a college education for most Americans -- in exchange for which students will perform community service. It's a great way to create Democrats -- by putting practically every college kid on the government payroll.

How to pay for all these bright packages? Chances are that you won't have to give, but only will get, get, get. "We won't increase taxes on any family earning under $250,000 and we will offer additional tax cuts for middle class families," the Dems promise. Those making more than $250,000 will be "asked" -- "asked" (it's almost European) -- "to pay a bit more." The energy mandates will be funded "by dedicating a portion of the revenues generated by an economy wide cap and trade program" on greenhouse gases. It's barely worthy of mention.

Then the platform promises a return to fiscal responsibility. Really.


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Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports.

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