Skip to comments.Contract for the American Dream (Rep. Chaffetz)
Posted on 01/29/2010 2:08:07 PM PST by Choose Ye This Day
Restoring Principled Leadership for the United States of America
Submitted by Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Congressional Action Plan (CAP) for the 112th Congress
The American Dream is powerful. It has motivated generations of Americans to contribute to our unparalleled prosperity and quality of life. The American recipe for greatness has always rested on the values of hard work, thrift , perseverance, ingenuity, industry, self-discipline, self-reliance, and dedication.
We did not become the greatest country on Earth by entitlement. We worked for it. But when our public policies foster dependence, punish industry, redistribute wealth and limit freedom, we risk compromising the very thing that made us great.
Now more than ever, our future depends on our collective ability to restore the American Dream. The American dream wasn't built on higher taxes, Czars, "Cash for Clunkers," or corporate bailouts. And it wasnt built on a limitless government credit card.
The American Dream was built on the sweat and blood of Americans who took pride and ownership in the United States of America. It wasnt the promise of something for nothing, but the promise of earned rewards that motivated so many to do so much.
When times were tough, generations before us didn't ask for a government bailout or a government stimulus, they rolled up their sleeves. They worked hard and took personal responsibility for their success or their failure.
As Representatives of the People we must stand tall for restoring the American Dream. To do so, we must recommit ourselves to the principles that made this country great and never be persuaded to sway from those principles for political convenience.
For the United States to continue to be the world's economic and military superpower, we must also change the way we do business in Washington, D.C. That does not mean more government and more redistribution of wealth. Rather, the best hope for the United States of America is to return to the core principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability, and a strong national defense.
Adherence to these core principles will result in more jobs, more opportunity, more freedom, and consequently a better quality of lifenow and for future generations. It is every citizens responsibility to leave this world better than we found it. These principles comprise our country's pathway to achieving that goal.
Elected by the People of our states to the United States House of Representatives, it is our commitment to do what is right for our country. We are guided by the Constitution, dedicated to integrity and personal responsibility, loyal both to our home states and collectively to the United States of America.
Therefore, we set forth to enacting the following Congressional Action Plan (CAP) in the 112th Congress:
Situation: Our national debt exceeds $12 trillion, with our annual deficit in excess of $1.4 trillion. Federal spending as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is roughly 25%, when historically it has been roughly 19-20%. We pay approximately $600 million per day in interest payments. In short, the current government spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much of the people's money. It is unacceptable and unsustainable. No longer can we run this government on a credit card. We are not going to borrow and spend our way out of these challenges.
Imagine a federal government that treats the national treasure with respect and responsibility by living within its means-where every American pays a fair share.
Reduce total federal payroll and workforce by 10%, except for military. This action will force all federal departments to identify and eliminate waste. Support a balanced budget amendment. Require 2/3 majority vote for any tax increase. Cut non-defense discretionary spending by inflation minus 3% across the board. Impose a moratorium on all appropriations earmarks until the process is reformed legislatively. Work to maximize openness and transparency with filters, to ensure only expenditures with a federal nexus, and prohibit allocations to for-profit companies. Reduce the capital gains rate to 10%. This will lead to increased receipts to the federal treasury and will also increase investment in the USA. Engage in entitlement reform.
Situation: The government is omnipresent in our lives, restricting our basic liberties. The proper role of government is a strictly limited one. We recognize that the States created the federal government. The federal government did not create the States. Further, it is not the government that will create jobs, wealth, or propel the United States of America to reach its fullest potential. It is the American people who will drive America forward.
Imagine a federal government that recognized it could not solve every problem. Imagine a government focused instead on the most important federal roles, such as national defense. Individuals should have the freedom to succeed or fail in this country. It is not the government's role to stand in the way of either outcome or to choose winners and losers.
Repeal TARP and commit to no more "stimulus" bills that are merely a ruse to grow government.
Appoint a bi-partisan "Sunset Commission" to identify at least 100 federal departments or programs recommended for elimination by December 31, 2011.
Reduce the corporate income tax to a flat 10%. This will eliminate the wide array of corporate loopholes, incentivize business in the U.S.A., and simplify the tax code.
Reject the "Cap & Trade" scheme and repeal all EPA funding related to carbon policy.
Sell back to private ownership the three million acres of federal land identified under the Clinton Administration as having no federal purpose.
Situation: Americans have lost confidence in their elected leaders and the direction of the country as a whole. We are being governed by a "nanny state" mentality that is blanketing the country with the misconception that the government can and should solve all problems.
Imagine an atmosphere of personal responsibility where individuals took control of their future and worked hard to improve their lives. Restoration of confidence in the government is possible through true openness and transparency in all facets of government operations.
Fire the Czars and adhere to the procedures under the Constitution requiring Senate confirmation for such leadership positions.
Apply all laws equally to Congress.
Require Committees to post all proceedings on the Internet within 24 hours. Allow 72 hours for Bills and Conference Reports to be publicly online prior to a vote on the House Floor.
Prohibit Members of Congress serving on Appropriations and Ways & Means from seeking earmarks.
Require that 100% of all campaign donations be filed with the Federal Election Commission for public review. Attack the rampant waste, fraud, and abuses in Medicare and Medicaid.
Deny the passage of "card check" and participate in labor law reform.
Ensure that E-Verify is fully deployed and mandatory for hiring an employee.
STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE
Situation: The men and women serving in our armed forces are the best in the world. They can accomplish anything they are asked to do, if they are given the proper resources and clear rules of engagement.
Imagine the best equipped strategic strike forces rapidly deployed at a moment's notice to respond to the national security interests of the United States of America. Also, imagine a well compensated military that cares for the military families, now, in the future, and especially when wounded.
Dedicate at least 4% of our nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for national defense spending. Secure our borders, enforce our current immigration laws, and reject amnesty for those who are here illegally.
Adopt a "Go Big or Go Home" approach to our overseas military presence. We must have the best foreign intelligence, human and electronic.
Support an "all of the above" national energy policy that advocates rapid development of renewable energy, clean/green energy, and the use of our various natural resources and nuclear capabilities. Recognize that energy independence is vital to our national security. Keep Guantanamo Bay open and continue with military tribunals.
Sustain the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. Support Veterans by honoring all commitments made to them.
The United States of America is the greatest country on Earth, but we must now fight to preserve our liberties, our freedom, and our Constitution.
We hereby pledge our names to this commitment to restore the American Dream.
Jason Chaffetz (UT-3)
Please go to Jason’s site and say you support the Contract.
We need to keep pressuring Congress until we get them.
Also, here are Chaffetz’s 12 action items for the Congress:
12 Action Items for the 112th Congress
12 Common Sense Changes for Congress That Would Make A Meaningful Difference
Committees post proceedings within 24 hours. Allow 72 hours for Bills and Conference Reports to be publicly online prior to a vote on the House Floor.
Action: Support H.Res. 835 (Lynn Jenkins R-KS freshman), H.Res. 554 (Brian Baird, D-WA, 214 co-sponsors)
No earmarks or pass-through funding for “for-profit” companies.
Action:Support H.R. 2512 (Jeff Flake R-AZ & Ron Kind D-WI)
No earmarks for those serving on Appropriations Committee.
Action: Chaffetz to introduce legislation
C-SPAN broadcast all committee meetings, including the Rules Committee meetings. Exception for national security.
Action: Support H.Res. 869 (Charles Dent, R-PA, 78 co-sponsors) and Jason Chaffetz to introduce legislation.
Check & Balance
Allow the Minority in Oversight & Government Reform to have subpoena powers.
Action: Chaffetz to introduce legislation
Reinstitute open rules for appropriations bills, allowing for unlimited amendments and debate.
Action: Support Republican leadership in their efforts. Preserve this practice when Republicans are in the majority.
Balanced Budget Amendment
Congress has shown no fiscal discipline. We must do this.
Action: Support H.J.Res. 1 (Bob Goodlatte R-VA, 168 co-sponsors). Requires 3/5 majority for expenditures to exceed receipts and requires President to submit a balanced budget.
Ethics disclosures should include real estate holdings and associated loans. Further, 100% of all campaign donations should be disclosed with the FEC.
Action: Chaffetz to introduce legislation.
No “Omnibus” bills
Action: Hold Representatives accountable by asking them not to support Omnibus bills.
Implement a constitutional line-item veto
Action: Support H.R. 1294 (Paul Ryan R-WI) and H.R. 3964 (Jeb Hensarling R-TX)
If you work for the Federal Government and you don’t pay your taxes, you’re fired!
Action: Chaffetz to introduce legislation. Make it government wide, especially at the White House and on Capitol Hill.
No special carve-outs for Members of Congress
Action: Demand it on all bills
BONUS—Members of Congress must sleep on a cot in their office!
That would be good, too. 12 years and go home!
ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT: Print off a signature form and hand it to ANYONE who is running for an elected office this year. Ask them if they will sign this common-sense contract.
No, the federal gov’t should definitely maintain control of national parks.