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2010 Directions

The 2010 platform should also advance these agendas, which are absent from the current platform:

  1. Strong opposition to public option health care. Public option is a Trojan horse for a single payer (totally government run) health care system. Democrat leaders are ignoring plenty of free market-based reforms and minimal additional regulation that could cause major improvements.
  2. A health care reform policy. Our policy must not only be a reaction to Democrat excess. We must have our own rational proposal. We must enable an ownership society, where one of the things you own is your own health insurance coverage that is not bound to employment.
  3. Transportation funding parity (and TxDOT still sucks). TxDOT's late-2009 stiffing of the Dallas-Fort Worth area on highway improvement funds is arbitrary and capricious. It must be stopped. If you're a beneficiary under this scheme, how will you feel when TxDOT stiffs you next time? This further shows the sickness of TxDOT's management. TxDOT needs major reform.
  4. Affirming the motoring public. An anti-motorist culture dominates transportation policy. Private transportation makes America productive, resilient, independent, and freedom-affirming. We must rescind excessive regulation of motorists, including excessive traffic regulation, including raising most speed limits and exploring roads with no speed limits. We must end revenue-driven traffic enforcement that focuses on technical fouls and victimless crimes. We must stop treating public ownership of transportation resources as an excuse to reduce rights of citizens. We must ensure that public transit funding does not reduce road funding.
  5. Affirming solutions to transportation funding. We must affirm all reasonable options for transportation funding, including indexing gas tax to inflation, responsible use of toll roads, and innovative traffic management technologies. "Miles traveled"-based funding schemes that put GPS trackers on all cars are an obvious slippery slope to government monitoring and must be rejected out of hand; their premise is flimsy, and a higher gas tax is a far more palatable option.
  6. No more disenfranchisement. Many residents are barred from voting in their own wet/dry elections because of how political boundaries were drawn 100 or more years ago. The Constitution must be amended to unambiguously stop this disenfranchisement.
  7. Supporting reservoir development. It is a pipe dream to think that the Dallas area can conserve its way out of projected water use growth. We should oppose misguided and radical efforts to halt new reservoirs.
  8. Drill here, drill now. The United States must repeal all laws that arbitrarily restrict drilling in proven reserves. Oil capturing technology is clean and effective.
  9. e-government. Government at all levels must be as online and open as feasible. We must create a presumption of access: all data subject to open records inspection must be routinely and freely exposed to the public through the internet. Online transaction costs must be folded into existing fees and made up through streamlined processing; they should never be passed to citizens as convenience fees taxes.
  10. Self-determination on housing options. Federal and state law must affirm municipalities' right to enforce minimum lot sizes and restrict or prevent construction of multifamily dwellings.
  11. Homeowner associations (HOAs). Mandatory homeowner associations for detached, single family home neighborhoods must be emasculated. They are quasi-governmental entities that aren't subject to freedom-affirming government regulations like open records laws. Their key purpose is to maintain publicly-owned features and amenities. Texas should cancel HOAs' right to micromanage property rights.
  12. Realistic take on Social Security. Social Security is a wealth transfer scheme mostly benefiting the aged and infirm. Also, the Social Security Trust Fund is a nebulous accounting trick and is neither an asset nor debt. Failure to acknowledge these realities prevents meaningful reform.
  13. Truth in tax labeling. We must stop government from assessing taxes by calling them fees or fines. Driver responsibility fees, vehicle registration, hunter's license, etc.--they are all taxes and should be labeled as such.
  14. Rational copyright and patent laws. Current copyright and patent laws are absurd. They allow copyright privileges to be locked up for longer than a human life, and patenting of trivial software features is commonplace. Patent law must be reformed to only protect non-obvious inventions with significant development effort, and copyright law should consistently release materials into the public domain after just a few decades.
  15. Revenue neutral, tax-based environmental policy. Many alleged environmental problems come from resource over-consumption. This can be corrected by shifting our national tax burden towards consumption taxes on the substances that cause alleged harm. For example, instead of the leftist and complex cap and trade tax scheme, Republicans should instead propose a revenue neutral sales tax applied on carbon-emitting fuels at the point of consumption. Revenue neutral means a dollar-per-dollar reduction in income taxes and other taxes for each dollar raised by the new carbon tax. This placates environmentalists while achieving a conservative goal of increasing the use of consumption taxes. Additionally, it would permit simpler environmental regulation and encourage development of cleaner energy sources through free market forces.
  16. Fiscal conservatism. We utterly lost our way. In the U.S. Congress, Republican-style fiscal conservatism is now only proposing new programs that are slightly less spendy than Democrat programs. This is a farce. We need to get a clear point across that we expect restoration of sane fiscal practices, end of dishonest accounting practices, and further elimination of waste and useless programs.
  17. Consistent fiscal conservatism. Republicans have a hard time being fiscally conservative with the military. Years of unchecked spending growth means the US alone accounts for 42% of the world's military spending. This is unsustainable. Our fiscal conservatism must apply consistently to all government programs. We can be fiscally conservative and while supporting our military and maintaining overwhelming military dominance.
  18. Border security. A complete border security program will finally give us the moral imperative for a rational immigration policy.
  19. Corporate welfare. A business-friendly environment does not mean endless wealth transfers to corporations. The net effect of these persistent giveaways is increasing tax burdens on individuals. This trend must be arrested on all levels of government. Business must be attracted to areas because of a favorable economic climate and general amenities, not because of corporate welfare.
  20. Real estate valuation sunshine. Currently, commercial real estate transaction values are hidden from the public. These must be open to facilitate fair taxing, albeit taxing jurisdictions must be appropriately regulated to prevent this from being a net new tax receipts bonanza.

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