The Pence Agenda for the 107th Congress:

A Guide to Renewing the American Dream

"Join us in our cause which is simply this; to renew the American Dream.

We can renew the American dream by showing again that we can run campaigns built on a new politics of civility and mutual respect.

We can renew the American dream by lifting the burden of taxes off families, small businesses and family farms so they can once again dream and build a better life for their children and grandchildren.

We can renew the American dream by rekindling the fires of men, material and morale that warm the warriors who stand on liberty’s ramparts protecting our families.

We can renew the American dream by asserting again the constitutional rule of law and the unalienable right to life."

Mike Pence

 

The Pence Agenda:

A Guide To Renewing The America Dream

 

Tax Relief

• With a projected 4 Trillion Dollar Surplus projected over the next 10 years, after setting aside 2 Trillion to strengthen Social Security, the 107th Congress should cut taxes by at least the 791.9 Billion dollars outlined in The Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (H.R. 2488).

• Congress should cut income tax rates for all Americans at all income levels. • Congress should repeal the Marriage Penalty by doubling the standard deduction, increasing income tax brackets and adjusting the Earned Income Tax Credit for joint returns. This would return $117 billion to families over the next ten years.

• Congress should phase out the alternative minimum tax. • Congress should cut capital gains taxes sooner by accelerating the tax rate reduction on long term capital gains from current deadline of 2005 to January 1, 2000.

• Congress should expand the availability and size of Individual Retirement Account contributions.

• Congress should repeal the death tax.

Tax Reform

• Tax reform should be built upon four basic principles:

• (1) Single Low Rate of Taxation for All Americans

• (2) Elimination of Bias Against Savings and Investment

• (3) All Taxpayers Should be Treated Equally

• (4) The Tax Code and Tax Filing Must Be Simplified

• Congress should adopt the Armey-Shelby Flat Tax Proposal (H.R. 1040/S.1040) sponsored by House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-TX) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). Under the Armey-Shelby proposal, two simple postcard size forms would replace the current tax code’s 703 forms. Also,

• Individual taxpayers would receive an non-taxed income allowance based on family size, for a family of four, more than $35,000 in income would be tax free. Beyond the allowance income, the taxpayer would be responsible for paying 17% on any wage, salary and pension income. Tax on all other income, including interest, dividends, rents, royalties and business profits, would be withheld and paid at the business level. Capital gains taxes and death taxes would be eliminated.

• For American businesses, the flat tax proposal would permit:

• (1) the full expensing of investments, instead of complicated depreciation schedules

• (2) elimination of death tax on transfer of small businesses and family farms

• (3) elimination of the alternative minimum tax

• (4) elimination of double tax on dividends

Rebuilding the Military

• Recognizing that the Clinton Administration has embarked on a policy of massive disarmament, the 107th Congress must rebuild the strength and effectiveness of our national defense. Here are some of the facts:

• (1) During the 1990’s, without accounting for inflation, defense spending fell by $24 billion dollars, from $300 billion in FY 1990 to $276 billion in FY 1999.

• (2)U.S. Strategic nuclear forces have declined by 25%.

• (3) The military is suffering it’s worst personnel crisis since the draft ended in 1973.

• (4) Procurement has declined by $30 billion dollars since 1990.

• Against this record, the 107th Congress should:

• (1) increase defense spending to $341 billion per year from FY 2002 to FY 2005.

• (2) spending for operations, maintenance and training should be restored to 1995 levels, adjusted for inflation

• (3) research and development should be increased from $36.6 billion in FY 1999 to $47 billion by the year FY 2005.

• (4) U.S. active duty forces should be adequate to fight and win one major regional conflict and one minor regional conflict at the same time.

• (5) Immediately fund the development and deployment of a space-based missile defense system.

• In addition to defense spending, Congress should lead a national debate on reforming the military by:

• (1) bringing an end to the era of using American military power in humanitarian causes and return to a disciplined traditional view of the use of American military power only where a "vital national interest" is at stake. Vital national interests would be include protecting the territorial integrity of the United States, it’s treaty allies or a region of strategic significance to the national security.

• (2) bringing an end to gender mixed basic training and gender mixed housing on military bases.

• (3) bringing an end to assigning women to combat support units, combatant ships and pilot billets that ultimately result in women becoming involved in combat. While women have always made an important contribution to national security, we must resist liberal impulse to use the military to advance the interest of women in civilian culture at the expense of military readiness and effectiveness. America must not become the only nation in the world to use women in combat positions.

• (4) bringing an end to the "don’t ask/don’t tell" policy of permitting homosexuals to serve in the armed forces. Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.

• (5) initiate an immediate review of salary practices within every branch of the service to address the serious crisis in personnel at all levels.

• (6) Open the federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which now covers federal employees and Congress, to military families as well.

Restoring Moral Integrity

• A fundamental axiom of Western Civilization is the belief in the sanctity of human life. The 107th Congress must be about the business of reasserting this crucial principle of our society.

• The unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. Roe vs.. Wade was legally poorly conceived and morally wrong and should be overturned. In support of this cause, the 107th Congress should:

• enact a human life amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

• endorse legislation that makes clear that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

• oppose using public revenues to fund abortions and continue to implement the strictures of the Hyde Amendment and it’s legislative progeny.

• oppose the granting of federal funds to domestic or international organizations which promote abortion as a method of birth control.

• support the appointment of judges by the Executive branch who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of human life.

• support and promote the interests of organizations which provide support and resources to women with crisis pregnancies.

• support and promote adoption reform, including enactment of an adoption tax credit and legislative efforts to remove racial barriers to adoption.

• Support legislation to ban partial birth abortion for the United States.

• Support efforts to require parental notification and parental consent prior to performance of an abortion on a minor.

• oppose physician assisted suicide by supporting passage of the Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act, specifying that killing is not a legitimate medical purpose under the Controlled Substances Act.

Campaign Reform

• Campaigns should demonstrate the basic human decency of the candidate, recognizing that your first amendment rights end at the tip of your opponents nose.

• Negative Personal Attacks have no place in public life and serve to erode public confidence in our basic institutions of government.

• Campaigns should be about the advancement of issues more important than the election of one individual over another.

• Campaign finance reform should include greater access, via the Internet, for the general public to all information relative to income and expenses of campaigns.

• Campaign finance reform should be designed increase the participation of individuals within the state and district of candidates for federal office and this could be accomplished by adjusting the individual contribution limit for inflation since 1974.

• Campaign finance reform must be built on the understanding that political contributions represent the use of private property by citizens in the excursive of their First Amendment right to free speech and must not be infringed.

Education Reform

• Education is a function of state and local government, church and private institutions. Education is not within the scope of the limited government contemplated by the founders of our federal system. As such,

• Congress should support efforts to return funding and control of public education to the state and local level.

• Congress should resist any effort to expand the role of the federal government in state and local education.

• For those educational systems which do fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government, namely the District of Columbia and military bases, Congress should support education choice vouchers, Charter Schools and any other means of injecting competition into the public school system.

• Congress should support the primacy of the parent in matters pertaining to the education of youth and support the home education movement.

• Congress should support the return of voluntary school prayer to the classrooms of our public schools.

• Congress should pass the Religious Liberty Protection Act and the Ten Commandments Defense Act to ensure that freedom of religion returns to our public institutions, including our public schools.

• Congress should continue to support the Equal Access Act and other legislation designed to reinforce the freedom of student initiated prayer and devotions on public school grounds.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

• Congress should support the constitutional right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.

• Congress should recognize that firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens results in less, not more, crime.

• Congress should resist efforts to further expand the federal government’s role in the area of firearms controls, recognizing the primacy of state law in matters related to firearm purchase and registration.

• Congress should allow states to use more federal income tax dollars to support local crime control initiatives aimed at disarming dangerous criminals.

• Congress should oppose any effort to achieve national firearms registration as antithetical to constitutional rights of law abiding Americans.

Welfare Reform

• Since Congress enacted the Great Society welfare programs of President Johnson, the federal government has spent 7.9 Trillion in the "war on poverty" and poverty is winning. Accordingly,

• Congress should support further implementation of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996.

• Congress should provide greater flexibility to states in the use of federal AFDC/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) resources.

• Congress should continue to support the 5 year limit on receipt of federal AFDC/TANF funds.

• Congress should develop new programs to strengthen marriage and reduce out of wedlock births.

• Congress should support further efforts to require work and responsible behavior.

Strengthening the American Family

• The traditional two parent family is the nucleus of our civilization. Accordingly,

• Congress should support legislation designed to strengthen the economic vitality and cultural primacy of the two parent family.

• Congress should pursue tax relief and tax reform that makes it more possible for more families to live on one income so that one parent may choose to be a full-time at home parent if they so desire.

• Congress should pass legislation that would require agencies to prepare a "Family Impact Statement" to assess the effect of all federal legislation and regulation on the two parent family. This would enact into law President Reagan’s 1986 Executive Order 12606 which President Clinton revoked.

• Congress should pass the Child Custody Protection Act to require parental notification prior to the delivery of any contraceptive drugs or devices to minor children by any Title X funded clinics.

• Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.

• Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexual’s as a "discreet and insular minority" entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.

• Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.

Health Care Reform

• Since 1994 when Congress rejected President Clinton’s 1342 page Health Security Act, the Administration has endeavored to achieve it’s goals through an incremental approach to health care reform. Any health care reform must be guided by a commitment to preserve our free market health care system and to strengthen patient choice. Accordingly,

• Congress should expand the pilot program which authorized the creation of Medical Savings Accounts to a nationwide roll out. Medical Savings Accounts permit employers to establish "healthcare IRA’s" for employees in which they deposit most or all of a large deductible payment. The employer then purchases a high deductible policy for the employee at a lower cost over all to the company. The employee pays for medical services out of the Medical Savings Account on a first dollar basis. Whatever is left over at the end of the year, rolls over into a tax deferred account.

• Congress should address the 44 million uninsured working Americans by enacting the Faircare for the Uninsured Act of 1999 (H.R. 2362). Under the Faircare credit, each working adult (excepting those already covered by an employer plan, those on Medicaid or Medicare) would receive $1000 each year, tax free, to buy health insurance and an additional $500 for each child up to a $1000 for two or more children. The average family would receive $3000 per year from the government to purchase health insurance coverage.

• Congress should build on the recommendations of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and create a flexible new system of private health insurance for the next generation of American seniors.

• Congress should block grant Medicaid to the states to permit the type of innovation which was generated following the recent welfare reform legislation.

Regulatory Reform

• As the 2nd District of Indiana has been served by one of the nation’s leading voices for regulatory reform, the next Congressman should seek to continue the David McIntosh regulatory legacy by:

• enacting the Regulatory Right to Know Act (H.R. 1074) introduced by Rep. McIntosh and passed by the House in July 1999. The bill requires the President to submit to Congress and annual accounting of the costs and benefits of regulatory programs and to make recommendations for reform.

• establishing an office to advise Congress on the scope and impact of regulations.

• Congress should establish a federal regulatory budget that puts a ceiling on the total estimated cost imposed on the economy by all federal regulations during a given fiscal year.

• Congress should require agencies to conduct periodic reviews of regulations

• Congress should take back responsibility for regulating by enacting the Congressional Responsibility Act (H.R. 2301) which would require that Congress approve agency rules before they take effect.

Social Security Reform

• Americans must come to realize that Social Security faces serious financial problems in the not to distant future. At present, there are 4 workers supporting every 1 beneficiary on Social Security. By the year 2020, that ratio will dwindle to 2 workers for every 1 beneficiary. Americans will either have to endure enormous payroll tax increases or support systemic reform.

• Congress should move immediately to reform and save Social Security.

• Congress should support interim legislation that ensures that the projected 10 year, 1.8 trillion dollar Social Security surplus is dedicated exclusively to meeting our present obligations to seniors and is not used to finance new programs, debt retirement or even tax relief.

• Congress expressly reject any effort to raid that Social Security surplus or trust fund to finance new government programs.

• Congress should inform the American people that the average return on dollars invested in Social Security through payroll taxes amounts to 2.13% over the lifetime of the worker. By permitting workers to invest even a small part of payroll taxes into the stock market, workers could anticipate a return of 12% based upon the performance of the stock market according to Standard & Poors 500 Stock Index of the past 40 years.

• Congress should enact legislation which would permit workers to divert 2% of wages from the worker’s Social Security retirement taxes to a new individual retirement savings account.

• Congress should support educational programs designed to prepare workers to manage their own personal retirement accounts.

Reforming Big Government

• While it may not be fashionable to say it these days, government is still too big and still spends too much. The 107th Congress should rededicate itself to reign in the bloated bureaucracy and wasteful government spending. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 has been a failure since discretionary spending and new federal spending rose after passage of the law. The Clinton Administration has balanced the budget on the backs of taxpayers and the military, not through fiscal restraint.

• Congress should reestablish the principle of federalism by getting the federal government out of those governmental functions which can and should be served at the state and local level.

• Congress should re-enact a line-item veto which will pass a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court.

• Congress should use privatization of federal services as a means of reducing costs and improving quality of services to the public.

• Congress should continue to promote civic efforts to take up where many bloated federal programs have failed over the past 30 years.

• Congress should sell federal assets to reduce the national debt.

• Congress should repeal the Davis-Bacon Act that requires government to pay artificially high labor rates for construction projects.

Promoting Trade

• Indiana remains the 2nd leading exporting state per capita in America and Hoosiers know that trade means jobs and opportunities for our families.

• Congress should continue to support NAFTA and GATT.

• Congress should renew fast track trading authority with the new Administration.

• Congress should press the Administration to negotiate lower trade barriers across a broad range of sectors of the economy.

• Congress should support efforts to continue to pursue opening of markets to China but should grant Normal Trade Relations status on a year to year basis.

• Keep WTO focused on it’s chartered mission of lowering trade barriers on a multilateral basis rather than becoming a world forum for labor and environmental issues.

• Congress should pursue free trade agreements with England and the European Union.

• Congress should pursue a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

Environmental Reform

• Congress should reform the Clean Air Act by simplifying the compliance requirements and by giving states and local communities greater flexibility to develop market based approaches to handling pollution problems.

• Congress should reject the global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol by reaffirming Senate Resolution 98 which passed 95-0 and expressed disapproval of the terms of the treaty.

• Congress should prohibit the Administration from implementing the Kyoto treaty through bureaucratic methods.

• Congress should create incentives for private landowners to protect endangered species.

• Congress should reform the wetlands program to encourage private and voluntary conservation efforts.

The Future

• Congress should resist any effort to tax the Internet.

• Congress should support efforts to provide families, businesses and sole proprietors with a tax incentives for expenses related to the purchase and implementation of information technology.

• Congress should support completion of the international space station.

• Congress should support efforts within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration end the era of low earth orbit exploration and commence efforts for America to, again, lead the world in outer space exploration.

Israel

• I often describe myself as a "Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order". Accordingly, my Christian faith is the principle characteristic of my life and, like millions of other Americans, I am preoccupied with the defense and the promotion of the interests of the state and the people of Israel.

• I see the relationship between the United States and Israel to be a unique and precious one, forged in the best values and hopes of the people of both nations. At no other time in human history has one people committed themselves so completely to the reestablishment of another people in their historic homeland as did the United States in 1948. I see our relationship with Israel as one of stewardship. Until such a time as Israel has developed both the economic and the military capability to stand on it's own, the United States must stand with Israel as a protector, friend and partner.

• This commitment begins with foreign aid by the United States to Israel. We must continue and be willing to expand our financial commitment to the economic and military strength of Israel even if foreign aid to other nations contracts. Three billion dollars per year is a bargain for the promotion of the interest of a people so cherished by millions of Americans, leaving aside entirely that Israel remains the only democratic nation in this strategically significant region of the world.

• This commitment also extends to the protection of the physical integrity of the historic boundaries of Israel. I believe that Jerusalem is, and must always remain the eternal undivided capital of Israel. I support the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act which clearly states that sentiment as a tenet of U.S. foreign policy and further posits that the U.S. should move it's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As a member of the House of Representatives, I would be a vocal critic of any effort to compromise the physical integrity of Israel or of Jerusalem in particular.

• The United States must be a supportive partner with Israel in promoting the Middle East Peace Process but must be ever guided by it's fealty first to the interests of Israel. I am committed to the goal of fully implementing the Wye River Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. I would not support the creation of a separate Palestinian State unless and until the democratically elected leadership of Israel became persuaded that such was truly in the best interest of Israel and her security.

• In the end, The United States must refrain from excersizing too great of an influence in the domestic or international decisions of the nation of Israel. As a parent learns to give a child room to make decisions, even mistakes, the United States must practice self control in allowing the people of Israel to find their own way and prosper according to America's beneficence and God's good grace.

Agriculture

• Mike Pence supports recent efforts, led by Indiana's own Senator Richard G. Lugar, to reverse decades of supply control management and unleash U.S. farmers to plant in response to market demand, not government programs. But as the farm sector transitions toward market-driven production, Mike Pence believes the government should help farmers adapt to the challenges of the global marketplace as well as work to maintain competitive markets here in the United States. This means providing farmers with a strong safety net and the means to manage economic downturns, such as crop insurance reform, tax-deferred accounts, and elimination of the death tax. It also means opening markets overseas for U.S. farm products, eliminating agricultural export subsidies and tariffs worldwide.

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