Democratic Platform Committee
c/o Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Republican Platform Committee
c/o Republican National Committee
310 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Members of the Committee:
As you meet to consider what policies should guide America for the next four years, nothing should be of greater concern than the fiscal crisis that we face. With enormous deficits projected to continue into the indefinite future, Congress and the President must become serious about making major reductions in Federal spending.
The June 28 Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare, which refused to accept a broad definition of the interstate commerce clause, points to one path that must be followed in cutting Federal spending. Congress and the President must acknowledge that a great many Federal programs are based on a constitutional theory that has been demonstrated to be false. It is now time to begin reviewing the budget to identify and eliminate the programs which are unconstitutional. There are entire departments, such as Education, HUD, and Labor, whose programs almost all fail the constitutional test and should be shut down. By adopting a constitutional budget, Congress and the President would take an enormous first step toward restoring the fiscal health of the United States.
It is essential that efforts to move toward a balanced budget focus on less spending, not higher taxes. Out-of-control spending creates uncertainty and doubt that undermines investment and economic growth, while higher taxes punish hard-working Americans and diminish the incentive to be successful. The economic growth that followed the Harding-Coolidge, Kennedy-Johnson and Reagan tax cuts should be our goal.
The tax policy enacted during the administration of George W. Bush should be made permanent. This should be true not only for those provisions extended for two years in the 2010 lame-duck session, but also and especially for the full repeal of the Death Tax, which went into effect in 2010 but was partially reversed for 2011 and 2012. This tax, which is now scheduled to revert to a maximum rate of 55% next year, unjustly seizes earnings on which a tax has already been paid, and on whose interest and dividends taxes have also been paid. Thomas Jefferson condemned the double taxation of income and capital, and his judgment is as valid today as in his own time.
The full repeal of ObamaCare should be the first action of the next Congress. A health care system already suffering from government intervention will not be solved by more regulation, more spending, and more taxes. Repeal of ObamaCare must be the first step in improving our health care, followed by effective use of market-based reforms and the removal (i.e. by tort reform) of other laws which promote damaging incentives.
Finally, Congress and the President must address the problem of the millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom bring little in the way of skills and education, now living in the United States. Amnesty for these lawbreakers is unthinkable. Furthermore, President Obama’s unilateral policy of ignoring the law and granting a temporary amnesty to most illegals must be ended. Instead, U.S. policy should be to prevent further illegal immigration while strongly encouraging those already here to leave even if not caught and deported.
Recognizing that these immigrants have been drawn by the dual incentives of jobs and the welfare state, effective action must be taken on both fronts. Measures must be taken to prevent the employment of illegal aliens. These can take the form of both providing increasingly accurate information to employers concerning legal status, and by stronger enforcement of the existing laws against employer violations.
While Supreme Court decisions make it difficult to deprive illegal aliens of various government-provided benefits, Congress and the President should do all that the Court allows while seeking to use vacancies on the court to secure a more accurate reading of the Constitution, granting proper discretion to Congress. The 2004 Bush administration agreement with Mexico on Social Security totalization, which has never been implemented, should be repudiated by the President, and rejected by Congress if the President presents it to them.
The United States faces many challenges, but they can be overcome by wise policy. I hope you find these suggestions, which have the overwhelming support of the members of The Conservative Caucus, helpful in your deliberations.
Peter J. Thomas