Note: This piece was co-authored by seven philosophically and geographically diverse conservatives who believe the GOP must lead in 2015. Our proposals outline a path that will accomplish this goal for the betterment of America.
On Election Day, the GOP won the Senate, held the House, and made solid gains in several states. The party can rightly claim a mandate from voters.
But what is that mandate? Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have promised that Congress would move on tax reform, the national debt, and repealing the Affordable Care Act. We hope that they follow through -- but given the GOP's tendency to overpromise and under-deliver, we have our doubts.
If the world were run by scientific and mathematical reality, Republicans would pass a constitutional amendment recognizing the scientific fact that we are human beings at conception. They would enact aggressive Social Security and Medicare reform, and revamp the tax code. And they would repeal the Affordable Care Act, eliminate corporate welfare and food stamps, and drastically expand domestic energy access.
However, these goals are not politically possible with President Obama in the White House and a GOP that tends to flinch in the face of tough decisions. So what can be accomplished that would help the nation and convince its conservative base that the party can be trusted?
McConnell and Boehner have outlined good steps. But we, a geographically and philosophically diverse group of conservatives, think they can do better.
First, pass legislation that could garner bipartisan support. Greater transparency and efficiency among the executive and legislative branches should be a top priority. Medicare, Medicaid, and the Defense Department alone face tremendous fraud and improper payments, and the federal government as a whole loses hundreds of billions of dollars annually to mismanagement and duplication.
Expanding drilling opportunities, something supported by many Democrats, would provide more jobs and more tax revenue, reduce environmental harm, and -- over time -- allow the U.S. to reduce its funding of Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and other nations that abuse human rights and/or provide fertile ground for terrorists.
The GOP should also renounce its relationship with Big Business by refusing to renew tens of billions in special-interest tax preferences at the end of the year, and end nearly $100 billion in federal corporate subsidies. Whether for oil companies, wind farms, NASCAR, or Goldman Sachs, policies that take from middle America to help the wealthy are immoral and fiscally insane.
These savings should be used to lower taxes for all Americans -- unless President Obama wants to defend giving approximately $150 billion in taxpayer dollars each year to wealthy special interests while the average American struggles to find work.
Now comes the hard stuff. We are pleased to have seen McConnell say in a press conference that the party will conduct investigations and oversight of the Executive Branch. Republicans should also allow only qualified judges to garner Senate approval, and should stop an executive amnesty cold.
Fiscally speaking, the nation is in serious trouble. Social Security and Medicare have become increasingly more expensive. They are the primary drivers of our debt. While extensive reforms are unlikely to pass, Republicans should promote means-testing of both programs and force Obama to defend giving Bill Gates and Warren Buffett retirement money.
Likewise, Republicans should demand that the president uphold his promise that all Americans be able to keep their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and overturn the unconstitutional HHS Mandate. They should also eliminate Congress's Obamacare subsidies for themselves.
Finally, it is important that the federal government stop its funding of abortion, be it at home or abroad. In 2009 and 2014, polls found that the American people do not support federal abortion funding. Republicans should force President Obama to explain why the average American should pay for the destruction of a million unborn children each year.
The plan we have laid out is considered radical inside the Beltway. We can hear it already -- "Obama will never sign it, and getting 60 votes in the Senate will be impossible." However, this is only part of the story. In December, a government funding bill must be passed; Republicans should include some of our measures in that legislation. Likewise, each and every funding bill and debt ceiling bill should include our very reasonable recommendations.
Two weeks ago, the GOP was given a golden opportunity to prove that it is better than the other guys, a duty it has shirked for at least 15 years. This is a chance for Republicans not only to show the American people they are just as tired of Beltway politics as voters, but also to swing the pendulum just a little bit away from fiscal and cultural destruction, and toward a brighter future.
Dustin Siggins is the D.C. correspondent for LifeSiteNews.com and a public relations consultant. Drew Belsky is the deputy editor for the online political journal American Thinker. Oklahoma State Representative George Faught is a small business owner who was elected to a fourth term on November 4. Christopher Arndt is the chairman of the Michigan Young Republicans. John Hawkins is the founder of RightWingNews.com and a contributor to Townhall.com. Jamison Faught is a conservative activist from Oklahoma who blogs at MuskogeePolitico.com. Win Martin is an openly gay Washington State resident and formerly a political blogger.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the co-authors.