REFORM PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
PLATFORM OF THE REFORM PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
Enact only economic policies that require fiscal responsibility and accountability.
The Federal government should be managed within its means, and not run chronic budget deficits.
Enact a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Pay down the Federal Debt until the principal balance is zero and American taxpayers no longer have to pay interest on the debt.
Use any budget surpluses generated to pay down debt. Surpluses should not be used to fund tax reductions or to fund new programs.
Eliminate programs that are wasteful, outdated or that do not serve an important national goal.
End corporate welfare and special interest subsidies.
Manage mandatory spending programs and government-sponsored enterprises so that they become self-funding.
Review all programs on a regular basis and require mandatory trust fund reports.
Remove all trust fund balances from the budget deficit calculations, so that the true size of the federal deficit is made clear to the American people.
Return fiscal integrity to trust funds such as Social Security, Medicare, government retirement and all programs dealing with future obligations to individual citizens.
The economic projecting functions of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office should be merged into the General Accounting Office (GAO). This new division of the GAO would be solely responsible for producing the economic assumptions necessary for budget deliberations between Congress and the President. The GAO staff charged with this responsibility should be permanent employees, and the director a presidential appointee subject to confirmation by the Senate.
A ten-year plan to disband the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be adopted that is linked to a revenue guarantee program for municipalities. The plan should require a binding commitment on the part of cities to restructure local systems of revenue generation to promote employment and the construction and rehabilitation of the city’s housing and business infrastructures.
The mission of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) should be confined to promoting Arts Districts within Federal Enterprise Zones. NEA grants for any uses other than the development of infrastructure, such as performance halls and artists markets, should be discontinued.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting should be subsidized at a rate equal to 25% of its budget for the previous fiscal year, so that it does not become too reliant on corporate sponsorship and in turn compromise its news coverage.
The Appalachian Regional Commission should be abolished, but its current level of funding should be retained and transferred into Community Development Block Grant accounts for a period of ten years to bolster the revitalization of America’s inner-cities.
Social Service Block Grants should be merged into Community Development Block Grants to reduce the cost of administering the grants, and to enhance the capacity of taxpayers to scrutinize their usage.
The Tennessee Valley Authority should be privatized, after which consideration should be given as to the most efficient way to privatize the regional Power Marketing Administrations. NOTE: Please see remarks at end of document.
The RPUSA believes our voting process must stay private, to protect voters from retribution for voting their conscience, and voter-verifiable to ensure that their vote counts.
To promote voter confidence in the election process, the barriers to voter review and audit of software and hardware components used therein should be removed. The company selling the equipment should not have sole control.
V-VPT: All electronic voting systems must have a Voter Verifiable Paper Trail
Although we cherish and honor America’s proud immigrant history and traditions, we must recognize the reality that today our nation is no longer an unsettled frontier. Immigration levels have risen to well over a million a year and the US Census Bureau projects, at this level, the population to exceed 400 million in less than fifty years.
The Reform Party supports:
* Banning the mass importation of temporary foreign workers via the abuse of the H1-B and the
L-1 programs, the impact of which is to hold down the wages, working conditions and incomes of American workers, both immigrant and native-born alike;
* A temporary Freeze on all immigration, except for spouses and minor children of US citizens, until those immigrant persons currently here are assimilated;
* Authorizations and appropriations necessary to secure our borders by unitizing technologies that enhance our border patrol and enforcement of US immigration laws;
* Use of the National Guard or any branch of our armed forces to help secure and patrol our borders;
Employers should be legally liable for insuring that foreign workers produce appropriate documentation allowing them to live and work in the United Stated. Employers should be legally liable for the public, private, direct and indirect costs associated with non-legal immigrants;
Enact a national campaign to assimilate new immigrants and allow for them full participation in American life, by requiring immigrants to learn English, American history, government, and America’s traditions and values;
A Constitutional Amendment that will NOT give automatic citizenship to children born on US soil to parents OTHER THAN legal citizens of the US;
No national, state or local government assistance of any kind for education, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid should be provided for anyone that is not a legal alien or US citizen.
The United States Government should automatically expel from the U.S. any immigrant found to be in illegal residence.
Congress should fulfill their Constitutional oversight obligation to insure that citizens are not subject to predatory practices by interstate and international corporations.
Disallow corporate exploitation of offshore tax havens used to evade US taxes.
Expand whistle blower protection and expand the scope of the False Claims Act to provide “bounty provisions” for whistle blowers and watchdogs who report financial crimes.
The United States government should be more proactive in opposing mergers of large corporations and in restructuring those that have achieved an excessively controlling position.
CORPORATE REFORM /CORPORATE OVERSIGHT-.SEC
Enforce the 1934 Securities Exchange Act which contains securities fraud provisions and prohibitions on insider trading and nondisclosure. Congress should authorize Self-funding Status to the SEC. This would expand control of the Budget and Staff to the SEC for prosecuting crime. The SEC collects funds through existing taxes on stock trades. This money is now dispensed by several Congressional oversight committees and Governmental Departments. Stop playing games with the taxes collected for the purpose of funding the SEC.
Ensure that punishment and fines fit the crime. Give corporate criminals real jail time. Money collected through fines should be reimbursed to stockholders, retirement funds or 401(k) plans. Fines should be commensurate, not small percentages.
Revoke professional licenses for lawyers, accountants, stock brokers and bankers found guilty of fraud.
Strengthen shareholder rights: Make sure that independent boards are indeed independent by creating tough standards, including shareholder approval. Hold boards of directors more accountable for malfeasance and misfeasance with penalties that include large fines.
Create an independent agency, to report to the SEC, responsible for overseeing and regulating the accounting industry. Maintain strict vigilance against conflict of interests between staff and former/current clients.
Provide real pension protection for workers by limiting company stock in 401(k) plans. Give employees a voice on their pension boards.
Fulfill the promises and obligations of the old system and ensure that current retirees’ benefits are not reduced.
Phase out the old pay-as-you-go system, and create a new system of private accounts using federally supervised, individually controlled investment options. NOTE: Please see remarks at end of document.
Maintain a safety net which insures a minimum pension to those who have met the requirements.
Require all new entrants to the labor force to join the new system. Those under the current system may join voluntarily.
Insure the long term solvency of the social security program by forbidding the use of FICA tax revenues for discretionary spending. Social Security Trust Fund surpluses maybe used to establish individually controlled savings accounts.
Prohibit politicians from including Social Security Trust Fund surpluses in unified budget calculations.
Educate the American public about Social Security reform to ensure the public understands the issues before enacting any reform.
Develop a personal savings account plan such as the Hickman/Orlando Social Security Reform Act.
Bring federal government retirements and benefits in line with private sector.
MEDICARE/MEDICAID (part of Social Security Plank)
Reduce medical care inflation through pilot-testing of market-based reforms including managed care, medical savings accounts and creation and regulation of private insurance.
End subsidies for the health care of the wealthy.
Create a new, fair and simple tax system.
The new system should raise the money needed to pay the nation’s constitutionally legitimate bills.
Analyze, model, and publicly debate the best options. All options should be considered, including tariffs, value-added taxes, and taxes on income, sales, assets, gasoline, and financial transactions.
Allow voters to provide input on the new system.
* Any future tax increases imposed under the new system must be approved by the people in the next subsequent federal election in order to impose discipline on spending
* Any tax law that benefits a discrete minority should be subject to strict scrutiny and should become law only if a compelling interest can be demonstrated.
We demand the highest ethical conduct by all government officials and limitations on gifts, favors and outside sources of income while they are in office and after leaving.
Proven unethical behavior must require a recall vote by officeholders’ constituents.
All legislation must be read by legislators prior to debate or voting.
All bills must address one issue at a time only.
The Reform Party seeks to increase citizen participation in political affairs, and supports:
* Requests for candidate pledges to limit their term of office, regardless of the current laws
* Institution of Term Limits on the House of 3 terms (6 years)
* Institution of Term Limits on the Senate of 2 terms (12 years)
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
Reform our electoral, lobbying and campaign practices to ensure that our elected officials owe their allegiance to the people whom they are elected to serve.
Vigorously enforce all present campaign finance laws.
Congress should legislate change in the composition of the Federal Elections Commission to include independent and nonpartisan representation.
Campaigns should include free and equal access to media resources for all qualified candidates.
Sufficient television and radio station time should be allocated for candidate forums which include all qualified candidates, and all presidential candidates that qualify for matching funds.
Political Action Committees (PACS) should be outlawed.
Provide a balanced, tailored trade program that:
* Promotes the economic interests and welfare of all our citizens,
* Safeguards domestic production of vital military resources and equipment,
* Ensures entry of goods which comply with our environmental and product safety standards,
* Provides markets for our domestic small businesses
* Eliminates the large trade deficits that have made us the world’s largest debtor nation. Countries conducting unfair trade practices must be required to provide compensating benefits to the U.S. on the import of their products.
* Withdraws from the WTO and develop tailored trade agreements with other nations according to the practices and performance of those countries.
* Nullifies the incentive to relocate manufacturing to low wage regions of the world wherein the market for goods produced is the U.S. consumer.
* Maintains the ability to manufacture or stockpile all products and materials vital to our national security.
* Advocates a “Buy America” policy that patronizes American made goods. Articles should carry the label “Made in the U.S.A.” only when they meet strict requirements for materials, content, processing, assembly and packaging. All imported products, including food, should be required to bear a label stating Country of Origin.
* Safeguards American employment and labor standards and uphold our ban on the import of the products of child and slave labor.
We believe workers should be encouraged to organize and practice collective bargaining. We oppose the efforts to relocate American jobs offshore. We stand for the promotion of higher wage jobs for American workers.
Congress should institute the following actions related to trade:
* Establish and enforce requirements for our trade agreements that safeguard the American employment and labor standards, consumer health and safety, and environmental protection while preserving a favorable environment for our small and large businesses.
* Periodically review and report to the people, the performance of U.S. trade with respect to the criteria defined above. Terminate or require the renegotiation of agreements, remove MFN status, or require penalties where these criteria have not been met.
* Restore the full Constitutional authority of Congress to regulate commerce and thus deter the use of special trade concessions as a tool for diplomacy.
* All International trade agreements that would abridge U.S. laws should only be considered under the Treaty Provision of the U.S. Constitution requiring a 2/3 vote of the Senate.
* Continually review our trade negotiations and performance to ensure that they remain within the policy boundaries established by the Congress.
* Develop a strong corps of professional trade negotiators who agree to a lifetime ban on serving as lobbyists for any domestic or foreign interest.
* Negotiate new tailored trade agreements by entering into bilateral negotiations with existing trading partners to replace GATT, NAFTA and other agreements which violate our stated criteria.
Specifically, the agreement to replace NAFTA must require and be indexed to meaningful improvements in workplace standards and wages of Mexican workers and the enforcement of environmental protection measures.
Objectives: The Reform Party of the United States insists on a foreign policy consistent with the purpose of our federal government as indicated in the preamble of our Constitution. To that end, we believe that the following are necessary components of a sound foreign policy for the United States:
* Nonintervention In the words of John Quincy Adams, “Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her [America’s] heart, her benedictions, and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”
* Respect for the sovereignty of all nations, and rejection of the belief that the United States should use its military power to engage in nation-building. The United States should not be the policeman of the world.
The United States should no longer support foreign despots who utilize torture, murder and genocide to control their people. Rather than supporting these regimes we should utilize pressure through international cooperation, including volunteer boycotts.
The United States must remain actively engaged in international affairs, with such engagement subject to the following:
We reject any agreement to which the United States is a party that compromises our national sovereignty.
Agreements to which the United States is a party must not contain language contradicting the U.S. Constitution.
Agreements to which the United States is a party that obligate the United States to provide military support should be temporary, and for the primary benefit of the United States.
Foreign nations must accept primary responsibility for their own defense, and be willing to commit their own lives and fortunes toward that end.
All agreements to which the United States is a party must be reviewed periodically by the Congress to ensure that they remain in the best interests of the United States or else be phased out.
The government of the United States is morally and legally obligated to act in the interests of the American people in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, regardless of the support or opposition of foreign governments, international organizations, or other entities.
The United States should achieve its objectives through mutual cooperation, but not surrender our sovereignty to any foreign entity including the United Nations.
Since World War II, the United States has provided billions dollars in aid to countries even as our national debt continued to grow. The solution to the problems afflicting humankind is not more American money. The constitutionality of our current mode of providing international assistance must therefore be carefully reviewed.
All future foreign aid should be targeted toward self-reliance, education and health of the citizens of recipient countries, not towards providing multinational corporations with cheap labor and corporate welfare. Further, audits should be conducted on all foreign aid programs.
Ambassadors should be approved on merit, not quid pro quo for political patronage. They should be recalled if they do not act on behalf of American citizens or are profiteering from their position.
Promote an independent, non-partisan dialogue to carefully examine and take action on crucial educational issues that have become dangerously politicized and bureaucratized by government and the two party system.
Federal, state and local governments may each have an appropriate role to play in our educational system. But, to ensure equal access to education for all children the control over public education must be returned to the people.
Convene a panel of experts to produce a ‘statement of impact’ of various options (for example, vouchers, educational savings accounts and charter schools) on the public school system.
Americans must have accurate information on these options before changes are made to the public school system that educates 90% of our children.
The Reform Party supports a reform of the health care system that returns control to its citizens. We must return the individual’s right to control their own medical and health decisions.
The United States must preserve clean air and water standards for the health and safety of its citizens. We must leave our environment to future generations better than previous generations left it to us. We must promote uses of our environment that can be sustained without diminishing the quality of our environment, without diminishing biodiversity, and without diminishing the capacity of our resources to steadily yield human benefits.
The Reform Party supports measures that would:
* Promote knowledge of and respect for our natural environment;
* Preserve an integrated network of natural areas to preserve our natural heritage and to accommodate compatible human use;
* Encourage practices and promote the development and use of technologies most beneficial and least harmful to our environment;
* Steadily improve the quality of our air, water and earth.
American companies or their subsidiaries that operate internationally should comply with United States Standards for Safety, Environmental, and child labor laws at all their facilities.
Foreign entities operating within the United States must comply with all national, state, and local laws as they apply.
Stiff penalties should be levied against corporations convicted of routinely violating clean air or water standards.
All present and future trade agreements should be tied to preserving favorable environmental standards.
Our environmental policy should emphasize the current use of alternative energy resources. In order to help break the United States’ dependence on foreign oil, government and private research should be aimed at developing practical alternative energy products for the consumer.
Long range goals for energy consumption need to be developed. Solar and wind propelled power plants should be built in locations where their usage is favorable and cost effective.
Research and development of fuel cell and electrically powered automobiles must be encouraged.
Power generating plants should be given tax incentives in order to purchase anti-pollution equipment. On power plants using fossil fuels (coal) their smoke stacks should be fitted with scrubbers to remove deadly pollutants. More plants should be built that manufacture products from corn and soybean byproducts that are market driven not mandated
ORGANIC FARMING AND GMO’S:
The U.S. must protect the diversity of our food supply by supporting organic farming. We must assert the right of each nation to establish its own policy with regard to GMO’s in its own food supply.
The U.S. must apply such a cautionary principle to our food supply, and ban the use of potentially harmful Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) which can inadvertently spread by cross-pollination.
Known examples include:
* Terminator genes which render the next generation of seeds sterile thus eliminating seed crops.
* The bacteria BT is a naturally occurring substance and has been a mainstay of organic farmers to control insects. The insecticidal genes from BT have now been spliced into the genomes of food crops. This will lead to more resistant insects thus permanently eliminating one of the few measures organic farmers can take to control pests.
NOTE: Also, consumers will be exposed to thousands (or millions) fold higher concentrations of the BT toxins, since they are no longer just on the surface where they can be washed away, but instead infused into the substance of the fruit or vegetable. The long term health effects of such increased exposures are unknown.
Irradiated foods should be labeled.
More widespread use of organic farming techniques should be employed. Use of beneficial insects should be used to control destructive insects.
PROPERTY AND LAND RIGHTS
The Reform Party recognizes that ecology and the economy are interrelated, and therefore holds the following to be of great importance:
Scientific management of privately held lands has proven more successful than agenda-driven, agency management of government lands. Accordingly, the Reform Party calls for greater private property rights, and that hard data replace politics as the basis of land management decision-making and land use regulations and laws.
MILITARY AND VETERANS
The Reform Party aspires to policies that would:
* Support our veterans so that they can serve and live with dignity without the aid of public assistance.
* Treat all veterans’ current spouses and widows (or widowers) equally and in accordance with Federal law.
All deceased veterans should be buried with honor.
There should be no reduction of military pay in combat areas.
By law, County Commissioners has oversight of veteran health care benefits. They sign off on the assurances that each veteran in the county has received proper services. If such officials are found to be misusing public monies or falsifying federal documents, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (Title 38 USC & 38 CFR)
Veterans, including those with permanent and total disabilities, are entitled to complete health care at any medical facility licensed to provide health services. Veterans’ Universal Insurance by law provides these services and does not stipulate that they must only occur at a VA Hospital. As a contract this cannot be changed until all the members of the class are deceased.