From the Independence Caucus. I answered yes to all 80 of the candidate vetting questions. The Independence Caucus will only endorse main party (Democrat or Republican) candidates, even if a better independent candidate is running.
Section 1: Proper Role of Government and National Sovereignty
Do you fully understand and agree that the 10th amendment limits the Federal Government to the *30 enumerated powers that are specified in the Constitution? (* Note: Twenty specific powers are enumerated in Article I, section 8 and the balance are found listed in various sections throughout the rest of the Constitution.)
With blatant disregard for the 10th Amendment; Congress has used the 68-year-old Supreme Court decision in Wickard v Filburn 317 U.S. 111 (1942) as justification to regulate and otherwise interfere with numerous areas of American business and American personal lives that were never granted or authorized by the Constitution.
However, just because Congress has been allowed to do so doesn’t mean they should do so, therefore despite Wickard v Filburn and in compliance with the 10th amendment do you commit to oppose and vote against any PROPOSED legislation that purports to regulate or otherwise involve the Federal Government in any areas that are not specifically and expressly enumerated in the Constitution and are therefore reserved as the exclusive province of the states; such as Education, Energy, Welfare, Labor issues, Non-Interstate roads, farm subsidies, etc?
Despite Wickard v Filburn and in compliance with the 10th amendment , do you commit to oppose the expansion and/or the perpetuation of any and all EXISTING federal legislation and regulations in areas that are not constitutionally enumerated; and are therefore reserved as the exclusive province of the states; such as Education, Energy, Welfare, Labor issues, Non-Interstate roads, farm subsidies, etc; and do you also commit to support all efforts to return control over these areas back to the states?
Do you commit to vote in favor of “The Enumerated Powers Act H.R. 450” which requires each and every Act of Congress to contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that proposed Act?
Because Federal grants are unconstitutional unless directly related to some power specifically delegated to the Federal Government, and because a strict interpretation of the Constitution would eliminate upwards of 90% of the Federal-aid programs presently plaguing the nation; do you commit to oppose the granting of any Federal Grants that are not directly related to some power specifically delegated to the Federal Government?
Do you fully understand that the creation of fiat money at a rate faster than economic growth always and inevitably leads to inflation and a devaluation of our currency; and that allowing this to happen is the same as imposing a hidden tax on Americans; and do you further commit to oppose any legislation that would allow this to occur; and do you further commit to work towards repeal of any legislation that has allowed this to occur?
The Federal Reserve can currently enter into agreements with foreign central banks and foreign governments, yet the GAO is prohibited from auditing or even seeing these agreements. In addition, the Treasury’s supplementary financing accounts that fund Fed facilities allow the Treasury to funnel money to Wall Street without GAO or Congressional oversight. Therefore, do you commit to support the elimination of restrictions on GAO audits of the Federal Reserve; and to mandate ongoing annual audits of the Federal Reserve?
Do you agree that the Federal government should not own any portion of private enterprise; nor should it compete with private enterprise in any areas not specifically enumerated in the Constitution; and do you commit to repeal any legislation that has allowed government to own portions of private enterprises?
Do you fully understand that the Federal Government’s creation of “Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSE”) and the 70 years of government crafted rules, regulations, and edicts concerning GSE’s have allowed the GSE’s to create Moral Hazard incentives for financial institutions to lower their underwriting standards and issue risky sub-prime loans, and by so doing these GSE’s allowed financial institutions to secure all of the profits on sub-prime loans while transferring all of the inherent risks onto the backs of American taxpayers?
Do you commit to support legislation to eliminate all GSEs; and will you commit to support legislation that would establish a date beyond which no further loan guarantees will be issued or honored by GSE’s; effectively allowing the “secondary mortgage” market to go fully private?
The financial damage of GSE’s was exacerbated by subsequent Federal Government edicts such as the “Community Reinvestment Act of 1977” (CRA) that have been used to create further Moral hazards for otherwise responsible financial institutions to issue mortgages to low-income credit risky individuals on homes they could not afford.
Therefore, do you commit to vote for legislation that would repeal the CRA and any other legislation with similar design or purpose?
Do you agree that the free market should be allowed to operate unencumbered by US government intervention; including any and all import/export tariffs or quotas; and do you commit to oppose any legislation, authority, or edicts that would give any US or foreign citizens or corporations an advantage against competitors or potential competitors regardless of where that competitor’s business may be based?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was designed to license and allocate the traffic on the air waves but in direct violation of the First Amendment the FCC has often used its licensing power to control or attempt to control the editorial content of programs. Do you commit to oppose any legislation that would allow the FCC to violate the 1st amendment rights of any
American individuals and/or businesses via any attempts to control or mandate the editorial content of radio and television programs?
The Constitution makes no specific provision for the federal government to hold any lands other than a federal reserve for the capital (the District of Columbia); therefore do you commit to support legislation requiring the Federal Government to transfer ownership of all Federal Lands back to the individual states that they are located within; with the exceptions of the District of Columbia, and existing military bases and military ranges?
The Constitution places restraints on Congress and the executive branch, so as not to wage war casually and without proper declaration, yet presidents from Truman to the current day have used the United Nations Security Council as a substitute for congressional authorization of the deployment of United States Armed Forces. Do you commit to a strict adherence to the rule of law and the Constitution in regards to any potential declaration of any war; and do you commit to using your constitutional legislative authority to hold the executive branch accountable to the same Constitutional standards?
In direct violation of national sovereignty, some factions have encouraged the U.S. Executive Branch to use the United Nations and it’s agencies to implement domestic policy in pursuit of international, environmental, economic, education, social welfare and human rights policy, both in derogation of the legislative prerogatives of Congress and of the 50 State legislatures, and further in derogation of the rights of the American people to constitute their own civil order. Do you commit to oppose and vote against any legislation and/or oppose any efforts by the executive or judicial branches to recognize or implement any United Nations actions, decrees, or programs that would interfere with or supersede our sovereign national government and/or the sovereignty of any of our 50 state governments?
In direct violation of national sovereignty, some factions have advocated the implementation of a global tax (“The Tobin Tax”) on international currency transactions to be collected by the United Nations for funding of U.N. programs. Do you fully understand that the United Nations possesses no legitimate taxing authority; and do you commit to oppose and vote against any legislation and/or oppose any efforts by the executive branch to recognize or implement any taxation of American Citizens for any United Nations programs or purposes; and/or the programs and purposes of any entity outside of the United States?
Do you commit to oppose any legislation or treaties which would do one or more of the following: Limit the sovereignty of the United States, Violate the rights of the People as spelled out in the Bill of Rights, and/or any treaties that would have the effect of creating laws which are applied to the people directly instead of to the government?
Do you commit to support legislation that would require the re-approval of any existing or new treaty or agreement entered into by the US every 10 years, starting from the date of signage?
The 2nd point in the “Code of Ethics for U.S. Government Service”, adopted on July 11th, 1958 by the U.S. House of Representatives with the Senate concurring; stipulates that any person in government service should “Uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion.”
Therefore, in regards specifically to all existing Federal Immigration laws, do you commit to uphold the Constitution, laws, and legal regulations of the United States and of all governments therein and never be a party to their evasion; including full funding and completion of all legislated border security measures?
Do you commit to oppose any and all bills, regardless of their merit, if those bills are not posted on a publicly accessible website for a minimum of 72 hours, while Congress is in session, before either House of Congress is asked to vote on it?
Do you agree that when any amendment to a bill is passed which adds to or takes away from the original text of that bill, the 72 hour period must begin anew before either House of Congress can vote on it?
Do you commit to support legislation that would require all members of Congress to certify that they have read all bills that they vote upon in their entirety?
Do you commit to oppose and vote against any proposed legislation that contains “both good and bad portions” and do you agree that it would be an indefensible position to vote for legislation that you knew incorporated unconstitutional government authority just because there were other portions of that legislation “that were good”?
It is inconceivable that any Congressman could read and understand this years 1,100 page “Cap & Trade” bill in 72 or hours or less. It is self evident and common sense that it would take at least 15 minutes to truly read, absorb, investigate, and understand each page of complex legislation. Therefore, do you commit to support legislation requiring that any proposed legislation that exceeds 288 pages in length would require that legislation to be posted on a publicly accessible website for a minimum of 15
additional minutes beyond the 72 hour minimum time for each additional page beyond the 72nd page, while Congress is in session, before either House of Congress votes on it? In other words, a 1,100 page bill such as this year’s “Cap & Trade” bill would require a minimum public posting of 275 hours for Congressional Review before it could be voted on.
It is at best irresponsible and at worst deceptive to produce legislation that is 1,100 pages long in the first place. Therefore, do you commit to support legislation requiring that any proposed legislation contain a ONE PAGE summary of every action and effect of that legislation; and that if the summary of actions and effects can not be contained on one single page that the proposed legislation must be declared too cumbersome and rejected?
Do you commit to vote against any budget that proposes to increase overall spending if a budget deficit was incurred the previous year?
Existing “5 year baseline budgeting” formulas contain an inherent bias towards budget expansion, result in misleading measurements of the budgetary effects of proposed legislation in future years; are often used to falsely claim that there will be a balanced budget in future years; and are often used to falsely claim that “spending cuts are being made” even though total dollars spent are actually being increased. Therefore, in order to reduce political posturing and accounting manipulations of the Federal Budget process; do you agree that our Federal Budget should begin each year with a “Zero-Baseline” that will allow Congress to
revisit the validity and effectiveness of all budget items each and every year?
Accounting manipulations and “projections” are often used to claim that a budget is “balanced” or will result in surplus over a given period of time. However, the only accurate way to define if a surplus or deficit is occurring is to ask two simple questions;
namely a) “How much revenue did you collect last year regardless of source?” and B) “How much money did you spend last year regardless of purpose?” and then subtract B from A. In order to reduce political posturing and accounting manipulations of the Federal Budget process; do you fully agree that this is the only acceptable way to determine if the previous years budget was “in deficit”?
Do you agree that the overall Federal Budget must be a “fixed pie” that has a preset spending limit in place, and that those spending limits should be established by a set formula which Congress must adhere to each year?
Do you agree that if the previous years’ budget resulted in a DEFICIT, then all federal budgets and programs must begin the following years appropriation process frozen at the exact level of the previous year’s outlay?
Because it would be irresponsible to increase spending in a deficit year, do you agree that if the previous years’ budget resulted in a DEFICIT, then overall spending at the federal level must not increase?
Do you agree that if the previous years’ budget resulted in a DEFICIT, then any new spending items or increase in existing spending items that a Congressman would want to propose must be proposed and voted on in tandem with 102% corresponding budget cuts of existing item(s) that are already in the budget?
Do you agree that if the previous year budget resulted in a SURPLUS, then the actual surplus dollars from the previous year can only be applied first to the national debt, or if and when the national debt has been retired the surplus can then only be set aside for future unfunded liabilities?
Do you agree that if the previous year budget resulted in a SURPLUS, then the new federal budget can increase by no more than 50% of the previous year’s surplus? (For example, if the surplus the previous year turns out to be $20 billion, Congress can increase the federal budget by $10 billion. This allows for natural growth but gives Congress a prudent and sensible cap on that growth, because we may not have as much growth or surplus the following year.)
Do you agree that if the previous year budget resulted in a SURPLUS, then after the new federal budget has increased by 50% of the previous year’s surplus, any further spending proposals must be proposed and voted on in tandem with 100% corresponding budget cuts of an existing item or items that are already in the budget?
Do you agree that if the previous year budget resulted in a SURPLUS, and if and when the national debt is retired and no unfunded liabilities remain (if ever), then the current tax rates must be decreased by a percentage equal to 50% of the previous year’s surplus? (For example; if the surplus equals 2% of the total revenues received, then taxes should be reduced by 1%).
Our Federal Budget includes a $28 million annual subsidy for mohair subsidies which were originally authorized to hold down the cost of military uniforms, but the military has not used mohair in uniforms since the Korean War. This is just one example of federal programs that continue perpetually with no annual review. With the federal government operating more than 240 education programs, 342 economic development programs and 71 business support programs, there is no question that many of these are wasteful and duplicative programs that government has no business spending taxpayer dollars on. Therefore, do you commit to support legislation establishing a mandatory Sunset Clause in all spending legislation that provides for its expiration on a specified date unless it is deliberately renewed?
Do you agree that the annual Federal Budget must include and present a full picture of all future Federal obligations and promised benefits, with payments set aside each year in order to plan for any and all future obligations and promised benefits when they come due?
Do you agree that the annual Federal Budget must be contained on one and only one set of books; i.e. all items that are currently “off budget” such as Social Security and Medicare must be returned back to the “on budget” set of books?
The current budget process does not adequately account ahead of time for emergencies that inevitably arise, such as Hurricanes, Earthquakes, the war on terror, etc. and as a result an annual “un-funded liability” is created that Congress needs to keep addressing with additional spending after the budget has been finalized and approved. Therefore, do you agree that the annual budget must responsibly plan better for emergencies, and eliminate these recurring “un-funded liabilities”, by requiring the inclusion of a projected “Emergency Spending Reserve” into the current budget process that equals a minimum of 110% of the average annual amount of “emergency spending” over the previous 5 years?
Do you agree that all budget rules and processes established to cap spending and deficit limits should only be set aside in times of national emergency if approved by a 2/3 supermajority of both house of Congress?
Do you agree that if any budget rules or processes are set aside in time of emergency by a 2/3 supermajority of both house of Congress, that the “setting aside” expires at the end of the current budget year?
Do you agree that both houses of Congress and the President should work with and on only one budget (The “Unified Fixed Pie Budget”) for the entire annual budgeting process, and that we should no longer have separate Presidential, House and Senate Budgets?
Do you agree that all spending bills for the Unified Fixed-Pie Budget should originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other bills?
In 30 of the past 31 years, Congress has failed to complete the budget process on time. As a result, a “continuing resolution” is passed that allegedly “provides funding for existing federal programs at current or reduced levels” until the new budget is completed. However, in practice these “continuing resolutions” almost always end up with additional spending and earmark
items quietly added in by Congress with no vetting, no debate, and no cost-benefit analysis. Therefore, in order to stop this misuse of the budgeting process and to hold Congress accountable for meeting their legislated budget deadlines; do you commit to work towards passing legislation to mandate that failure to complete and institute a new budget on time would automatically make the previous year’s budget the de facto budget for the current year with no additional spending items allowed?
Do you agree that all earmark requests must have an established federal nexus, e.g., interstate commerce, aid in compliance with federal mandates, or other projects for which a defensible purpose exists for requesting federal government funding under the U.S. Constitution?
Do you agree that all earmark requests must receive proper vetting and debate by the appropriate subcommittee, which should compare and prioritize the requests with other spending items?
Do you agree that all earmark requests must be submitted to the Appropriations Subcommittee of jurisdiction prior to the committee deadline, and that no earmark request should be approved that bypassed these important Subcommittee reviews?
Do you agree that all earmark requests must allow for the appropriate Executive Branch agency to have a reasonable period in which to review the project to ensure it is eligible to receive funds and meets goals established in law and official policies, BEFORE it is approved?
Do you agree that any Public entities that receive earmarks which require the hiring of private vendors may only award contracts to for-profit private entities through a transparent competitive bidding processes?
Do you agree that Congressional members should post all earmark requests prominently on an official government website (earmarks.gov) along with all information about all projects for which they submit requests, including the proposed recipient, the recipient’s address, the amount, and an explanation of the purpose and federal nexus of the request?
Do you agree that once (and if) the earmarked project is funded, Congressional members must submit into an official government website (earmarks.gov) a detailed finance plan showing how the federal monies will be spent and justifying the use of taxpayers’ resources?
Do you agree that once the earmarked project is completed, the earmark recipients must submit into an official government website (earmarks.gov) a “project summary” that shows an “actual vs. budgeted accounting” of how taxpayers’ resources were used?
Do you agree that Congressional members should certify that neither they nor their spouse, nor any of their staff members, nor their staff members’ families will benefit financially from approval of the earmark request?
Do you agree that all earmark requestors from public agencies must sign a financial certification stating that neither the requesting official nor anyone within the agency has any direct or foreseeable pecuniary interest in the project?
Do you agree that each appropriations bill should be available for public scrutiny on the day its subcommittee reports the bill, and that a list detailing each earmark request in the bill and the name of the Member who made the request should accompany the bill?
Do you commit to support legislation that would prohibit the awarding of earmarks in exchange for campaign contributions?
Do you commit to support legislation that would require recipients of earmarked funding to disclose the amount of money that they spent on registered lobbyists to obtain the earmark and to identify their lobbyists?
Do you commit to support legislation that would require disclosure of fundraisers hosted, co-hosted, or otherwise sponsored by earmark beneficiaries and their lobbyists and require disclosure of their contributions for other events involving legislative and executive branch officials?
Do you fully understand that the 17,000 plus pages of the current U.S. Tax Code consist of endless “loopholes” that are manipulated by lobbyists and lawyers for the benefit of their clients and by other special interests; and that this is why there are more lobbyists registered in Washington, D.C. for “taxes” than for any other issue, and that for this reason we must ensure that our tax system treats all individuals and groups exactly equally?
Under the current tax system, the annual writing of “new tax code” places Congress in the role of picking economic winners and losers; i.e. “This group gets a tax break, but this group does not”. Do you commit to oppose and vote against any tax legislation that treats one or more group of taxpayers differently than other groups of tax payers?
Do you agree that it is far wiser and more equitable to stop taxing production, and to tax ONLY consumption instead?
Do you commit to support and work for the passage of a National Sales Tax (“NST”) with no exemptions or exclusions, plus an attached “pre-bate” feature; which is the only tax system that eliminates favorable tax treatment of one group over another; while simultaneously creating numerous incentives and benefits for the growth of the national economy?
Do you commit to oppose and vote against any new tax legislation that taxes or continues to tax production?
Do you commit to oppose and vote against any new tax legislation that does not subject all Americans to the same consumption tax rate with no exceptions and no exclusions?
Do you commit to oppose and vote against any new tax legislation that does not have a “pre-bate” feature, as currently included and written in the proposed ‘Fair Tax” legislation in the 111th Congress, and as explained and outlined in the 7th Article of the Independence Caucus?
Do you agree that when money is being transferred out of the country for any reason, it should correctly be considered to be “consumed”; and that money should be taxed (at the current NST rate) as it leaves the country?
Do you agree that under a National Sales tax; businesses must be protected against Un-Funded Mandates by providing those business retailers with a percentage of the revenues collected and remitted to the federal government to compensate them for administration costs?
Do you agree that because individual states have the most experience administering sales taxes and because of the principles of federalism, that the 50 individual states would bear the primary responsibility for administering the national sales tax; and that those states must be protected against Un-Funded Mandates by providing those states with a percentage of the revenues collected and remitted to the federal government to compensate them for administration costs?
Do you agree that a properly implemented NST plan would avoid “cascading” to ensure the same effective tax rate across all types of property and services (horizontal equality), irrespective of the number of companies or stages of production that were necessary to bring the good or service to market (vertical equality); and that to protect against "cascading" effects—imposing multiple levels of taxation on the same product--the sales tax must be exempt from tax inputs at each intermediate stage of production and should only be calculated and levied at the end point at which it is consumed?
To avoid an incentive to consume through the medium of “tax free” government; and to avoid an incentive to consume through the medium of government versus the private sector, do you agree that under a properly implemented NST that government output and purchases would NOT be exempted from the sales tax, and that a sales tax should also be imposed on government purchases from the private sector?
Do you commit to support and follow the Rule of Law; specifically:
A. Laws must be applied equally to all, including all government officials.
B. No “Ex Post facto” Laws - Laws must be prospective in nature so that the effect of the law may only take place after the law has been passed. (For example, the court cannot convict a person of a crime committed before a criminal statute prohibiting the conduct was passed)
C. No “Ex Post Facto” penalties – The penalty for violating a law must be prospective in nature so that the effect of the penalties may only take place after the law has been passed. (For example, the penalty for entering the country illegally cannot be reduced or changed for those who illegally entered the country before the change in penalty was passed.)
D. Executive orders and policies written by Government agencies should not have the force of law - Citizens should not answer to arbitrary and discretionary edicts and decisions of governmental officials; instead, they should answer only to a well-defined, previously established laws that are passed ONLY by Congress.
Do you commit to uphold the people's right to enter into a contract for employment between themselves and the employer, as well as their right to join or form an union if they deem it necessary or desirable?
Do you commit to uphold the people’s right to own property; and to oppose any efforts by government to exercise eminent domain and take such property without just compensation?
Do you commit to allow eminent domain only for the use of government for the common good, and not for transfer to a third party under any circumstances?
Do you commit to support the right of two parties to enter into a contract and that the government has no power to change the terms of the contract, except the judicial branch and then only to settle dispute about those terms?
Do you certify to your constituents and/or intended constituents that you have not committed a felony crime, or have committed any act which would raise a reasonable question as to your individual moral character; including breaking marital vows or any other contractual obligations or oaths of office, within the past 10 years
Do you pledge to your constituents and/or intended constituents that you will not commit a felony crime, or commit any act which would raise a reasonable question as to your individual moral character; including breaking marital vows and any other contractual obligations or oaths of office, from this point forward?
Do you pledge to your constituents and/or intended constituents that if you are elected and do commit a felony crime, or commit any act which would raise a reasonable question as to your individual moral character; including breaking marital vows and any other contractual obligations or oaths of office, from this point forward, that you would resign immediately from your elected position?