February 9th, 2023
The Reform Party of the United States, a political party founded in 1996 by Ross Perot, is founded upon the bedrock of responsibility for elected officials, government entities, fiscal needs, social needs, and personal lives. We have been blunt throughout our existence about where the country is, and the forecast of its future – good or ill. To prove this concept, one only needs to look back at Perot’s warnings about the division of our nation’s ideologies and the slow collapse of our economy if trends continue. To date, they have. We want the American voter to understand that though the country is stressed and under duress; this country remains strong, not because of our elected officials or political parties, but because of the men and women that toil day in and day out to improve their lives and community. The American people are the spirit of this country, and the Reform Party feels that despite the lip service paid in speeches, such as the State of the Union, for the past several decades, this country remains a wound spring of potential waiting for its energies to be released.
As his campaign preached two years ago, President Biden opened the discourse by calling for unity and partnership with the GOP members of Congress. Many of whom jeered and scoffed at the mere idea of bipartisan cooperation. However, this call for cooperation quickly drowned beneath President Biden’s direct attacks on the very same party with whom he wanted to work. This is reminiscent of former President Trump’s call to the DNC Congressional majority during his administration, only to attack the same people through Twitter. One cannot ask for aid and partnership while attacking others simultaneously. Who would shake someone’s right hand while being stabbed by their left?
The most vocal among us have forgotten the grand idea of the United States being “the Great Melting Pot”, and have taken on an air of, “if you are not 100% in agreement with me, you must be 100% against me and my enemy.” This mindset dismantles the prospect of rational discourse, the sharing of ideas, and most importantly, the ability to compromise for the good of one another. As the Reform Party’s platform shows, there is no single silver bullet to any problem we face. Each issue of this nature is a complex beast; we must explore different methods to resolve the issues and find the best solutions, while doing the least harm to others. This is what cooperation should be for our leaders.
This talking point led directly to a favored topic of the Reform Party, the economy. Biden called for an immediate increase to the national debt ceiling, which the Republicans immediately denounced in boisterous and asinine measures. President Biden was correct that one-quarter of our current national debt was added during the Trump administration. President Biden conveniently forgot that the Democrats controlled both Congressional chambers. The Democrats had the power of the purse. The Democrats negotiated hefty line items for their own gain that a Republican President approved, because the Republicans benefited too. In this regard, the Reform Party sees both major political parties holding the United States and its citizenry hostage to fund pet projects and appease the special interests that control them.
We, the Reform Party, call for the following to occur on this matter:
1: An immediate and thorough audit of the US budget, with the information found, especially regarding fiscal waste, to be presented to Congress and the American people by July of each year.
2: Increase the national debt ceiling a final time to ensure the nation does not default on its debts, with a provision that a balanced budget must be delivered unless in a national crisis or declared state of war. If either caveat is in place, the budget is reviewed quarterly until the crisis or war has ended.
3: A review of national agencies and projects current and planned, their past successes and failures, and a process to determine their relevance and worth to the public. Eliminate those not meeting their designed mission and restructure those meeting the assigned mission but not operating within budgetary means. This includes our nation’s armed forces, whose budget has increased almost every year since 1999’s $298B to today’s $816B.
4: Re-evaluate and pass new tax laws simplifying the process for the general taxpayer and ensuring that the burden of taxes escalates from $0 owed taxes for individuals earning less than $37K per annum to a moderate amount for individuals between $37k and $100k per annum, to heavier and heavier tax for those earning over $100k. Further, we must end corporate welfare. There is no reason why any large corporation should enjoy subsidies and tax breaks on a national level and have even a single employee that has to utilize public resources for food, shelter, or health concerns. As will be discussed later, the economic strength of the US comes from its middle class, and we must stop squeezing the middle class to bolster those of great wealth.
The celebration of job creation is a misnomer. The GOP was correct for calling out this touted feather in President Biden’s cap. Be excited that the unemployment rate is at an all-time low, even lower than The Trump Administration’s 4.3% pre-COVID. However, it is misleading to say that this administration created the jobs people returned to, as The States allowed their citizens to return to work after months of lockdowns. Many however still work two to three jobs. 68% of Americans still live paycheck to paycheck.
Inflation has decreased in past months, but what is confusing to many, is understanding that inflation hasn’t stopped. Prices are not going down. Prices continue to increase month over month, just at a slightly slower rate. Pay at all levels is not keeping pace. People may be making a little more, but every dollar is worth less. It is fantastic that more people are working, but many are returning to two or more jobs to maintain their homes and to put food on their tables. People shouldn’t have to work side hustles to survive.
We, the Reform Party, call for the following to help curve the effects of inflation and to help increase the value of the average citizen’s dollar:
1: Allow for and support increases in US oil production and use to lessen the dependence on foreign oil purchases.
2: Continue to support and subsidize clean energy technology to better perfect them for current and future use.
3: As President Biden has stated, we must bring manufacturing back to the United States. However, this must be done intelligently and with an eye to our nation’s future. By all means, produce pharmaceuticals as locally as possible, but technology must also take priority. While textiles are often the easiest manufacturing and production plants to create, they are also easily overcome by cheaper foreign goods. A balance must be found to sustain the US economy and to keep our importers from controlling the US markets in any given product.
4: Create a nationally uniformed and quicker licensing process for skilled laborers and business owners to allow necessary licenses to carry from state to state without delay.
5: Create tax incentives for new business owners with businesses 0-2 years old, and allow up to 5 years for new small businesses employing at least 10 employees.
6: Conduct a study into the cost of utilities across the nation for families and the necessary infrastructure for the safe, cost-effective distribution of electricity, natural gas, cell phone services, and internet. This focus should be two-pronged for urban and rural communities.
7: Maintain interest rates that make sense for the long term future of the country. The United States kept the interest rates too low for too long, leading to inflation. A competent interest rate with budgetary restraint is key for overcoming the current inflation crisis.
8: Restructure social benefit programs (not including social security) to train the unemployed and under-employed and reward them with graduated lowering benefits as they increase in income and savings, rather than an all-or-nothing benefit. This may cost more in the short term, but in the long run, it will benefit the nation by fewer people needing such benefits to survive.
President Biden was further correct and insightful on his call for stronger monitoring of “Big Tech”, to stop workarounds to anti-trust violations and his take on social media. Though the Reform Party does not condone or approve of censorship, the party has always abided by and respected the constitution (all of it). It is recognized that calls to violence; hate speech against gender, race, creed, orientation, etc.; and purposeful misinformation of public safety issues must be curtailed for the public interest. The challenge is finding and maintaining truly impartial entities and processes to make such determinations. We cannot allow big tech or any special interest to weaponize our legislative process for their benefit.
We, the Reform Party, call for the following changes to occur immediately in Congress regarding our law making processes:
1: Single subject bills. No addendums can be added to any bill without qualified proof that such addendums link directly with the bill’s purpose and spirit. This will eliminate “Christmas tree” bills from ever occurring.
2: A bill may only be voted on after being read out loud to the assembly to ensure that all voters know exactly what is in said bill. This is the only way to hold our elected representatives 100% accountable for what they vote into being.
3: We must review our current federal laws for their efficacy and need using a complete regulatory audit. A government should have as few laws as possible to maintain individual sovereignty, but still have what is required to maintain public safety and protect individual rights. Once completed, such a review needs to be done every 10 years, and reported to Congress to propose amendments or removal of outdated materials.
President Biden spoke about education. Education is a powerful and versatile tool for addressing many of our nation’s ills. While the public school system is seriously damaged, and vouchers to private schools do not help in that regard, the Reform Party wants all options on the table. Public and private schools should be bastions of hope and knowledge. No student left behind? Many have not only been left behind but rolled into gutters. We must make all resources available to all schools: books, arts, funds, better pay for those on the ground floor doing the direct work with students, buildings, and technology. Make schools where students want to go. Make the material interesting. Violence and poverty lessen in areas where students are engaged and thriving.
The Reform Party has always applauded this administration’s attempt to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and to upgrade our communication services. However, limiting the materials to only American-made harms our economy and negates fiscal responsibility. Instead, American materials should be given first priority, but if the same quality resource can be garnered from offshore resources for substantially less, we will utilize those instead. The labor for these projects should be restricted to US businesses and citizens only; that is where the dollars really hit the public and get circulated back into our economy – through paychecks.
This State of the Union was a stump speech for Biden’s next presidential election. Regardless, some valid points were made, and some hard-hitting mistakes were evident in the speech. Still, it is not the president, whether Democrat, Republican, 3rd Party, or Independent, that makes this country strong or remarkable. This nation has always been defined by the citizenry, regardless of class, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. We, The People, are the United States; not the few hundred elected officials and their thousands of cronies doing the deals behind the scenes. The Reform Party is a grassroots party run by volunteers in everyday jobs that want to be represented just as you do. The show on display at the 2023 State of the Union only demonstrates what our political process has devolved into – schoolyard bullies looking for opportunities to score points off the opposing party, regardless of its cost to common Americans.
Thank you for your time and attention.
The State of the Union is strong, because the American People are strong. May God bless every citizen of these United States and protect the men and women that serve our country. Good night.