The Coalition made a huge splash this past week in terms of media coverage. While not everyone is convinced that our Reject the Debt pledge can be effective, history shows that pledges do in fact work. The spread of term limits in the 1990s is one great example. Likewise, Grover Norquist’s tax pledge was and still is very effective, despite a few recent detractors. He would receive considerably less media attention if it were inconsequential.
The Reject the Debt pledge is important for two reasons. First, it serves as a yardstick to measure how serious a politician is about cutting spending, and second, it is a tool to convey that commitment to constituents. If all politicians didn’t kick the tax burden down the road to future generations, we wouldn’t need the Reject the Debt pledge.
But beyond this, one important aspect that wasn’t reported in our press coverage is that the Coalition has more than one mechanism for achieving our organizational goals. The pledge is just one of these.
As an example, we are in the process of developing Scholars to Reduce Spending, which brings together academics and intellectuals to make the public case that spending is the issue of our day. The Scholars program supports and promotes the experts on topics related to balancing the budget and delegitimizes the fallacy that cutting federal spending will harm the economy.
In the coming months, we will begin to unveil many other components of our coalition in order to show that support for reducing spending exists irrespective of party affiliation, socioeconomic background, or geographic location. Stay tuned!