Implement tax reform
74,608 pages, 2.4 million words. That is the present size of Title 26 of the U.S. Code, or the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS recently has added an additional 7.7 million words of tax regulations, designed to clarify what the original 2.4 million words mean. Add around 60,000 pages of tax-related case law, necessary for accountants and tax lawyers. With President Elect Trump saying we’ll be seeing the biggest tax cuts since Ronald Reagan, the party has proposed a code that will seek to eliminate as many special interest provisions and loopholes as possible and curb corporate welfare, while being mindful of the burdens on families with children and the impact on an aging population.
Address the cost of higher education
Nationwide, student debt now exceeds credit card debt with average debt levels per student totaling roughly $27,000. During this election, many millennials cast their vote for Bernie Sanders and later Hillary Clinton, compelled by their glittering promises of “free” college. The Republican platform seeks to address this issue and lower college costs by restoring private sector participation in student financing and removing government from the business of originating student loans. It also seeks to encourage participation in new systems of learning, such as technical institutions and work-based learning in the private sector to combat unemployment among recent college grads.
Republicans have been vowing to repeal Obamacare since it was passed in 2010, handing them a huge congressional victory that year and allowing them to regain control of the senate in 2014 on the basis of this promise. Soon, Republicans will have control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have both reiterated their determination to repeal Obamacare under the new administration. Insurers are set to raise the premiums for plans purchased through healthcare.gov by an average of 22% in 2017.
Fixing the VA
As shown by recent controversies at the department, the VA has failed those who have sacrificed the most for our freedom. These shortcomings include the department’s role in creating a large population of opioid-addicted veterans by overprescribing painkillers for injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, which they acknowledged, as well as staff in Wisconsin allowing liquid oxygen, which is highly flammable, to leak into the ventilation system, to name a few. President-Elect Trump says he’s considering a ‘public-private option‘ that would allow veterans to choose between the existing government-run system, a private health care option, or a hybrid of the two systems. The Republican platform says that in the future they will strive to strengthen the VA through partnerships with private enterprises, veteran’s organizations, innovation, and competitive bidding.
Restoring the American Dream
A study done in 2015 by Harvard University revealed that nearly half of those ages 18 to 29 believe that the American dream is dead. The GOP has outlined a 15 part plan focused on the restoration of the American dream. The proposal includes measures to rebuild the economy and create jobs, implement policies that help small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship, create a simplified tax code, and drastically reduce the national debt, among others.
Implementing criminal justice reform
Criminal justice reform began in Republican-controlled states, and now it’s time for Congress to follow their lead. While most Democratic politicians today do support criminal justice reform legislation, those leading the way have been Republicans, including Sen. Mike Lee and Gov. John Kasich. The Republican platform addresses both over-criminalization and over-federalization, with hope that, under the new administration, bipartisan efforts will be made to implement reforms.
Implementing term limits
The GOP platform has repeatedly expressed support for term limits for members of Congress and, in 1996, brought a constitutional amendment to a vote in both chambers of Congress. It failed to secure the necessary two-thirds vote in the House and was killed by Democrats in the Senate, despite receiving the vote of every Republican in the Senate. With a Republican majority in both the house and the Senate, as well as Donald Trump’s expressed support for term limits, there is hope that the implementation of term limits will be one of the steps taken to “Drain the swamp.”
Reducing the national debt
When President Obama took office in 2009 the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. It’s likely to hit the $20 trillion mark around the time he leaves office, meaning it will have nearly doubled during his presidency. On January 2nd, the House Republican Conference will consider the rules package for the 115th session of Congress. The proposed rules would bring back a provision from 1876 to allow members to reduce spending and enhance oversight on the federal government. The Republican platform aims to combat this and reduce the debt through spending restraint and rebuilding our economy through job creation.
Image Credits: AP Photo/Cliff Owen