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Paul Hayden

Contract with Conservatives

November 7, 2011

Polls continue to show that the generic Republican nominee will beat Obama and that the president’s support is low and dropping lower. If Republicans unite beyond their nominee, then more and more it appears the Republican nominee will be our next president. Yet conservatives, for good reason, are leery of some Republican candidates for the nomination.

In some areas, we have as much assurance as we can get. There are already 238 House members and 41 Senate members who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The Susan B Anthony List identifies those who are willing to go formally on record as Pro-Life. Why not ask each candidate who wants our vote in a primary or support in a caucus to sign a more general document which embraces the salient points of conservatives – a Contract with Conservatives - which does not need to get into minutia but which is a catechism of conservatism.

The Contract with Conservatives need not be overly specific. In fact, it needs to be a statement of principles and not minutia. Whose tax plan is better, Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 or Rick Perry’s recent flat tax proposal? Either would be a fulfillment of conservative ideals and a vast improvement over the present system. What should be in this Contract with Conservatives?

1) Federal spending is far too high. This spending is full of waste, full of political payoffs, and often actually destructive. Federal spending, including entitlement spending must be reduced to a level which balances spending to revenue. No new spending and no increases in budgetary levels should be approved until the federal budget is balanced.

2) All tax levels are too high. Fair tax rates must be proportional tax rates. The tax code is too complex and this complexity provides politicians with another way to reward friends. The tax code should be reformed so that all Americans pay the same tax rates, so that tax rates are lower, and so that the tax system is simple.

3) It is vitally in our national interest to produce as much oil, gas, coal and nuclear power in America as soon as possible. Congress must remove most environmental regulations and open federal land for drilling and mining and the administration must assist quick production of domestic energy sources.

4) Federal environmental regulations and laws cripple our economy. All environmental regulations and laws should sunset on September 1, 2013. Congress between January 2013 and September 2013 must review and reenact only those environmental laws necessary for public health and safety.

5) The Constitution provides no authority to Congress to create a national healthcare system. The Repeal Pledge is the indispensable first step.

6) Federal laws govern immigration and naturalization. It is the duty of the federal government to enforce those laws and it is wrong for the federal government to sue state governments or otherwise impede state or local governments who pass laws intended to punish businesses which violate our nation’s immigration laws.

7) Federal regulatory and judicial powers are distant from ordinary Americans and indifferent to our wishes. State and local elected officials are closest and most responsive to the people. The federal government should devolve all the power it can from federal regulatory agencies and judges to state and local elected officials.

8) Our Constitution means something. Tax dollars can only be spent when appropriated by Congress. The Federal Reserve cannot simply “create” money. The right to keep and bear arms is untouchable by federal power.

9) Federal intervention in education, from primary schools to support for colleges, has been a colossal failure. Home schooling, charter schools, religious schools and other choice-based education systems work and should be supported. College must be genuinely open and not ideologically driven. No direct or indirect federal aid should be given to any educational institution which has not adopted the Academic Bill of Rights.

10) Our nation was founded in trust upon the God of Jews and of Christians, which is the source of our notions of religious toleration so absent in most of the world. It is imperative to reassert the spiritual side of our political heritage of liberty and to condemn and oppose all efforts to make our nation’s government hostile to Judeo-Christian religious traditions. It is also imperative to protect the life of the unborn.

The language should be broad enough so that any conservative could sign the contract without questions or qualms, so brief that anyone could read the whole document in ten minutes, and clear enough to allow no wiggle room when in office. If we want a true conservative revolution, then we must define, in clear and concise text, what that revolution means. Where better to make that definition than when Republicans are asking the conservative base for their support in 2012?

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Copyright ©2011 Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.