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2000 PLATFORM PACKET OF THE REFORM
The following platform planks,
passed November 2, 1997, were established in the Reform Party
National Founding Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
Amended Atlanta, Georgia September
26,1998 and Dearborn, Michigan July 24,1999.
Readopted Aurora, Colorado
September 7, 2002.
We shall enact economic and fiscal
policies that require fiscal responsibility and accountability from
The Federal government shall be
managed within its means, and will not continually run budget
- Pass 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 the debt, they should not be used to fund
tax reductions nor to fund new programs.
- Eliminate programs that are
wasteful, outdated or that do not serve an important national
- End corporate welfare and special
- Manage mandatory spending
programs and government-sponsored enterprises so that they are
- Review all programs on a regular
basis and always make 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.
Targeted Action Budget
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 will then 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, while the director
should be a presidential appointee subject to confirmation by the
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 raising to promote
employment-creation and the construction and rehabilitation of the
city's housing and business infrastructure.
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 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
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
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
We shall return fiscal integrity to
trust funds such as Social Security, Medicare, government retirements
and all programs dealing with future obligations to individual
- 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.
- 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
- Prohibit politicians from
including Social Security Trust Fund surpluses in unified budget
- 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
- Reduce medical care inflation
through pilot-testing of market-based reforms including managed
care, medical savings accounts and creation and regulation of
- End subsidies for the health care
of the wealthy.
- Bring federal government
retirements and benefits in line with private sector.
- Remove all trust funds from the
budget and demand an individual accounting.
- We shall create a new tax system.
- The new system shall be fair and
- The new system shall raise the
money needed to pay the nation's constitutionally legitimate
- 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 under
the new system must be approved by the people in the next federal
election, in order to impose discipline on spending
- Any tax law that benefits a
discrete minority shall be subject to strict scrutiny and shall
become law only if a compelling interest can be demonstrated.
- We shall require the highest
ethical conduct by all of our government officials.
- Limit gifts, favors and outside
sources of income while in office and after leaving.
- Proven unethical behavior must
require a recall vote by the constituents.
- All legislation shall be read by
the appropriate officials before debates or votes are cast.
- All bills will address one issue
- We shall seek to increase citizen
participation in political office.
- Request candidate pledge to limit
their term of office, regardless of the current laws.
- Institute Term Limits on the
House of 3 terms (6 years).
- Institute Term Limits on the
Senate of 2 terms (12 years).
- We shall reform our electoral,
lobbying and campaign practices to ensure that our elected
officials owe their allegiance to the people whom they are elected
- Vigorously enforce all present
campaign finance laws.
- We will work with Congress to
change the composition of the Federal Elections Commission to
include independent and non-partisan representation.
- Campaigns should include free and
equal access to the media resources for all qualified candidates.
- TV and radio stations will
allocate sufficient time for candidate forums which includes all
qualified candidates, or presidential candidates that qualify for
- Political Action Committees
(PACS) should be outlawed.
- The goals of U.S. trade policies
must be to eliminate the U.S. trade deficits which have made the
U.S. the world's largest debtor nation and to preserve the
capability of the U.S. to manufacture those products which are
vital to her economic and military well being.
- Foreign companies selling goods
in the U.S. which are manufactured in countries with which we have
large trade deficits must pay compensating U.S. taxes.
- The U.S. industrial policy will
maintain domestic sources for all vital military and non-military
products procured by the U.S. government.
- Foreign companies whose
governments subsidize their exports to the U.S. will pay
compensating U.S. taxes on good imported to the U.S. for sale.
- Our trade agreements should
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 while safeguarding our system of checks and
- Eliminate 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 those
- Withdraw from the WTO and develop
tailored trade agreements with other nations according to the
practices and performance of those countries.
- Nullify the incentive to relocate
manufacturing to low wage regions around the world where the
market is the U.S. consumer.
- Maintain the ability to
manufacture or stockpile all products vital to our national
- Advocate a "Buy America" policy
that patronizes American made goods. Articles may 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, are required to bear a label
stating Country of Origin.
- Safeguard American employment and
labor standards and uphold our ban on the import of the products
of child and slave labor.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF
- 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 shall only be considered
under the Treaty Provision of the U.S. Constitution requiring a
2/3 vote of the Senate.
THE ROLE OF THE EXECUTIVE
- 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 life time ban on
serving as a lobbyist for any domestic or foreign
- Negotiate new tailored trade
agreements by entering into bilateral negotiations with existing
trading partners to replace GATT, NAFTA and other agreements which
violate our criteria. Specifically, the agreement to replace NAFTA
must require and be indexed to meaningful improvements in the
working standards and wages of Mexican workers and the enforcement
of environmental protection measures.
The Reform Party of the United States
is committed to a foreign policy based on the principles of
consistency, decisiveness, and accountability. We insist on a foreign
policy that is proactive rather than reactive, and whose primary
purpose is to enhance our country's national security.
- We shall promote an independent,
non partisan dialogue to carefully examine and take action on the
crucial educational issues that have become dangerously
politicized and bureaucratized in the hands of government and the
two party system.
- While federal, state and local
governments may each have an appropriate role to play in the
education system, for instance to ensure equal access to education
for all children, the control over education must be returned to
- 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.
We shall support reform of the
health care system that returns control of the system to its
We must return the individual's right
to control their own medical and health decisions.
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. We support measures that:
- 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; and
- Steadily improve the quality of
our air, water and earth.