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Every schoolchild in our country deserves a quality education—one that not only equips them to be successful in life and to make positive contributions to society, but that also engenders a true appreciation for the “American Experiment” in liberty and justice for all. We therefore believe that U.S. History should be taught in all primary school grades and that students should be taught the Constitution and tested on it before they graduate. Because of their natural love for and intimate knowledge of their kids, we also believe that parents are best equipped to make educational choices for them, and that these decisions should be made at the local level.
Because no one method of education is effective for all children, we support Parental Choice in Education. All families should be able to use “public education dollars” to send their kids to the schools they deem most appropriate, whether they be public schools, religious and secular private schools, technical schools, homeschools, etc. Beyond that, the funding, operation and oversight of our educational systems should rest at the level of government closest and most accountable to parents: the municipal or county level, and not with the federal government.
Indeed, the U.S. Constitution forbids any substantive involvement by the federal government in determining local educational policy, curricula and standards. Therefore, we strongly oppose recent efforts by the Department of Education to impose national programs like No Child Left Behind and Common Core on all American schoolkids as unconstitutional intrusions into states’ rights that usurp parental authority and undermine local control.
Common Core, with its compulsory regime of testing, reporting and tracking of students by federal agencies, represents an especially egregious violation of American privacy rights, and makes a mockery of the 4th Amendment. We, therefore, favor the complete repeal of Common Core (and No Child Left Behind), and the return of educational control to parents and their local communities. We also oppose the National College Board’s recent attempts to indoctrinate high school students with liberal ideology through the Advanced Placement (AP) courses and testing it controls.
Finally, we believe our schoolchildren have the right to be educated in safety. Our schools must not be “gun-free zones,” where violent predators are allowed to threaten the lives of students and school personnel with impunity. We therefore believe that all reasonable measures should be taken to ensure our schools offer a safe, secure learning environment for our kids. This includes hiring active and/or retired police and military individuals to provide armed security, as well as giving teachers, who are trained in the use of firearms, the right to “concealed carry” on campus.
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Health decisions are inherently personal, and American citizens have a right to healthcare that is choice-based, patient-controlled and market-oriented, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all, government-run program. When government gets involved in what should be a private enterprise, the results are predictably disastrous. The grossly misnamed Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a case in point. Contrary to promises made, not only have millions of Americans not been able to “keep [their] own doctor” and/or their insurance plans, but instead of driving down the cost of healthcare it has driven costs up to all-time highs.
Under Obamacare, along with higher taxes, forced government mandates and conscience violations, the cost of insurance premiums and deductibles has increased—and keeps increasing—dramatically. All the while, access to doctors, hospitals and insurance providers has significantly decreased. Therefore, genuine healthcare reform today begins with abolishing Obamacare entirely and returning the responsibility for insurance regulation to the states.
In the place of “government-care,” we favor the reimplementation of free-market approach to healthcare based on individual choice, genuine competition, and increased insurance and provider options. To achieve this, Congress should pass legislation that contains provisions such as: expanding the right for individuals and small businesses to form insurance-purchasing pools, insurance portability and allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, as well as the creation of Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts. For those who can’t afford regular health insurance, we support block-granting Medicaid funds to the states. We also favor the passage of laws to cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, which alone will help reduce the cost of medical care significantly.
We also believe our Constitution’s conscience-rights protections explicitly include the healthcare decisions we make, and should be respected and upheld by our government not violated by it. We support the ability of all U.S. citizens, including private individuals, healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, insurance companies, educational institutions and faith-based groups to provide, purchase, or enroll in healthcare coverage consistent with their religious, moral and ethical convictions. In particular, no American should ever be forced to purchase or fund any abortion-related services against their will, and no taxpayer dollars should be used to pay for abortions or go to those who perform them, like Planned Parenthood.
In addition, we staunchly defend the fundamental right of parents to determine the proper medical care, treatment and/or therapy for their minor children. Except for life-threatening emergency situations, parental consent should always be required before any medical treatment may be given to a child. Similarly, all life-ending healthcare decisions should be made by individuals and families in consultation with their doctors, not by government officials or based on insurance mandates.
Fair and Simple Taxes for Growth
Republicans consider the establishment of a pro-growth tax code a moral imperative. More than any other public policy, the way government raises revenue — how much, at what rates, under what circumstances, from whom, and for whom — has the greatest impact on our economy’s performance. It powerfully influences the level of economic growth and job creation, which translates into the level of opportunity for those who would otherwise be left behind. Getting our tax system right will be the most important factor in driving the entire economy back to prosperity.
The current tax code is rightly the object of both anger and mockery. Its length is exceeded only by its complexity. We must start anew. That will be an enormous undertaking and, if it is to succeed, it must command the attention and approval of the American people. It cannot be engineered from the top down, but must have a common sense approach, and be simplified. Restoring the American Dream
Our proposal is straightforward. Wherever tax rates penalize thrift or discourage investment, they must be lowered. Wherever current provisions of the code are disincentives for economic growth, they must be changed. We will not divide the American people into winners and losers. We will eliminate as many special interest provisions and loopholes as possible and curb corporate welfare, especially where their erosion of the tax base has created pressure for higher rates. We will be mindful of the burdens on families with children and the impact on an aging population. We will seek simplicity and clarity so that every taxpayer can understand how much of their income is consumed by the federal government.
We will welcome all to this enterprise — to discuss, debate, challenge, and amend — so that together we can restore economic growth for the American people and, even more important, renew their faith in the future.
Our Tax Principles
To ensure that past abuses will not be repeated, we assert these fundamental principles. We oppose retroactive taxation. We condemn attempts by activist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected representatives by ordering higher taxes.
We oppose tax policies that deliberately divide Americans or promote class warfare. Because of the vital role of religious organizations, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies in fostering generosity and patriotism, they should not be subject to taxation and donations to them should remain deductible. To guard against hypertaxation of the American people in any restructuring of the federal tax system, any value added tax or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.