To achieve victory, you must first seek it. But, even before you seek it, you have to define it.
The U. S. Taxpayers Party (USTP) defines "victory" as restricting the Federal government to its limited, delegated, enumerated functions and restoring the common law Biblical presuppositions of American jurisprudence.
If you don't know where you are going, any train will get you there.
The presupposition of the U. S. Taxpayers Party is that throughout this century, the Federal government has been led in the wrong direction, either at the initiative or with the acquiescence of Republican and Democrat officeholders alike.
Generally speaking, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to have an agenda for change when they bring a Presidential administration to office, even though the content and course of the Federal government is already on track with their ideological premises and policy goals.
Republicans tend to assume that merely holding office and exercising authority is an end in itself. The pattern of their incumbencies has been to leave intact those programs and policies established prior to their arrival, and then to quibble about how to spend any funds left over on still more un-Constitutional activities.
During several years of service in the Executive Branch as part of the Nixon Administration, I observed a simple fact: if it is not in the budget, the government can't do it, and, if it is in the budget, the Federal government will do it.
Every additional dollar extracted from the American people in taxes is one less dollar of liberty and one dollar more added to the power of the Federal leviathan.
Notice the increase. When John F. Kennedy assumed office in January, 1961, total annual Federal outlays were $97.7 billion. When Richard Nixon took office in January, 1969, the amount was $183.7 billion. At the beginning of Jimmy Carter's presidency in 1977, Federal outlays totaled $409.2 billion. They were up to $678.2 billion at the beginning of Ronald Reagan's term and had nearly doubled to $1.2 trillion in 1989 when George Bush took office. Bush turned over to Bill Clinton a budget of $1.4 trillion in January, 1993. By 1999, annual outlays had risen to $1.7 trillion.
We are told that the fact that we have a budget "surplus" is a good thing. The predicate for this claim is doubly incorrect: 1) we would not have a budget surplus but for the fact that $852.2 billion in FICA taxes have been diverted from the Social Security Trust Fund to sustain the cost of other Congressionally-approved programs, and 2) taxes have risen steadily in order to keep pace with ever-increasing Federal expenditures. "Balanced budgets" are used as arguments against tax cuts.
The income tax alone yielded $41.3 billion at the beginning of the Kennedy Administration, $87.2 billion at the beginning of the Nixon Administration, $157.6 billion at the beginning of the Carter Administration, $286 billion at the beginning of the Reagan Administration, $446 billion at the beginning of the Bush Administration, $510 at the beginning of the Clinton Administration, up to a high of $869 billion today.
The Constitution clearly limits the purposes for which Congress may tax us, stipulating in Article I, Section 8 that, "The Congress shall have the Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare."
Those Constitutional purposes could be generously accommodated, not for 2 trillion dollars per year, but for less than 1/4 that amount — 1/2 trillion dollars per year.
The GOP Compromise
No political party unprepared to speak seriously about a massive rollback in Federal taxes and spending can be taken seriously on the question of putting America back on the right track.
If they are not willing to say in public that this is their objective, let's take them at their word and look elsewhere for leadership.
One of the most egregious examples of the GOP's unwillingness and inability to confront even those government programs which undermine their political standing is the refusal of every Republican President, from Nixon to Ford to Reagan to Bush, to veto scores of billions of dollars in subsidies to ideological activist organizations structured as non-profit corporations, entities which, at the taxpayer expense, are paid to lobby, litigate, propagandize, proselytize, and pander for their preferred politically correct neo-Marxist causes — everything from abortion and homosexuality to racial quotas, higher taxes, and radical feminism.
Republicans have either been too lazy to figure out where their budget dollars are going, or too cowardly to vote against expenditures which are clearly in conflict with the First Amendment stipulation that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The only religion the Federal government does not fund is Christianity. Congress interferes with the "free exercise" of religion by Christians, insofar as it obliges us to subsidize the propagation of anti-Christian faiths.
It is in direct violation of "the establishment clause" for Congress to underwrite the costs and game plans for all those non-Christian religions, even when they are characterized as "political philosophies" or "theories of social justice."
In this first speech to Congress as President in August, 1974, Gerald Ford told House Speaker Tip O'Neill and his other former colleagues, "I offer you a banner of consensus, compromise, conciliation, and cooperation." In other words, don't hit me and I won't do anything to challenge your control of the Federal government.
That has been the strategic lodestar for nearly all recent Republican Presidents. There is little they are willing even to attempt unless it offers the prospect of implementation by consensus.
But what party in control of something valuable would consent gratuitously to surrender that which they have worked so hard to achieve and acquire?
In war, no hill is taken unless some are willing to spill their blood. It is the same in politics. If you value nothing more than keeping your job, the enemy will understand that and you will take none of his hills.
One thing that thoughtful voters need to understand is that Republican rhetoric and even Republican platforms have been deceptively distinguishable from the Congressional voting records of Republican legislators and the budget decisions of Republican Presidents.
For example, in their 1980 platform, Republicans said, "We . . . support the congressional efforts to restrict the use of taxpayers' dollars for abortion."
Yet, since then, Republicans in Congress and the White House have helped enact more than $6 billion of subsidies for Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations.
It also is the case that, in order to avoid controversy, the GOP leadership has, for the most part, erased substantive policy disagreements with the Democrats.
They talk of replacing the IRS and the income tax, but they do not act on it. They ally themselves with Bill Clinton in surrendering authority to NAFTA and to the World Trade Organization (WTO). They vote to give Bill Clinton the $17.9 billion he requested for the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They back Bill Clinton on the phony assessment of "back dues" imposed by the United Nations on U.S taxpayers. They fail to oppose Clinton's Kosovo intervention.
They have voted with Clinton and with Bush for massive reductions in defense spending. Ever since the high-water mark of defense build-up in 1986, they have neglected their duty to "provide for the common defense," of the United States (even while spending more on U.N. "peacekeeping" activities abroad and feminization of the military at home).
They accept Bill Clinton's premise that there should be an expanded Federal role in education. Although they quibble about the way in which additional education dollars should be spent, they, in fact, propose greater Federal spending on education than even Mr. Clinton dares to propose.
Name the issue — whether it is funding for the Legal Services Corporation, foreign aid, or even most-favored-nation status for Red China, the Republican leadership in Congress is in cahoots with their Democratic counterparts on Capitol Hill as well as with President Clinton and his Executive Branch.
If the Republicans are our best hope, let us acknowledge that there is no fight in that dog, and that we have no dog battling for us on Capitol Hill.
The Ever-expanding Big Tent
Homosexuals and heterosexuals, abortionists and pro-lifers, tax hikers and tax cutters, interventionists and Constitutionalists, adversaries and allies of racial, ethnic, and gender quotas — all these and more opposites have been attracted to the Big Tent.
But, in order to preserve unity within that arena, lowest-common denominator policy objectives become essential.
All that inhabitants of the Big Tent have in common is a willingness to hook their trunks into the tails of the pachyderms which precede them, coupled with an egocentric lust to partake of the accoutrements of office.
For years the Republican strategy has been to "lose as slowly as possible." The GOP has virtually no vision of victory beyond achieving success at the polls on election day.
To paraphrase FDR's two-time Vice President John Nance Garner, the whole Republican Party is "not worth a pitcher of warm spit" ("piss" was Garner's word in his characterization of the Vice Presidency).
The GOP is like a huge tank in the middle of the road blocking our progress. Indeed, so long as gullible Christians, conservatives, and Constitutionalists wrongly assume that the GOP (Gang of Prostitutes) is fighting their fight in Washington, D.C., our side will not even be represented in the crucial battles being waged.
America is headed for the cliff and, from a long-term perspective, it matters little whether we crash with the Democrats at 90 miles per hour or stay within the speed limit, riding a Republican wagon at 55 miles per hour.
We need to do more than change drivers. We need to change direction.
The USTP is the only political instrument in America today for those of us who acknowledge a) that God is Sovereign and that His laws are eternal, b) that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, c) that all legislative powers are vested in Congress, d) that Congress has improperly surrendered legislative control over policy and money to regulatory bodies, civil service bureaucrats, private judiciary, the Federal Reserve, and to the President of the United States.
Not only has the USTP correctly diagnosed the disease which afflicts the body politic, we are, moreover, ready with remedies that can secure a prompt recovery from the political ills which afflict us.
No, we ought not view civil government as an instrument of salvation, but we can and must put a stop to the many ways in which it undermines our families and degrades our culture.
A President willing to use his clearly specified Constitutional veto authority can, with the support of one-third plus one of the members of either House of Congress, terminate all unconstitutional programs and put out of business Federal judges who do not meet the "Good Behavior" standards alluded to in the U. S. Constitution.
He can get us out of the UN, abolish the IRS, end the Federal government's practice of un-Constitutionally spending more than $100 billion per year on "education," stop the billions in subsidies which have gone to the homosexual movement in the name of AIDS education, close down the multi-billion dollar transfer of resources to Planned Parenthood and similar groups, impose euthanasia on the National Endowment for the Arts, et cetera.
And, because the Constitution specifies that "No person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law," our President can require his US attorneys, even those installed by recess appointment, to make the close-down of every abortion mill in their jurisdictions the number one priority for them and their staffs.
The Republicans do not even pretend to offer an agenda of Constitutional restoration and reconstruction. They have accepted all the blunders and bad policies initiated by twentieth-century Presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.
There is no plan to abolish the Fed, to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, terminate Presidential Executive Orders, close down "New Deal" programs, overturn the agenda of the "Great Society," or restore to Congress control over key national security issues.
For us to achieve victory, first we must seek it. The Republicans have no clue as to what victory means.
There are several fine men seeking the Republican Presidential nomination — none of whom has any realistic prospect of securing it in the face of opposition from those who want to sweep abortion under the rug, continue an internationalist interventionist foreign policy, and strip Congress of its obligation to "regulate commerce with foreign nations."
The Republican Party survives and prospers today, not merely because of the state and Federal election laws which seek to institutionalize and subsidize the partisan place, but also and even more because Christians, conservatives, and Constitutionalists have not been paying attention.
They have heard the music but they have not listened to the words. It takes work to supervise your employees. You have got to read a good newspaper, consider votes on particular pieces of legislation, and consider carefully what is involved when a legislator or executive embraces a budget of nearly $2 trillion in taxing and spending.
Some years ago there was much talk about zero-based budgeting. It was a good idea then, and it is still a good idea.
Before voting for a Federal program, each US Senator or Representative should ask, "Is this program mandated by the Constitution? Is it prohibited by the Constitution? If it is indeed within the delegated and enumerated functions of our Federal Republic, is that which is being proposed both wise and cost effective?"
We will not win until we throw the Republican Party over the side and complete the building of an ark on which we can ride from the banks of defeat to the shores of victory.
- Howard Phillips