Religious Freedom
Article I of the Bill of Rights reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Our Constitution grants no authority to the federal government either to grant or deny the religious expressions of the people in any place. Both the First and Tenth Amendments forbid such tyranny.

We call upon all branches of government to cease their attacks on the religious liberties of the people and the states, regardless of the forum in which these liberties are exercised.

We assert that any form of taxation on churches and other religious organizations is a direct and dangerous step toward state control of the church. Such intrusion is prohibited by the Constitution and must be halted.

We assert that private organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, can determine their own membership, volunteers, and employment based on their oaths and creeds.

Social Security
The Constitution grants no authority to the federal government to administrate a Social Security system. The Constitution Party advocates phasing out the entire Social Security program, while continuing to meet the obligations already incurred under the system. Until the current Social Security system can be responsibly phased out, we propose that:

The Social Security tax not be a “rainy day” fund which politicians can pirate, or from which they can borrow to cover their errors and pay for their excesses.
Individuals who have contributed to Social Security be allowed to withdraw those funds and transfer them into an IRA or similar investments under the control of the individual contributor.
Any sort of merger between the U.S. Social Security System and that of any foreign country be banned, so the distribution of benefits will not go to persons who have not qualified for payments under American law as legal residents.
Earning limitations on persons aged 62 and over be removed, so that they may earn any amount of additional income without placing their benefits at risk.
Those provisions of the Social Security system which penalize those born during the “notch years” between 1917 and 1926 be repealed, and that such persons be placed on the same benefit schedules as all other beneficiaries.
We support the right of individuals to choose between private retirement and pension programs, either at their place of employment or independently.

Statehood
We oppose any effort to confer statehood on the District of Columbia or any representation in Congress comparable to that of an independent state in the federal union.

We oppose efforts to confer statehood upon the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or expand statehood beyond the current fifty states.

We acknowledge that each state’s membership in the Union is voluntary.

We support the equal footing doctrine co-equal with the original thirteen states for all states coming into and having entered the Union as states.

State Sovereignty
Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states.

The federal government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state education, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, health care, ad infinitum.

The Constitution Party calls for the federal government to divest itself of operations not authorized by the Constitution. We call upon Congress to extract the federal government from such enterprises, whether or not they compete with private enterprise.

Tariffs and Trade
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations.” Congress may not abdicate or transfer to others these Constitutional powers. We oppose, therefore, the unconstitutional transfer of authority over U.S. trade policy from Congress to agencies, domestic or foreign, which improperly exercise policy-setting functions with respect to U.S. trade policy.

We favor the abolition of the Office of Special Trade Representative, and insist on the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and all other agreements wherein agencies other than the Congress of the United States improperly assume responsibility for establishing American trade policies.

Article I, Section 8 provides that duties, imposts, and excises are legitimate revenue-raising measures on which the United States government may properly rely. We support a tariff based revenue system, as did the Founding Fathers, which was the policy of the United States during most of the nation’s history. In no event will the U.S. tariff on any foreign import be less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in the United States. The cost of production of a U.S. product shall include, but not be limited to, all compensation, including fringe benefits, paid to American workers, and environmental costs of doing business imposed on business by federal, state, and local governments.

Tariffs are not only a constitutional source of revenue, but, wisely administered, are an aid to preservation of the national economy. Since the adoption of the 1934 Trade Agreements Act, the United States government has engaged in a free trade policy which has destroyed or endangered important segments of our domestic agriculture and industry, undercut the wages of our working men and women, and totally destroyed or shipped abroad the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers. This free trade policy is being used to foster socialism in America through welfare and subsidy programs.

We oppose all international trade agreements which have the effect of diminishing America’s economic self-sufficiency and of exporting jobs, the loss of which impoverishes American families, undermines American communities, and diminishes America’s capacity for economic self-reliance, and the provision of national defense.

We see our country and its workers as more than bargaining chips for multinational corporations and international banks in their ill-conceived and evil New World Order.

We reject the trade concept of normal trade relations (Most Favored Nation status), used to curry favor with regimes whose domestic and international policies are abhorrent to decent people everywhere, and which are in fundamental conflict with the vital interests of the United States of America.

We strongly oppose unconstitutional “Trade Promotion Authority,” which transfers the establishment of trade policy from Congress to the Executive branch of government.

In the name of free trade, multi-national corporations have been given tax breaks by the U.S. government which are not available to American businesses, and the money extracted from U.S. taxpayers has been used by the government to subsidize exports and encourage businesses to move abroad. Such improprieties must cease.

The United States government should establish the firm policy that U.S. or multinational businesses investing abroad do so at their own risk. There is no obligation by our Government to protect those businesses with the lives of our service personnel, or the taxes of our citizens.

In the area of national security, foreign interests have been abetted in gaining access to America’s high-tech secrets under the guise of commercial enterprise. We propose that technology transfers which compromise national security be made illegal, and urge that all violators be prosecuted. We demand that all weapons systems, military uniforms and equipment purchased for the American military be domestically produced in their entirety along with all their component parts.

We oppose the practice of any officer of the United States government, or spouse thereof, who, subsequent to Federal government employment is employed to represent a foreign government or other foreign entity, public or private, for purposes of influencing public opinion or policy on matters affecting U.S. trade with such foreign government or entity.

Taxes
The Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the power “to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.”

In Article I, Section 9, the original document made clear that “no Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” It is moreover established that “No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.”

Since 1913, our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property have been abridged and diminished by the imposition on each of us of Federal income, payroll, and estate taxes. This is an unconstitutional Federal assumption of direct taxing authority.

The Internal Revenue Service is the enforcement arm of the Federal government’s present unjust tax system. Citizens, both in groups and as individuals, have repeatedly sought responses from the IRS bureaucracy as to the basis for the agency’s tax policies and procedures. No answers have been forthcoming although a responsible government must be answerable to the people and has a duty to those it is supposed to serve.

We propose legislation to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, and will veto any authorization, appropriation, or continuing resolution which contains any funding whatsoever for that illicit and unconstitutional agency. We are opposed to the flat-rate tax, national sales tax, and value added tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system. The Sixteenth Amendment does not provide authority for an un-apportioned direct tax.

Moreover, it is our intention to replace, with a tariff based revenue system supplemented by excise taxes, the current tax system of the U.S. government (including income taxes, payroll taxes, and estate taxes.)

To the degree that tariffs on foreign products, and excises, are insufficient to cover the legitimate Constitutional costs of the federal government, we will offer an apportioned “state-rate tax” in which the responsibility for covering the cost of unmet obligations will be divided among the several states in accordance with their proportion of the total population of the United States, excluding the District of Columbia. Thus, if a state contains 10 percent of the nation’s citizens, it will be responsible for assuming payment of 10 percent of the annual deficit.

The effect of this “state-rate tax” will be to encourage politicians to argue for less, rather than more, federal spending, and less state spending as well.

To the extent permitted by the Constitution, we believe that the taxation of corporations is an appropriate source of government revenue. The Supreme Court has defined “income” as a “gain or increase arising from corporate activity or privilege.” People are not corporations, and corporations need not be treated as “people” for the purposes of taxation.

There is substantial evidence that the 16th Amendment was never legally ratified. When elected, we will act to cease collection of direct Federal personal income taxes. We also support ratification of the Liberty Amendment which would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment, and provide that “Congress shall not levy taxes on personal incomes, estates, and/or gifts.”

We support the use of motor fuel excise taxes, at rates not in excess of those currently imposed, to be used exclusively for the erection, maintenance, and administration of Federal highways. These taxes should never be used for “demonstration projects”, mass transit, or for other non-highway purposes.

We support the use of excise taxes to curb the use of tax dollars for media advertising, and to provide so-called “tax abatements,” “tax incentives,” and “economic development grants,” which are pretexts to raid the public treasury and rob the workingman for the benefit of wealthy interests favored by the politicians.

Terrorism and Personal Liberty
America is engaged in an undeclared war with an ill-defined enemy (terrorism), a war which threatens to be never ending, and which is being used to vastly expand government power, particularly that of the executive branch, at the expense of the individual liberties of the American people.

The “war on terrorism” is serving as an excuse for the government to spend beyond its income, expand the Federal bureaucracy, and socialize the nation through taxpayer bailouts of the airlines, subsidies to the giant insurance corporations, and other Federal programs.

We deplore and vigorously oppose legislation and executive action, that deprive the people of their rights secured under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments under the guise of “combating terrorism” or “protecting national security.” Examples of such legislation are the National Security Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the proposed Domestic Securities Enhancement Act (colloquially known as “Patriot II”).

The National Security Act is used by the federal government as a shroud to prevent the American people and our elected officials from knowing how much and where our tax dollars are spent from covert operations around the world. The National Security Act prevents the release of Executive Orders and Presidential Decision Directives, e.g., PDD 25, to the American people and our elected representatives. Not only are many of these used to thwart justice in the name of national security, but some of the operations under this act may threaten our very national sovereignty.

The USA PATRIOT Act permits arrests without warrants and secret detention without counsel, wiretaps without court supervision, searches and seizures without notification to the individual whose property is invaded, and a host of other violations of the legal safeguards our nation has historically developed according to principles descending from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments.

Since we will no longer have a free nation while the federal government (or the governments of the several states, as the federal government may authorize) can violate our historic rights under such laws, we call for the rejection of all such laws and the ceasing of any such further proposals including the aforementioned Domestic Securities Enhancement Act.

The Constitution Party is unalterably opposed to the criminal acts of terrorists, and their organizations, as well as the governments which condone them. Individuals responsible for acts of terrorism must be punished for their crimes, including the infliction of capital punishment where appropriate. In responding to terrorism, however, the United States must avoid acts of retaliation abroad which destroy innocent human lives, creating enmity toward the United States and its people; and

In accord with the views of our Founding Fathers, we must disengage this nation from the international entanglements which generate foreign hatred of the United States, and are used as the excuse for terrorist attacks on America and its people. The ‘war on terrorism” is not a proper excuse for perpetual U.S. occupation of foreign lands, military assaults on countries which have not injured us, or perpetual commitment of taxpayer dollars to finance foreign governments.

Veterans
The Constitution Party appreciates the contributions of our servicemen and veterans to the preservation of American freedom. We shall continue to recognize their contributions to the national welfare by providing equitable pay and benefits to our military personnel, and generous health, education, and other benefits to veterans.

We vigorously resist the attempt by any government agency to nullify or reduce earned benefits to veterans and their survivors, including but not limited to, compensation, pensions, education, and health care.

Wage and Price Control
We deny that civil government has the authority to set wages and prices; so doing is inconsistent with principles of individual liberty and the free market.

Welfare
God, who endows us with life, liberty, property, and the right to pursue happiness, also exhorts individuals to care for the needy, the sick, the homeless, the aged, and those who are otherwise unable to care for themselves.

America’s welfare crisis is a government-induced crisis. Government social and cultural policies have undermined the work ethic, even as the government’s economic and regulatory policies have undermined the ability of our citizens to obtain work.

Charity, and provision of welfare to those in need, is not a Constitutional responsibility of the federal government. Under no circumstances should the taxpayers of the United States be obligated, under penalty of law through forced taxation, to assume the cost of providing welfare for other citizens. Neither should taxpayers be indentured to subsidize welfare for persons who enter the United States illegally.

The message of Christian charity is fundamentally at odds with the concept of welfare maintenance as a right. In many cases, welfare provisions by the Federal government are not only misdirected, but morally destructive. It is the intended purpose of civil government to safeguard life, liberty and property – not to redistribute wealth. Such redistribution is contrary to the Biblical command against theft.

We encourage individuals, families, churches, civic groups and other private organizations, to fulfill their personal responsibility to help those in need.

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