The Tea Party Program for American Renewal

This is our first draft.  Please leave comments/suggestions.  Special thanks to Fred, Meg & Iris on this project.  You may also email us at: info@southfloridateaparty.org

Good government is increasingly rare but still within reach.  It requires concerned citizens, aware of the issues facing us as a country, and willing to hold our elected officials accountable.  It requires elected officials who place the needs of the country as a whole over the narrow interests of themselves, their campaign contributors, even the parochial interests of their constituents.   The founding fathers were such men.  We would all benefit if Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, and their contemporaries could return to us and comment on the current state of government in America.

Probably, they would make the following observations:

  • We are much too ready to accept erosion of our liberty in return for government promises.
  • We are spending too much and borrowing too much, and government represents too large a part of our national economy.
  • Our system of taxation rewards failure and penalizes success.
  • Special interests – corporations and industry associations, unions, racial and ethnic organizations, have replaced citizens as the real constituents of elected officials.
  • Corruption at all levels has eroded the trust in government.

To stop this erosion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we call on all current or aspiring public officials at all levels, to acknowledge our peril, and commit to a 5 point program for excellence in government.

The Five Points

  • Protect the First Amendment – without free speech, tyranny is unstoppable.

Any and all infringements on the rights of individuals or groups to speak their mind in the public square will be opposed.  This includes limits on media such as the “fairness doctrine”, “diversity”, “localization”, as well as government orchestrated attacks on media companies like Fox News, FCC actions on “net neutrality”, government subsidies (and control) of newspapers and magazines, and intimidation of companies or industry groups who oppose government policy initiatives.

Limits on political speech, including those represented by the McCain-Feingold bill will be opposed and hopefully overturned.

Restriction on the rights of workers in union elections will be opposed, including “card check” and mandatory arbitration.

  • Reduce Deficits and the Size of Government – deficits expose us to creditor influence and unfairly burden future generations.

Currently, our budget deficit as a percent of GDP is larger than at any time since WW II.  It has exposed us to undue influence by China and other creditors, and will be a significant drain on economic growth in future years.  Future generations will be saddled with obligations for which they receive no benefit.  All future budgets must be fully funded by same-year revenue, and spending must be redirected at deficit reduction so as to eliminate the debt in 5 years, at which time legislation must take effect requiring a balanced budget going forward.

Excessive spending programs, including TARP and the so-called “stimulus” must be curtailed and unspent allocations should be withheld.

Current health reform legislation, expected to cost in excess of $1T must be defeated in favor of real reform that will address the cost of private insurance premiums, health care costs, and government program liabilities.  If such reform does pass, it will be a 2010 electoral goal to repeal it.

The federal reserve must be audited regarding TARP and TALF, exposing who got the money and what is the expectation for return to the treasury.  An explanation must be forthcoming for the fed exit strategy to end quantitative easing and restore normal liquidity without hyperinflation.

  • Restore Equitable Taxation – all citizens should share in the cost of government.

Today, we are approaching the tipping point where less than half of Americans will pay income taxes, and more than half receive benefits.  This would lead to an unsustainable spiral, as the untaxed will demand more benefits for themselves and higher taxes on the “rich”.  Very shortly, if this “looting” continues there will be no “rich”, no prosperity, and no wealth to re-distribute, since all incentives for productive work will have been extinguished.  All alternatives to our current system of taxation must be pursued, including “flat tax”, “fair tax”, ‘VAT”, etc.  until the  perverse incentives of the current code can be corrected.

  • Listen to your constituents – you are supposed to represent them, not the industry group or national party that funds your campaigns.

Public officials have enormous pressures on them from lobbyists of all persuasions.  Even if an official is totally ethical, after a few years in office, the voices of the constituents that put them in office are often drowned out by the incessant special interests.  All avenues of communication with constituents should be encouraged, including frequent town-hall style meetings, email and written communication that is not reduced to boilerplate form letters, and responsive staffers manning office phones.  When a position is taken that has been strongly opposed by constituents, good leadership requires an acknowledgment of the opposition and a thoughtful defense of the position.

  • Restore Trust in Government – corruption at all levels should be condemned and relentlessly prosecuted.

Public officials must demand an end to corruption, regardless of party or position.  Any official who is indicted in a criminal prosecution should immediately resign their position until cleared of wrongdoing. An accusation of wrongdoing short of indictment, including violations of ethics rules of a legislative body should be quickly investigated and resolved.  Corruption in institution leadership should not be tolerated – any target of an ethics investigation that drags on for longer than a month should voluntarily resign from their leadership position until the matter is resolved.  Officials must demand ethical behavior from their colleagues.

Government Propaganda of all kinds must be opposed, including using the National Endowment for the Arts or compliant television networks to push administration programs.

The widespread use of unelected or unconfirmed “czars” in a position of power in the White House must be curtailed.

In order to restore trust in our electoral process, government and/or party funded groups such as ACORN that have been shown to be guilty of voter fraud, should be de-funded, investigated, and prosecuted as appropriate.

Candidate Checklist

1.   Do you commit to oppose limits on our first amendment right to free speech?         YES   /   NO

Including:

  • Limits on talk radio – “fairness doctrine”, “localization”, “diversity”, etc.
  • Attacks on administration opponents – Fox News, Chamber of Commerce, etc.
  • FCC imposition of “net neutrality”
  • McCain-Feingold style limits on political speech
  • Restriction on rights of workers in union elections, “card check”, mandatory arbitration

2.   Do you commit to reduce the federal deficit and the size of government?                 YES   /   NO

Including:

  • Insisting that future budgets are funded by current-year revenue
  • Redirecting spending to draw down the deficit to 0 in 5 years
  • Curtailing TARP and rolling back the unspent “Stimulus” money
  • Killing Health reform in its current form or repealing it if passed
  • Calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve to expose TARP recipients
  • Demanding an accounting of the Fed exit strategy for quantitative easing

3.   Do you commit to work towards a more equitable tax code?                                  YES   /   NO

Including:

  • Serious consideration of “Flat tax”, “Fair tax”, “VAT”, and other alternatives to the IRS
  • Removing the perverse incentives of the progressive tax code

4.   Do you commit to listen to your constituents?                            YES   /   NO

Including:

  • Holding frequent public town hall meetings
  • Replies to constituent queries with more than form letter boilerplate
  • Acknowledging disagreements and adequately explaining controversial vote.

5.  Do you commit to work to restore trust in government?                                          YES   /   NO

Including:

  • Calling for immediate resignation of indicted officials
  • Calling for members in leadership to step down if ethics complaints persist for longer than 1 month
  • Opposing government propaganda in all forms, including by NEA or compliant network media
  • Opposing the use of unelected, unconfirmed czars in White House power positions
  • Investigation and prosecution of all organizations involved in voter fraud

8 thoughts on “The Tea Party Program for American Renewal

  1. Donna Merritt says:

    I would like to thank you all for your hard work and for your accomplishments in getting this information available for us and also for the really great job of creating the format for the presentation.
    WE have been needing just this type of a common ground for those in (liberal) South Florida. It gets really discouraging. I have found a nest of conservatives in many of the volunteers at the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale.
    I’m not sure how much or in what position I can be of help. I live in Dania, and will attend local events.
    Thank you again for your hard work.
    Sincerely yours
    Donna Merritt

  2. Thanks on a great job on putting in words what WE THE PEOPLE require from our elected officials, the people we put our trust in.
    The only thing I would like to put forward at this time and see what others think about it is term limits for local and federal elected officials, it works for Governors and Presidents.
    Thank again
    John

  3. Kathleen Robbins says:

    Hi, great first draft. Some suggestions: Put the explanation for the points at the end of the paragraph instead of the beginning Example: Point 2 could begin the paragraph with “All future budgets must be funded by same-year revenue” and end the paragraph with “Currently our budget deficit as a percent of GDP is larger than at any time since WW2…”. I think it would make the points more clear and give it more punch.
    I also don’t care for the sentence in Point 4 “Even if an official is totally ethical, after a few years in office, etc” It gives a candidate the idea that we are assuming he will become unethical as years go by and can use special interest pressure as an excuse.
    Regarding Acorn or groups of it’s type: Why should they be receiving taxpayer funds at all? A group pushing a particular political agenda is not representative of all the people so why should we be supporting it?

  4. HOUSE ETHICS MANUAL
    355
    APPENDICES
    Code of Ethics for Government Service
    72 Stat., Part 2, B12 (1958), H. Con. Res. 175, 85th Cong.
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is
    the sense of the Congress that the following Code of Ethics should be adhered to by all
    Government employees, including officeholders:
    CODE OF ETHICS FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICE
    Any person in Government service should:
    1. Put loyalty to the highest moral principals and to country above loyalty to
    Government persons, party, or department.
    2. Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and
    of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.
    3. Give a full day‟s labor for a full day‟s pay; giving to the performance of his
    duties his earnest effort and best thought.
    4. Seek to find and employ more efficient and economical ways of getting tasks
    accomplished.
    5. Never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to
    anyone, whether for remuneration or not; and never accept for himself or his
    family, favors or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by
    reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his governmental duties.
    6. Make no private promises of any kind binding upon the duties of office, since a
    Government employee has no private word which can be binding on public
    duty.
    7. Engage in no business with the Government, either directly or indirectly
    which is inconsistent with the conscientious performance of his governmental
    duties.
    8. Never use any information coming to him confidentially in the performance of
    governmental duties as a means for making private profit.
    9. Expose corruption wherever discovered.
    10. Uphold these principles, ever conscious that public office is a public trust.
    (Passed July 11, 1958.)

  5. Thank God for people who are willing to put their names to stern messages to our ELECTED representatives. Far too many do lipservice only and aren’t willing to do anything. I am ready and willing to do what I can to wake up Americans to the truth that there is no free lunch.

    Sincerely

    Zelda Kimm

  6. It is great to see you doing this- the site is attractive and to the point. Well done!

    One criticism the Founders would have is that Americans have lost the sense of individual repsonsibility and now expect the government to take care of them. They would be surprised and dismayed at this turn of events.

    I’d like to see emphasis on the restoration of consitutional government. Separation of powers, esp the Tenth Amendment need emphasis, but overall a return to the founding principles. Our Consitution is a great document that impements some of the best ideas in human history. I encourage you to use those as your guideposts as you attempt to restore America.FJM

  7. I’m very impressed, however it has been very difficult for me to find a group in The Villages, FL where we live associated with the Tea Party. We would like to attend the November 12th Tea Party in Orlando, but can’t seem to get any information.

    If anyone can help, I’d appreciate it.

  8. cornelius van sant says:

    The secret to good government is for good people to speak up. I advance the idea that ACTIVISM is the answer to regaining good government. The left seized control because they are active 24/7. Conservatives outnumber these Marxist radicals but because we remain silent are washed away by the unopposed tide of socialist propaganda.

    You know them; they are relatives and loved ones who never failed to ram talking points down our throat. And, if we resisted they resorted to personal insults and manipulation (anger, threats, retaliation, personal destruction, etc.).

    Being conservative, we did not and do not want confrontation so we failed to question them, nodding our heads in deference to peace – which the left took as affirmation.

    The left never fails to opportune every situation they are in, every job and every platform they attain to advance 24/7 the egalitarianism agenda. They set up old boy networks advancing individuals sharing their view while rejecting and destroying the opposition.

    SPEAK UP! Write op-eds, call c-span, radio shows, blogs and create web sites. Use your position, your platform, your office and your business to advance our ideas for limited government and raise others up sharing the same ideals.

    Reject Marxism with 24/7 resistance. Become, as Marx called it, reactionary. Never quit be active and encourage others to be active 24/7.
    .

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