In God We Trust
Exceptionalism is the basis for America’s success. A continued drift from God will ultimately result in the loss of this blessing. The liberty principle of “freedom of religion” should be reestablished wherein all individuals (including pastors, teachers and government employees) are completely free at all times and places to freely express their religious beliefs and practices. The First Amendment should be interpreted according to the original intent of our Founders.
Our state legislature should help protect religious liberty and our First Amendment rights by denying state funding to any city or county that would enact ordinances to restrict these rights.
The primary purpose of government is to protect citizens from both foreign and domestic threats and to ensure “regular” inter-state trade. The government’s powers should be limited to powers specifically stated in the Constitution. Congress should make no new laws and should eliminate all statutes, regulations, departments, programs, organizations, and commissions not clearly and specifically enumerated in the US Constitution. Limited government calls for no new stimulus spending, taxpayer-funded bailouts or government ownership of private enterprises.
To quote the TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee’s legislative priorities, “Now is the time to focus on the why and how tax dollars are spent by our state government. Budgeting and public policy should not be based on emotion, tradition, or legal plunder advocated by special interest groups, but rather on limited government principles. Limited government principles, coupled with high ethical standards, advance individual liberty, promote economic freedom, and ensure transparent, high quality, efficient and effective services for taxpayers.”
The TPCAC’s document further declares, and I agree: “The Texas Legislature, the Governor, Lt. Governor, and House Speaker should actively work to balance the state’s budget without employing the past practices of accounting gimmicks, deferrals, and various types of budget trickery. We believe:
- the state budget should be balanced with available revenues;
- state government should be reduced to its core constitutional functions* by eliminating any departments, agencies, commissions, programs, or funds that fall outside those core functions, and in turn, the
- resulting savings should be redirected to core constitutional functions where more funding is justified utilizing a zero-based budgeting process.”
*The core constitutional functions of Texas state government are public education; transportation; the justice system of criminal and civil courts, law enforcement, and corrections (state prisons); management of natural resources; state emergency services; and the administration of HHS-Medicaid services.
Our government should not spend money it does not have. Our tax system should encourage and support free enterprise, economic growth, be simple and fair, and support job retention in the United States. The IRS should be abolished along with the elimination of the inheritance (death) tax, gift tax, and capital gains tax. A constitutional tax must replace the current system by generating sufficient revenue for only the legitimate (Constitutional) tasks of the federal government; however, tax reform will work best if accompanied with meaningful spending reforms, termination of duplicated and overlapping agencies and programs, and the elimination of pork barrel spending in every form – especially in earmarks. These efforts are necessary in order to provide tax relief, reduce the debt, and balance the budget. A two-thirds majority of the U. S. House and Senate should be required before raising taxes. Such tax reforms will encourage investment and economic growth for the U. S. economy.
Again, the TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee of grassroots constitutional conservative citizens has it right: “Our country needs a strong Texas, ready to lead the way as the federal government spends more, taxes more, borrows more, regulates more, and strays further and further away from the US Constitution. It is, therefore, a matter of utmost urgency that our Legislature makes measurable progress to reduce the state’s dependence on federal dollars; to resist any increase in state debt; to get our state’s fiscal house in order; to uphold the rule of law at all times; to reduce regulation; and to set much higher standards in state government ethics and transparency.
Rule of Law
As a constitutional republic, we are a nation of laws that emanate from our founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The second greatest document ever written is the Constitution of the United States. This supreme law of the land is just as valid today as it was when first penned. It should only be interpreted according to original intent.
There is a serious need for all elected officials to revere and adhere to the oath of office. That oath declares, “IN THE NAME AND BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, I do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of my office and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the laws of this State, so help me God.”
This oath demands the office holder acts to uphold the rule of law at all times – not just when it is convenient and everyone approves. The rule of law should apply to everyone, including elected officials. It is the primary responsibility of all officeholders to protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens by upholding the rule of law. Specifically, state officials should uphold the rule of law by banning sanctuary cities and counties. Sanctions for violators should be swift and should include ending state grants and funding to cities and counties that ignore the rule of law.
Only elected officials who say what they mean and mean what they say should remain in office. We must stop electing professional politicians who campaign on the right (Conservative) and then consistently vote with the left wing liberal Democrats. Individuals and families requesting taxpayer-funded assistance should be required to report all income and assets. Access to social welfare should be based on need and should be means-tested. Only US citizens and legal residents should have temporary access to social welfare programs.
The Rainy Day Fund (or ESF – Economic Stabilization Fund) should be preserved so that Texas can be strong and less dependent on the federal government in times of disaster. Our legislature and statewide officials should exercise fiscal restraint and personal responsibility to reduce our dependence on federal funds to balance the state budget. According to the Tax Foundation, Texas ranks 11th in the nation in dependence on federal funds to balance our state budget. Federal funds make up about 40% of our state budget. Given the $17 trillion federal debt, this is not wise or good for Texas.