‘Way back in history – In the Spring of 2010 – a wide variety of Conservative, independent, grass roots organizations (mostly from the Tea Party and 912 groups) held meetings in cities across the US. I attended one with Comal County (Texas) Republican Women and Tea Party members, in Austin, Texas, sponsored by the Austin Tea Party on April 15, 2010. Within a couple of weeks, my friend chartered and filled a big ol’ bus full of men and women willing to pay for their seat on the bus, meet very early in the morning, and give up a day to hear Newt Gingrich speak.
The former Speaker (and current candidate for Republican nomination for President) told us about the initiative for a “grassroots-generated, crowd-sourced, bottom-up call for real economic conservative and good governance reform in Congress.”
In the heat of our very long Primary build up, I’m afraid that we might have forgotten the Contract and how it came to be, from the idea that began in Houston, Texas, to the document, below. I encourage everyone to visit the website, take a look at the names of the sponsors and to remember the Contract and why we were excited by it ‘way back then. (The numbers in parentheses represent the strength of support from the participants.)
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.
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.
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.
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. (82.03%)
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. (72.20%)
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. (69.69%)
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. (64.90%)
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. (63.37%)
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. (56.57%)
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. (56.39%)
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. (55.51%)
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. (55.47%)
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. (53.38%)