Over the past few days, over 100 RNC delegates met in Tampa to iron out the GOP platform for 2012 – a 50-60 page document laying out the professed beliefs of the Republican Party on all major policy issues. While much of the platform is boilerplate and platitudes, it is a good gauge of where the party is headed and what they plan to surrender to the left. Moreover, if we draft a solid platform it will bolster our efforts to push for conservative reforms in Congress.
For the most part, it seems that the platform is headed to the right of where it was during the McCain convention, in large part, due to the presence of Ron Paul supporters on the ground. There also appeared to be a healthy dose of tea party delegates who support the views of the grassroots Republicans. Here are some of the highlights that have leaked out so far.
The good news is that the platform contains a constitutional Life Amendment and a Marriage Amendment protecting marriage as a union between a man and a woman. They rejected an effort to support civil unions. Some social liberals had them add in a line about affording respect and dignity to gays. I don’t think our position on marriage needs to be punctuated by a special shoutout for dignity to gays. All Americans are treated equally in that respect. It’s self-explanatory, and such a provision sounds like we are apologizing for our views.
The provision in the 2008 platform calling for tax credits for Big Wind has been removed.
The provision supporting the Mortgage-Interest Deduction was also removed. Obviously, we cannot eliminate it under the current tax code because that would constitute a massive tax increase. But as part of a broader tax reform that would implement the lowest possible marginal rates, it would be wise to remove this massive market-distorter, which encourages people to take on more debt than natural market forces would dictate.
For the first time ever, a provision was inserted calling for auditing the Fed. This is a good start, but we need Republicans to commit to repealing the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, which forces the Fed to focus on tinkering with the economy in a failed attempts to stimulate job growth. The Fed must focus exclusively on sound money.
Unfortunately, they failed to stand on principled and call for the elimination of the Department of Education.
An amendment was added to show support for Arizona’s law and that “State efforts to reduce illegal immigration must be encouraged, not attacked.” Also, an effort to strip out support for E-Verify was defeated.
Overall, the platform is a reflection of a growing tea party influence on the party. The question is if the party leadership will disregard the platform like they did with their 2010 pledge to America.
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