A 10 Item Agenda for a New Contract With America
The Republican Party has been branded as the “Party of No” in the last few years. That’s not surprising since the GOP has been out of power and has been defined more by what we’ve wanted to stop Barack Obama from doing than from what we want to do.
The American people deserve more than that. It’s important for them to know not just what we’re against, but what we’ll do if we get into power. Far too few conservatives are talking about that; so it seems like the right time to start that discussion.
That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind. Barack Obama will still be President in 2014 and while we can try to force his hand on a few issues, having him in the White House will constrain what we can do quite a bit.
That’s why the intention here is not to come up with an all-encompassing conservative wish list; it’s to present a popular right-of-center legislative agenda that will convince the American people to help us take back the Senate.
Then if we prove ourselves, in 2016 we’ll have the opportunity to take the White House as well and we’ll have the ability to move much more aggressively to fix the problems that are bedeviling our nation. Until that time, if the Republican Party could actually accomplish everything on this list, it would be a tremendous step forward for the nation.
1) Defunding of Obamacare: Obamacare is a disaster for the country and no budget that funds it will be passed through the Congress under any circumstances. If voters give the Republican Party control of the House and Senate while we are explicitly making this pledge as a party, that could fairly be considered a mandate from the American people to hold out as long as it takes to get the job done.
2) A Promise Congress And The Bureaucracy Will Live Under Obamacare Until It’s Defunded: If the rest of the country has to live under Obamacare, everyone in the government should, too. Regardless of what happens with the battle to defund Obamacare, Republicans should pledge that all members of Congress and employees of the government in Washington, D.C. will have to live under Obamacare just as long as everyone else does.
3) Reagancare: The Conservative Obamacare Alternative: The Republican Party has offered up many feasible alternatives to Obamacare, but the House and Senate Republicans should unite to select a single plan that will allow providers to sell insurance across state lines, limit malpractice lawsuits to cut costs, provide high risk pools for individuals that genuinely can’t afford coverage, and move health care tax credits from businesses to individuals so that you won’t lose your health care if you lose your job.
4) A Pledge To Read Every Bill: Every bill will be limited to 100 pages or less and the entire bill will be posted online for a week before it’s voted on so that the public has time to comment and all the members have time to read it.
5) The Job Creation Act Of 2014: Defunding Obamacare would certainly help increase job creation, but Barack Obama has done so much damage to the economy that more than that is needed to get the job done. The Republican Party should also pledge to reduce the corporate tax rate, repeal Sarbanes Oxley, do away with the National Labor Relations Board, increase funding for unemployed worker retraining, and allow businesses to write off all of their new equipment after one year to encourage them to buy the latest technology.
6) A Two Year Spending Freeze: The Republican Party would pledge to freeze all spending, including government salaries, for two years except spending on defense, Veteran Affairs, and entitlement programs.
7) Cut Your Gas Bill Act of 2014: Americans are paying too much at the pump and one of the best ways to put more money in their pockets would be to increase the supply of oil in order to help cut the cost of the gas. Towards that end, Republicans should pledge to drill ANWR, build the Keystone Pipeline, and encourage the offshore drilling that Barack Obama has tamped down on.
8) The Claw Back The NSA Act: Simply put, the NSA should not be able to collect or retain any email or phone data on an American citizen without getting approval from a judge to target that particular citizen. The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable search and seizures and if giving the government access to every phone call and email a law abiding citizen has made for years doesn’t qualify, then nothing does.
9) Audit of the Federal Reserve: It’s time for the Federal Reserve to be more open, transparent, and accountable. The best way to make sure that happens is to audit the Federal Reserve.
10) No More Bailouts: Republicans should pledge not to bail out any corporations, cities, or states. As part of that pledge, Republicans should attempt to repeal Dodd-Frank which has funding for future bank bailouts built into the bill.
If I asked you what the worst thing in American politics was today, I would get a variety of answers.
While attending a church service dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I was struck by the