We Conservatives recognize the need to remove the radical-in-chief Obama as soon as possible. We must replace him with a Conservative who can push our values and our agenda as President, so that we can restore our Liberty, our Security, and our Prosperity. But to be effective, this agenda cannot just be sound bites and campaign applause lines. It must be clearly articulated and described in a ten point old fashioned way, so as to prove that we are not anti-poor but rather, we are pro-prosperity, for everyone not just the uber-wealthy. The following must be enacted by our next President if we are to put this nation on a better path.
Point 1. Fundamental Tax Reform
If we are to see prosperity and true equality of opportunity we must, I repeat, must, enact tax reform that stops punishing investments, savings, job creation, and success. The only possible tax that would do that would be the Family flat tax, as proposed by Steve Forbes, with some modest adjustments. This flat tax is a proposal that involves an exemption of a certain amount per year per individual ($16,000 for a single adult, $32,000 for a married couple, with increasing exemptions per child, all indexed for inflation), and then proceeds to tax all income beyond that point at a maximum of 12.5%. If we were to implement this type of tax, we would cease to punish economic growth without sacrificing revenues. It has been implemented in many different formerly third-world nations, and has resulted in a dramatic increase in prosperity for their nations inhabitants. It has resulted in far less tax evasion by the wealthy because of its simplicity, but has also created wealth in every nation where it has been enacted. Its enactment would abolish the death tax and the AMT. I would also, in this economic climate, temporarily decrease the corporate tax rate to 0% for two years, before gradually raising it to a maximum of 15% over several years, while also permanently eliminating the capital-gains tax and payroll tax. All of these tax proposals would result in a growing economy and faster job creation, ultimately helping everyone rich or poor.
Point 2: Balanced Budgets
Our culture of debt is injecting uncertainty into the economy and ultimately discouraging investment and job creation, while also robbing our children of their inheritance and putting our future into the hands of foreign creditors, many of whom would seek to have us destroyed. This culture of debt must be stopped and it is being encouraged by our government. It is encouraging to see people in Washington who understand that the key to a strong economy is to allow more of the money to naturally “redistribute” itself in the economy without government intervention, and that the first step of that is too have a balanced budget. That means we must cut everything, and will result in the cutting of entire agencies, departments and programs. This will not be electorally popular, but in reality, in the long term it will promote prosperity and liberty. There is already a plan out there that would do this, called the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan, which passed the house earlier this year. Our next president should push hard for this plan if he/she is going to secure the blessings of liberty and prosperity.
The Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge can be found here.
Pont 3: Entitlement Reform
If we are going to balance our budget and allow more money to stay in the economy, we must reform the entitlement system. The current way that it is set up, we are on a path to complete and utter bankruptcy within the next 25 years. The problems with our entitlement system are not purely fiscal, but social as well. It is immoral to rely on the government for your main source of income, and we should not allow it to happen, otherwise, we will face the problems that Greece does now. We cannot allow non-working people to rely on those who do, and so we must have entitlement reforms.
The current system of delivering health care to the poor and elderly is broken. Not only is it on a fast track to bankruptcy, it is morally corrupting and it artificially forces up the private insurance for Americans not on the program. This problem goes far and above the fiscal problems created. We also must insure that we are promoting independence with the program, while also dealing with some of the rising costs of the health care industry created by these programs. The first reform needed is to completely abolish Medicare for those under 60. Most of the seniors on the program are still capable of working and providing health care for themselves. If we expand Medicaid to cover all poverty stricken individuals, including seniors, then not only will we reduce costs, but more people who were previously relying on the government will not be. Then we would be left with a broken Medicaid system, and the first step to fixing the long term problems with that program, we will need to privatize it, subsidizing a portion of the premiums of bare-boned policies for a restricted number of desperately poor individuals. Then, to allow competition and flexibility to the states, block grant the program under the condition that the states make it a temporary program based on work or preparation for work (for people who are able to work, which is the majority), following the principle of welfare reform which has proven so successful.
Many of the problems that we are facing due to structural problems in our health care program; we are also facing in our retirement system. The fact of the matter is, we are consistently investing taxpayer dollars into a ponzi scheme, proving, yet again, that government is irresponsible and inefficient with our money. Again, far too many people who have been duped into believing that they should rely on government for their retirement, when they could otherwise provide a better retirement for themselves. And yet again, the government is promoting an entitlement society where too many people who could still work are not. To fix these problems will require strong structural changes to the system. In the past, localities have opted out of the program, creating a vastly more efficient program for their citizens than the federal government has, and it has been wildly successful. And so, we should allow any states, localities, and individuals who choose to opt out of this broken program to do so, so that we uphold federalism, and return much of the power to individuals. For those that do remain on the program, it will be necessary to raise the retirement age slowly to 75, and means test the program heavily, so that people who could provide for themselves are not stealing the money of the working population. Finally, for the few who remain on the program, we need to transfer their tax payments into a private account system run by the government, which would be able to vastly increase the wealth of an individual by investing solely in bonds.
The Case for SS Privatization
Point 4: Health Care Reform Done Right
One of the things that have long angered me about my fellow Conservatives is that many of us find it impossible to talk rationally about health care reform. We, unfortunately, have yet to convince the American public that free market health care is far more efficient and effective in providing quality care to all working individuals than a socialized, one-size-fits-all program. To do this, we must first shift the debate from how to provide universal coverage, which will never happen without a mandate or government program of some sorts, to universal accessibility, so that everyone who wishes to get health care insurance, and is willing to work to do it, will be able to purchase the insurance plan of their choice. The first step in doing this is repealing ObamaCare, which will result in higher health care costs, reduced freedom of choice, and rationing of care as already witnessed in the failed RomneyCare experiment. Second, the entitlement reforms as listed above will go a long way to reducing insurance costs in this country. These first two steps are not the only steps to keep costs under control, because this is one of the greatest challenges facing modern day America.
- Reform (not repeal) EMTALA- EMTALA requires doctors to provide care for all who come in to the ER. While ultimately a good idea, it is being abused and we must give doctors the ability to turn away a patient who does not need emergency treatment, but is simply trying to escape paying for the non-essential treatment that they do need.
- Repeal many Mandated Benefits- The government is causing people to pay more than they need or want to through many of the mandated benefits that are required of insurance companies, many of which the individual does not want. These mandated benefits are squeezing small insurance providers out of the market and reducing competition which would control costs
- Repeal Community Rating laws-These laws demand that all insurers provide the same amount of coverage for the same amount of price to every individual, stopping the insurers from creating a tiered-system of payments and unnaturally forcing costs to rice for the healthy.
- Cut the State Boundaries- Due to a decades old law, individuals cannot buy health insurance across state lines due to state regulations, which are supposedly adding as much as 15% to the overall cost of health insurance.
- Move the tax credit- As of now, businesses receive a tax credit to provide benefits to their employees, which is causing problems with the issue of mobility, and the costs of which economists say come directly from the employees’ salaries. To promote mobility, and also to increase the amount of choice that an individual has with their salary, we should move this tax credit to promote individuals to buy health insurance, rather than receiving it from their employer.
- Cut down on FDA power- Currently, the FDA has the ability to over regulate the prescription drug industry, and it is forcing up the costs of making prescription drugs, and it is also preventing the consumption of drugs which could save lives. We should repeal much of the regulatory power and leave those sorts of decisions to the patient and the doctors.
- Expand HSA’s- HSA’s have been incredibly successful in allowing individuals to afford health insurance in hard times, similar to a 401 (k) retirement plan.
- Repeal SCHIP- SCHIP is a ridiculous program that is stopping people from moving up in life and is also fueling our entitlement culture. Furthermore, it is insuring 4 children for the price of ten, proving that almost all of the people involved in the program could afford health insurance if they wanted it. Since this is a particularly controversial program here is the case against it by a health care policy wonk.
- Aggressive Tort Reform-This one is pretty self explanatory, but it should mostly be left to the states, who, as Texas has proven, can do tort reform well.
Point 5: Education Reform
There is a commonly cited myth out there that states that if you invest more taxpayer dollars into public education, the education standards improve. This is simply not true, as can be seen through the facts. Over the past thirty years, education spending has been tripled, and there was a cabinet level department created for it. Since then, educational outcomes have declined. This is proof yet again that feral government interference is wreaking havoc with our children’s lives and future. The way our system is set up, there is very little responsibility given to the parents, but instead, all the power lies with bureaucrats in Washington D.C. The first step to fixing this problem is abolishing the department of education. Secondly, we must repeal many of the programs which give federal dollars to the states with strings attached to diminish the flexibility the states have to create their own education policy. Then the states will make the needed reforms to fix many of the problems that face our broken education system. Many ideas have been widely supported among Conservative circles, but one idea that I believe will solve many of the educational policies is still regarded as taboo: Privatization. If we were to completely privatize the system, the money would be used more wisely, and the costs for private education, which is so expensive due to the fact that it competes with the public option, will plummet. Whenever I say this, people say that I wish to deny education to the poor. This is simply not true. In this plan, the state would subsidize large portions of the cost of education for the children who need help the most. Children who were formerly placed in failing schools due to their poverty, will have a chance at a much brighter future. Furthermore, there will be market differentiation and fairer pay for teachers, actually based on their worth and success, without many of the problem that are imposed due to government and union interference.
Point 6: Regulation Reform
In this current economy, or any economy that is weak and instable, the last thing we need to do is impose more government regulations. Unfortunately, our sitting President doesn’t understand this. Our next president will need to freeze all federal regulations not made by congress for two years, and we need to cut down on the bureaucracy that creates many of those regulations. This is fairly simple in all honesty, seeing as the Constitution states that regulations must be made by congress anyway, not behind the scene bureaucrats. We then must repeal Dodd-frank and many of the other regulations that are crippling our economy. Any and every regulation must be looked at for reform and/or repeal, including such regulations as the minimum wage, which is costing thousands of jobs each year and is the reason we lost our manufacturing industry in America.
Point 7: Welfare Reform
In 1996 we were told that welfare reform would “end welfare as we know it”. It unfortunately didn’t. While it made needed reforms to one welfare program, that was only one of 77. The other 76 programs are still causing many of the social and fiscal problems that the original welfare program did. If we are going to put an end not only to rising debt, but also to rising dependence on the government, then we must put the principles of welfare reform into place on all the other 76 broke programs, paired with a freeze on all new welfare programs for the next 5-10 years at a federal level, seeing as, after the TANF reform, the liberals simply put more welfare programs into place. Many of these programs must be abolished, and others must be gutted and transformed. If liberals really wanted to help the poor, they would see the success that TANF had and apply those same principles to the other wasteful programs. The RSC has recently proposed a new bill that would, in fact, do just this, entitled the Welfare Reform Act of 2011
Point 8: Energy and Environmental Reform
Conservatives are truly the ones who support allowing the American people and free enterprise to grow in the realm of energy, and we need true energy policy reform to increase the production of oil within our own borders, and also increasing natural gas, nuclear energy, and coal, including other energy resources that will be held accountable not by government, who simply stalls production and stops real energy creation, but by the free market. And on the environment. The recent Texas-EPA lawsuit has proven that Washington and the EPA do not care about the environment, but rather, they simply hate business and believe that they should have more power. There is no other explanation for their recent actions. Despite proof that carbon emissions do not result in a warmer earth, Obama’s EPA continues to pursue a cap-and-trade plan from behind the scenes, which has been proven not to do much for the environment, but would put thousands of Americans out of work. Despite proof that for every “green job” we create, we lose two real jobs, Obama’s EPA continues to try to create misguided “green jobs” on everybody else’s dime. And despite the success of Texas’ pro-jobs environmental program, which has resulted in some of the cleanest air in the country while being flexible enough not to put any burden on businesses, the EPA is invalidating the program. We must recognize that there is not enough evidence to prove that global warming is man-made and that capitalism hurts the environment, and that if we put common sense programs like Texas, we don’t have to give the government too much power to help our environment. And we cannot give in to the environmentalists when it comes to energy, because if we are going to insure that we continue forward with our capitalist progress, we must use every energy resource available, and we must recognize that when renewable forms of energy become more inexpensive and accessible, they will overtake the market. For all the talk that liberals do about “progress’ they really are the ones who want to plunge us back in to the Middle Ages with their misguided environmental policies.
Point 9: Immigration reform and Border Security
We cannot, and must not, have amnesty of any sort in this nation. When people say that illegal immigrants just want a slice of the American dream, they overlook the fact that the American way of life involves following the law. Those who have come into this nation illegally have shown blatant disrespect for our laws and customs, and what is to say that they won’t do it again. We cannot condone people who break our laws and just make it legal for them to come here, and we obviously cannot invite the anarchy of open borders to be our policy, as it would result in widespread death and chaos, and it would invite people with very different core values from ours to destroy this great nation and our liberties. The only answer to dealing with the illegal aliens whom are here is to deport every single last one of them we find, and any single one who is found to have abused the tax code, welfare system, and/or stolen a social security number, should be placed in prison for 10 years at a minimum, before being deported. But we must also stop the flow of illegal aliens over our weakly guarded borders. This will involve building fences where it will be strategic and effective to place it, and to man the border with National Guard. The Obama administration has place a feeble amount of National Guard at the border, and it is not nearly enough. We must treat this as an invasion and send National Guard to patrol the border. On top of that, we should put in place an E-verify system to discourage the hiring of illegal aliens, taking away much of the incentives for being here.
Point 10: A National Security of Prudence and Strength
This president has been an unmitigated disaster on foreign policy. He has tried to dictate to our closest ally Israel their borders, borders that would be one mile wide if enacted. While selling out our allies, he has been willingly turning a blind eye to the nuclear proliferation of Iran, the strengthening of Syria, and Pakistan’s lack of cooperation in our security interests. On top of all this ignorance to the affairs of the world, he has plunged us headfirst into a war with Libya in which we have no interest in fighting, nor any strategy. Our next Conservative President will have to listen to our generals, and maintain troop levels in Afghanistan, while scaling down operations in Iraq. He will also have to recognize that sometimes, war is the most effective way to protect peace. And he must also be aware that rhetoric is half the battle in national security. Our enemies feared Reagan’s America, simply because he talked tough against them, ad increased our military without going to war (which we ought to be doing now). Perhaps Iran would think twice about nuclear proliferation if we had a President who admonished them for it. We also must adhere to the principle of only going to war when it is absolutely in our own national interests, and we must do so with a strategy and a purpose, or else we will be ineffective and we will waste vast amount of resources. I go more into the ideal Conservative foreign policy here.
Many Republicans have said that Conservatives need to become more moderate if we are to win elections in the future. I vehemently disagree. We must enact the agenda laid out above, or one similar to it, and prove that our values will go the farthest in restoring America’s liberty, security, and prosperity. Otherwise, we will face the collapse of our great nation.