Personal TEA Party Manifesto

Tea PartyI am a recovered member of the Silent Majority. I grew up in the ‘50s and ‘60s and never attended a protest of any type.  I served in the military.  I retired after 31 years with the same company in the private sector.  I never even attended a town meeting before.

In 2009, I could be Silent, No More!  I joined the TEA Party in reaction to a run-away federal government.   I spoke out on the steps of my County Center.  I spoke out on the steps of my state capital.  I traveled to Washington, DC twice to express my rage with my government that no longer represented me.  I was joined by millions from across the United States who felt the same way I did.  I have written a number of articles identifying problems and offering pragmatic solutions.

Now we are faced with a national election in 2012.  This will be a referendum on whether we should endorse a fundamental transformation to slowly evolve into a mythical socialist utopia, or to reject this transformation to return to our original intent of a capitalist free market that rewards individual freedom and innovation.

This socialist transformation began 100 years ago with a long series of small incremental changes and took generations of politicians to implement.  These changes have invaded our culture, our school, our policies, and our courts.  This damage will likewise take generations to repair.

I offer my personal TEA Party Manifesto as a blueprint for change to the next administration. I have mapped out a series of action for each of the key areas that the federal government participates. Incidentally a number of the actions are for the federal government to cease and desist any actions, since it is not one of the Constitutional enumerated powers. If all of these actions are taken we can halve the size of our federal government and lower our tax burden.

The amount of work is enormous, so I sorted the actions into those the administration should complete in the First Month (appendix 1). These actions include issuing new executive orders or repealing existing executive orders and repealing a few egregious examples of government overreach.  I then list those actions that should be completed in the First Year (appendix 2) that require crafting new legislation.  Finally I list a number of actions that will require the entire First Term (appendix 3) to complete, such as crafting Constitutional Amendments, decommissioning entire Cabinet departments, devolving federal duties back to the states where they belong, and privatizing assets and functions that are better done in the private sector.  These actions will not be painless.  In fact, many of these changes will require years to transition to protect those who currently participate.

Woodrow Wilcox

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As a TEA Party patriot, I will not be satisfied until this country is returned to its roots as a constitutional republic, governed by citizen legislators, and with a federal government as a limited, necessary evil.

David Coughlin
Hawthorne,NY
Westchester County TEA Party
http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/


Philosophy

First Year

  • Limit size and intrusion of federal government spending to no more than 20% of GDP.

First Term

    • Abolish Cabinet departments not covered under enumerated powers:
      • Department of Agriculture.
      • Department of Commerce.
      • Department of Education.
      • Department of Energy.
      • Department of Health and Human Services.
      • Department of Housing and Urban Development.
      • Department of Interior.
      • Department of Labor.
      • Department of Transportation.

  • Privatize major entitlement programs into personal accounts:
    • Medicare – Privatize into Personal Health Savings Accounts.
    • Social Security – Privatize into personal accounts.
  • Devolve entitlement programs back to the states:
    • Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    • Medicaid.
    • SCHIP.
    • State Payment for Family Support.
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Privatize activities that could be performed better as a standalone businesses:
    • Privatize the Postal Service.
    • Privatize Amtrak.
  • Privatize activities that could be performed better by the private sector:
    • Army Corps of Engineers.
      • Dams.
      • Energy Facilities.
      • Export-Import Bank.
      • Geographic Survey.
      • Global Positioning Service.
      • Government Printing Office.
      • Legal Services Corporation.
      • NASA.
      • National Weather Service.
      • Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
      • Retirement Insurance, including Social Security.
      • Risk Management Agency.
      • St. Lawrence Seaway.
      • Transportation Security Agency.
  • Sell off excess federal assets.
  • Privatize federal insurance programs since the government has no Constitutional role providing or guaranteeing insurance coverage.
  • Devolve local programs back to the states.
  • Terminate corporate welfare and other mis-targeted programs.
  • Terminate failed, outdated, and irrelevant programs.
  • Consolidate duplicative and contradictory programs.

Media

First Year

  • Prevent reinstatement of “Fairness Doctrine” as technologically unneeded and obsolete.
  • Stop funding PBS and NPR and subsidizing their partisan agenda.

Politics

First Year

  • Amend the Hatch Act (or the President issue an executive order) to prohibit all White House staff members from participating in partisan political activity in any capacity during the time they serve in government.

First Term

  • Hold politicians personally responsible for their words (half-truths, exaggerations, fabrications).
  • Track exaggeration vs. actual results of historical forecast accuracy.
  • Make voting mandatory for all citizens in every election to provide feedback to the government.

Responsibilities

First Year

  • Require all citizens adopt the American language and culture:
  • Implement national identification (identity, voting, paying taxes).

Service

First Term

  • Every citizen over 18 years old must perform a minimum of three years of national service between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • All national service recruits will attend common basic training (physical, moral, education).
  • Each service alternative must define their physical, intellectual, and skill requirements.
  • Advanced training will then be provided and service specific.
  • Recruits will be paid with salary, benefits, and education credits.

 

Culture

Abortion

First Month

  • Stop funding abortion with government money.
  • Stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

First Term

  • Outlaw abortion except in extreme circumstances (incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother).
  • Redefine life as beginning at conception in the womb.

Civil Rights

First Month

  • Abandon the three-pronged model of preferences, entitlements, and group rights.
  • Abandon diversity as a government goal replacing with meritocracy.
  • Repeal all affirmative action programs as no longer required.

First Term

  • Redraw House districts to reflect common areas, not common racial make-up.
  • Repeal President Clinton’s 2000 Executive Order #13175 establishing Native-American tribal governments as a “fourth-level” of government equal with state and local governments.

Education

First Year

  • Block grant education funding allowing states to pursue own solutions and experiments.
  • Pass primary and secondary education responsibility back to the local authorities.

First Term

  • Abolish the Federal Department of Education as not covered under enumerated powers.
    • Fund Education Savings Account (ESA) to follow the student, not programs.
    • Create a market-driven primary and secondary education system.
    • Create a market-driven higher (post secondary) education system.

Family

First Month

  • Defend and strengthen marriage and the family in federal and state law and policies.

Feminism

First Month

  • Eliminate all sexual classifications not justified by a compelling government interest.

First Year

  • Rewrite Violence Against Women Act and Victims of Crime Act to be gender-neutral.

Health Care

First Month

  • Defund, Repeal, and Replace ObamaCare, before more damage is done to health care delivery.
  • Abolish the Office of the Surgeon General.

First Year

  • Isolate the Medicare and Medicaid separating entitlements funding and unfunded liabilities from the total budget.
  • Deliver Medicaid as a block grant to states to allow flexibility and eliminate overspending.
  • Return Health and Human Services funding to 2008 levels to erase recent unwarranted expansion.
  • Reform Medicare and Medicaid to discourage government dependence by individuals and families.
  • Promote greater opportunities for individuals to manage and control their health care spending with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Restructure Medicare and Medicaid from a defined benefit, open-ended entitlement to a defined contribution system.
  • Administer Medicare and Medicaid “safety net” with each state defining level of coverage.
  • Repeal McCarran-Ferguson Act that restricts competitive interstate insurance markets.
  • Replace jury malpractice system with expert health courts.

First Term

  • Privatize all health insurance to transition to patient centered care.
  • Enable Health Insurance Exchanges (HIE) to open up health care to individual coverage.
  • Privatize health insurance allowing each person to buy directly, like other types of insurance.
  • Allow existing recipients and 55+ to retain current program.
  • Enable medical transparency by making medical information including performance directly available to consumers.

Religion

First Month

  • Enforce the Founders intent to respect religious beliefs.
  • Affirm right of private associations and individuals to uphold religious tenets and express them publicly.

Social Security

First Month

  • Isolate the social security financing funding and liabilities from the total budget.
  • Protect surplus from current spending.
  • Separate OMB forecast income and spending as a discrete entitlement.

First Year

  • Tighten disability eligibility, limiting it to those medically unable to work at any job.

First Term

  • Create Social Security Personal Retirement Accounts for individual workers owned and provide savings for retirement.
  • Allow existing recipients and 55+ to retain current program.
  • Privatize the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Welfare

First Month

  • Promote marriage as an institution and a cure for poverty.

First Year

  • Expand Healthy Marriage Initiative to increase number of two-parent married families:
  • Eliminate penalties for married couples under government means tested welfare programs.
  • Transfer Food Stamp Program from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Strengthen work requirements under the Temporary Assistance to Needy families (TANF) program to restore welfare as temporary assistance program.
  • Reform the other welfare programs to include work requirements to dis-incent government dependence.

First Term

  • Abolish federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as not covered under enumerated powers (63 billion annually).

 

Domestic Policies

Domestic Policy

First Year

  • Require Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART) to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Require Dynamic Analysis to evaluate any new tax policy macroeconomic changes
  • Use Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA) Act to terminate federal programs.

Agriculture

First Year

  • Transfer Food Stamp Program to the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Return foot stamp spending to pre-recession levels and cap future spending.
    • Eliminate application loopholes that permit food stamp recipients to bypass income and asset tests.
    • Reduce fraud with more timely and accurate information about recipient earnings.
    • Prohibit food stamp payments to illegal immigrant families.
    • Require drug testing of food stamp recipients.
  • Phase out all farm and commodity subsidies to return agriculture to the free market.
  • Decentralize the infrastructure and decision-making for water management.
  • Withdraw theU.S.from the U.N. Agenda 21, freeing upU.S.land for resource development.
  • Reform the Endangered Species Act to involve property owners in the conservation process.
  • Open federal land to tightly controlled natural resource harvesting.

First Term

  • Relinquish all rights, title, and jurisdiction of all public lands to the states, that are currently controlled by the federal government.
  • Abolish the Department of Agriculture as not legitimate federal functions.
  • Abolish the Department of Interior as not legitimate federal functions.
  • Grant Indian “self-determination” and abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Budget

First Year

  • End baseline budgeting process with automatic annual increases.
    • Isolate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a separate part of the total budget converting them into regular “discretionary” programs.
  • Require balanced budget for each year.
  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to authorize a Presidential federal line item veto to limit “earmark” and “pork” projects.
    • Require audits of all government departments based on standard private business accounting practices.

Crime

First Year

  • Revoke “hate crimes” provisions as unneeded, unenforceable thought control.

First Term

  • Lower legal drinking age to 18.
  • Privatize prisons to outsource incarceration services.
  • End DOJ law enforcement grants that subsidize routine local law enforcement activities.

Economy

First Year

  • Audit Federal Reserve.
  • Repeal the Humphrey-Hawkins (the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act).
  • Ensure government accountability (annual audits using standard accounting standards).
  • Comply with GASB 45 to establish an accrual accounting approach to report the cost of benefit as an expense during the years in which the employee is working.
  • Re-enact the Glass-Steagall type Act to re-separate commercial banking from investment banking.

First Term

  • Privatize Federal Reserve banks returning to Congress the constitutional authority over monetary policy and privatizing the money supply.
  • Re-link currency to an international commodity (such as gold).

Elections

First Year

  • Redefine voting as civic obligation.
    • Require unique voter identification to ensure citizens only vote once.
    • Enact tax incentive (credit) to encourage voting participation.
  • Utilize electronic voting machines for rapid, accurate results, with electronic voting accepted.
    • Enable electronic e-voting to enable citizens to vote remotely (via internet).
    • Ensure all valid absentee ballots are counted.
  • Designate Military Offices as Voter Registration Agencies.
  • Repeal the Voting Rights Act since this emergency (5 year) provision has achieved its desired effect and has morphed into a partisan gerrymandering provision.
  • Increase House to about 600 representatives, each representing an average of 500,000 citizens.
  • Enable Senators and Representatives to govern from their home districts.

First Term

  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits for all federal offices (12 years max).
  • Repeal the 17th Amendment, returning Senator selection to the state legislatures to ensure state representation in Congress.
  • Eliminate direct campaign contributions
  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to extend concept of Recall to members of Congress, both representatives and senators.

Employment

First Year

  • De-federalize the minimum wage:
  • Reform unemployment insurance:
    • Limit duration of unemployment benefits.
    • Remove capability for striking workers to receive unemployment, welfare, or food stamps.
    • Disqualify workers voluntarily on strike and seasonal workers.
  • Pass a National Right-to-Work Law.
    • Require union recertification elections every five years.
    • Ensure federal employees operate under Right-to-Work rules.
  • Create greater union financial transparency.
    • Union members must vote on use of union dues for political activism.
    • Ensure continued full funding for the Office of Labor Management Standards, the union watchdog agency.

First Term

  • Abolish the federal Department of Labor as not covered under enumerated powers.
  • Devolve Unemployment Insurance to the states.
  • Offer voluntary Personal Unemployment Savings Accounts, funded by employees.
  • Repeal the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)of 1935.
    • Abolish the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Repeal Executive Order 10988 authorization for federal work force unionization.
  • Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act to allow market to set prevailing wage rate.

Energy

First Year

  • Develop Comprehensive Energy Policy to allow free market to govern energy production and use.
  • Reduce Department of Energy budget to support only the core mission.
  • Withdraw theU.S.from the U.N. Agenda 21, freeing upU.S.land for resource development.
  • Eliminate all government subsidies on energy sources.
  • Remove regulatory barriers to energy production, storage, and exploitation.
  • increase domestic energy supplies to lesson US dependence on imports and vulnerability to supply disruptions.
  • Invest judiciously in emerging energy technologies.
  • Repeal and block unrealistic and overly burdensome biofuel mandates.
    • Repeal corn ethanol initiative as ineffective and disruptive to the food supply.
  • Establish Open Fuel Standard to increase production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV).

First Term

  • Abolish federal Department of Energy as not covered under enumerated powers.

Environment

First Month

  • Reduce EPA funding to FY 2008 levels.

First Year

  • Require a complete and objective cost benefit analysis for all environmental regulations.
  • Reject Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) business practice as leftist extortion and a waste of scarce resources, with little real impact on business performance or corporate perception.

First Term

  • Reduce EPA funding to restrict mission to pollution control.

Gun Control

First Term

  • Register “bullet fingerprint” for all new guns.

Homeland Security

First Year

  • Prioritize investments in homeland security based on a realistic threat assessment.
  • Conduct Quadrennial Security Reviews (QSR) to assess program performance and strategies.
  • Publish an annual scorecard on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) performance.
  • Separate FEMA from Homeland Security to handle national catastrophes, not routine emergencies.
  • Fund information technology investments to enable more efficient and effective operations.
  • Eliminate most homeland security grants to states and allow states to finance their own programs.
  • Transfer the Coast Guard mission to the Department of Defense.

First Term

  • Reorganize Homeland Security to report to the Department of Defense.

Immigration

First Month

  • Enforce existing immigration laws.

First Year

  • Issue safe, secure personal identification for every citizen and visitor.
  • Require all immigrants assimilate into the American culture and responsibilities:
    • Abandon diversity and multi-culturalism as a PC aberration undermining American “melting pot” roots.
    • Learn and respect American history and culture (included in citizenship exam).
    • Mandate English (national) language (American common knowledge, but not legislated) fluency.
    • Repeal Presidential Executive Order # 13166 to require government services to be delivered in English only.
  • Streamline and Increase legal immigration to grow the United States with skilled citizens.
  • Close borders to stop further illegal immigration.
    • Amend 14th Amendment to apply only to children of citizens, repealing “anchor baby” provision.
    • Complete double-layered security fencing between Mexico and United States.
    • Implement biometric identification to track visitors, temporary workers, students.
    • Register and/or prosecute all existing illegal aliens.
    • Punish employers who knowingly employ illegal aliens.
    • Mandate the use of E-Verify application for employment verification.
    • Impose employer sanctions on those who knowingly hire unlawfully present systems.
  • Support future expansion of Secure Communities program.
  • Require state legislatures to support the overall immigration strategy, as condition of funding.

Judiciary

First Year

  • Return judiciary funding to levels prior to recent unwarranted expansion.
  • Eliminate Office of Justice Programs.

First Term

  • Remove federal judges who have a history of being reversed on appeal.
  • Eliminate the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals due to long history of activist rulings.

Legal

First Year

  • Establish a Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis (CORA).
  • Protect the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to scrutinize rules before adoption.
  • Expand Congressional Accountability Act to ensure all statutes and regulations apply equally to members of Congress and their staff.
  • Ensure Congress oversees the impact of legislation, under the Congressional Review Act.
  • Reform tort system.
  • Restrict eminent domain judgments to public projects.

Taxes

First Year

  • simplify the existing income tax:
    • First, begin tax reform by offering an optional flat income tax alternative (10%).
      • Next, implement incremental improvements to the existing tax code on individuals (Abolish capital gains taxes, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), “death tax” on estate inheritance, “worldwide” taxation, internet taxes).
      • Liberate seniors (and employers) from payroll (social security) taxes
      • Next, implement incremental improvements to the existing tax code on businesses:
        • Reduce corporate taxes to best globally competitive rate (10%).
        • Allow immediate expensing for 100% of new equipment purchases for business.

First Term

  • First, Repeal the 16th Amendment that authorized income taxes.
  • Next, Replace the federal Income Tax approach with National Sales (consumption) Tax with no exemptions, deductions, or minimums/maximums.

 

Foreign Policies

Foreign Policy

First Year

  • Develop a coherent integrated foreign policy strategy that reflects American national interests.
  • Include all agency opinions (State, Intelligence, Defense, UN, USAID).
    • Establish doctrinal principles to explain public diplomacy mission.
    • Ensure diplomatic and military efforts are coordinated and consistent.
  • Revitalize U.S. international broadcasting leadership, starting with Voice of America.
    • Target desired audiences with appropriate dialogue approaches and channels.
    • Exploit the use of all international broadcasting vehicles like VOA to educate listeners on freedom and democracy.
  • Ensure ambassadorships go to career diplomatic appointees.
    • Terminate FSOs who put their personal or political needs in front of their country needs.

First Term

  • State Department assumes ownership of the nation building and reconstruction mission.
  • Integrate Stability Operations Force post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction missions.
  • Staff Stability Operations Force positions with experienced civilian subject matter experts.

Foreign Aid

First Year

  • Promote free trade and investment accords as an alternative to aid.

First Term

  • Discontinue the current foreign aid program and policies ($7B annually)
  • Remove USAID independence in order to directly link foreign aid and country behavior.
  • Expand the use of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to replace less effective forms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Foreign Trade

First Term

  • Seek additional partners in bilateral Free Trade Agreements, including labor standards requirements.
  • MaintainU.S.leadership in WTO round of multinational trade negotiations.

Defense

First Year

  • Allocate 4% of GDP on an ongoing basis for the continued rebuilding and maintenance of national defense.
  • Conduct a Military Transformation Review to identify opportunities to reduce bureaucracy, improve efficiencies and collapsing functional capabilities to cut costs (such as):
  • Integrate Coast Guard mission and resources from Department of Homeland Security.
  • Require National Security Strategy to be reviewed and reissued periodically, at least once each administration.
    • Improve the Quadrennial Defense Review to better link strategy to plans:
    • Set reasonable near and long-term budgeting goals for military modernization.
    • Ensure logistics meet defense needs and critical components are not dependent on foreign suppliers.
    • Fix 40% of overall defense budget for modernization, research and development, and procurement.
    • Reform the military compensation, retirement, and health care system to honor current obligations to service members and updated to meet the changing demands for sustaining the all-volunteer force in a more mobile labor market.
  • Establish a civilian agency (Stability Operations Force) to replace military when the situation on the ground transitions to post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction.
  • Enforce Solomon Amendment linking federal funding to defense recruiting on campuses.

First Term

  • Integrate Homeland Security mission and resources into Department of Defense.
  • Redefine the strategic defense posture to one of Damage Limitation Strategy.
    • Set a clear vision of military use in the future, expected opposition, and provide sustained investment.
  • Transfer the Stability Operations Force to the Department of State for to post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction.

Terrorism

First Year

  • Wage a counter-ideological war using all available soft power tools, as well as military means.
    • De-legitimize the immorality and hypocrisy of Islamic fundamentalists.
    • Exploit the use of all international broadcasting vehicles like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty to educate listeners on freedom and democracy.
    • Educate American public on true nature of Islamic religion.
  • Continue preemptive attacks to fight terrorists where they reside, instead of waiting to be attacked.
  • Publish an annual GWOT scorecard detailing progress and achievements around the world.
  • Convene a “Geneva Convention” for defining terrorism and rules of engagement.

Africa

First Year

  • Redefine the conflicts in Africa as another major theater in the Global War on Terror.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy toward Africa to oppose forces that stunt African development.

First Term

  • Increase trade and economic ties to Africa as path to future prosperity.

Asia

First Year

  • Strengthen trilateral cooperation among India, Japan, and US on issues fostering democracy in Asia.
  • ExpandU.S.Cooperation with Indian Ocean Nations.
  • American leaders must stand up for Taiwan freedom and independence.
  • Engage with North Korea to dis-mantle nuclear weapons development program via public diplomacy.
  • Define Asia as a major theater in the Global War on Terror.

First Term

  • Establish Free Trade Agreements across Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

Europe

First Year

  • Encourage Europe to learn from the Ireland, Estonia, and Sweden economic experience.
  • Redefine Europe as a major theater in the Global War on Terror.

First Term

  • Withdraw US from NATO since its mission is purely defense and Soviet Union is no longer a threat.

Latin America

First Year

  • Promote regional collaboration against transnational crime and terrorism.

First Term

  • Promote Americas Free Trade Agreements to include as many Latin American countries as possible.

Middle East

First Year

  • Define the conflicts in the Middle East as one major theater in the Global War on Terror.
  • Endorse moderate Muslims attempts to distance themselves from the Islamic extremists.
  • Support Israel defending themselves against the terrorist organizations to the South and North.
  • Pressure Lebanon to regain control and not allow terrorist organizations to operate inside their borders
  • Pressure Syria, diplomatically and economically, to stop support for terrorist organizations.
  • Support Pakistan eliminating terrorist sanctuaries.
  • Facilitate Iraq government maturing to defend themselves against terrorists and Baathists.
  • Continue to support the Afghan government to rid the country of Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements.
  • Pressure Iran, diplomatically and economically, to stop nuclear development and withdraw support for terrorist organizations.

United Nations

First Year

  • Reform the UN or withdraw funding and support the continued operations of the parts that are not working as designed.
  • Implement population weighted funding for the United Nations.
  • Implement GDP weighted voting in the General Assembly.
  • Realign UN Security Council to be top 7 economies (GDP).

First term

  • Abandon the United Nations
  • Create a League of Democracies to promote global freedom, democratic values, and the rule of law.



Appendix 1: First Month Actions

 

Abortion

  • Stop funding abortion with government money.
  • Stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Civil Rights

  • Abandon the three-pronged model of preferences, entitlements, and group rights.
  • Abandon diversity as a government goal replacing with meritocracy.
  • Repeal all affirmative action programs as no longer required.

Family

  • Defend and strengthen marriage and the family in federal and state law and policies.

Feminism

  • Eliminate all sexual classifications not justified by a compelling government interest.

Health Care

  • Defund, Repeal, and Replace ObamaCare, before more damage is done to health care delivery.
  • Abolish the Office of the Surgeon General.

Religion

  • Enforce the Founders intent to respect religious beliefs.
  • Affirm right of private associations and individuals to uphold religious tenets and express them publicly.

Social Security

  • Isolate the social security financing funding and liabilities from the total budget.
  • Protect surplus from current spending.
  • Separate OMB forecast income and spending as a discrete entitlement.

Welfare

  • Promote marriage as an institution and a cure for poverty.

Environment

  • Reduce EPA funding to FY 2008 levels.

Immigration

  • Enforce existing immigration laws.



Appendix 2: First Year Actions

 

Philosophy

  • Limit size and intrusion of federal government spending to no more than 20% of GDP.

Media

  • Prevent reinstatement of “Fairness Doctrine” as technologically unneeded and obsolete.
  • Stop funding PBS and NPR and subsidizing their partisan agenda.

Politics

  • Amend the Hatch Act (or the President issue an executive order) to prohibit all White House staff members from participating in partisan political activity in any capacity during the time they serve in government.

Responsibilities

  • Require all citizens adopt the American language and culture:
  • Implement national identification (identity, voting, paying taxes).

 

Education

  • Block grant education funding allowing states to pursue own solutions and experiments.
  • Pass primary and secondary education responsibility back to the local authorities.

Feminism

  • Rewrite Violence Against Women Act and Victims of Crime Act to be gender-neutral.

Health Care

  • Isolate the Medicare and Medicaid separating entitlements funding and unfunded liabilities from the total budget.
  • Deliver Medicaid as a block grant to states to allow flexibility and eliminate overspending.
  • Return Health and Human Services funding to 2008 levels to erase recent unwarranted expansion.
  • Reform Medicare and Medicaid to discourage government dependence by individuals and families.
  • Promote greater opportunities for individuals to manage and control their health care spending with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
  • Restructure Medicare and Medicaid from a defined benefit, open-ended entitlement to a defined contribution system.
  • Administer Medicare and Medicaid “safety net” with each state defining level of coverage.
  • Repeal McCarran-Ferguson Act that restricts competitive interstate insurance markets.
  • Replace jury malpractice system with expert health courts.

Social Security

  • Tighten disability eligibility, limiting it to those medically unable to work at any job.

Welfare

  • Expand Healthy Marriage Initiative to increase number of two-parent married families:
  • Eliminate penalties for married couples under government means tested welfare programs.
  • Transfer Food Stamp Program from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Strengthen work requirements under the Temporary Assistance to Needy families (TANF) program to restore welfare as temporary assistance program.
  • Reform the other welfare programs to include work requirements to dis-incent government dependence.

 

Domestic Policy

  • Require Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART) to evaluate program effectiveness
  • Require Dynamic Analysis to evaluate any new tax policy macroeconomic changes
  • Use Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA) Act to terminate federal programs.

Agriculture

  • Transfer Food Stamp Program to the Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Return foot stamp spending to pre-recession levels and cap future spending.
    • Eliminate application loopholes that permit food stamp recipients to bypass income and asset tests.
    • Reduce fraud with more timely and accurate information about recipient earnings.
    • Prohibit food stamp payments to illegal immigrant families.
    • Require drug testing of food stamp recipients.
  • Phase out all farm and commodity subsidies to return agriculture to the free market.
  • Decentralize the infrastructure and decision-making for water management.
  • Withdraw theU.S.from the U.N. Agenda 21, freeing upU.S.land for resource development.
  • Reform the Endangered Species Act to involve property owners in the conservation process.
  • Open federal land to tightly controlled natural resource harvesting.

Budget

  • End baseline budgeting process with automatic annual increases.
    • Isolate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as a separate part of the total budget converting them into regular “discretionary” programs.
  • Require balanced budget for each year.
  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to authorize a Presidential federal line item veto to limit “earmark” and “pork” projects.
    • Require audits of all government departments based on standard private business accounting practices.

Crime

  • Revoke “hate crimes” provisions as unneeded, unenforceable thought control.

Economy

  • Audit Federal Reserve.
  • Repeal the Humphrey-Hawkins (the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act).
  • Ensure government accountability (annual audits using standard accounting standards).
  • Comply with GASB 45 to establish an accrual accounting approach to report the cost of benefit as an expense during the years in which the employee is working.
  • Re-enact the Glass-Steagall type Act to re-separate commercial banking from investment banking.

Elections

  • Redefine voting as civic obligation.
    • Require unique voter identification to ensure citizens only vote once.
    • Enact tax incentive (credit) to encourage voting participation.
  • Utilize electronic voting machines for rapid, accurate results, with electronic voting accepted.
    • Enable electronic e-voting to enable citizens to vote remotely (via internet).
    • Ensure all valid absentee ballots are counted.
  • Designate Military Offices as Voter Registration Agencies.
  • Repeal the Voting Rights Act since this emergency (5 year) provision has achieved its desired effect and has morphed into a partisan gerrymandering provision.
  • Increase House to about 600 representatives, each representing an average of 500,000 citizens.
  • Enable Senators and Representatives to govern from their home districts.

Employment

  • De-federalize the minimum wage:
  • Reform unemployment insurance:
    • Limit duration of unemployment benefits.
    • Remove capability for striking workers to receive unemployment, welfare, or food stamps.
    • Disqualify workers voluntarily on strike and seasonal workers.
  • Pass a National Right-to-Work Law.
    • Require union recertification elections every five years.
    • Ensure federal employees operate under Right-to-Work rules.
  • Create greater union financial transparency.
    • Union members must vote on use of union dues for political activism.
    • Ensure continued full funding for the Office of Labor Management Standards, the union watchdog agency.

Energy

  • Develop Comprehensive Energy Policy to allow free market to govern energy production and use.
  • Reduce Department of Energy budget to support only the core mission.
  • Withdraw theU.S.from the U.N. Agenda 21, freeing upU.S.land for resource development.
  • Eliminate all government subsidies on energy sources.
  • Remove regulatory barriers to energy production, storage, and exploitation.
  • increase domestic energy supplies to lesson US dependence on imports and vulnerability to supply disruptions.
  • Invest judiciously in emerging energy technologies.
  • Repeal and block unrealistic and overly burdensome biofuel mandates.
    • Repeal corn ethanol initiative as ineffective and disruptive to the food supply.
  • Establish Open Fuel Standard to increase production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV).

Environment

  • Require a complete and objective cost benefit analysis for all environmental regulations.
  • Reject Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) business practice as leftist extortion and a waste of scarce resources, with little real impact on business performance or corporate perception.

Homeland Security

  • Prioritize investments in homeland security based on a realistic threat assessment.
  • Conduct Quadrennial Security Reviews (QSR) to assess program performance and strategies.
  • Publish an annual scorecard on Transportation Security Administration (TSA) performance.
  • Separate FEMA from Homeland Security to handle national catastrophes, not routine emergencies.
  • Fund information technology investments to enable more efficient and effective operations.
  • Eliminate most homeland security grants to states and allow states to finance their own programs.
  • Transfer the Coast Guard mission to the Department of Defense.

Immigration

  • Issue safe, secure personal identification for every citizen and visitor.
  • Require all immigrants assimilate into the American culture and responsibilities:
    • Abandon diversity and multi-culturalism as a PC aberration undermining American “melting pot” roots.
    • Learn and respect American history and culture (included in citizenship exam).
    • Mandate English (national) language (American common knowledge, but not legislated) fluency.
    • Repeal Presidential Executive Order # 13166 to require government services to be delivered in English only.
  • Streamline and Increase legal immigration to grow the United States with skilled citizens.
  • Close borders to stop further illegal immigration.
    • Amend 14th Amendment to apply only to children of citizens, repealing “anchor baby” provision.
    • Complete double-layered security fencing between Mexico and United States.
    • Implement biometric identification to track visitors, temporary workers, students.
    • Register and/or prosecute all existing illegal aliens.
    • Punish employers who knowingly employ illegal aliens.
    • Mandate the use of E-Verify application for employment verification.
    • Impose employer sanctions on those who knowingly hire unlawfully present systems.
  • Support future expansion of Secure Communities program.
  • Require state legislatures to support the overall immigration strategy, as condition of funding.

Judiciary

  • Return judiciary funding to levels prior to recent unwarranted expansion.
  • Eliminate Office of Justice Programs.

Legal

  • Establish a Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis (CORA).
  • Protect the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs to scrutinize rules before adoption.
  • Expand Congressional Accountability Act to ensure all statutes and regulations apply equally to members of Congress and their staff.
  • Ensure Congress oversees the impact of legislation, under the Congressional Review Act.
  • Reform tort system.
  • Restrict eminent domain judgments to public projects.

Taxes

  • simplify the existing income tax:
    • First, begin tax reform by offering an optional flat income tax alternative (10%).
      • Next, implement incremental improvements to the existing tax code on individuals (Abolish capital gains taxes, Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), “death tax” on estate inheritance, “worldwide” taxation, internet taxes).
      • Liberate seniors (and employers) from payroll (social security) taxes
      • Next, implement incremental improvements to the existing tax code on businesses:
        • Reduce corporate taxes to best globally competitive rate (10%).
        • Allow immediate expensing for 100% of new equipment purchases for business.

 

Foreign Policy

  • Develop a coherent integrated foreign policy strategy that reflects American national interests.
  • Include all agency opinions (State, Intelligence, Defense, UN, USAID).
    • Establish doctrinal principles to explain public diplomacy mission.
    • Ensure diplomatic and military efforts are coordinated and consistent.
  • RevitalizeU.S.international broadcasting leadership, starting with Voice of America.
    • Target desired audiences with appropriate dialogue approaches and channels.
    • Exploit the use of all international broadcasting vehicles like VOA to educate listeners on freedom and democracy.
  • Ensure ambassadorships go to career diplomatic appointees.
    • Terminate FSOs who put their personal or political needs in front of their country needs.

Foreign Aid

  • Promote free trade and investment accords as an alternative to aid.

Defense

  • Allocate 4% of GDP on an ongoing basis for the continued rebuilding and maintenance of national defense.
  • Conduct a Military Transformation Review to identify opportunities to reduce bureaucracy, improve efficiencies and collapsing functional capabilities to cut costs (such as):
  • Integrate Coast Guard mission and resources from Department of Homeland Security.
  • Require National Security Strategy to be reviewed and reissued periodically, at least once each administration.
    • Improve the Quadrennial Defense Review to better link strategy to plans:
    • Set reasonable near and long-term budgeting goals for military modernization.
    • Ensure logistics meet defense needs and critical components are not dependent on foreign suppliers.
    • Fix 40% of overall defense budget for modernization, research and development, and procurement.
    • Reform the military compensation, retirement, and health care system to honor current obligations to service members and updated to meet the changing demands for sustaining the all-volunteer force in a more mobile labor market.
  • Establish a civilian agency (Stability Operations Force) to replace military when the situation on the ground transitions to post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction.
  • Enforce Solomon Amendment linking federal funding to defense recruiting on campuses.

Terrorism

  • Wage a counter-ideological war using all available soft power tools, as well as military means.
    • De-legitimize the immorality and hypocrisy of Islamic fundamentalists.
    • Exploit the use of all international broadcasting vehicles like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty to educate listeners on freedom and democracy.
    • Educate American public on true nature of Islamic religion.
  • Continue preemptive attacks to fight terrorists where they reside, instead of waiting to be attacked.
  • Publish an annual GWOT scorecard detailing progress and achievements around the world.
  • Convene a “Geneva Convention” for defining terrorism and rules of engagement.

Africa

  • Redefine the conflicts in Africa as another major theater in the Global War on Terror.
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy toward Africa to oppose forces that stunt African development.

Asia

  • Strengthen trilateral cooperation among India,Japan, and US on issues fostering democracy in Asia.
  • ExpandU.S.Cooperation withIndian Ocean Nations.
  • American leaders must stand up for Taiwan freedom and independence.
  • Engage with North Korea to dis-mantle nuclear weapons development program via public diplomacy.
  • Define Asia as a major theater in the Global War on Terror.

Europe

  • Encourage Europe to learn from the Ireland,Estonia, and Sweden economic experience.
  • Redefine Europe as a major theater in the Global War on Terror.

Latin America

  • Promote regional collaboration against transnational crime and terrorism.

Middle East

  • Define the conflicts in the Middle East as one major theater in the Global War on Terror.
  • Endorse moderate Muslims attempts to distance themselves from the Islamic extremists.
  • Support Israel defending themselves against the terrorist organizations to the South and North.
  • Pressure Lebanon to regain control and not allow terrorist organizations to operate inside their borders
  • Pressure Syria, diplomatically and economically, to stop support for terrorist organizations.
  • Support Pakistan eliminating terrorist sanctuaries.
  • Facilitate Iraq government maturing to defend themselves against terrorists and Baathists.
  • Continue to support the Afghan government to rid the country of Taliban and Al-Qaeda elements.
  • Pressure Iran, diplomatically and economically, to stop nuclear development and withdraw support for terrorist organizations.

United Nations

  • Reform the UN or withdraw funding and support the continued operations of the parts that are not working as designed.
  • Implement population weighted funding for the United Nations.
  • Implement GDP weighted voting in the General Assembly.
  • Realign UN Security Council to be top 7 economies (GDP).



Appendix 3: First Term Actions

 

Philosophy

  • Abolish Cabinet departments not covered under enumerated powers:
    • Department of Agriculture.
    • Department of Commerce.
    • Department of Education.
    • Department of Energy.
    • Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Department of Housing and Urban Development.
    • Department of Interior.
    • Department of Labor.
    • Department of Transportation.
  • Privatize major entitlement programs into personal accounts:
    • Medicare – Privatize into Personal Health Savings Accounts.
    • Social Security – Privatize into personal accounts.
  • Devolve entitlement programs back to the states:
    • Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
    • Medicaid.
    • SCHIP.
    • State Payment for Family Support.
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Privatize activities that could be performed better as a standalone businesses:
    • Privatize the Postal Service.
    • Privatize Amtrak.
  • Privatize activities that could be performed better by the private sector:
    • Army Corps of Engineers.
      • Dams.
      • Energy Facilities.
      • Export-Import Bank.
      • Geographic Survey.
      • Global Positioning Service.
      • Government Printing Office.
      • Legal Services Corporation.
      • NASA.
      • National Weather Service.
      • Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
      • Retirement Insurance, including Social Security.
      • Risk Management Agency.
      • St. Lawrence Seaway.
      • Transportation Security Agency.
  • Sell off excess federal assets.
  • Privatize federal insurance programs since the government has no Constitutional role providing or guaranteeing insurance coverage.
  • Devolve local programs back to the states.
  • Terminate corporate welfare and other mis-targeted programs.
  • Terminate failed, outdated, and irrelevant programs.
  • Consolidate duplicative and contradictory programs.

Politics

  • Hold politicians personally responsible for their words (half truths, exaggerations, fabrications).
  • Track exaggeration vs. actual results of historical forecast accuracy.
  • Make voting mandatory for all citizens in every election to provide feedback to the government.

Service

  • Every citizen over 18 years old must perform a minimum of three years of national service between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • All national service recruits will attend common basic training (physical, moral, education).
  • Each service alternative must define their physical, intellectual, and skill requirements.
  • Advanced training will then be provided and service specific.
  • Recruits will be paid with salary, benefits, and education credits.

 

Abortion

  • Outlaw abortion except in extreme circumstances (incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother).
  • Redefine life as beginning at conception in the womb.

Civil Rights

  • Redraw House districts to reflect common areas, not common racial make-up.
  • Repeal President Clinton’s 2000 Executive Order #13175 establishing Native-American tribal governments as a “fourth-level” of government equal with state and local governments.

Education

  • Abolish the Federal Department of Education as not covered under enumerated powers.
    • Fund Education Savings Account (ESA) to follow the student, not programs.
    • Create a market-driven primary and secondary education system.
    • Create a market-driven higher (post secondary) education system.

Health Care

  • Privatize all health insurance to transition to patient centered care.
  • Enable Health Insurance Exchanges (HIE) to open up health care to individual coverage.
  • Privatize health insurance allowing each person to buy directly, like other types of insurance.
  • Allow existing recipients and 55+ to retain current program.
  • Enable medical transparency by making medical information including performance directly available to consumers.

Social Security

  • Create Social Security Personal Retirement Accounts for individual workers owned and provide savings for retirement.
  • Allow existing recipients and 55+ to retain current program.
  • Privatize the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Welfare

  • Abolish federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as not covered under enumerated powers (63 billion annually).

 

Agriculture

  • Relinquish all rights, title, and jurisdiction of all public lands to the states, that are currently controlled by the federal government.
  • Abolish the Department of Agriculture as not legitimate federal functions.
  • Abolish the Department of Interior as not legitimate federal functions.
  • Grant Indian “self-determination” and abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Crime

  • Lower legal drinking age to 18.
  • Privatize prisons to outsource incarceration services.
  • End DOJ law enforcement grants that subsidize routine local law enforcement activities.

Economy

  • Privatize Federal Reserve banks returning to Congress the constitutional authority over monetary policy and privatizing the money supply.
  • Re-link currency to an international commodity (such as gold).

Elections

  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits for all federal offices (12 years max).
  • Repeal the 17th Amendment, returning Senator selection to the state legislatures to ensure state representation in Congress.
  • Eliminate direct campaign contributions
  • Enact Constitutional Amendment to extend concept of Recall to members of Congress, both representatives and senators.

Employment

  • Abolish the federal Department of Labor as not covered under enumerated powers.
  • Devolve Unemployment Insurance to the states.
  • Offer voluntary Personal Unemployment Savings Accounts, funded by employees.
  • Repeal the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935.
    • Abolish the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Repeal Executive Order 10988 authorization for federal work force unionization.
  • Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act to allow market to set prevailing wage rate.

Energy

  • Abolish federal Department of Energy as not covered under enumerated powers.

Environment

  • Reduce EPA funding to restrict mission to pollution control.

Gun Control

  • Register “bullet fingerprint” for all new guns.

Homeland Security

  • Reorganize Homeland Security to report to the Department of Defense.

Judiciary

  • Remove federal judges who have a history of being reversed on appeal.
  • Eliminate the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals due to long history of activist rulings.

Taxes

  • First, Repeal the 16th Amendment that authorized income taxes.
  • Next, Replace the federal Income Tax approach with National Sales (consumption) Tax with no exemptions, deductions, or minimums/maximums.

 

Foreign Policy

  • State Department assumes ownership of the nation building and reconstruction mission.
  • Integrate Stability Operations Force post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction missions.
  • Staff Stability Operations Force positions with experienced civilian subject matter experts.

Foreign Aid

  • Discontinue the current foreign aid program and policies.
  • Remove USAID independence in order to directly link foreign aid and country behavior.
  • Expand the use of Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to replace less effective forms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Foreign Trade

  • Seek additional partners in bilateral Free Trade Agreements, including labor standards requirements.
  • MaintainU.S.leadership in WTO round of multinational trade negotiations.

Defense

  • Integrate Homeland Security mission and resources into Department of Defense.
  • Redefine the strategic defense posture to one of Damage Limitation Strategy.
    • Set a clear vision of military use in the future, expected opposition, and provide sustained investment.
  • Transfer the Stability Operations Force to the Department of State for to post-conflict/post-disaster stabilization and nation building and reconstruction.

Africa

  • Increase trade and economic ties toAfricaas path to future prosperity.

Asia

  • Establish Free Trade Agreements acrossAsiaPacific (FTAAP).

Europe

  • Withdraw US from NATO since its mission is purely defense andSoviet Unionis no longer a threat.

Latin America

  • Promote Americas Free Trade Agreements to include as manyLatin Americacountries as possible.

United Nations

  • Abandon the United Nations
  • Create a League of Democracies to promote global freedom, democratic values, and the rule of law.

 


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David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the Westchester County Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).
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