This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," September 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, FOX HOST: This week on the Journal Editorial Report, the Republican roll out. Is the new GOP agenda a campaign gimmick or a guide to governing?
And with some key provisions of Obamacare kicking in this week, the president tries once again to sell the overhaul it to the American people. But will it prove toxic for Democrats this November?
Plus, the school reform movement gets a boost from the left as Al Gore's movie director takes on the teacher unions. But will D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee be their latest victim?
Welcome to the Journal Editorial Report. I'm Paul Gigot.
House Republicans unveiled their so-called "Pledge to America" this week, calling it a governing agenda they plan to pursue if they regain control of Congress in November. The pledge includes proposals to permanently extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, including those for high earners; gives small business owners a 20 percent tax deduction on their income; canceled all unspent stimulus funds; and roll back spending to pre-stimulus and pre-bailout levels; and repeal Obamacare and replace it with proposals that include limits on malpractice lawsuits among other things. The pledge is widely seen as an effort to do what the Republicans did when they won the House in 1994, with a "Contract with America." So, will it work?
Joining the panel this week, Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Dan Henninger; opinionjournal.com columnist, John Fund; and Washington columnist, Kim Strassel.
So, Dan, some conservatives are out there saying, this is weak. They wanted more. Are they right?
DAN HENNINGER, COLUMNIST & DEPUTY EDITOR: Well, Paul, I'd say they're right, but they have the wrong election.
This is a document for the election of 2010, the congressional election. What they're talking about is the big enchilada, the election in 2012. What Congress has done, the Republicans are trying to show that they've got religion. And I think this document does a pretty good job of that, especially the item you mentioned about pushing spending back to below 2008 spending levels. That would be a big deal. But if you want big ideas and a big agenda, you're going to have to wait for the presidential candidates for that.
GIGOT: John, what's the best thing in this, the best policy proposal in this document?
JOHN FUND, OPINIONJOURNAL.COM COLUMNIST: All of Obama's proposals, expanding government, are frozen in place and the attempt is made to reverse them. In other words, the horrible stimulus package —
FUND: — which didn't create any jobs; Obamacare; the health care plan, which is below 40 percent approval rating; and all of the other regulatory initiatives that have been job killers —
FUND: — rolled back. That's something the base of the Republican Party, the conservative movement can cheer.
GIGOT: But isn't that just, Kim, like the party-of-no accusation that the Democrats make about the Republicans, that this is a party that just wants to stop everything, and doesn't have ideas of its own?
KIM STRASSEL, WASHINGTON COLUMNIST: It does have ideas of its own. But remember — I mean, most of the country wants to stop this right now. So the Republicans are on to something with this.