The Contract from America

Although it started a while back (September 1, 2009), many people haven’t heard of the “Contract From America” let alone the text it contains.

In the interest of making sure each person knows what it says, I thought I would post it here. Let me know if there are sections you don’t agree with, and why. It should make some interesting conversation, at the very least. Who knows, it might even change America.

The Contract From America

We, the undersigned, call upon those seeking to represent us in public office to sign the Contract from America and by doing so commit to support each of its agenda items, work to bring each agenda item to a vote during the first year, and pledge to advocate on behalf of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom.

Individual Liberty

Our moral, political, and economic liberties are inherent, not granted by our government. It is essential to the practice of these liberties that we be free from restriction over our peaceful political expression and free from excessive control over our economic choices.

Limited Government

The purpose of our government is to exercise only those limited powers that have been relinquished to it by the people, chief among these being the protection of our liberties by administering justice and ensuring our safety from threats arising inside or outside our country’s sovereign borders. When our government ventures beyond these functions and attempts to increase its power over the marketplace and the economic decisions of individuals, our liberties are diminished and the probability of corruption, internal strife, economic depression, and poverty increases.

Economic Freedom

The most powerful, proven instrument of material and social progress is the free market. The market economy, driven by the accumulated expressions of individual economic choices, is the only economic system that preserves and enhances individual liberty. Any other economic system, regardless of its intended pragmatic benefits, undermines our fundamental rights as free people.

1. Protect the Constitution

Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.

2. Reject Cap & Trade

Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.

3. Demand a Balanced Budget

Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.

4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform

Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution.

5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government in Washington

Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in a complete audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities, or ripe for wholesale reform or elimination due to our efforts to restore limited government consistent with the US Constitution’s meaning.

6. End Runaway Government Spending

Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.

7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care

Defund, repeal and replace the recently passed government-run health care with a system that actually makes health care and insurance more affordable by enabling a competitive, open, and transparent free-market health care and health insurance system that isn’t restricted by state boundaries.

8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above” Energy Policy

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.

9. Stop the Pork

Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.

10. Stop the Tax Hikes

Permanently repeal all tax hikes, including those to the income, capital gains, and death taxes, currently scheduled to begin in 2011.

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Seventy Bills And Counting. Who’s Obstructing Now?

Democrats on Capitol Hill have been pushing a health care bill that the majority of the American people do not like and do not want. President Obama has repeated over and over that he would welcome a discussion of ideas from those on the other side of the aisle (aka the Republicans).

I read through the first version of the bill (as introduced in the House of Representatives) and wrote about it over the course of several days right here on this blog. I read through the second version (as introduced in the Senate) and wrote about that one too.

At the time, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi refused to allow amendments from the other side of the aisle (aka the Republicans). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to push the bill through the Senate with almost no debate and no amendments from the other side of the aisle (aka the Republicans).

The American people have made one thing clear since the initial bill was introduced. They do not like the bill. They do not agree with many provisions in the bill. They do not want that bill. Many politicians from both sides of the aisle have said it would be better to just start over and do it right from the beginning.

Instead of starting over, President Obama has made it clear that he intends to help shove this poor idea of a health-care bill down the throats of the American people. This week, President Obama introduced a re-hashed version of the Senate bill, or was it the House bill? Does it matter? It’s a re-hash of the same old thing that even moderate Democrats do not feel comfortable debating let alone voting for. President Obama is holding a health-care summit at the White House tomorrow, but he will only consider ideas that address the goals contained in the Democratic plans already passed by the House and the Senate. In other words, he welcomes ideas that are the same as his.

What’s the point of welcoming ideas if you are going to restrict them so that they accomplish the exact same thing your current ideas already accomplish? That doesn’t make sense at all. That would be like asking me to provide two web designs that look completely different on the front end but are exactly the same and accomplish the same goal on the back end. The substance would be the same, but you’d get different eye candy when making it all work.

Websites are all about eye-candy, but health-care isnt. We’re talking about health-care here, not eye candy. WHO CARES what it looks like if it does the same thing NO ONE likes in the first place?

For months now, President Obama, his administration, Nanny State Nancy, Scary Harry Reid, and others, have claimed that the Republicans on Capitol Hill are acting as obstructionists who have no real plan(s) of their own. That, my friends, is another big fat lie from The Failed One%reg; and his henchmen.

Did you know that the Republicans have introduced 70 health care related bills during the 111th Congress alone? Republicans have been introducing health care bills as early as January of 2009. Do you have any idea how many of those bills have been considered in committee, let alone made it to the House floor?

The answer would be four. Yes, four. Just four.

One was voted on and passed. One was attached to H.R. 3200 in committee. Two others failed by a large margin on the House floor. The other 66 haven’t even been considered by Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic majority. Nothing. Nada. Read them for yourself (PDF). Those bills don’t even take into account H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

The definition of an obstructionist is ‘one who systematically blocks or interrupts a process’. If the Democrats want to claim Republicans are acting like obstructionists as they attempt to kill this bill that a majority of Americans do not want in the first place, then the Democrats too, by the very definition of the word itself, are acting like obstructionists by not even considering alternatives or amendments from the other side of the aisle.

For months I have heard Nancy Pelosi say that it’s time for Republicans to act in a bipartisan manner to get a health-care bill passed on the Hill. The fact remains that Republicans have been trying for more than a year now, but Pelosi herself keeps slamming the door on them.

Some of you may be chomping at the bit to say “well, Republicans did this when they controlled Congress too, so what’s the difference?”. If Republicans did it in the past, does that make it all right for the Democrats to do the same thing right now? Does keeping an attitude like that accomplish anything?

It’s high time for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to stop their petty political games and sit down at the table with Republicans so they can all work together and get something done. It’s time for everyone to stop focusing on themselves and their political careers and start focusing on what’s right for the people of our country. You know, the people back home who are actually affected by their childish behavior taking place on Capitol Hill.

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