August 16th, I stated that we needed a new Contract With America to nationalize the 2010 elections. We need to have a set of unifying principles that we can get our candidates to adhere to to and rally around in 2010. My first two contributions were:
First: It should be the law of the land that no congressman should be allowed to vote on any legislation they have not personally read and understood. Getting rid of 1000+ page monstrosities might be one means of attaining that. If it slows down the process, or if they have to "hire an attorney" to accomplish it, as some have claimed, then so be it! Although, personally, I am at a loss to comprehend how many staffers are available to Congress, most Senators and Congressmen are lawyers, and yet they claim to be in need of legal counsel!
Second: Resurrect one of the original reforms from the Contract With America: Require that all laws that apply to the rest of the country apply to Congress as well. (Health care comes to mind!)
I've given it a little more thought since then, particularly in light of some of the current news about the plethora of "czars" populating the Obama Administration, here are a few more:
Three: Pledge to eliminate most, if not all the "czars" that are not subject to Congressional oversight or the will of the people.
Four: A rededication to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Five: A pledge to reduce Congressional spending on staff, junkets and travel.
And a selection from reader's comments on other possibilities. I don't endorse them all, but most have potential:
* Establish an independent ethics committee
* Initiate term AND age limits for ALL Congress
* Eliminate automatic pay raises for Congress
* All bills shall be less than 100 pages or at least limited in length
* All bills shall be written in plain English
* Eliminate Earmarks.
* Any Congressperson wishing to run for another office shall resign his/her seat and pay for the travel out of their own pockets.
* Any Congressperson wishing to change parties shall resign his/her seat and run for office in the following election.
* The Constitution and Declaration of Independence shall be required reading and whoever wishes to hold office should be tested on both.
* Cut corporate taxes
* Freeze all govt spending, not index it to inflation, until the deficit is under control or gone.
* Cut the capital gains tax to 10% (Or a moratorium on capital gains to jump start the economy)
* Cut the number of federal statutes by 20%, getting rid of hundreds, or thousands of unnecessary laws, or laws that should be left up to the state. (Tenth Amendment)
* Sunset ALL federal bureaucracies and force 1/3 of them to defend their existence every 6 years, alternating them as we do Senators.
* Cut the top tax rate to 25%, drop the other brackets to 20, 15, 10, and 5% respectively.
* Slash the tax code by at least 1/3rd.
* Eliminate omnibus spending bills and mandate that each area of spending be its own bill to be debated and voted up or down by the full Congress.
2010 is just around the corner. We need to focus and refine the message of exactly what we expect from our elected representatives. Conservatives can then run on a platform of genuine reform rather than the phony, pious platitudes of the current administration and their party.
Cross posted at Say Anything