I was afraid this would happen, that we’d get Contract with America, 2010 Edition this year. See, Republicans look back on 1994, and they think “Contract with America, that’s the ticket, that’s what got us elected!” They may not realize that a lot of others look back and think “oh, that Contract with America thing the Republicans used to trick us into voting for them?”
So it’s going to happen again this year. Everybody in the Republican Party is working on their version now and getting ready to race to unveil theirs first.
It’s looking like one that may wind up being influential is this Contract from America thing. I oppose doing this, but since I think it’s almost certain to happen, I want to at least influence it for the better. In the event that this does wind up being the Contract for the year, I’ve voted on the top 10 priorities (of the 20 they let you choose from):
- Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.
- Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
- Adopt a fair and simple single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words—the length of the original Constitution.
- Allow young Americans the choice of opting out of Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes, creating both real financial security in retirement through the freedom to own your personal retirement savings, and reducing the long-term unfunded liabilities of the federal government
- No regulation or tax on the Internet.
- Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition.
- Block state and local governments that receive federal grants from exercising eminent domain over private property for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenues.
- Begin an audit of the Federal Reserve System.
- The federal government should not bail out private companies and should immediately begin divesting itself of its stake in the private companies it owns from recent bailouts.
- Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require Congressional term limits.
Plenty of gimmicky details, but this is the best I can cobble together from their mess.