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MEMBER DIARY

Back to The Future.

Looking back in order to look forward.

In the aftermath of the utter failure of the McCain campaign, and the Republicans in general, to come with and understandable and comprehensive plan of how we will govern, I decided to look back on to the giants whose shoulders we should be standing. I will warn you right now that this is a very long diary and it is unequivocally conservative. It is my opinion that this should be the starting point for the road forward. I looked back to the Republican Party Platform for 1980. I went through the entire thing and subtract some and added some based on what I believe are still issues and what I believe needed to be updated. Surprisingly you will find that not much has change, but isn’t that always the way it comes out. Have at it.

Free Individuals in a Free Society

Properly informed, our people as individuals or acting through instruments of popular consultation can make the right decisions affecting personal or general welfare, free of pervasive and heavy-handed intrusion by the central government into the decision making process. This tenet is the genius of representative democracy.

Taxes

We believe it is essential to cut personal tax rates out of fairness to the individual.

The Republican Party believes balancing the budget is essential but opposes the Democrats’ attempt to do so through higher taxes. We believe that an essential aspect of balancing the budget is spending restraint by the federal government and higher economic growth, not higher tax burdens on working men and women.Policies of the Democratic Party are taxing: work, saving, investment, productivity, and the rewards for human ingenuity. These same tax policies subsidize debt, unemployment, and consumption. The present structure of the personal income tax system is designed to broaden the gap between effort and reward.

Therefore, the Republican Party supports across-the-board reductions in personal income tax rates.

Once tax rates are reduced, Republicans will move to end tax bracket creep caused by inflation. We support tax indexing to protect taxpayers from the automatic tax increases caused when cost-of-living wage increases move them into higher tax brackets.

Tax rate reductions will generate increases in economic growth, output, and income which will ultimately generate increased revenues. The greater justification for these cuts, however, lies in the right of individuals to keep and use the money they earn.

Improving the welfare system

The measure of a country’s compassion is how it treats the least fortunate. In every society there will be some who cannot work, often through no fault of their own.

Yet federal government efforts to help them have become counterproductive, perpetuating and aggravating the very conditions of dependence they seek to relieve. The Democratic Congress has produced a jumble of degrading, dehumanizing, wasteful, overlapping, and inefficient programs that invite waste and fraud but inadequately assist the needy poor.

For those on welfare, our nation’s tax policies provide a penalty for getting a job. This is especially so for those whose new income from a job is either equal to, or marginally greater than, the amount received on welfare. In these cases, due to taxes, the individual’s earned income is actually less than welfare benefits. This is the “poverty trap” which will continue to hold millions of Americans as long as they continue to be punished for working.The Democratic Party continue to foster that dependency. Our nation’s welfare problems will not be solved merely by providing increased benefits. Public service jobs are not a substitute for employable skills. By fostering dependency and discouraging self-reliance, the Democratic Party has created a welfare constituency dependent on its continual subsidies.

We categorically reject the notion of a guaranteed annual income, no matter how it may be disguised, which would destroy the fiber of our economy and doom the poor to perpetual dependence.

As a party we commit ourselves to a welfare policy that is truly reflective of our people’s true sense of compassion and charity as well as an appreciation of every individual’s need for dignity and self-respect. We pledge a system that will: Provide adequate living standards for the truly needy; End welfare fraud by removing ineligibles from the welfare rolls, tightening food stamp eligibility requirements, and ending aid to illegal aliens and the voluntarily unemployed; We support a block grant program that will help return control of welfare programs to the states. Decisions about who gets welfare, and how much, can be better made on the local level.

Through long association with government programs, the word “welfare” has come to be perceived almost exclusively as tax-supported aid to the needy. But in its most inclusive sense—and as Americans understood it from the beginning of the Republic—such aid also encompasses those charitable works performed by private citizens, families, and social, ethnic, and religious organizations. Policies of the federal government leading to high taxes, rising inflation, and bureaucratic empire-building have made it difficult and often impossible for such individuals and groups to exercise their charitable instincts.

We believe that government policies that fight inflation, reduce tax rates, and end bureaucratic excesses can help make private effort by the American people once again a major force in those works of charity which are the true signs of a progressive and humane society.

Veterans

Republicans recognize the very special sacrifice of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Individual rights and societal values are only as strong as a nation’s commitment to defend them. Because of this our country must never forget its appreciation of and obligation to our veterans.

We will maintain the integrity of the Veterans Administration. We will seek to keep it separate and distinct from other federal agencies as the single agency for the administration of all veterans’ programs.

We are committed to providing timely and adequate adjustments in compensation for service-disabled veterans and the survivors of those who died as a result of their service. We are also committed to maintaining the pension program for those who have served during a period of war, for those who were disabled and impoverished, and for their widows and orphans.

We will support measures to provide for every veteran at death a final resting place for his remains in a national cemetery and for costs of transportation thereto.

Veteran’s preference in federal employment in all departments and agencies will be continued and strictly enforced.

Private property

The widespread distribution of private property ownership is the cornerstone of American liberty. Without it neither our free enterprise system nor our republican form of government could long endure.

Under Democratic rule, the federal government has become an aggressive enemy of the human right to private property ownership. It has dissipated savings through depreciation of the dollar, attempted to enforce severe land use controls.

Privacy

The essence of freedom is the right of law-abiding individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without undue governmental intervention. Yet government in recent years, particularly at the federal level, has overwhelmed citizens with demands for personal information and has accumulated vast amounts of such data through the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of the Census, and other agencies. Under certain limited circumstances, such information can serve legitimate societal interests, but there must be protection against abuse.

Republicans share the concerns of our citizens as to the nature, use, and final disposition of the volume of personal information being collected. We are alarmed by Washington’s growing collection and dissemination of such data. There must be protection against its misuse or disclosure.

The Republican Party commits itself to guaranteeing an individual’s right of privacy. We support efforts of state governments to ensure individual privacy.

Equal rights

The truths we hold and the values we share affirm that no individual should be victimized by unfair discrimination because of race, sex, advanced age, physical handicap, difference of national origin or religion, or economic circumstance. However, equal opportunity should not be jeopardized by bureaucratic regulations and decisions which rely on quotas, ratios, and numerical requirements to exclude some individuals in favor of others, thereby rendering such regulations and decisions inherently discriminatory.

Abortion

There can be no doubt that the question of abortion, despite the complex nature of its various issues, is ultimately concerned with equality of rights under the law. While we recognize differing views on this question among Americans in general—and in our own Party—we affirm our support of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children. We also support the Congressional efforts to restrict the use of taxpayers’ dollars for abortion.

We protest the Supreme Court’s intrusion into the family structure through its denial of the parent’s obligation and right to guide their minor children.

Strong Families

The family is the foundation of our social order. It is the school of democracy. Its daily lessons—cooperation, tolerance, mutual concern, responsibility, industry—are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. But the Democrats have shunted the family aside. They have given its power to the bureaucracy, its jurisdiction to the courts, and its resources to government grantors. Government may be strong enough to destroy families, but it can never replace them.

Education

Next to religious training and the home, education is the most important means by which families hand down to each new generation their ideals and beliefs. It is a pillar of a free society. But today, parents are losing control of their children’s schooling. The Democratic Congress and its counterparts in many states have launched one fad after another, building huge new bureaucracies to misspend our taxes. The result has been a shocking drop in student performance, lack of basics in the classroom and manipulative and sometimes amoral indoctrination.

The Republican Party is determined to restore common sense and quality to education for the sake of all students, especially those for whom learning is the highway to equal opportunity.

We hail the teachers of America. Their dedication to our children is often taken for granted, and they are frequently underpaid for long hours and selfless service, especially in comparison with other public employees.America has a great stake in maintaining standards of high quality in public education. The Republican Party recognizes that the achievement of those standards is possible only to the extent that teachers are allowed the time and freedom to teach. To that end, the Republican Party supports deregulation by the federal government of public education, and encourages the elimination of the federal Department of Education.

We further sympathize with the right of qualified teachers to be employed by any school district wishing to hire them, without the necessity of their becoming enrolled with any bargaining agency or group. We oppose any federal action, including any action on the part of the Department of Education, to establish “agency shops” in public schools.

We support the right of individuals to participate in voluntary, non-denominational prayer in schools and other public facilities.

Federal education policy must be based on the primacy of parental rights and responsibility. Toward that end, we reaffirm our support for a system of educational assistance based on tax credits that will in part compensate parents for their financial sacrifices in paying tuition at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary level. This is a matter of fairness, especially for low-income families, most of whom would be free for the first time to choose for their children those schools which best correspond to their own cultural and moral values. In this way, the schools will be strengthened by the families’ involvement, and the families’ strengths will be reinforced by supportive cultural institutions.

Health

Our country’s unequalled system of medical care, bringing greater benefits to more people than anywhere else on earth, is a splendid example of how Americans have taken care of their own needs with private institutions.

Republicans unequivocally oppose socialized medicine, in whatever guise it is presented by the Democratic Party. We reject the creation of a national health service and all proposals for compulsory national health insurance.

Our country has made spectacular gains in health care in recent decades. Most families are now covered, or can be, by private insurance, Medicare, or in the case of the poor, the entirely free services under Medicaid.

What ails American medicine is government meddling and the strait-jacket of federal programs. The prescription for good health care is deregulation and an emphasis upon consumer rights and patient choice.

As consumers of health care, individual Americans and their families should be able to make their own choices about health care protection. We propose to assist them in so doing through tax and financial incentives. These could enable them to choose their own health coverage, including protection from the catastrophic costs of major long-term illness, without compulsory regimentation.

Americans should be protected against financial disaster brought on by medical expenses. We recognize both the need to provide assistance in many cases and the responsibility of citizens to provide for their own needs. By using tax incentives and reforming federal medical assistance programs, government and the private sector can jointly develop compassionate and innovative means to provide financial relief when it is most needed.

We welcome the long-overdue emphasis on preventive health care and physical fitness that is making Americans more aware than ever of their personal responsibility for good health. Preventive medicine combined with good personal health habits and health education, can make a major impact on the cost of health care.

Youth

The Republican Party recognizes that young people want the opportunity to exercise the rights and responsibilities of adults.

We reaffirm our commitment to broaden the involvement of young people in all phases of the political process—as voters, party workers and leaders, candidates and elected officials, and participants in government at all levels.

We pledge efforts to create an environment which will enable our nation’s youth:

To live in a society which is safe and free

To pursue personal, educational, and vocational goals to the utmost of their abilities

To experience the support, encouragement, and strength that come from maintenance of the family and its values

To know the stimulus of challenge, renewal through encouragement, provision of opportunities, and the growth that comes from responsible participation in numerous aspects of our society.

The Welfare System

Ultimately, the Republican Party supports the orderly, wholesale transfer of all welfare functions to the states along with the tax sources to finance them.

Secure and Prosperous Neighborhoods

The quality of American neighborhoods is the ultimate test of the success or failure of government policies for the cities, for housing, and for law enforcement.

Obsessed with the demands of special interest groups and preoccupied with the design of expensive “comprehensive” programs, the Democrats in Congress and the Administration have lost sight of that simple but important criterion. They have proposed more social and fiscal tinkering with our cities and towns.Republicans will address the real problems that face Americans In their neighborhoods day by day—deterioration and urban blight, dangerous streets and violent crime that make millions of Americans, especially senior citizens, fearful in their own neighborhoods and prisoners in their own homes.

Neighborhood self-help

The American ethic of neighbor helping neighbor has been an essential factor in the building of our nation. Republicans are committed to the preservation of this great tradition.

To help non-governmental community programs aid in serving the needs of poor, disabled, or other disadvantaged, we support permitting taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions from their federal income tax whether they itemize or not.

Government must never elbow aside private institutions—schools, churches, volunteer groups, labor and professional associations—in meeting the social needs in our neighborhoods and communities.

Neighborhood revitalization

The city is the focus for the lives of millions of Americans. Its neighborhoods are places of familiarity, of belonging, of tradition and continuity. They are arenas for civic action and creative self-help. The human scale of the neighborhood encourages citizens to exercise leadership, to invest their talents, energies, and resources, and to work together to create a better life for their families.

Republican economic programs will create conditions for rebirth of citizen activity in neighborhoods and cities across the land. In a Republican economic climate, America’s cities can once again produce, build, and grow.A Republican Administration will focus its efforts to revitalize neighborhoods.

We will:

Cut taxes, increase incentives to save, restore sound money, and stimulate capital investment to create jobs.

Create and apply new tax incentives for employees and employers alike to stimulate economic growth and reduce red-tape for business ventures.

Replace the categorical aid programs with block grant or revenue sharing programs and, where appropriate, transfer the programs, along with the tax sources to pay for them, back to the state and local governments.

Jobs and the Workplace

We propose to put Americans back to work again by restoring real growth without inflation to the United States economy.

We believe inflation can only be controlled by monetary and spending restraint, combined with sharp reductions in the tax and regulatory barriers to savings, investment, production, and jobs.

Savings, productivity, and jobs

Savings and investment are the keys to economic growth. Only that part of national income which goes into savings and which is not consumed by government deficits is available to finance real economic growth.

Republicans are committed to an economic policy based on lower tax rates and a reduced rate of government spending.

Therefore, the Republican Party pledges to:

Reduce tax rates on individuals and businesses to increase incentives for all Americans and to encourage more savings, investment, output and productivity, and more jobs for Americans.

Provide special incentives for saving by lowering the tax rates on savings and investment income.

Limit government spending to a fixed and smaller percentage of the Gross National Product.

Balance the budget without tax increases at these lower levels of taxation and spending.

Unless taxes are reduced and federal spending is restrained, our nation’s economy faces continued inflation, recession, and economic stagnation. Tax rate reductions and spending restraint will restore the savings and investment needed to create new jobs, increase living standards, and restore our competitive position in the world.

Small business

Small business is the backbone of the American economy, with unique strengths and problems which must be recognized and addressed. Small business is family business both in the sense that many of them are owned and operated by single families, and also because most American families rely not only on the goods and services, but on the jobs produced there for their livelihood and standard of living.

We believe that wherever feasible, small business should be exempt from regulations and, where exemption is not feasible, small business should be subject to a less onerous tier of regulation. Republicans believe the number one priority for small business in America is the achievement of lower business and personal tax rates for small businessmen and women and we intend to work to secure them.

By fostering small business growth, we are promoting permanent private sector solutions to the unemployment problem.

Fairness to the worker

The Republican Party is committed to full employment without inflation. We will seek to provide more jobs, increase the standard of living, and ensure equitable treatment on the job for all American workers by stimulating economic growth.

We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of fairness in labor relations, including the legal right of unions to organize workers and to represent them through collective bargaining consistent with state laws and free from unnecessary government involvement. We applaud the mutual efforts of labor and management to improve the quality of work life.

We recognize the need for governmental oversight of the health and safety of the workplace, without interfering in the economic well-being of employers or the job security of workers.

The Republican Party reaffirms its long-standing support for the right of states to enact “Right-to-Work” laws. The political freedom of every worker must be protected. Therefore, the Republican Party strongly supports protections against the practice of using compulsory dues and fees for partisan political purposes.

Fairness to the employer

The Republican Party declares war on government overregulation. We pledge to cut down on federal paperwork, cut out excessive regulation, and cut back the bloated bureaucracy.

In addressing these problems we recognize that overregulation is particularly harmful to America’s small businesses whose survival is often threatened by the excessive costs of complying with government rules and handling federal paperwork.

While we recognize the role of the federal government in establishing certain minimum standards designed to improve the quality of life in America, we reaffirm our conviction that these standards can best be attained through innovative efforts of American business without the federal government mandating the methods of attainment.

The extraordinary growth of government, particularly since the middle 1960s, has brought mounting costs to society which, in turn, has added to inflationary pressures, reduced productivity, discouraged new investment, destroyed jobs, and increased bureaucratic intrusion into everyday life.

Government regulation produces many indirect immeasurable costs as well and has led to increased bureaucratization of industry. Regulation also restricts personal choices, tends to undermine America’s democratic public institutions, and threatens to destroy the private, competitive free market economy it was originally designed to protect.

Government reform

The Republican Party pledges itself to a comprehensive program of government reform. We propose to enact a temporary moratorium on all new federal regulations that diminish the supply of goods and services and add significantly to inflation.

The Nation

Though a relatively young nation among those of western civilization, we are possessed of one of the oldest institutions of government extant. Steeped in the Judeo-Christian ethic and in theories of law and right, our legal and political institutions have evolved over many generations to form a stable system that serves free men and women well. It governs a people of multifarious heritage dispersed across a great continent of marked geographical contrasts. It presides over a diverse economy that in its collective whole is the largest, most powerful, and most resilient in the world. In its life, though it has from time to time been sorely tested by constitutional, economic, and social crises, it has stood and not been found wanting. Its timeless strength, coupled with and reinforced by the faith and good will, the wisdom and confidence of the people from whom it derives its powers, has preserved us as a nation of enormous vitality.

The intent of the Founders, embraced and reflected by succeeding generations of Americans, was that the Central government should perform only those functions which are necessary to preserve order, and do for people only those things which they cannot do for themselves. It is notable as much for what it permits as for what it proscribes. Government must ever be the servant of the nation, not its master.

Big government

Under the guise of providing for the common good, liberal, both Republican and Democratic, domination of the body politic has produced a central government of vastly expanded size, scope, and rigidity. Confidence in government, especially big government, has been the chief casualty of too many promises made and broken, too many commitments unkept. It is time for change— time to de-emphasize big bureaucracies—time to shift the focus of national politics from expanding government’s power to that of restoring the strength of smaller communities such as the family, the neighborhood, and the workplace.

Government’s power to take and tax, to regulate and require, has already reached extravagant proportions. As government’s power continues to grow, the “consent of the governed” will diminish. Republicans support an end to the growth of the federal government and pledge to return the decision making process to the smaller communities of society.

The emergence of policies and programs which will revitalize the free enterprise system and reverse the trend toward regulation is essential. To sustain the implementation of such policy, it is necessary to raise the public awareness and understanding that our free enterprise system is the source of all income, government and private, and raise the individual’s awareness of his or her vested interest in its growth and vitality.

The Republican Party believes that it is important to develop a growing constituency which recognizes its direct relationship to the health and success of free enterprise, and realizes the negative impact of excessive regulation. Education and involvement in the system are the best means to accomplish this. To this end, we will actively pursue new and expanding opportunities for all Americans to become more directly involved in our free enterprise system.

Government reorganization

The Republican Party reaffirms its belief in the decentralization of the federal government and in the traditional American principle that the best government is the one closest to the people. There, it is less costly, more accountable, and more responsive to people’s needs. Our states and localities have the talent, wisdom, and determination to respond to the variety of demands made upon them. Block grants and revenue sharing provide local government with the means and the flexibility to solve their own problems in ways most appropriate for each locale. Unlike categorical grants, they do not lock states and localities into priorities and needs perceived by Washington. They are also more efficient because block grants and revenue sharing relieve both local government and the federal government from the costly and complicated process of program application, implementation, and review associated with the categorical grant system.

We pledge to continue and redouble our efforts to return power to the state and local governments. The regionalization of government encouraged by federal policies diminishes the responsiveness of state and local governments and impairs the power of the people to control their destiny.

When we mistakenly rely on government to solve all our problems we ignore the abilities of people to solve their own problems. We pledge to renew the dispersion of power from the federal government to the states and localities. But this will not be enough. We pledge to extend the process so that power can be transferred as well to non-governmental institutions.

Election reform

Republicans support public policies that will promote electoral participation without compromising ballot-box security. We strongly oppose national postcard voter registration schemes because they are an open invitation to fraud.Republicans support public policies that encourage political activity by individual citizens. We support the repeal of those restrictive campaign spending limitations that tend to create obstacles to local grass roots participation in federal elections. We also oppose the proposed financing of Congressional campaigns with taxpayers’ dollars as an effort to protect its incumbent Members of Congress with a tax subsidy. We prefer that the states and party rules determine the presidential nominating process to the concept of a uniform national primary which would only add to the already high costs of, and excessive federal intrusion into, presidential campaigns.

We support the critical roles of competitive political parties in the recruitment of candidates, the conduct of campaigns, and the development of broad-based public policy responsive to the people. We urge Congress and state legislatures to frame their regulations of campaign finance, their nominating systems, and other election laws to strengthen rather than weaken parties.

Energy

Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. Without adequate energy supplies now and in the future, the jobs of American men and women, the security of their lives, and their ability to provide for their families will be threatened and their standard of living will he lowered. Every American is painfully aware that our national energy situation has deteriorated badly over the past.

Gasoline prices have more than doubled. Our oil import bill has risen. Our energy supplies have become increasingly vulnerable. The threat of sudden shortages, curtailments, and gas lines has become a recurring reality.This steady deterioration has not only compounded our economic problems of inflation, recession, and dollar weakness, but even more importantly, it has infected our confidence as a nation. Energy shortages, spiraling costs, and increasing insecurity are beginning to darken our basic hopes and expectations for the future.

Republicans believe shrinking energy prospects and expanding government regulation and meddling is wholly unnecessary. We believe that the proven American values of individual enterprise can solve our energy problems. They seem to believe not only that we are a nation without resources, but also that we have lost our resourcefulness. Republicans believe in the common sense of the American people rather than a complex web of government controls and interventions that threaten America’s ability to grow. We are committed to an alternative strategy of aggressively boosting the nation’s energy supplies; stimulating new energy technology and more efficient energy use; restoring maximum feasible choice and freedom in the marketplace for energy consumers and producers alike; and eliminating energy shortages and disruptions, which are a roadblock to renewed national economic growth, rising living standards, and a reawakening of the hopes and dreams of the American people for a better and more abundant future.

We believe the United States must proceed on a steady and orderly path toward energy self-sufficiency. But in the interim, our pressing need for insurance against supply disruption should not be made hostage to the whims of foreign governments, as is presently.

In order to increase domestic production of energy, Republicans advocate the decontrol of the price at the well head of oil and gas. We believe that the so-called windfall profits tax (which is unrelated to profit) should not be applied and that the phase-out of the tax on old oil should be accelerated.Coal, our most abundant energy resource, can bridge the gap between our other present energy sources and the renewable energy sources of the futureRepublicans support a comprehensive program of regulatory reform, improved incentives, and revision of cumbersome and overly stringent regulations. Coal, gas, and nuclear fission offer the best intermediate solutions to America’s energy needs. We support accelerated use of nuclear energy through technologies that have been proven efficient and safe. The safe operation, as well as design, of nuclear generating plants will have our highest priority to assure the continued availability of this important energy source. The design and operation of these plants can be guaranteed in less than the 10 to 12 year lead time now required to license and build them. We believe that the licensing process can and should be streamlined through consolidation of the present process and the use of standardized reactor designs.

Nuclear power development requires sound plans for nuclear waste disposal and storage and reprocessing of spent fuel. Technical solutions to these problems exist, and decisive federal action to choose and implement solutions is essential. Republicans are committed to the rapid development of permanent storage facilities for nuclear wastes. Since waste disposal is a national responsibility, no state should bear an unacceptable share of this responsibility.

Republicans will also move toward reprocessing of spent fuel.

Republicans will continue to support the development of new technologies to develop liquid, gaseous, and solid hydrocarbons which can be derived from coal, oil shale, and tar sands. Clean air, water, waste disposal, mine reclamation, and leasing rules must be made rational and final to accelerate private investment.

We also believe the government must continue supporting productive research to speed the development of renewable energy technologies, including solar energy, geothermal, wind, nuclear fusion, alcohol synthesis, and biomass, to provide the next generation of energy sources.

Conservation clearly plays a vital role in the consideration and formulation of national energy policy. Republicans reject, however, the position of the Democrats which is to conserve through government fiat, Republicans understand that free markets based on the collective priorities and judgments of individual consumers will efficiently allocate the energy supplies to their most highly valued uses. We also believe that the role of government is best performed by structuring creative cost-effective incentives to achieve energy efficiency and conservation.

We reject unequivocally punitive gasoline and other energy taxes designed to artificially suppress energy consumption.

Much inefficient energy use results from government subsidization of imported oil and holding the price of natural gas substantially below its market value. When the price of energy is held artificially low, there is no incentive for conservation. This kind of energy consumption stems not from the excesses of the public, but the foolish policy distortions of government. Every BTU of genuine energy “waste” in our economy would rapidly disappear if we immediately and completely dismantle all remaining energy price controls and subsidies.A Republican policy of decontrol, development of our domestic energy resources, and incentives for new supply and conservation technologies will substantially reduce our dependence on imported oil.

Virtually all major environmental legislation in the past reflected a bipartisan concern over the need to maintain a clean and healthful environment. While the new environmental policies have resulted in improving air quality, cleaner waters, and more careful analysis of toxic chemicals, the price paid has far exceeded the direct and necessary cost of designing and installing new control technology. In the energy area, the increased complexity of regulations, together with continual changes in the standards imposed, have brought about tremendous delays in the planning and construction of new facilities ranging from electric power plants to oil refineries, pipelines, and synthetic fuel plants.

Republicans believe that an effective balance between energy and environmental goals can be achieved. We can ensure that government requirements are firmly grounded on the best scientific evidence available, that they are enforced evenhandedly and predictably, and that the process of their development and enforcement has finality.

Republicans condemn the Democrats’ withdrawal of a massive amount of the most promising federal lands from prospective energy development, including the rich potential of our Outer Continental shelf. It is clear that restrictive leasing policies have driven us further to depend on OPEC by severely impairing the exploration for, and development of, domestic oil, gas, and coal resources, thereby aggravating our balance of trade deficit and making our country less secure. Republicans will move toward making available all suitable federal lands for multiple use purposes including exploration and production of energy resources.

Republicans believe that in order to address our energy problem we must maximize our domestic energy production capability. In the short term, therefore, the nation must move forward on all fronts simultaneously, including oil and gas, coal, and nuclear, wind and solar, electric and hybrids. In the longer term, renewable resources must be brought significantly on line to replace conventional sources. Finally, in conjunction with this all-out production initiative, we must strive to maximize conservation and the efficient use of energy.

The return to the traditions that gave vitality and strength to this nation is urgent.

The free world—indeed western civilization—needs a strong United States. That strength requires a prospering economy. That economy will be secure with a vigorous domestic energy industry. That vigor can only be achieved in an atmosphere of freedom, one that encourages individual initiatives and personal resourcefulness.

Environment

The Republican Party reaffirms its long-standing commitment to the conservation and wise management of America’s renewable natural resources.

We believe that a healthy environment is essential to the present and future well-being of our people, and to sustainable national growth.

The nature of environmental pollution is such that a government role is necessary to ensure its control and the proper protection of public health. Much progress has been made in achieving the goals of clean air, clean water, and control of toxic wastes. At the same time, we believe that it is imperative that environmental laws and regulations be reviewed and, where necessary, reformed to ensure that the benefits achieved justify the costs imposed. Too often, current regulations are so rigid and narrow that even individual innovations that improve the environment cannot be implemented. We believe, in particular, that regulatory procedures must be reformed to expedite decision making. Endless delay harms both the environment and the economy.

We strongly affirm that environmental protection must not become a cover for a “no-growth” policy and a shrinking economy. Our economy can continue to grow in an acceptable environment.

We believe that agricultural policy should give emphasis to the stewardship of the nation’s soil and water resources. The permanent loss of productive farm land is a growing problem and we encourage states and local communities to adopt policies that help maintain and protect productive agricultural land as a national asset.

Immigration and refugee policy

Residence in the United States is one of the most precious and valued of conditions. The traditional hospitality of the American people has been severely tested by recent events, but it remains the strongest in the world. Republicans are proud that our people have opened their arms and hearts to strangers from abroad and we favor an immigration and refugee policy which is consistent with this tradition. We believe that to the fullest extent possible those immigrants should be admitted who will make a positive contribution to America and who are willing to accept the fundamental American values and way of life. At the same time, United States immigration and refugee policy must reflect the interests of our national security and economic well-being. Immigration into this country must not be determined solely by foreign governments or even by the millions of people around the world who wish to come to America. The federal government has a duty to adopt immigration laws and follow enforcement procedures which will fairly and effectively implement the immigration policy desired by the American people. We a absolutely against and form of blanket amnesty.

The immediate adoption of this policy is essential to an orderly approach to the great problem of oppressed people seeking entry, so that the deserving can be accepted in America without adding to their hardships.

The judiciary

We pledge appoint Judges whose judicial philosophy is characterized by the highest regard for protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens, and is consistent with the belief in the decentralization of the federal government and efforts to return decision making power to state and local elected officials.

We will work for the appointment of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values, the sanctity of innocent human life and acknowledge the Constitutional limits set upon them .

Taxes and government spending.

The Republican Party pledges to place limits on federal spending as a percent of the Gross National Product. We pledge to reduce it. If federal spending is reduced as tax cuts are phased in, there will be sufficient budget surpluses to fund the tax cuts, and allow for reasonable growth in necessary program spending.

By increasing economic growth, tax rate reduction will reduce the need for government spending on unemployment, welfare, and public jobs programs. However, the Republican Party will also halt excessive government spending by eliminating waste, fraud, and duplication.

We believe that the Congressional budget process has failed to control federal spending. Indeed, because of its big spending bias, the budget process has actually contributed to higher levels of social spending and has been used to frustrate every Republican attempt to lower tax rates to promote economic growth.

The immediate burden of reducing federal spending rests on the shoulders of the President and the Congress. We believe a Republican President and a Republican Congress can balance the budget and reduce spending through legislative actions, eliminating the necessity for a Constitutional amendment to compel it. However, if necessary, the Republican Party will seek to adopt a Constitutional amendment to limit federal spending and balance the budget, except in time of national emergency as determined by a two-thirds vote of Congress.

Defense strategy

Republicans approve and endorse a national strategy of peace through strength. The foreign policy of the United States should reflect a national strategy of peace through strength. The general principles and goals of this strategy would be:

To inspire, focus, and unite the national will and determination to achieve peace and freedom

To continue overall military and technological superiority

To create a strategic and civil defense which would protect the American people against terrorism and nuclear war.

To accept no arms control agreement which in any way jeopardizes the security of the United States or its allies, or which locks the United States into a position of military inferiority.

To reestablish effective security and intelligence capabilities.

To pursue positive non-military means to roll back the growth of communism, socialism, fascism and terrorism.

To help our aggression and to maintain a strong economy and protect our overseas sources of energy and other vital raw materials.

Our strategy must encompass the levels of force required to deter each level of foresee-able attack and to prevail in conflict in the event deterrence fails. The detailed analysis that must form the intellectual basis for elaboration of such a strategy will be the first priority of a Republican Administration.

So, there you go. These are many of the principles and positions that brought us not only to power, but also inspired one of our Nations greatest times of freedom and growth and respect. Do with it what you will.

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