The Republican party platform, while in final, has a caveat on the inside cover: “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” Don’t know what that means. But the platform has an entire section entitled “Reforming Government to Serve the People.” Extracts and summaries follow:
“Republicans will uphold and defend our party’s core principles: Constrain the federal government to its legitimate constitutional functions.”
“Recent audits show that 22% of all federal programs are ineffective or incapable of demonstrating results. . . . Republicans will attack wasteful Washington spending immediately. Current procedures should be replaced with simplicity and transparency. For example:
** “We favor adoption of the Balanced Budget Amendment. . .
** “Earmarking must stop. . .
** “Government waste must be taken off of autopilot. We call for a one-year pause in non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending to force a critical, cost-benefit review of all current programs.
** “We call for a constitutionally sound presidential line-item veto.
** “We will insist that, before either the House or Senate considers a spending bill, every item in it should be presented in advance to the taxpayers on the Internet.
** “. . . we support a supermajority requirement in both the House and Senate to guard against tax hikes.
** “New authorizations should be offset by reducing another program, and no appropriation should be permitted without a current authorization.
** “We support the Government Shutdown Protection Act. . . .
** “We will insist that the budget reasonably plan for the long-term cost of pension and health care programs and urge the conversion of such programs to defined contribution programs.’’
** “ . . . we propose a National Sunset Commission to review all federal programs and recommend which of them should be terminated due to redundancy, waste, or intrusion into the American family. The Congress would then be required to schedule one yea or nay vote on the entire sunset list with no amendments.
** “We urge every congressional committee to reserve at least one week every month to conduct oversight of the nearly 1,700 separate grant and loan programs of the federal government.
** “ . . . we call for a national audit of all federally-owned property. . .
** “Each agency must be able to pass a financial audit and set annual targets for improving efficiency with fewer resources.
** “We will provide Internet transparency in all federal contracting . . .
The section continues, with references to domestic disaster response; the need for investments in restoring infrastructure; the need for reforms to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; appointing constitutionalist judges, and protecting the right to vote in fair elections.
The party platform is supplemented by candidate McCain’s call for change in his convention acceptance speech:
“We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.”