This is Your Contract - Please Read It
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 94 13:09:41 PST
Subject: This is Your Contract - Please Read It
[What have we gotten ourselves into? Do you remember signing this? Perhaps we
should start a lottery on who will default first on this simplistic contract to
which we seem, willy-nilly, to be party. -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Paul Borman <prb@BSDI.COM>
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Jim Lake)
The Contract's Core Principles. The Contract with America is
rooted in 3 core principles:
Accountability - The government is too big and spends too
much, and Congress and unelected bureaucrats have become so
entrenched to be unresponsive to the public they are supposed to
serve. The GOP contract restores accountability to government.
Responsibility - Bigger government and more federal
programs usurp personal responsibility from families and
individuals. The GOP contract restores a proper balance between
government and personal responsibility.
Opportunity - The American Dream is out of the reach of too
many families because of burdensome government regulations and
harsh tax laws. The GOP contract restores the American dream.
As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as
citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to
change its policies, but even more important, to restore the
bonds of trust between the people and their elected
That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we
offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written
commitment with no fine print.
This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of
one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that
will transform the way Congress works. That historic change
would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive,
and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning
of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of
the American family.
Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act
"with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right."
To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of
scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way
free people govern themselves.
On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican
majority will immediately pass the following major reforms,
aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people
in their government:
FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country
also apply equally to the Congress;
SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a
comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee
staff by one-third;
FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax
EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by
implementing zero base-line budgeting.
Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, we
shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be
given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair
vote and each to be immediately available this day for public
inspection and scrutiny.
1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative
line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an
out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same
budget constraints as families and businesses.
2. THE TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT
An anti-crime package including stronger truth-in-sentencing,
"good faith" exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death
penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from this
summer's "crime" bill to fund prison construction and
additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their
neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.
3. THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT
Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting
welfare to minor mothers and denying increased AFDC for
additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare
programs, and enact a tough two-years-and-out provision with
work requirements to promote individual responsibility.
4. THE FAMILY REINFORCEMENT ACT
Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption,
strengthening rights of parents in their children's education,
stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care
tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in
5. THE AMERICAN DREAM RESTORATION ACT
A S500 per child tax credit, begin repeal of the marriage tax
penalty, and creation of American Dream Savings Accounts to
provide middle class tax relief.
6. THE NATIONAL SECURITY RESTORATION ACT
No U.S. troops under U.N. command and restoration of the
essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen
our national defense and maintain our credibility around the
7. THE SENIOR CITIZENS FAIRNESS ACT
Raise the Social Security earnings limit which currently forces
seniors out of the work force, repeal the 1993 tax hikes on
Social Security benefits and provide tax incentives for private
long-term care insurance to let Older Americans keep more of
what they have earned over the years.
8. THE JOB CREATION AND WAGE ENHANCEMENT ACT
Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation,
neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis,
strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act and unfunded
mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.
9. THE COMMON SENSE LEGAL REFORM ACT
"Loser pays" laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages and
reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of
10. THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE ACT
A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians
with citizen legislators.
Further, we will instruct the House Budget Committee to report
to the floor and we will work to enact additional budget
savings, beyond the budget cuts specifically included in the
legislation described above, to ensure that the Federal budget
deficit will be less than it would have been without the
enactment of these bills.
Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we seek their
mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our names to this Contract
For more information, call 1-800-742-2662, effective Wednesday,
September 28, 1994.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms
is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
- Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, June 1776
- 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334 (C. J. Boyd, Ed., 1950).
© 1994 Peter Langston