Support Fair trade agreements (not free trade agreements)
America needs to engage in and sign fair trade agreements, not free trade agreements. America cannot continue to run up record trade deficits and flood our markets with cheap foreign goods. These free trade agreements contribute to the loss of American jobs by flooding the U.S. markets with cheap foreign goods, which leads to a decline of American manufacturing and the outsourcing of American jobs. Most of our current free trade agreements are with countries that lack or ignore any environmental, social, and/or labor standards. America's current free trade agreements put us in a race straight to the bottom. We cannot continue to sell out American workers and companies by giving foreign companies and countries unfair trade advantages.
We must work to eliminate our record trade deficits; this won't happen until we rework our trade agreements and put pressure on other countries to follow through on their end of the bargain. We must end our participation in NAFTA, CAFTA and other free trade agreements.
- Encourage all Americans to buy MADE IN USA goods whenever possible
- Support the creation of a U.S. manufacturing strategy
- Create a balanced trade
- Support fair trade agreements
- One-on-one trade agreements between the U.S. & individual countries, instead of agreements that cover entire regions of the world.
- Eliminate our national trade deficit
ECONOMIC POLICY (GENERAL)
Stop Outsourcing American jobs and technology
We must defend the American Worker by ending the outsourcing of American jobs. America is losing jobs in all forms and sectors to outsourcing. Corporations continue to sell out the American people in order to find cheap labor in foreign markets like China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. Americans continue to lose jobs, while we are building the economies of countries who will challenge our superpower status in the future. Also, the neo-conservative planned opening up of the Middle East to "freedom" and "democracy" will first lead to more carrot sticks (free trade agreements) being offered to them, which in turn will lead to the loss of more American jobs as U.S. corporations will quickly flock to the region for the cheap labor.
We must work to keep American companies and technology here. The outsourcing of America's technology and the offshoring of American companies is a recipe for disaster. We must keep our economic and technological advantages in the world, if we are to have any advantages at all. The outsourcing of America's technology puts America's very survival at stake.
If America is to remain strong in the future, we must, as a nation, regain our self-reliance.
We must work to bring good jobs to the American people in safe working conditions. We must also work to shrink the wage gap between men and women by raising women's wages up and not by declining the wages of men.
- Promote a national manufacturing strategy
- End tax breaks to companies outsourcing American Jobs
- Encourage all Americans to buy MADE IN USA goods whenever possible
- Reduce corporate taxes
- No more Wall Street bailouts
- Protect small business owners
- Pass real financial reforms (bring back Glass-Steagall Act and end "Too Big to Fail")
- Fight Employer hiring policies that discriminate against the long term unemployed
- Get the unemployed back to work (including the long term unemployed - 99ers)
- Invest in Research and Development
- Rebuild and redesign our crumbling national infrastructure
- Keep vital American infrastructure in the hands of American companies
- Protect homeowners from corporate land stealing (Eminent Domain)
EXCELLENCE IN GOVERNMENT
We cannot blame government for being ineffective. We can only blame ourselves for tolerating poor government and doing nothing about it. We do not insist that we have the right information to evaluate and judge how an individual or government group is performing. If you have ever hired anyone to work for you, you know how important it is to invest the time to make the best decision possible.
We are paying for our government to get things done, not to be ineffective and to spend our money on activities and actions motivated by weakening opposing political parties.
It is our responsibility to require that an active voting public has the information needed to make informed decisions. We invest our time when we make a major financial purchase; we must also invest that time in assuring we have the relevant facts about candidates and how our government is performing.
- Require that at the beginning of each term, all legislative bodies agree on a specific number of activities that will be completed that term (25 to 30 for example).
- If the legislative body is balanced, then all three parties would provide their top two priorities to make up the top 6 for that term.
- All government employees (elected and appointed) should be publicly measured on qualitative metrics that show how effective they have been serving in office or in their position. It is our money that is paying for each of our public employees.
- Require public disclosure of job performance reviews. We need to know how well they manage staff, work with colleagues, provide effective leadership, and other job performance criteria (known as 360 degree performance reviews).
- Provide public metrics showing how well the office or department manages spending verses budget. Annual accomplishments would show how they have improved services, reduced costs and met sustainability targets.
- Hosting annual events where officials and departments declare their annual goals and target performance metrics.
- Beyond campaign finance data, elected officials should report the number of inquires, responses and actions they address each year with improvements made year over year. Random surveys should be conducted of constituents’ satisfaction with the responses and actions.
- Officials currently just put their names on a bill or legislation. We need to know the percentage each author contributed to completing this work.
- More citizen oversight boards for government departments at all levels. Responsibility will be random, similar to jury duty. This will engage and educate citizens about how our government is working. The oversight boards will audit, rate and then report back to the public how well each government group has done in achieving yearly goals.
- Post all proposed congressional legislation on the internet for at least 10 days prior to a vote to allow public viewing and input.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT POLICIES
Seek U.S. Energy Independence through Clean, Renewable Domestic sources
America must achieve energy independence! We can do so through the reduction in our energy consumption and to utilize domestic renewable energy sources. We must end our funding of terrorists and oppressive regimes by ending our consumption of their oil (America's drug of choice).
We must work to quickly phase in alternative domestic renewable energy resources. Domestic natural gas, wind, and solar power should be a top priority. We must begin the manufacturing of U.S. made electric cars and other technology that will wean us off of oil—especially foreign oil. We have the technology to do this and it would add hundreds of thousands of green jobs. Making America more energy efficient will make American goods more competitive on the global market. It will also make America much safer.
America needs to have a fundamental cultural shift in the way we view energy. Energy must be viewed as a precious commodity that is used sparingly and that we are constantly looking to reduce. Between 6% and 10% of our energy use goes to power things we are not using (anything with an LED, phone chargers, the coffee pot, televisions on hot standby, etc.). The Government can influence and direct the national behaviors through incentives and marketing. Increased taxes and costs should only apply to those who do not reduce energy consumption.
We support the change over to renewable energy resources for our federal and state governments; this includes their facilities and vehicles. American auto makers in Detroit need to step up to the plate in regards to manufacturing hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles. Detroit has slipped behind foreign auto makers in hybrid and renewable technologies. The original Ford Model T achieved roughly 24 miles to the gallon. One hundred years later in the age of technology, our vehicles are doing no better in terms of miles per gallon used. America must act immediately to embrace the many economically and environmentally sustainable proposals available. Cleaning up America and enforcing environmental laws can be costly at times. However, time and time again we have seen that it is much less costly to prevent environmental problems before they occur than after.
We are concerned with global climate change. We must quickly work to cut vehicle emissions. When we get to the point where global climate change is too unbearable, it would take over 100 years for our proactive changes to start making a difference. Environmental protection must be and always remain a top priority. We support the change over to renewable energy resources for our federal and state governments; this includes their facilities and vehicles. In fact, the U.S. federal government is our largest national polluter. State governments should also quickly be transformed. Government vehicles are typically large, costly, and fuel inefficient models. In comparison, hybrids would be cheaper or at least comparable in price. The long term fuel savings in money and emissions make these fuel efficient hybrid vehicles the clear choice.
- The U.S. federal and state governments should use hybrid vehicles.
- Airline emissions constitute a large percentage of our overall emissions. We support greatly reducing the amount of passenger and freight flights that cover short distances. For instance, flights traveling from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., Washington D.C. to Baltimore, Philadelphia to New York, New York to Boston, Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles to San Diego could be largely eliminated and replaced by high speed rail. Aircraft emissions could be greatly reduced while the travel times involved would see little difference. Some government subsidies would shift to the railroad industry and this would reduce the amount and frequency of massive government bailouts to the airline industry. Our new high speed rail system could run on renewable energy and create thousands of new jobs.
- While hybrids are more expensive than non-hybrids, most government vehicles are large, costly, and fuel-inefficient models. In comparison, hybrids would be cheaper or at least comparable in price. The long term fuel savings in money and emissions make these more efficient. Where was our cash for clunkers program for the government?
- Government (at all levels) should have salary budgets reduced if they do not meet year over year energy reduction goals.
- Businesses and households must show year over year energy and sustainability improvements to qualify for standard tax deductions (not new deductions--just to maintain existing ones).
- Neighborhoods and businesses should be organized into Energy Reduction Neighborhoods (ERN) to work together to implement cost saving and energy reduction activities. ERNs should compete for prizes for year over year accomplishments.
- Use natural gas as a bridge fuel until renewables are more plentiful with regulations to protect from fracking.
- Protect the environment (clean water, air, land) and preserve and expand national parks and wildlife preserves
- Invest in Research and Development
Balance Federal, State and Local budgets and end wasteful pork spending
Our national debt is a crisis. It needs an absolute national focus and commitment to reduce it to levels where it is no longer detrimental to our economy and future stability. The corporate influence that owns the Democratic and Republican parties has led to massive amounts of wasteful spending at the local, state and national level. Generous campaign contributions from corporations are paid back by the politician in the form of wasteful spending bills or favorable legislation.
Fiscal responsibility is a cornerstone issue for the Citizens Party. The nation's budget deficit must be dealt with immediately. We support state and federal balanced budget amendments that must be followed, with only slight "wiggle room" in case of emergencies or war time events. We fully support a fiscally responsible government that should always strive for efficiency. That doesn't mean cutting corners of important programs, but eliminating wasteful spending and overlapping resources.
- Create a cabinet level position, Secretary of Debt, so that the burden of our national debt is a priority of our federal government
- Aggressively communicate the national debt in terms of each individual, family town, state, etc.
- Accelerated liquidation of all assets acquired from the bailout. All funds must go to directly paying of our debt and not to other spending
- Comprehensive reporting on the effectiveness of the bailout and stimulus spending to help prevent similar wasteful spending in the future
- Federal elected salaries should be bonus based, directly tied to a balanced budget and surplus achieved each year.
- Fines for corruption, fraud or mismanagement of government contracts and assets confiscated from criminals can be used to offset the budget. This should motivate government to more proactively discourage these behaviors.
- Focused program to liquidate national assets to relieve the debt. This is not preservation lands and drilling rights, but from assets no longer required from consolidation and efficiencies. Examples include reducing the number of post offices and selling real estate.
- No operational losses from any government function will be accepted. Examples would be to close post offices and eliminate Saturday/other days for mail pick up and drop off.
Audit the Federal Reserve
We support a full and complete audit of the Federal Reserve. Currently, the Federal Reserve operates with no transparency and no accountability.
LOBBYING & SPECIAL INTERESTS
End corporate special interest / Lobbyist influence over elections and the legislative process.
We must put an end to the corporate special interests. The two major parties have put the interests of the huge national/global corporations before the interests of the American people. It is often difficult for ordinary American citizens to gain access to their federal and state lawmakers, while corporate lobbyists often have an open door to lawmakers with campaign contributions in hand.
Corporate crooks should be punished, not the honest employees of those companies. All looted money must be repaid back to the workers, investors, pension holders and consumers.
Create a fiscally sustainable Health Care system that dramatically cuts health care costs providing for greater access for legal citizens.
While some have said that Social Security is in crisis, our health care system is in worse shape. It is one of the most inefficient programs ever. We can insure every American for much less than we are paying now.
While we can certainly improve the quality of our health care, the primary problem with our health care system is in the areas of access and cost.
We need to get a handle on skyrocketing health care costs. We have the highest health care costs in the world (as a nation and as individuals). Our current system is fiscally unsustainable and too many Americans do not have the health care coverage they want; those do have coverage are paying far too much for it. Citizens who do not have health care and do not want it should not be forced to buy a health care plan.
We need to break-up the cozy financial relationship between drug companies, doctors, the FDA and medical researchers. Medical researchers are being funded by drug companies to develop new drugs and determine if their drugs are safe. This relationship makes it difficult for doctors to reach objective findings. Drug companies flood doctors’ offices and hospitals with funding and tons of free samples in exchange for recommending those drugs for their patients. Thus, the American people are being over-prescribed and over-medicated. The American people can't watch a single television show without seeing several drug commercials telling them to ask their doctor to give them name-brand drugs. That is not in the best interest of the patient. Plus, the drugs that are being advertised all over the TV and radio tend to be more expensive drugs.
Our nation also faces a shortage of doctors. The current health care debate is ignoring this fact. If universal health care is passed, the problem will get only worse. Thus, the doctor shortage should be addressed first.
We encourage more doctors to return to making house calls.
We support encouraging citizens to practice preventative medicine and pursue healthy lifestyles. We must return recess and gym class to our K -12 schools. Less than 10% of the elementary schools in our cities still hold recess and a similar percentage no longer offer physical education classes.
We oppose free heath care for illegal foreign nationals.
We support issuing all military veterans a "Hero's Card" allowing them access to complete FREE medical coverage at the doctor or hospital of their choice. The "Hero's Card" benefit would extend to the eligible family of both military retirees and veterans who have lost their life on active duty.
Support individual’s right to the use medical marijuana
We support the rights of states to legalize medical marijuana. Individuals suffering from various diseases have the right to seek comfort in medical marijuana.
Increase Veteran Benefits (Health, Job Training, Education)
We believe we should always support our troops and our veterans. Our nation's veterans have put their lives on the line and sacrificed so much for our great nation. The very least we can do is honor them and make sure they receive the thanks and the respect they deserve.
We support issuing all military veterans a "Hero's Card" allowing them access to complete FREE medical coverage at the doctor or hospital of their choice. The "Hero's Card" benefit would extend to the eligible family of both military retirees and veterans who have lost their life on active duty.
Providing for the families of active duty personnel who lose their lives while on active duty a stipend of $500 a month to a spouse without children for two years. Spouses with children would receive the previously described $500 benefit plus an additional $100 per month for two years for children under the age of 18 years. This benefit would include all active duty personnel both in and out of conflict in any location throughout the world.
Making military retirement pay totally tax exempt.
Completing all veteran claims in a timely and accurate manner.
Providing veterans with up to $12,000 a year or a total of $48,000 (lifetime) in college or technical/ trade school tuition benefits.
Education is the key to the survival of our great nation. The government relies too much on standardized test scores. Standardized test scores are very limited and they restrict many students’ access to higher education. Schools teaching the “standardized test” curriculum woefully under-prepare our children for the real world. Also, the federal "No child Left Behind" program forces states to comply with many government mandates while making the individual state foot the bill. This illegal burden is breaking state budgets, while the children truly are being left behind. Children who drop out of school or skip the test are not factored into the schools performance. Thus by eliminating the drop outs or those in jail it appears that test scores are going up. These dishonest practices were born out of the states' desperate attempts to meet the federal mandates. Meeting the federal mandates in "No Child Left Behind" is required in order to gain federal education dollars.
Tuition for higher education has skyrocketed and we need to make higher and continuing education affordable for all Americans.
Many private high schools across the country have outrageous tuition costs. Many have tuition costs between $5,000 and $35,000 dollars a year! Paying a few hundred dollars in vouchers won't give Americans more choices or help most Americans afford private schools. In the end it will only help the wealthy families who can already afford private tuition.
We will not turn our back on America's public schools. We support fully funding education in America. Every child should have equal access to educational opportunities. Every child of every race, income, and geographic region should have access to a rich learning environment in safe schools with qualified teachers.
Every classroom must be equipped with newer technology and every student engaged in civic learning in order for America to stay competitive in the world.
We do not support private school vouchers in their current proposed form. In addition to elementary and secondary education being a top priority for the Citizens Party, we also strongly support higher education, adult, and continuing education programs.
We do not support affirmative action programs in the admittance of students to colleges and universities. While these programs might have been well intentioned, we feel they are unfair, unequal, and they do not correct the root problems or make things “right”.
- The now endangered physical education and history curriculums should be restored.
- We encourage broader access for American high school and college students who wish to study abroad. We strongly encourage cultural exchange which fosters international understanding and cooperation. Cultural exchange and study abroad experiences gives American students a richer and deeper understanding of the world and our place in it, while also giving international students the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of America.
- Ending illegal immigration into America would reduce education costs and reduce class size all across the country.
- Educational emphasis should be on the early years to assure every child develops the best possible base and habits for learning. This could be viewed as educational wellness.
- If a child lacks proper behavior and is disruptive (deprives the other children), there should be focused additional behavioral classes charged base on ability to pay. These requirements need to be financially painful to motivate parents.
- Excellent and good teachers should be rewarded based on results (individual goals and student results). Does a tenured teacher provide $40,000 a year more of educational value to the students than a new teacher? Both should be rewarded by accomplishments each year.
- High schools should be measured against percentage graduation and placements into next step programs (college, military, City Year, apprenticeship programs, etc.)
- Develop more aggressive apprentice/training programs for core job skills.
- The following additional educational requirements should be part of all education:
- All 8th graders should be required to calculate the total costs of their education in terms of tangible equivalents (cell phones, video games, teacher or principal salaries, etc.)
- Have a tractor trailer show up at the schools so they can see the physical size of the equivalents.
- Students should understand the basics of how local, state and federal governments are measured for performance.
- Understanding individual responsibility for the evaluation of candidates and focusing on factual information by filtering out persuasive marketing messages.
- Require basic personal finance education to include retirement planning and home ownership.
- Health care responsibilities, what they must do to evaluate health care options and to find the best health care match.
Use our great military only when it is in our national interest
America has the greatest military on earth. We must use our great military only when it is in our national interest. Our great men and woman are too important to be sent in harms way for political or corporate interests. We support our military as they bravely protect our freedoms and defending us from those who might want to do us harm. We would of course support going to war when it is necessary. We support some goodwill missions in times of large disasters around the world.
An interventionist foreign policy (the policy of the Bush and Obama administrations) will only result in more conflicts and more danger for America. We do not seek a foreign policy that seeks to mold the world into the image of America. We support a common sense stance on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a much smaller presence in the Middle East and independence from Middle East oil. We will always support our troops even if we do not always support the strategic mission or the politicians that send them to battle. We fully support taking care of our Veterans through greatly increased Veterans benefits.
We do not support a permanent presence in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
Secure the Homeland and stop actual Terrorist threats
We need to secure our homeland and stop actual terrorist threats toward the U.S. Our nuclear power plants, ports, borders, trains, and dams are not secure, and the local and state authorities are not getting the funding they need or were promised. This is breaking state and local budgets and putting our citizens in danger. Our borders need to be secure with increased border agents and National Guard troops if need be. The government must work to keep America safe, but must always preserve our individual rights. We strongly oppose many provisions of the hastily passed Patriot Act, which infringes on individual rights and does not make America safer.
- Give local law enforcement and fire companies the funds they need for security and emergency prevention & response.
- Keep Government out of our bedrooms, libraries and phone/web conversations
For the first time in our nation's history, we are beginning to import more food than we export. This is a disturbing and hazardous trend that we must immediately end and reverse. We also continue to see a growing trend of a concentration of wealth by agribusiness, biotech, chemical, and financial corporations over our nation's vital fiber and food economy. Our heritage of family farms is being choked into extinction. We must pro actively work to save our nation's family farms and end our increasing dependence on foreign agriculture and domestic corporate interests. Low prices and lack of market access due to corporate mergers and acquisitions by big agribusinesses are destroying the ability of family farmers to compete.
Our soil and technology give us a natural advantage for growing food and we are not maximizing a massive economic competitive advantage for our nation.
Our government is failing to provide research funding and also failing to get other vital information out to the public. This information is vital to independent food producers, organic farmers and cooperatives. Access to such information can open up new and competitive markets, promoting new food infrastructures, creating communities, and promoting sustainable agriculture practices, while preventing pollution and the degradation of our nation's natural resources.
We see a return to American agricultural self-reliance with exports far exceeding imports. As long as there are people on earth who can pay for food or charities who can support them, America should be growing food to meet that demand.
There should be sufficient agriculture so that crops for food have no negative impact on our cost of food or feed.
We seek a return to American agricultural self-reliance.
We support organic agriculture.
We support the legalization of the farming of industrial hemp.
- No more paying farmers to not grow food
- Tax incentives should be used to reclaim land for agriculture
- The government should not be preventing industrial hemp if this crop can be abundant and profitable for US Agriculture.
- Invest in Research and Development
Legalize the use of industrial hemp to boost the agriculture and industrial sectors
The Citizens Party supports the legalization of the farming of industrial hemp for the production of thousands of items. Industrial Hemp is not the same as marijuana.
America can remain the world's leader and a beacon of hope in the eyes of the world by staying engaged in the world and working with allies to solve world issues and regional conflicts, while still always holding our right to act alone if necessary. However, it is not America's mission to shape the rest of the world in our image. Undertaking a mission to "bring freedom, democracy and capitalism to every nation and people of the world" would result in a serious decline in American power and our standing would be dramatically lowered in the long run. An interventionist policy is a recipe for disaster. We need elected officials who will question policies, big or small. That is part of their responsibility as public officials. They have failed to fulfill their duties in the past. Voices of protest have been silenced or sent out to the wilderness, left barking with no one to hear them.
More common sense neutral stance on Israeli/Palestinian conflict
We need a more common sense neutral stance on Israeli/Palestinian conflict. America can work with both sides at the peace table to find compromise over the holy sites, settlements and other conflicts. The United States should avoid getting too close to either side. Our traditional close intimate relationship with Israel can endanger our national security. We cannot have foreign policy that is dictated by a select group within Israel, Saudi Arabia, China (or any other nation) for the benefit of those nations first. We can protect our long time friendship with Israel best by tackling the division in a fair and reasoned way. We urge members to refer to President George Washington's farewell speech. In that speech, President Washington warns us not to get too cozy with foreign nations.
America is a nation of immigrants. Our rich history is the history of immigrants coming to America to find a better life for themselves and their families. This diverse mix of people has made America what it is today. America has truly been a melting pot and we should recognize our amazing history. This diverse blend of people that makes up America has created America's unique spirit. We join in recognizing and celebrating the contributions of all peoples who have had a hand in making America great. Thus, we have no desire to have a boring society of faceless clones with no unique characteristics or features.
We have no problem with immigrants who have come here legally.
America and the rest of the world is facing one of greatest challenges we have ever faced: globalization. America must remember its past and its traditions, but America must also be flexible enough to adapt to today's situations and challenges if America is to last. Old ways, including old immigration policies must be reformed in order to face today's unique challenges. The sterile inflexible tree will be snapped by the wind, while the flexible tree will bend and sway, but not break. Our elected officials in Washington continue to stubbornly cling to the sterile, inflexible old ways of thinking toward our immigration policies, while ignoring the current problems that this old thinking is creating. Old policies are for old times. We need new policies for a new age.
America desperately needs to address our current illegal immigration problem. The current amount of illegal foreign nationals coming across our borders is environmentally and economically unsustainable. Again, America faces economic, environmental, overpopulation, health care, and terrorism threats to name just a few. Our current illegal immigration laws should be enforced, instead of the current "let them all in" thinking toward illegal immigration that prevails in Washington D.C. The vast majority of our current politicians have ignored our illegal immigration laws. Illegal immigrants should be treated humanely and with care; however, we must work to end the incentives that entice illegal immigrants into coming here. And we must create incentives for immigrants to engage in the legal process of attaining U.S. Citizenship. We should work to prevent illegal immigrants from entering our country by securing our borders. Not only would securing our borders help in controlling our growing population problems and all of the adverse effects associated with it, but securing our borders is also vital to our national security.
We do not blame immigrants for trying to enter our country. Life in the United States offers many of them much better pay, a better life for their children, and potentially many other added benefits. Again, we have no problem with legal immigrants who are here in our country. We have nothing against people of different ethnic heritages and we are against racism in any form. However, in regards to illegal immigrants, they must play by the rules if they are to be accepted into our country. Our government has the duty to secure our borders from terrorists and the population escalation. Our country cannot continue to bear the extra burden of increased population, consumption, pollution, health care costs, and job loss.
We are dedicated to protecting American jobs from being lost to foreign workers. It does not matter if that means saving our jobs from foreign workers in other lands (outsourcing) or on our own soil (illegal immigration). The lack of consistency on the issues of outsourcing and illegal immigration by the Democratic and Republican parties is mind boggling. The incentive that the illegal immigrants have for entering our country should be addressed and removed. Hence, employers who knowingly hire Illegal immigrants should be severely punished under the law. Businesses caught hiring illegal foreign nationals should be fined and repeated violations should result in the loss of their business license. Eliminating incentives are the only way we will ever get a handle on the illegal immigration problem in America.
We do not call for deporting illegal immigrants. Instead, by enforcing the law against employers many illegal workers will return to their homelands or look for opportunities elsewhere.
The massive numbers of foreign nationals flooding into the United States has begun to create an America that is much more like a mixed salad instead of a melting pot. Due to the current massive amounts of legal and illegal immigrants coming into America, we are now seeing large groups (separate ingredients in our salad) of people who are not fully blending together with the population. This will create challenges for America as we move forward. All across the nation ESL (English as a second language) classes quickly fill up and people are often turned away. We call for greater funding of ESL programs that would create more ESL classes and teachers. This would create greater assimilation for new immigrants and give them a better future. How many good jobs are available in the United States without knowledge of English?
Our Legal Immigration policy should be a sustainable one that is more closely linked to the current times and conditions in our nation, and always includes an eye toward the future. Our policy should be flexible in that it is tied to the current population totals, future population trends, environmental threats, unemployment rates (a more accurate unemployment calculation is needed) and other economic conditions. Those legal immigrants that we do admit should be encouraged to assimilate or melt into the population. Currently, America's population is swelling, we face great environmental risks, and our unemployment rate is too high.
Also, employers and the American government must tightly monitor and enforce our visa fraud laws. Also, the current amount of legal work visas issued should be reduced. America has and will always need teaching positions, such as teaching Chinese language, African environmental history, Jewish philosophy, or Japanese politics, in our colleges and universities that would often be best filled by natives from those countries. If no legal American citizens born in those countries can be found, then work visa applications can be accepted. However, in regards to most of the rest of America's jobs; America has millions of unemployed workers who can fill those slots. Employers are not making a good faith effort to find American citizens to fill their open positions. We propose that employers who have open positions and claim they can't find applicants to fill these positions must report those openings to state welfare and unemployment offices. These open positions can then be matched up with able American workers.
Common sense H1B and L1 foreign work visa limits to protect Jobs in technology and other sectors for Americans
We must greatly reduce the number of approved H1B and L1 visas that allow U.S. Companies to hire foreign workers in America. This practice has devastated the remaining American tech workers sector after the initial devastation by outsourcing tech jobs overseas. Approving large numbers of foreign worker visas has also led to a drop in wages for those American tech workers fortunate enough to keep their jobs. The current H1B cap discourages American students from pursuing higher education in computer science, math, and engineering.
We will oppose all efforts to raise the annual H1B cap. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. tech workers are unemployed or under employed. It is time that America once again relies on our own technology and our own tech workers and engineers. It is time to stand up for the American worker!
- Reducing the annual H1-B & L-1 visa cap
- Encourage American students to pursue an education in computer science, math, and engineering.
Support the separation between church and state (stop the assault by right-wing religious extremists)
Religion is a very personal and sacred matter. It has played a vital role in the lives of Americans throughout our nation's history. In fact, our nation's history and religion have been interconnected in many ways and at many times. Americans should take pride in their religious beliefs and they should be free to practice whatever religion they deem fit. They also have the right to be non-believers or to be unsure. We believe that religion is too sacred and too personal to Americans for the federal government to have its hand in it. While knowing and understanding the historic relationship religion has played in America and its unique relationship to government, we fully support the separation of church and state.
Many of our founding fathers (including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Benjamin Franklin) showed a concern that religion could be used by the government to advance political purposes; former President Bush said that "God told me to do it" when he was asked about invading Iraq. When a politician does such a thing, it changes the discussion. Opponents of the act (in this case, the war in Iraq) are not just opposing the war or the President, but now they are going against God in some people’s eyes. Such arguments severely hinder the ability for reasoned, honest discussion of the issues. It clouds the picture and creates an unfair and unreasonable advantage for the side invoking God. Individuals should strongly consider the consequences of putting God in the forefront of American politics.
When religion and public policy are allowed to be so closely linked, we end up with policies that are not in the best interest of the American people.
Additionally, the very second that the government starts putting money into religious programs, the programs begin to change. The government would begin to gain influence over these programs because they are giving the money. Programs would adjust themselves, which would eventually have an influence on the church. Also, how would the government choose which religious programs to fund? One can see the danger. Again, we think religion is too important to have a connection with the government. The government should not endorse or promote any religion. However, we do feel that it would be helpful if basic world religions classes were taught in public schools and that the theory of evolution also be taught, just as that, a highly accepted theory of science. We don't need the government in our churches and we don't need our churches in our government. One doesn't need government to validate one’s beliefs.
Preserve Social Security
Social Security has been a very useful and successful program. It has benefited many Americans, in particular (but not only) senior citizens. Privatizing Social Security would not solve the funding issues that Social Security faces. Social Security is an insurance policy, not an investment policy. The problems with Social Security have been caused by the U.S. Government spending Social Security trust funds. If those funds had not been touched, Social Security would be fully funded for the foreseeable future. Changing demographics also present a looming crisis for social security solvency.
We are not fundamentally opposed to private accounts. Indeed, private accounts could possibly benefit many Americans. However, any establishment of private accounts should be outside of and independent of a guaranteed base of Social Security benefits. We are strongly opposed to borrowing more money from China to pay for the initial shortfall caused by the privatization of Social Security.
- Educate all citizens that Social Security is only a base for retirement savings and must be as close to zero risk as possible.
- Federal officials should be scored and measured on the solvency of Social Security. Each elected federal official has fiduciary responsibility for adequately funding social security. Their salaries should be reduced if Social Security is not in good health.
Support the right to bear arms
We believe that the U.S. Constitution allows an individual the right to bear arms. Thus, we support gun rights and oppose any further restrictions on gun rights. However, we do support harsher penalties for those who use a weapon (including non-firearm weapons such as knives, swords, clubs, etc.) in the commission of a crime.
Work to remedy inequalities so we can begin phasing out affirmative action programs- instead we will use true empowerment programs for all citizens.
America needs to make a genuine effort to remedy the inequalities in our society. We must empower our citizens and instill confidence and pride in them. Affirmative action policies, which were created by mostly well meaning individuals, fail to empower individuals and instead instill a lack of confidence. We cannot allow our citizens to continually feel like they are victims and unable to flourish on their own. We seek confident individuals who are ready to take responsibility for their own lives in order to reach their full potential. Empowering our citizens will create more qualified individuals who can stand tall and be proud of their accomplishments. Such policies will allow us to begin phasing out divisive and discriminatory affirmative action policies.
Create a sensible tax policy with a simplified tax code
America needs a sensible tax policy. The government cannot overburden its citizens with taxes. Such a burden casts our citizens into debt and restricts their freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness. However, some taxation is necessary for the government to operate if it is to protect its citizens.
Taxes are a necessary evil of our system. Capitalism is based on the free market, fluctuations and all, to most effectively drive the economy, not government spending. Governments should be driven towards efficiencies to leave as much money with individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, the tax code and tax practices has become overly complicated and tipped towards those who can financially support and influence government officials.
There should be a constant effort to drive government efficiencies to minimize taxes as much as possible. While we are against overburdening our citizens with taxes, we strongly approve of giving tax cuts when the nation can afford it, and we feel tax cuts at a time of war and record budget deficits and trade deficits are extremely irresponsible and totally political.
During Times of War
1. No tax cuts during wartime, especially tax cuts that mainly benefit our wealthiest citizens. Our whole nation should be asked to sacrifice for the war effort--not just our soldiers and their families.
1. The government should strive to lower taxes for individuals and businesses. Lowering taxes must be done in conjunction with lowering government spending.
- Federal and State Tax code must be simplified to a point where experts are not required to understand the system. Personal and business taxes should be simple and should be taught in high school.
- Drive our business tax to be the lowest amongst industrialized nations. Set goals to drive this down year to year.
GAY RIGHTS POLICY
Support an Individual’s right to same sex marriage
The issue of gay marriage has generated heated debates across our country. While some of our members may have mixed feelings on this issue, we do agree that there should be no U.S. Constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage. We cannot go altering our sacred document any time hot button issues are the flavor of the month. Emotion and feelings should not dictate the wording of our constitution. Amending the constitution should be rare and very well thought out.
Individual churches are entitled to set their own policies in regard to same-sex marriages. Churches that will not perform gay marriages should not lose their tax exemption, and that policy should remain in place for 10 years. We have no problem with states that legalize gay marriage and will not challenge those laws. Instead, we will fully embrace those laws. We do not see gay marriage as a threat to marriage or the family. States legalizing gay marriage should extend full state benefits to the spouses of GLBT state employees. We must resist efforts that would discriminate against our citizens. We support equal rights for all legal U.S. Citizens. Thus, we strongly object to the many politicians who fight so strongly for the rights of individuals who are illegally living in the United States, and yet try to deny rights to legal taxpaying American citizens who happen to be gay, lesbian, or trans-gendered.
We must include sexual orientation in our anti-discrimination laws. The GLBT community must be protected in our employment/ hiring, education, housing, accommodations and other laws. We believe that individuals do have the right to enter into civil unions and be recognized as a couple if they so wish. In order for couples to receive benefits from their employer and the state, their union must be documented in some way. The only way to document the relationship is through civil unions or marriages. If states across the country can recognize a one night marriage in Las Vegas, they can recognize same-sex civil unions and/or marriages by committed partners of 5, 10, 20 or 30 years.
We believe that U.S. immigration law should be consistent in regards to granting citizenship to non-U.S. citizen marriage partners. Gay Americans should have the ability to go into a marriage or civil union relationship with a non-U.S. Citizen and have their partner granted U.S. Citizenship as long as all other requirements are met and paperwork completed. The Citizens Party supports equal U.S. immigration laws for the GLBT community.
We support a sustainable U.S. Population, thus we oppose illegal immigration and support limited legal immigration in times of rising populations and/or economic downturns in order to protect our environment and our economic stability. However, some legal immigration should continue to be granted and priority should be granted to partners/spouses of U.S. Citizens seeking citizenship.
At a time when the U.S. military is failing to reach recruiting goals, we cannot turn away qualified recruits or discharge current members of the U.S. military who happen to be gay or lesbian. We must work to put a new policy in place that allows gays and lesbians to serve honorably and honestly when still having the greatest and most efficient military force in the world.
Oppose anti-choice legislation (doesn't mean we are pro-abortion), this includes both abortion and end of life issues i.e., assisted suicide
Many people are very sensitive about the issue of abortion. Such social issues are very personal in nature. Individuals have to search their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to come to their own conclusion. We prefer to focus our attention on the bread & butter issues that are of chief concern to most middle class families. We have members and candidates on both sides of this issue.
However, we find it difficult to try to dictate to a woman what she can or can't do with her own body. Abortion should be very rare and ideally in a perfect world we would have no need for abortion.
The decision to have or not to have an abortion should generally be left to the woman, the father, her doctor, family and close friends.
We oppose any federal anti-choice legislation.
As a medical field, abortion is largely unregulated and injuries and deaths go uncounted. Thus, as long as abortion is legal, we need to keep the abortions better regulated to keep women safe who make the tough decision to have an abortion.
We seek to limit and eventually end taxpayer funding of abortion programs for those who oppose abortion.
The current system limits the participation of voters and creates unneeded obstacles for independent and third party candidates to run for office. The two major parties dominate American politics due to these restrictive ballot access laws, along with the use of redistricting gimmicks and of course money.
We support electoral and ballot reform in America. We support motivating individuals to invest the time it requires to improve our government, to understand and debate the issues and to be impervious to the onslaught of biased media and marketing from the political extremes.
- Campaign finance reform
- Goal of 95% of campaign funds should come from the representative district
- CP candidates will publicly communicate the percentage of campaign funds coming from with in and outside of the representative district
- Public funding for elections
- Safe and secure voting machines with a paper trail
- The right to circulate initiatives, referendums, and recall
- Extending voter registration dates (but not Election Day voting registration)
- The counting of all votes—including write-in votes
- Government paid priority mail/ express mail for mailing soldiers overseas absentee ballots
- Instant runoff voting for local elections
- National general Election Day holiday.
- Fair ballot access
- Eliminate straight ticket devices
- Full voting rights for U.S. Citizens who were born overseas to U.S. Citizens but did not live in the U.S. long enough to establish residency in any one U.S. State.
We support having non-violent criminals participate in many different public service programs to serve the public good while they are incarcerated. These out of prison public service programs should not be a picnic; they should be quite rigorous with much of it being labor intensive. They should be designed to help foster responsibility in the offender and serve the communities. The programs will be designed to:
1. Reduce Prison Costs
2. Contribute to the public good
3. Help reform the non-violent offender
Simply letting non-violent criminals sit in prison, serves neither the public nor non-violent criminal who could potentially become a productive citizen.
ENDING AGE DISCRIMINATION
Our older citizens are truly some of America's best assets. We should always cherish and respect our older generations and recognize their past and continued contributions to our great nation. America's seniors have experienced many things and we should draw from their past experiences while also utilizing their many continued talents. Age discrimination is all too prevalent in our society. It should not be tolerated, as our seniors certainly are not a burden to our nation. They are just the opposite, as they are productive citizens in our society and are a remarkable resource of talent, knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Like all Americans, each of our seniors possesses his or her own unique perspectives and talents. Our older Americans should receive the love and respect that they deserve.
ADOPTEE RIGHTS / OPEN RECORDS
We fully support the rights of adoptees to see their birth certificates.
SPACE PROGRAM / EXPLORATION / NASA
We support a focused, efficient and aggressive U.S. space program that leads the world. An American space program that sets the pace will not only inspire mankind, but will lead to many short and long term benefits for our nation. Space exploration and the eventual building of colonies on the moon, Mars and planets beyond will provide us with the eventual "life jacket" that we will need.
Harsher punishment for Animal cruelty
We support harsher punishment for those individuals convicted of animal cruelty or abuse. Such behavior should not be tolerated in our society. We call on all of our nation’s animal shelters to work toward being "no kill" shelters. Also, we call for the end of using animals in research for the testing and making of cosmetics and makeup. The use of animals in research is a difficult ethical question. Using animals in research to cure diseases is one thing, but using them for researching cosmetics is quite another.
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