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GOP watch: The Pledge, the day after

USA Today writes up the unveiling of the House Republicans’ “Pledge to America”: “House Republican leaders vowed to reverse the course of Washington and ‘realign our country's compass’ in a wide-ranging agenda unveiled six weeks before the fall elections,” USA Today says.

Paul Krugman on the House GOP Pledge: "In essence, what they say is, 'Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.' The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals."

The Washington Post: "There are no specifics about how the spending cuts would be carried out, and the agenda does not outline how Republicans would deal with Social Security and other expensive federal entitlement programs, saying only that lawmakers "will make the decisions that are necessary" to cut costs. The agenda is designed to give voters a broad outline of what proposals House Republicans will push if they regain the majority and to give their candidates specifics to cite on the campaign trail. It also aims to answer a favorite attack line of Democrats: that Republicans have no new ideas and are merely the 'party of no.'"

"Asked by CNN if he would act to shut down the government if his conference could not agree with President Obama on spending, [John] Boehner said 'Our goal is to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government here in Washington, D.C. It's not to shut down the government,'" The Hill writes, noting, "Some Republican candidates and office-holders, such as Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), have raised the specter of shutting down the government if their party comes to an impasse with the White House."