Sounds like a plan...
By Josh Painter Posted in Policy — Comments (5) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The Republican Study Committee (RSC) has a plan. RSC is a caucus of more than 100 of the U.S. House of Representatives' most conservative Republicans, and their Action Plan for GOP members of the House was announced two days ago. You probably haven't heard about it before this posting, because the media is unilaterally ignoring it.
Here's a summary:
1) THE END OF PORK-BARREL SPENDING
House Republicans are committed to ending pork-barrel spending. We will not wait on the Democrat Majority to end “Bridges to Nowhere” and “Monuments to Me”— we declare an immediate earmark moratorium and pledge to reform the system. We also pledge to uphold any future veto of a spending bill that is pork laden and does not lead to a balanced budget.
2) LIMITING WASHINGTON TAXES AND SPENDING TO WHAT MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES CAN AFFORD
House Republicans are committed to eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax and preventing the scheduled tax increases in 2010 from taking more from the paychecks of hard-working, middle class families. We are also committed to amending the U.S. Constitution to limit the growth of federal spending to the level at which middle class Americans can afford. Except in time of war or national emergency, our spending limit amendment would prohibit federal spending from growing faster than the economy.
3) A FAIR, SIMPLE TAX CODE THAT AMERICANS CAN UNDERSTAND AND HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT
House Republicans are committed to ending a tax code that is too long, too complex and too unfair. Specifically, our legislation would provide comprehensive, individual income tax reform by providing individuals an alternative, two-tier flat tax system that can be filed on one page. Taxpayers can choose the new, simplified system or stay with the current tax code—whichever option suits them.
4) A FAMILY-FOCUSED, PATIENT-CENTERED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
House Republicans will reform and improve our current health care system, by 1) providing a refundable health care tax credit to every American to purchase affordable health care coverage, and 2) broadening the array of choices for health insurance plans, by allowing individuals to purchase plans available in other states. These measures will allow Americans who like their current health plan to keep it, while encouraging all individuals to own and control a personal and portable health insurance policy.
5) AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENCE THROUGH INCREASED EXPLORATION
House Republicans are committed to increasing American energy supplies to lower prices and reduce dependence on Middle Eastern Oil by incentivizing conservation and allowing energy exploration in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf, as well as the development of cleaner coal technologies and alternative fuels.
6) A LEGAL FRAMEWORK THAT ALLOWS US TO PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS
House Republicans are committed to preventing terrorists from attacking America. House Republicans will empower our intelligence agencies to intercept terrorist communications with sources outside of the United States without the lengthy process of getting a warrant that could jeopardize the ability to thwart an attack.
7) A MORAL APPROACH FOR PARENTS TO PROTECT AND EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN
House Republicans are committed to supporting parental rights, by 1) ensuring that a child cannot be transported across a state border for an abortion without the consent of a parent or legal guardian, and 2) empowering parents to maintain control over their family’s personal education decisions.
8) A WELFARE SAFETY NET THAT FOSTERS MARRIAGE AND WORK
House Republicans are committed to extending many of the current welfare work requirements to other programs — namely food stamps and housing—so that those who are not old, young, or disabled are either working in the private sector or serving in their community. Such reforms will ensure a more stable environment for low-income children by encouraging their parents to marry and raise them in two-parent homes.
With many less-than-conservative House Republicans joining their Dem colleages to vote down domestic drilling and override President Bush's veto of the disgraceful farm bill this week, the RSC Action Plan is welcome news for Reagan conservatives. It's about time that conservatives started to show some genuine leadership in their party and in the U.S. House. New ideas have been few and far between from the right lately, and this effort by the RSC breaks the drought.
The plan is timely in that it addresses issues that are key concerns to most Americans today. But it is also timeless in that it builds on a solid foundation of conservative principles which were formulated and refined over many years and stated so well by Ronald Reagan and more recently by former Sen. Fred Thompson. The need for connection to those principles was expressed by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) in an op ed published on National Review Online the same day RSC's plan was announced:
There was a time when the Republican party was rightly seen as the party of ideas. Under Reagan in the Eighties and the congressional revolutionaries of the mid 1990s, ideas were free flowing as our leaders focused first on American principles as the foundation for their policies. Somewhere along the way we lost this and began replacing principled convictions and forward-looking policies with nostalgia for policies and politicians of past eras. When that happened we stopped connecting with the American people.
Given the choice between policies that spring forth from American principles and those that do not, the American people will chose the former every time. These are the principles that are engrained in the American character. Our fellow citizens agree that principles like liberty, economic opportunity, self-government, equal rights, and the rule of law should form the bedrock of public policy.
Now, if we can just get the politicians to agree.
I suggest, Senator, that one way to get politicians to agree is for rank and file conservatives to use the RSC plan as a bull whip to bring into line those House and Senate Repuplicans who shamelessly work against conservative principles and the good of the nation by voting for bad legislation such as the recent farm bill and the measure which prevents new domestic drilling at a time when Americans are seeing their food and fuel costs rising through the roof.
We need to contact our GOP Congress Critters to let them know that if they don't sign on to the RSC Action plan, we won't sign on to their bids for re-election. We need to also offer some positive reinforcement to RSC chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and his conservative House brethern, who are standing up for principle at a time when others are sitting down on theirs. Please send them your thanks.