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A Conservative Consensus for 2012

MEMO FOR THE MOVEMENT    A CONSERVATIVE CONSENSUS FOR 2012 In the coming year, the American people will be making decisions about the leaders they want to represent them in Federal office. We call upon all those seeking public office to promise to return America to a true and prosperous Nation grounded in constitutional principles and a restoration of Federalism in order to receive the support of tens of millions of citizens represented by the American Conservative Movement. Along with the leaders of over 100 conservative organizations and tea party activists we have come together to reaffirm the principles of constitutional limited government and economic freedom and our belief in a strong national security and traditional American values. As Ronald Reagan said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” We advocate a principle-based strategy focused on four fundamental policy areas, each of which is supported by a majority of our fellow citizens: Growth Family Strength Accountability We urge those seeking public office to pay particular attention to the following important issues: ECONOMIC GROWTH: Ensure No American or American Business Pays Higher Taxes.Reject any tax hikes, end the “death-tax”, make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, reduce or zero out the capital gains tax, and encourage sound monetary policy, thereby helping the economy grow and create more jobs. Repeal of Obamacare.Only after Obamacare is removed from the books, can a careful, thoughtful legislative process begin to make practical adjustments that allow the free market to provide affordable, effective health insurance choices. Create Jobs and Reform the Tax Code.A free enterprise system must foster competition, limit regulation and reduce taxation. Office seekers must pledge not to raise taxes and to promote real tax reform with a goal of job creation. End the Regulatory Insanity.  It is vital that office seekers oppose unnecessary and job killing regulations from runaway federal agencies like the EPA, NLRB, and OSHA that undermine entrepreneurs and weaken America’s competitiveness. Tyranny by “czars” and executive fiat undermines representative government. Develop and Implement a Domestic Energy Policy.America must reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy, increase drilling and other means of exploration on U.S. soil (and waters), and investigate meaningful and practical energy alternatives.   FAMILY FIRST: Strengthen the American Family: Conservatives recognize the value of both shrinking the size of government and expanding America’s economy, yet also know that these goals cannot be achieved without strengthening the American family. Office seekers should have a clear understanding that the failed attempts to replace strong, healthy families with surrogate government programs and agencies have been both costly and ineffective. Advance Traditional Values. Office seekers should support a ban on tax-payer funding of abortion providers, promote policies that uphold the sanctity of human life, and oppose policies & programs that undermine the fundamental role that marriage and family play in sustaining civil society. Advocate for Religious Liberty. Upholding the religious rights of individuals and institutions is consistent with American principles of limited government and individual freedom. Office seekers must assure people of faith that conscience rights and religious freedom will be protected by government—not restricted.   NATIONAL SECURITY: Protect America—An Exceptional Country.The first duty of government is to protect its citizens from foreign threats and secure our nation’s borders. Terrorism is still a real threat and America must remain vigilant. Peace comes through strength—not vulnerability, not appeasement and not an apologetic America. Defend America’s Sovereignty.Office seekers should support our troops at home and abroad, strengthen the alliance of free and democratic nations, and oppose any surrender of American sovereignty to the United Nations and other transnational organizations.   GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY: Amend the Constitution to Require a Balanced Budget. All office seekers must support a strongBalanced Budget Amendment—one that requires a super majority to raise taxes and the debt ceiling, caps overall federal spending, and prohibits the judiciary from raising taxes or setting budget priorities. Cut Government Spending. A 15 trillion dollar deficit proves thatpoliticians in Washington, DC have approved more spending than even the federal bureaucracy can handle. Office seekers must pledge to reduce actual spending to pre-Obama levels and eliminate taxpayer dollars for private organizations that engage in political advocacy. Congress should then further reduce spending to work towards balanced budgets and begin to reduce the national debt. No More Bailouts & No More Corporate Welfare.All office seekers must oppose government bailouts of private companies, Wall Street financiers, and State governments that have spent far beyond their means. It is inherently unfair to burden working Americans with higher taxes and creating future debts to bailout those who have failed to act responsibly. The federal government must not be in the business of picking winners & losers—there is a marketplace to make that determination. Defend the Second Amendment.All office seekers must prevent governments—at any level—from violating the Constitution’s Second Amendment right of citizens to possess firearms. Appoint a Federal Judiciary Accountable to the Constitution. Our nation is one of laws, not men. To this end, office seekers must commit to appointing and supporting for the judiciary only men & women who are committed to constitutional conservatism and who oppose judicial activists set on pursuing personal or political agendas. Ensure Voter Integrity. The rights of legitimate voters –regardless of political party—must be protected. If our elections are not truly fair, we are not truly free. Candidates seeking public office must be on the forefront of efforts to expose fraud and ensure ballot access and the integrity of our election process.   Another American Century: A little less than a year from now the American people will have an opportunity to send new leaders to Congress & the White House. They expect them to use every aspect of their constitutional authority to expand liberty and make America strong once again. Liberals will seek to preserve the expansions of government and thwart the overwhelming sentiment of the Nation’s citizens for more freedom and less government–hoping the American people will not pay attention. Conservatives have a duty to educate, enthuse and engage Americans in conversation and action as the traditions of America are restored and the promise of America is unleashed.   Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union Gary Bauer, President, American Values J. Kenneth Blackwell, Chairman, Coalition for a Conservative Majority Al Cardenas, Chairman, American Conservative Union James Martin, Chairman 60 Plus Association Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union Richard Viguerie, Chairman, Rev. Louis Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition C. Preston Noell, President, Tradition, Family, Property Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance Penny Nance, President, Concerned Women for America Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition Gene Mills, President, Louisiana Family Forum Karen Kerrigan, President, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council Bob Reccord, Executive Director, Council for National Policy Becky Norton Dunlop, former Reagan Administration official Tom Winter, Editor-in-Chief, Human Events Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator T. Kenneth Cribb, former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan Angelo M. Codevilla, Professor Emeritus, Boston University Ken deGraffenreid, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Andresen Blom, Executive Director, American Principles in Action Gary Marx, Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition David Bozell, Executive Director, ForAmerica Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice (All organizations listed for Identification purposes only)

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