Republican Party Platform of 1980
Adopted by the Republican National Convention
July 15, 1980
Republican Platform: A Preamble
The Republican Party convenes, presents this platform, and selects its nominees at a time of crisis. America is adrift. Our country moves agonizingly, aimlessly, almost helplessly into one of the most dangerous and disorderly periods in history.
At home, our economy careens, whiplashed from one extreme to another. Earlier this year, inflation skyrocketed to its highest levels in more than a century; weeks later, the economy plummeted, suffering its steepest slide on record. Prices escalate at more than 10 percent a year. More than eight million people seek employment. Manufacturing plants lie idle across the country. The hopes and aspirations of our people are being smothered.
Overseas, conditions already perilous, deteriorate. The Soviet Union for the first time is acquiring the means to obliterate or cripple our land-based missile system and blackmail us into submission. Marxist tyrannies spread more rapidly through the Third World and Latin America. Our alliances are frayed in Europe and elsewhere. Our energy supplies become even more dependent on uncertain foreign suppliers. In the ultimate humiliation, militant terrorists in Iran continue to toy with the lives of Americans.
These events are not isolated, or unrelated. They are signposts. They mark a continuing downward spiral in economic vitality and international influence. Should the trend continue, the 1980s promise to be our most dangerous years since World War II. History could record, if we let the drift go on, that the American experiment, so marvelously successful for 200 years, came strangely, needlessly, tragically to a dismal end early in our third century.
By far the most galling aspect of it all is that the chief architects of our decline—Democratic politicians—are without program or ideas to reverse it. Divided, leaderless, unseeing, uncomprehending, they plod on with listless offerings of pale imitations of the same policies they have pursued so long, knowing full well their futility. The Carter Administration is the unhappy and inevitable consequence of decades of increasingly outmoded Democratic domination of our national life. Over the past four years it has repeatedly demonstrated that it has no basic goals other than the perpetuation of its own rule and no guiding principle other than the fleeting insights provided by the latest opinion poll. Policies announced one day are disavowed or ignored the next, sowing confusion among Americans at home and havoc among our friends abroad.
Republicans, Democrats, and Independents have been watching and reading these signs. They have been watching incredulously as disaster after disaster unfolds. They now have had enough. They are rising up in 1980 to say that this confusion must end; this drift must end; we must pull ourselves together as a people before we slide irretrievably into the abyss.
It doesn't have to be this way; it doesn't have to stay this way. We, the Republican Party, hold ourselves forth as the Party best able to arrest and reverse the decline. We offer new ideas and candidates, from the top of our ticket to the bottom, who can bring to local and national leadership firm, steady hands and confidence and eagerness. We have unparalleled unity within our own ranks, especially between our presidential nominee and our Congressional membership. Most important, we go forth to the people with ideas and programs for the future that are as powerful and compelling as they are fresh. Together, we offer a new beginning for America.
Our foremost goal here at home is simple: economic growth and full employment without inflation. Sweeping change in economic policy in America is needed so that Mr. Carter's promise of hard times and austerity—his one promise well kept—can be replaced with Republican policies that promise economic growth and job creation. It is our belief that the stagflation of recent years not only has consigned millions of citizens to hardship but also has bottled up the enormous ingenuity and creative powers of our people. Those energies will not be released by the sterile policies of the past: we specifically reject the Carter doctrine that inflation can be reduced only by throwing people out of work. Prosperity will not be regained simply by government fiat. Rather, we must offer broad new incentives to labor and capital to stimulate a great outpouring of private goods and services and to create an abundance of jobs. From America's grass roots to the White House we will stand united as a party behind a bold program of tax rate reductions, spending restraints, and regulatory reforms that will inject new life into the economic bloodstream of this country.
Overseas, our goal is equally simple and direct: to preserve a world at peace by keeping America strong. This philosophy once occupied a hallowed place in American diplomacy, but it was casually, even cavalierly dismissed at the outset by the Carter Administration—and the results have been shattering. Never before in modern history has the United States endured as many humiliations, insults, and defeats as it has during the past four years: our ambassadors murdered, our embassies burned, our warnings ignored, our diplomacy scorned, our diplomats kidnapped. The Carter Administration has shown that it neither understands totalitarianism nor appreciates the way tyrants take advantage of weakness. The brutal invasion of Afghanistan promises to be only the forerunner of much more serious threats to the West—and to world peace—should the Carter Administration somehow cling to power.
Republicans are united in a belief that America's international humiliation and decline can be reversed only by strong presidential leadership and a consistent, far-sighted foreign policy, supported by a major upgrading of our military forces, a strengthening of our commitments to our allies, and a resolve that our national interests be vigorously protected. Ultimately, those who practice strength and firmness truly guard the peace.
This platform addresses many concerns of our Party. We seek to restore the family, the neighborhood, the community, and the workplace as vital alternatives in our national life to ever-expanding federal power.
We affirm our deep commitment to the fulfillment of the hopes and aspirations of all Americans—blacks and whites, women and men, the young and old, rural and urban.
For too many years, the political debate in America has been conducted in terms set by the Democrats. They believe that every time new problems arise beyond the power of men and women as individuals to solve, it becomes the duty of government to solve them, as if there were never any alternative. Republicans disagree and have always taken the side of the individual, whose freedoms are threatened by the big government that Democratic idea has spawned. Our case for the individual is stronger than ever. A defense of the individual against government was never more needed. And we will continue to mount it.
But we will redefine and broaden the debate by transcending the narrow terms of government and the individual; those are not the only two realities in America. Our society consists of more than that; so should the political debate. We will reemphasize those vital communities like the family, the neighborhood, the workplace, and others which are found at the center of society, between government and the individual. We will restore and strengthen their ability to solve problems in the places where people spend their daily lives and can turn to each other for support and help.
We seek energy independence through economic policies that free up our energy production and encourage conservation. We seek improvements in health care, education, housing, and opportunities for youth. We seek new avenues for the needy to break out of the tragic cycle of dependency. All of these goals—and many others—we confidently expect to achieve through a rebirth of liberty and resurgence of private initiatives, for we believe that at the root of most of our troubles today is the misguided and discredited philosophy of an all-powerful government, ceaselessly striving to subsidize, manipulate, and control individuals. But it is the individual, not the government, who reigns at the center of our Republican philosophy.
To those Democrats who say Americans must be content to passively accept the gradual but inexorable decline of America, we answer: The American people have hardly begun to marshal their talents and resources or realize the accomplishments and dreams that only freedom can inspire.
To those Democrats who say we face an "age of limits," we ask: Who knows the limit to what Americans can do when their capacity for work, creativity, optimism, and faith is enhanced and supported by strong and responsive political leadership and ideals.
To those who, with Mr. Carter, say the American people suffer from a national "malaise," we respond: The only malaise in this country is found in the leadership of the Democratic Party, in the White House and in Congress. Its symptoms are an incompetence to lead, a refusal to change, and a reluctance to act. This malaise has become epidemic in Washington. Its cure is government led by Republicans who share the values of the majority of Americans.
Republicans pledge a restoration of balance in American society. But society cannot be balanced by the actions of government or of individuals alone. Balance is found at society's vital center, where we find the family and the neighborhood and the workplace.
America will not, however, achieve any of these goals on its present course nor under its present leadership. The uncharted course of Mr. Carter will lead surely to catastrophe. By reversing our economic decline, by reversing our international decline, we can and will resurrect our dreams.
And so, in this 1980 Republican Platform, we call out to the American people: With God's help, let us now, together, make America great again; let us now, together, make a new beginning.
Free Individuals in a Free Society
It has long been a fundamental conviction of the Republican Party that government should foster in our society a climate of maximum individual liberty and freedom of choice. Properly informed, our people as individuals or acting through instruments of popular consultation can make the right decisions affecting personal or general welfare, free of pervasive and heavy-handed intrusion by the central government into the decisionmaking process. This tenet is the genius of representative democracy.
Republicans also treasure the ethnic, cultural, and regional diversity of our people. This diversity fosters a dynamism in American society that is the envy of the world.
Elsewhere in this platform we discuss the benefits, for society as a whole, of reduced taxation, particularly in terms of economic growth. But we believe it is essential to cut personal tax rates out of fairness to the individual.
Presently, the aggregate burden of taxation is so great that the average American spends a substantial part of every year, in effect, working for government.
Substantial tax rate reductions are needed to offset the massive tax increases facing the working men and women of this country. Over the next four years, federal taxes are projected to increase by over $500 billion due to the Carter Administration's policies. American families are already paying taxes at higher rates than ever in our history; as a result of these Carter policies, the rates will go even higher. The direct and indirect burden of federal taxes alone, imposed on the average family earning $20,000, has risen to $5,451—over 27 percent of the family's gross income. During the Carter term, the federal tax alone on this family will have risen $2,000.
The Republican Party believes balancing the budget is essential but opposes the Democrats' attempt to do so through higher taxes. We believe that an essential aspect of balancing the budget is spending restraint by the federal government and higher economic growth, not higher tax burdens on working men and women.
Policies of the Democratic Party are taxing work, saving, investment, productivity, and the rewards for human ingenuity. These same tax policies subsidize debt, unemployment, and consumption. The present structure of the personal income tax system is designed to broaden the gap between effort and reward.
Therefore, the Republican Party supports across-the-board reductions in personal income tax rates, phased in over three years, which will reduce tax rates from the range of 14 to 70 percent to a range from 10 to 50 percent.
For most Americans, these reduced tax rates will slow the rate at which taxes rise. This will assure workers and savers greater rewards for greater effort by lowering the rate at which added earnings would be taxed.
These reductions have been before the Congress for three years in the Roth-Kemp legislation. The proposal will not only provide relief for all American taxpayers, but also promote non-inflationary economic growth by restoring the incentive to save, invest, and produce. These restored incentives will in turn increase investment and help reinvigorate American business and industry, leading to the creation of more jobs. In fact, Governor Reagan and Congressional Republicans have already taken the first step. Working together, they have boldly offered the American people a 10 percent tax rate cut for 1981, which will stimulate growth in our economy, and a simplification and liberalization of depreciation schedules to create more jobs.
Once tax rates are reduced, Republicans will move to end tax bracket creep caused by inflation. We support tax indexing to protect taxpayers from the automatic tax increases caused when cost-of-living wage increases move them into higher tax brackets.
Tax rate reductions will generate increases in economic growth, output, and income which will ultimately generate increased revenues. The greater justification for these cuts, however, lies in the right of individuals to keep and use the money they earn.
Improving the welfare system
The measure of a country's compassion is how it treats the least fortunate. In every society there will be some who cannot work, often through no fault of their own.
Yet current federal government efforts to help them have become counterproductive, perpetuating and aggravating the very conditions of dependence they seek to relieve. The Democratic Congress has produced a jumble of degrading, dehumanizing, wasteful, overlapping, and inefficient programs that invite waste and fraud but inadequately assist the needy poor.
Poverty is defined not by income statistics alone, but by an individual's true situation and prospects. For two generations, especially since the mid-1960s, the Democrats have deliberately perpetuated a status of federally subsidized poverty and manipulated dependency for millions of Americans. This is especially so for blacks and Hispanics, many of whom remain pawns of the bureaucracy, trapped outside the social and economic mainstream of American life.
For those on welfare, our nation's tax policies provide a penalty for getting a job. This is especially so for those whose new income from a job is either equal to, or marginally greater than, the amount received on welfare. In these cases, due to taxes, the individual's earned income is actually less than welfare benefits. This is the "poverty trap" which will continue to hold millions of Americans as long as they continue to be punished for working.
The Carter Administration and the Democratic Party continue to foster that dependency. Our nation's welfare problems will not be solved merely by providing increased benefits. Public service jobs are not a substitute for employable skills, nor can increases in the food stamp program by themselves provide for individual dignity. By fostering dependency and discouraging self-reliance, the Democratic Party has created a welfare constituency dependent on its continual subsidies.
The Carter Administration has proposed, and its allies in the House of Representatives actually voted for, legislation to nationalize welfare, which would have cost additional billions and made millions more dependent upon public assistance. The Democrats have presided over—and must take the blame for—the most monstrous expansion and abuse of the food stamp program to date. They have been either unable or unwilling to attack the welfare fraud that diverts resources away from the truly poor. They have sacrificed the needy to the greedy, and sent the welfare bills to the taxpayers.
We categorically reject the notion of a guaranteed annual income, no matter how it may be disguised, which would destroy the fiber of our economy and doom the poor to perpetual dependence.
As a party we commit ourselves to a welfare policy that is truly reflective of our people's true sense of compassion and charity as well as an appreciation of every individual's need for dignity and self-respect. We pledge a system that will:
Provide adequate living standards for the truly needy;
End welfare fraud by removing ineligibles from the welfare rolls, tightening food stamp eligibility requirements, and ending aid to illegal aliens and the voluntarily unemployed;
Strengthen work incentives, particularly directed at the productive involvement of able-bodied persons in useful community work projects;
Provide educational and vocational incentives to allow recipients to become self-supporting; and
Better coordinate federal efforts with local and state social welfare agencies and strengthen local and state administrative functions.
We oppose federalizing the welfare system; local levels of government are most aware of the needs in their communities. We support a block grant program that will help return control of welfare programs to the states. Decisions about who gets welfare, and how much, can be better made on the local level.
Those features of the present law, particularly the food stamp program, that draw into assistance programs people who are capable of paying for their own needs should be corrected. The humanitarian purpose of such programs must not be corrupted by eligibility loopholes. Food stamp program reforms proposed by Republicans in Congress would accomplish the twin goals of directing resources to those most in need and streamlining administration.
Through long association with government programs, the word "welfare" has come to be perceived almost exclusively as tax-supported aid to the needy. But in its most inclusive sense—and as Americans understood it from the beginning of the Republic—such aid also encompasses those charitable works performed by private citizens, families, and social, ethnic, and religious organizations. Policies of the federal government leading to high taxes, rising inflation, and bureaucratic empire-building have made it difficult and often impossible for such individuals and groups to exercise their charitable instincts. We believe that government policies that fight inflation, reduce tax rates, and end bureaucratic excesses can help make private effort by the American people once again a major force in those works of charity which are the true signs of a progressive and humane society.
Republicans recognize the very special sacrifice of those who have served in our nation's armed forces. Individual rights and societal values are only as strong as a nation's commitment to defend them. Because of this our country must never forget its appreciation of and obligation to our veterans.
Today the veteran population numbers 30 million. This is the largest veteran population in our nation's history. We recognize the major sacrifices they have made for their fellow Americans.
We will maintain the integrity of the Veterans Administration. We will seek to keep it separate and distinct from other federal agencies as the single agency for the administration of all veterans' programs. In particular we feel it is of vital importance to continue and expand the health-programs provided to veterans through the Veterans Administration hospitals. Here we see the need for increased access to care, especially for older veterans.
We further advocate continued and expanded health care for our Vietnam veterans and consider it vital for the Veterans Administration to continue its programs for the rehabilitation of the disabled as well as its job training efforts.
We are committed to providing timely and adequate adjustments in compensation for service-disabled veterans and the survivors of those who died as a result of their service. We are also committed to maintaining the pension program for those who have served during a period of war, for those who were disabled and impoverished, and for their widows and orphans.
We will support measures to provide for every veteran at death a final resting place for his remains in a national cemetery, and for costs of transportation thereto.
Veterans preference in federal employment in all departments and agencies will be continued and strictly enforced.
Retired military benefits deserve more than the cursory attention given them by a Department of Defense otherwise interested in on-going programs. We believe that such benefits should be administered by the Veterans Administration.
The widespread distribution of private property ownership is the cornerstone of American liberty. Without it neither our free enterprise system nor our republican form of government could long endure.
Under Democratic rule, the federal government has become an aggressive enemy of the human right to private property ownership. It has dissipated savings through depreciation of the dollar, enforced price controls on private exchange of goods, attempted to enforce severe land use controls, and mistreated hundreds of thousands of national park and forest inholders.
The next Republican Administration will reverse this baneful trend. It will not only protect the cherished human right of property ownership, but will also work to help millions of Americans—particularly those from disadvantaged groups—to share in the ownership of the wealth of their nation.
Americans enjoy greater personal mobility than any other people on earth, largely as a result of the availability of automobiles and our modern highway system. Republicans reject the elitist notion that Americans must be forced out of their cars. Instead, we vigorously support the right of personal mobility and freedom as exemplified by the automobile and our modern highway system. While recognizing the importance of fuel efficiency and alternate modes of transportation, we quickly acknowledge that for millions of Americans there is no substitute on the horizon for the automobile. We reaffirm our support for a healthy domestic automobile industry, complete with continued support for the highway trust fund, which is the fairest method yet devised for financing America's highway system.
Republicans recognize the need for further improvement in highway safety. Projections indicate that highway fatalities may exceed 60,000 per year in the coming decades. Republicans support accelerated cost-effective efforts to improve highway, automobile, and individual driver safety.
The essence of freedom is the right of law-abiding individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without undue governmental intervention. Yet government in recent years, particularly at the federal level, has overwhelmed citizens with demands for personal information and has accumulated vast amounts of such data through the IRS, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of the Census, and other agencies. Under certain limited circumstances, such information can serve legitimate societal interests, but there must be protection against abuse.
Republicans share the concerns of our citizens as to the nature, use, and final disposition of the volume of personal information being collected. We are alarmed by Washington's growing collection and dissemination of such data. There must be protection against its misuse or disclosure.
The Republican Party commits itself to guaranteeing an individual's right of privacy. We support efforts of state governments to ensure individual privacy.
For millions of black Americans, the past four years have been a long trail of broken promises and broken dreams. The Carter Administration entered office with a pledge to 'all minorities' of a brighter economic future. Today there are more black Americans unemployed than on the day Mr. Carter became President. The unemployment rate of black teenagers is once again rising sharply. And the median income of black families has declined to less than 60 percent of white family income.
Republicans will not make idle promises to blacks and other minorities; we are beyond the day when any American can live off rhetoric or political platitudes.
Our Party specifically rejects the philosophy of the Carter Administration that unemployment is the answer to inflation. We abhor the notion that our cities should become battlegrounds in the fight against inflation and that the jobs of black Americans should be sacrificed in an attempt to counterbalance the inflationary excess of government. Nor are we prepared to accept the practice of turning the poor into permanent wards of the state, trading their political support for continued financial assistance.
Our fundamental answer to the economic problems of black Americans is the same answer we make to all Americans—full employment without inflation through economic growth. First and foremost, we are committed to a policy of economic expansion through tax-rate reductions, spending restraint, regulatory reform, and other incentives.
As the Party of Lincoln, we remain equally and steadfastly committed to the equality of rights for all citizens, regardless of race. Although this nation has not yet eliminated all vestiges of racism over the years we are heartened by the progress that has been made, we are proud of the role that our Party has played, and we are dedicated to standing shoulder to shoulder with black Americans in that cause.
Elsewhere in this platform, we set forth a number of specific proposals that will also serve to improve the quality of life for blacks. During the next four years we are committed to policies that will:
Encourage local governments to designate specific enterprise zones within depressed areas that will promote new jobs, new and expanded businesses, and new economic vitality;
Open new opportunities for black men and women to begin small businesses of their own by, among other steps, removing excessive regulations, disincentives for venture capital, and other barriers erected by the government;
Bring strong, effective enforcement of federal civil rights statutes, especially those dealing with threats to physical safety and security which have recently been increasing; and
Ensure that the federal government follows a non-discriminatory system of appointments up and down the line, with a careful eye for qualified minority aspirants.
Hispanics are rapidly becoming the largest minority in the country and are one of the major pillars in our cultural, social, and economic life. Diverse in character, proud in heritage, they are greatly enriching the American melting pot.
Hispanics seek only the full rights of citizenship—in education, in law enforcement, in housing—and an equal opportunity to achieve economic security. Unfortunately, those desires have not always been fulfilled; as in so many other areas, the Carter Administration has been long on rhetoric and short on action in its approach to the Hispanic community.
We pledge to pursue policies that will help to make the opportunities of American life a reality for Hispanics. The economic policies enunciated in this platform will, we believe, create new jobs for Hispanic teenagers and adults and will also open up new business opportunities for them. We also believe there should be local educational programs which enable those who grew up learning another language such as Spanish to become proficient in English while also maintaining their own language and cultural heritage. Neither Hispanics nor any other American citizens should be barred from education or employment opportunities because English is not their first language.
The Republican Party strongly believes that handicapped persons must be admitted into the mainstream of American society. It endorses efforts to enable our handicapped population to enjoy a useful and productive life.
Too often in the past, barriers have been raised to their education, employment, transportation, health care, housing, recreation, and insurance. We support a concerted national effort to eliminate discrimination in all these areas. Specifically we support tax incentives for the removal of architectural and transportation barriers. We pledge continued efforts to improve communications for the handicapped and to promote a healthy, constructive attitude toward them in our society.
We acknowledge the legitimate efforts of those who support or oppose ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
We reaffirm our Party's historic commitment to equal rights and equality for women.
We support equal rights and equal opportunities for women, without taking away traditional rights of women such as exemption from the military draft. We support the enforcement of all equal opportunity laws and urge the elimination of discrimination against women. We oppose any move which would give the federal government more power over families.
Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment is now in the hands of state legislatures, and the issues of the time extension and rescission are in the courts. The states have a constitutional right to accept or reject a constitutional amendment without federal interference or pressure. At the direction of the White House, federal departments launched pressure against states which refused to ratify ERA. Regardless of one's position on ERA, we demand that this practice cease.
At this time, women of America comprise 53 percent of the population and over 42 percent of the work force. By 1990, we anticipate that 51 percent of the population will be women, and there will be approximately 57 million in the work force. Therefore, the following urgent problems must be resolved.
Total integration of the work force (not separate but equal) is necessary to bring women equality in pay;
Girls and young women must be given improved early career counseling and job training to widen the opportunities for them in the world of work;
Women's worth in the society and in the jobs they hold, at home or in the workplace, must be re-evaluated to improve the conditions of women workers concentrated in low-status, low-paying jobs;
Equal opportunity for credit and other assistance must be assured to women in small businesses; and
One of the most critical problems in our nation today is that of inadequate child care for the working mother. As champions of the free enterprise system, of the individual, and of the idea that the best solutions to most problems rest at the community level, Republicans must find ways to meet this, the working woman's need. The scope of this problem is fully realized only when it is understood that many female heads of households are at the poverty level and that they have a very large percentage of the nation's children.
The important secret about old age in America today is that it is primarily a woman's issue, and those over 65 are the fastest growing segment of the population. With current population trends, by the year 2020, 15.5 percent of our population will be over 65; by 2035, women in this age group will outnumber men by 13 million.
In 1980, 42 percent of women between 55 and 64 are in the work force. Half of the six million elderly women who live alone have incomes of $3,700 or less, and black women in that category have a median income of $2,600. How do they survive with the present rate of inflation? The lower salaries they earned as working women are now reflected in lower retirement benefits, if they have any at all. The Social Security system is still biased against women, and non-existent pension plans combine with that to produce a bereft elderly woman. The Republican Party must not and will not let this continue.
We reaffirm our belief in the traditional role and values of the family in our society. The damage being done today to the family takes its greatest toll on the woman. Whether it be through divorce, widowhood, economic problems, or the suffering of children, the impact is greatest on women. The importance of support for the mother and homemaker in maintaining the values of this country cannot be over-emphasized.
In other sections of this platform, we call for greater equity in the tax treatment of working spouses. We deplore this marriage tax which penalizes married two-worker families. We call for a reduction in the estate tax burden, which creates hardships for widows and minor children. We also pledge to address any remaining inequities in the treatment of women under the Social Security system.
Women know better than anyone the decline in the quality of life that is occurring in America today. The peril to the United States and especially to women must be stressed. Women understand domestic, consumer, and economic issues more deeply because they usually manage the households and have the responsibility for them. With this responsibility must also come greater opportunity for the achievement and total equality toward solution of problems.
The truths we hold and the values we share affirm that no individual should be victimized by unfair discrimination because of race, sex, advanced age, physical handicap, difference of national origin or religion, or economic circumstance. However, equal opportunity should not be jeopardized by bureaucratic regulations and decisions which rely on quotas, ratios, and numerical requirements to exclude some individuals in favor of others, thereby rendering such regulations and decisions inherently discriminatory.
We pledge vigorous enforcement of laws to assure equal treatment in job recruitment, hiring, promotion, pay, credit, mortgage access, and housing.
Millions of Americans who trace their heritage to the nations of Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe have for too long seen their values neglected. The time has come to go beyond the ritual election year praise given to Ethnic Americans. We must make them an integral part of government. We must make recognition of their values an integral part of government policy. The Republican Party will take positive steps to see to it that these Americans, along with others too long neglected, have the opportunity to share the power, as well as the burdens of our society. The came holds true of our Asian-American citizens from the cultures of the Orient.
As a party we also recognize our commitment to Native Americans. We pledge to continue to honor our trusted relationship with them and we reaffirm our federal policy of self-determination. We support the assumption by Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos themselves of the decisions and planning which will affect their lives and the end of undue federal influence on those plans and decisions.
Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898. The Republican Party vigorously supports the right of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico to be admitted into the Union as a fully sovereign state after they freely so determine. We believe that the statehood alternative is the only logical solution to the problem of inequality of the United States citizens of Puerto Rico within the framework of the federal Constitution, with full recognition within the concept of a multicultural society of the citizens' right to retain their Spanish language and traditions. Therefore we pledge to support the enactment of the necessary legislation to allow the people of Puerto Rico to exercise their right to apply for admission into the Union at the earliest possible date after the presidential election of 1980.
We also pledge that such decision of the people of Puerto Rico will be implemented through the approval of an admission bill. This bill will provide for the Island's smooth transition from its territorial fiscal system to that of a member of the Union. This enactment will enable the new state of Puerto Rico to stand economically on an equal footing with the rest of the states and to assume gradually its fiscal responsibilities as a state.
We continue to favor whatever action may be necessary to permit American citizens resident in the United States territories of the Virgin Islands and Guam to vote for President and Vice President in national elections.
There can be no doubt that the question of abortion, despite the complex nature of its various issues, is ultimately concerned with equality of rights under the law. While we recognize differing views on this question among Americans in general—and in our own Party—we affirm our support of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children. We also support the Congressional efforts to restrict the use of taxpayers' dollars for abortion.
We protest the Supreme Court's intrusion into the family structure through its denial of the parent's obligation and right to guide their minor children.
The family is the foundation of our social order. It is the school of democracy. Its daily lessons—cooperation, tolerance, mutual concern, responsibility, industry—are fundamental to the order and progress of our Republic. But the Democrats have shunted the family aside. They have given its power to the bureaucracy, its jurisdiction to the courts, and its resources to government grantors. For the first time in our history, there is real concern that the family may not survive.
Government may be strong enough to destroy families, but it can never replace them.
Unlike the Democrats, we do not advocate new federal bureaucracies with ominous power to shape a national family order. Rather, we insist that all domestic policies, from child care and schooling to Social Security and the tax code, must be formulated with the family in mind.
Next to religious training and the home, education is the most important means by which families hand down to each new generation their ideals and beliefs. It is a pillar of a free society. But today, parents are losing control of their children's schooling. The Democratic Congress and its counterparts in many states have launched one fad after another, building huge new bureaucracies to misspend our taxes. The result has been a shocking drop in student performance, lack of basics in the classroom, forced busing, teacher strikes, manipulative and sometimes amoral indoctrination.
The Republican Party is determined to restore common sense and quality to education for the sake of all students, especially those for whom learning is the highway to equal opportunity. Because federal assistance should help local school districts, not tie them up in red tape, we will strive to replace the crazy quilt of wasteful programs with a system of block grants that will restore decisionmaking to local officials responsible to voters and parents. We recognize the need to preserve, within the structure of block grants, special educational opportunities for the handicapped, the disadvantaged, and other needy students attending public and private nonprofit elementary and secondary schools.
We hail the teachers of America. Their dedication to our children is often taken for granted, and they are frequently underpaid for long hours and selfless service, especially in comparison with other public employees.
We understand and sympathize with the plight of America's public school teachers, who so frequently find their time and attention diverted from their teaching responsibilities to the task of complying with federal reporting requirements. America has a great stake in maintaining standards of high quality in public education. The Republican Party recognizes that the achievement of those standards is possible only to the extent that teachers are allowed the time and freedom to teach. To that end, the Republican Party supports deregulation by the federal government of public education, and encourages the elimination of the federal Department of Education.
We further sympathize with the right of qualified teachers to be employed by any school district wishing to hire them, without the necessity of their becoming enrolled with any bargaining agency or group. We oppose any federal action, including any action on the part of the Department of Education, to establish "agency shops" in public schools.
We support Republican initiatives in the Congress to restore the right of individuals to participate in voluntary, non-denominational prayer in schools and other public facilities.
Our goal is quality education for all of America's children, with a special commitment to those who must overcome handicap, deprivation, or discrimination. That is why we condemn the forced busing of school children to achieve arbitrary racial quotas. Busing has been a prescription for disaster, blighting whole communities across the land with its divisive impact. It has failed to improve the quality of education, while diverting funds from programs that could make the difference between success and failure for the poor, the disabled, and minority children.
We must halt forced busing and get on with the education of all our children, focusing on the real causes of their problems, especially lack of economic opportunity.
Federal education policy must be based on the primacy of parental rights and responsibility. Toward that end, we reaffirm our support for a system of educational assistance based on tax credits that will in part compensate parents for their financial sacrifices in paying tuition at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary level. This is a matter of fairness, especially for low-income families, most of whom would be free for the first time to choose for their children those schools which best correspond to their own cultural and moral values. In this way, the schools will be strengthened by the families' involvement, and the families' strengths will be reinforced by supportive cultural institutions.
We are dismayed that the Carter Administration cruelly reneged on promises made during the 1976 campaign. Wielding the threat of his veto, Mr. Carter led the fight against Republican attempts to make tuition tax credits a reality.
Next year, a Republican White House will assist, not sabotage, Congressional efforts to enact tuition tax relief into law.
We will halt the unconstitutional regulatory vendetta launched by Mr. Carter's IRS Commissioner against independent schools.
We will hold the federal bureaucracy accountable for its harassment of colleges and universities and will clear away the tangle of regulation that has unconscionably driven up their expenses and tuitions. We will respect the rights of state and local authorities in the management of their school systems.
The commitment of the American people to provide educational opportunities for all has resulted in a tremendous expansion of schools at all levels. And the more we reduce the federal proportion of taxation, the more resources will be left to sustain and develop state and local institutions.
Our country's unequalled system of medical care, bringing greater benefits to more people than anywhere else on earth, is a splendid example of how Americans have taken care of their own needs with private institutions.
Significant as these achievements are, we must not be complacent. Health care costs continue to rise, farther and faster than they should, and threaten to spiral beyond the reach of many families. The causes are the Democratic Congress' inflationary spending and excessive and expensive regulations.
Republicans unequivocally oppose socialized medicine, in whatever guise it is presented by the Democratic Party. We reject the creation of a national health service and all proposals for compulsory national health insurance.
Our country has made spectacular gains in health care in recent decades. Most families are now covered by private insurance, Medicare, or in the case of the poor, the entirely free services under Medicaid.
Republicans recognize that many health care problems can be solved if government will work closely with the private sector to find remedies that will enhance our current system of excellent care. We applaud, as an example, the voluntary effort which has been undertaken by our nation's hospitals to control costs. The results have been encouraging. More remains to be done.
What ails American medicine is government meddling and the strait-jacket of federal programs. The prescription for good health care is deregulation and an emphasis upon consumer rights and patient choice.
As consumers of health care, individual Americans and their families should be able to make their own choices about health care protection. We propose to assist them in so doing through tax and financial incentives. These could enable them to choose their own health coverage, including protection from the catastrophic costs of major long-term illness, without compulsory regimentation.
Americans should be protected against financial disaster brought on by medical expenses. We recognize both the need to provide assistance in many cases and the responsibility of citizens to provide for their own needs. By using tax incentives and reforming federal medical assistance programs, government and the private sector can jointly develop compassionate and innovative means to provide financial relief when it is most needed.
We endorse alternatives to institutional care. Not only is it costly but it also separates individuals from the supportive environment of family and friends. This is especially important for the elderly and those requiring long-term care. We advocate the reform of Medicare to encourage home-based care whenever feasible. In addition, we encourage the development of innovative alternate health care delivery systems and other out-patient services at the local level.
We must maintain our commitment to the aged and to the poor by providing quality care through Medicare and Medicaid. These programs need the careful, detailed reevaluation they have never received from the Democrats, who have characteristically neglected their financial stability. We believe that the needs of those who depend upon these programs, particularly the elderly, can be better served, especially when a Republican Administration cracks down on fraud and abuse so that program monies can be directed toward those truly in need. In the case of Medicaid, we will aid the states in restoring its financial integrity and its local direction.
We welcome the long-overdue emphasis on preventive health care and physical fitness that is making Americans more aware than ever of their personal responsibility for good health. Today's enthusiasm and emphasis on staying well holds the promise of dramatically improved health and well-being in the decades ahead. Additionally, health professionals, as well as individuals, have long recognized that preventing illness or injury is much less expensive than treating it. Therefore, preventive medicine combined with good personal health habits and health education, can make a major impact on the cost of health care. Employers and employees, unions and business associations, families, schools, and neighborhood groups all have important parts in what is becoming a national crusade for better living.
The Republican Party recognizes that young people want the opportunity to exercise the rights and responsibilities of adults.
The Republican agenda for making educational and employment opportunities available to our youth has been addressed in detail in other sections of this platform.
Republicans are committed to the enactment of a youth differential in the minimum wage and other vitally needed incentives for the creation of jobs for our young.
In addition, we reaffirm our commitment to broaden the involvement of young people in all phases of the political process—as voters, party workers and leaders, candidates and elected officials, and participants in government at all levels.
We pledge, as we have elsewhere in this platform, efforts to create an environment which will enable our nation's youth:
To live in a society which is safe and free;
To pursue personal, educational, and vocational goals to the utmost of their abilities;
To experience the support, encouragement, and strength that come from maintenance of the family and its values; and
To know the stimulus of challenge, renewal through encouragement, provision of opportunities, and the growth that comes from responsible participation in numerous aspects of our society.
Inflation is called "the cruellest tax." It strikes most cruelly at the elderly, especially those on fixed incomes. It strikes viciously at the sick and the infirm, and those who are alone in the world.
Inflation has robbed our elderly of dignity and security. An entire generation of responsible and productive citizens who toiled and saved a full working life to build up a retirement nest egg now finds that it cannot survive on its savings. Today's inflation rates dwarf yesterday's interest rates, and the pensions and annuities of our elderly citizens cannot keep up with the rising cost of living. Millions of once-proud and independent elderly Americans face a future of welfare dependency and despair.
We propose to assist families, and individuals of all ages, to meet the needs of the elderly, primarily through vigorous private initiative. Only a comprehensive reduction in tax rates will enable families to save for retirement income, and to protect that income from ravaging inflation. Only new tax exemptions and incentives can make it possible for many families to afford to care for their older members at home.
Present laws can create obstacles to older Americans' remaining in the family home. Federal programs for the elderly, such as Medicare and Supplemental Security Income, must address, humanely and generously, the special circumstances of those who choose to stay with thir families rather than enter a nursing home or other institution.
Social Security is one of this nation's most vital commitments to our senior citizens. We commit the Republican Party to first save, and then strengthen, this fundamental contract between our government and its productive citizens.
Republicans consider older Americans a community asset, not a national problem. We are committed to using the sadly wasted talents of the aged throughout our society, which sorely needs their experience and wisdom. To that end, and as a matter of basic fairness, we proudly reaffirm our opposition to mandatory retirement and our long-standing Republican commitment to end the Democrats' limitation on earnings for elderly Social Security recipients. In addition, the Republican Party is strongly opposed to the taxation of Social Security benefits and we pledge to oppose any attempts to tax these benefits.
Republicans have resisted Democratic electioneering schemes to spend away the Social Security trust funds for political purposes. Now the bill has come due, and the workers of America are staggering under their new tax burdens. This must stop.
Precisely because Social Security is a precious lifeline for millions of the elderly, orphaned, and disabled, we insist that its financing be sound and stable. We will preserve Social Security for its original purpose.
The problems of Social Security financing are only an aspect of the overriding problems of the economy which Democratic mismanagement has produced. There is but one answer, the comprehensive tax rate reduction to which Republicans are committed. To save Social Security, we have no choice but to redirect our economy toward growth. To meet this country's commitments to Social Security recipients, present and future, we need more people at work, earning more money, thereby paying more into the trust funds. That same growth can balance the federal budget with lower taxes, over time reducing inflation, which falls so cruelly on senior citizens whose income is fixed by the size of their public or private pension.
We pledge to clean up the much-abused disability system. We will also expand eligibility for Individual Retirement Accounts to enable more persons to plan for their retirement years.
The Welfare System
The Republican agenda for welfare reform has been discussed in a previous section, but we think it important to stress that central to it is the preservation of the families the system is designed to serve. The current system does not do this. Neither would guaranteed annual income schemes. By supplanting parental responsibility and by denying children parental guidance and economic support, they encourage and reward the fragmentation of families. This is unconscionable. The values and strengths of the family provide a vital element in breaking the bonds of poverty.
Ultimately, the Republican Party supports the orderly, wholesale transfer of all welfare functions to the states along with the tax sources to finance them.
The Family Economy
It is increasingly common for both husbands and wives to work outside the home. Often, it occurs out of economic necessity, and it creates major difficulties for families with children, especially those of pre-school age. On one hand, they are striving to improve the economic well-being of their family; on the other, they are concerned about the physical and emotional well-being of their children. This dilemma is further aggravated in instances of single parenthood due to death or divorce.
Recognizing these problems, we pledge to increase the availability of non-institutional child care. We see a special role for local, private organizations in meeting this need.
We disapprove of the bias in the federal tax system against working spouses, whose combined incomes are taxed at a proportionately higher rate than if they were single. We deplore this "marriage tax" and call for equity in the tax treatment of families.
We applaud our society's increasing awareness of the role of homemakers in the economy, not apart from the work force but as a very special part of it: the part that combines the labor of a full-time job, the skills of a profession, and the commitment of the most dedicated volunteer. Recognizing that home-making is as important as any other profession, we endorse expanded eligibility for Individual Retirement Accounts for homemakers and will explore other ways to advance their standing and security.
In view of the continuing efforts of the present Administration to define and influence the family through such federally funded conferences as the White House Conference on Families, we express our support for legislation protecting and defending the traditional American family against the ongoing erosion of its base in our society.
Republicans will seek every effective means to enable families more easily to assist their handicapped members and to provide for their education and special medical and therapeutic needs. In the case of handicapped children particularly, flexibility must be maintained in programs of public assistance so that, whenever possible, these youngsters may remain at home rather than in institutions.
Targeted tax relief can make it possible for parents to keep such a child at home without foregoing essential professional assistance. Similarly, tax incentives can assist those outside the home, in the neighborhood and the workplace, who undertake to train, hire, or house the handicapped.
Secure and Prosperous Neighborhoods
The quality of American neighborhoods is the ultimate test of the success or failure of government policies for the cities, for housing, and for law enforcement.
Obsessed with the demands of special interest groups and preoccupied with the design of expensive "comprehensive" programs, the Democrats in Congress and the Administration have lost sight of that simple but important criterion. They have proposed more social and fiscal tinkering with our cities and towns.
Republicans will address the real problems that face Americans In their neighborhoods day by day—deterioration and urban blight, dangerous streets and violent crime that make millions of Americans, especially senior citizens, fearful in their own neighborhoods and prisoners in their own homes.
In the summer of 1980, Americans suffer a rising national unemployment rate, now at nearly eight percent, and double-digit inflation and interest rates. As Republicans meet in Detroit, the policies of the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress have pushed the economy into recession and have resulted in unemployment approaching 20 percent in our host city.
The people of Detroit have worked long and hard to revitalize their city, and the evidence of its rebirth is impressive. Their efforts have been severely set back by Carter Administration policies outside or this or any city's control. The grim evidence is manifested in jobs lost as a direct consequence of bankrupt economic policies which have fostered this recession. Republicans will address and resolve the real problems of today's economy, problems that destroy jobs and deny even the hope of homeownership to millions of American families. We are, moreover, committed to nurturing the spirit of self-help and cooperation through which so many neighborhoods have revitalized themselves and served their residents.
The American ethic of neighbor helping neighbor has been an essential factor in the building of our nation. Republicans are committed to the preservation of this great tradition.
To help non-governmental community programs aid in serving the needs of poor, disabled, or other disadvantaged, we support permitting taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions from their federal income tax whether they itemize or not.
In contrast, the Democrats' assault against Meals-on-Wheels highlights their insensitivity to the neighborly spirit that motivates so many Americans. For over 25 years, voluntary Meals-on-Wheels organizations have been feeding needy homebound citizens—usually the elderly—with funding from local private charitable sources. Promising for the first time to "help" these neighborhood volunteer efforts in 1978, the Democratic Congress and Administration instead used the carrot of federal funding and the stick of federal regulation to crowd out private ventures.
Government must never elbow aside private institutions—schools, churches, volunteer groups, labor and professional associations—in meeting the social needs in our neighborhoods and communities.
The city is the focus for the lives of millions of Americans. Its neighborhoods are places of familiarity, of belonging, of tradition and continuity. They are arenas for civic action and creative self-help. The human scale of the neighborhood encourages citizens to exercise leadership, to invest their talents, energies, and resources, and to work together to create a better life for their families.
Republican economic programs will create conditions for rebirth of citizen activity in neighborhoods and cities across the land. In a Republican economic climate, America's cities can once again produce, build, and grow.
A Republican Administration will focus its efforts to revitalize neighborhoods in five areas. We will:
Cut taxes, increase incentives to save, restore sound money, and stimulate capital investment to create jobs;
Create and apply new tax incentives for employees and employers alike to stimulate economic growth and reduce red-tape for business ventures. Local government will be invited to designate specific depressed areas as jobs and enterprise zones;
Encourage our cities to undertake neighborhood revitalization and preservation programs in cooperation with the three essential local interests: local government, neighborhood property owners and residents, and local financial institutions;
Replace the categorical aid programs with block grant or revenue sharing programs and, where appropriate, transfer the programs, along with the tax sources to pay for them, back to the state and local governments; and
Remain fully committed to the fair enforcement of all federal civil rights statutes and continue minority business enterprise and similar programs begun by Republican Administrations but bungled by overregulation and duplication during the Carter Administration.
Republican programs will revitalize the inner cities. New jobs will be created. The federal government's role will be substantially reduced. The individual citizen will reclaim his or her independence.
The revitalization of American cities will proceed from the revitalization of the neighborhoods. Cities and neighborhoods are no more nor less than the people who inhabit them. Their strengths and weaknesses provide their character. If they are to grow, it is the people who must seize the initiative and lead.
Housing and homeownership
Our citizens must have a real opportunity to live in decent, affordable housing. Due to the disastrous policies of the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress, however, the goal of homeownership and all that aspiration entails is now in jeopardy. These irrational policies have been catastrophic to the housing industry. The highest home mortgage interest rates in the history of the United States have depressed housing starts to the lowest level since World War II. Democratic policies guarantee shortages in owner-occupied and rental housing.
As many as 1.4 million people who depend upon homebuilding for work may lose their jobs in this recession. Many already have. In addition to the toll taken on millions of American families, intolerable pressures will build on state, local, and federal budgets as tax revenues decline and expenditures increase to aid the unemployed.
We support financing and tax incentives to encourage the construction of rental housing as an essential addition to our housing inventory.
Prospective first-time home buyers simply cannot afford to buy. The affordability of housing has become a crisis. The high rates of inflation have driven mortgage payments, house prices, and down-payment requirements beyond the means of close to 80 percent of young American families. In order to assist the record number of young families who wish to become home buyers, we propose to implement a young family housing initiative, which would include several elements such as: urban homesteading, savings and tax reforms, and innovative alternate mortgage instruments to help meet monthly payment requirements without federal subsidies. To assist older homeowners, again without federal subsidy, we urge more extensive availability of the reverse annuity mortgage which allows older homeowners to withdraw the substantial equity they have built up in their homes and thus supplement their retirement income. In order to slow increases in housing costs, regulations which artificially limit housing production and raise housing costs must be eliminated.
We favor expansion of the Republican-sponsored urban homesteading program as a means of restoring abandoned housing. This innovative program is locally administered, returns property to the tax rolls, and develops new ownership and stability within our neighborhoods.
The collapse of new home production and the distress of the housing finance system are closely related. The stop and go economic policies of the past year have created extreme volatility in financial markets which have made it impossible for thrift institutions to supply housing credit at a reasonable cost.
A set of policies aimed at higher and more stable levels of housing production will simultaneously reduce housing costs and unemployment in the economy. To assure a stable and continuous flow of funds for home mortgage financing, we pledge to allow responsible use of mortgage revenue bonds. We will work to change the tax laws to encourage savings so that young families will be able to afford their dreams.
Specifically, we will support legislation to lower tax rates on savings in order to increase funds available for housing. This will help particularly to make homeownership an accessible dream for younger families, encouraging them not to despair of ever having a home of their own, but to begin working and saving for it now. We oppose any attempts to end the income tax deductibility of mortgage interest and property taxes.
Republicans will also end the mismanagement and waste that has characterized the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Carter Administration. As presently structured, HUD programs present local governments and developers with a maze of bureaucracy, complicated applications, and inflexible requirements, often unsuited to local needs. Such programs often infringe upon the right of local governments to retain jurisdiction over their own zoning laws and building codes. As a result, their cost is so high that relatively few of the needy are ultimately housed or helped. Republicans will replace many of HUD's categorical programs with decentralized block grants to provide more efficient and responsive housing assistance to the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor. In remaining programs, particular emphasis should be given to rehabilitation and preservation of existing housing stock as a priority in federal housing policy.
Safety and security are vital to the health and well-being of people in their neighborhoods and communities. Republicans are committed to ensuring that neighborhoods will be safe places in which families and individuals can live, and we support and encourage community crime fighting efforts such as neighborhood crime watch and court monitoring programs.
First, we believe that Republican economic proposals, more particularly those proposals which strengthen society and smaller communities discussed elsewhere in this document, will go a long way toward stabilizing American society.
Second, we support a vigorous and effective effort on the part of law enforcement agencies. Although we recognize the vital role of federal law enforcement agencies, we realize that the most effective weapons against crime are state and local agencies.
Just as vital to efforts to stem crime is the fair but firm and speedy application of criminal penalties. The existence and application of strong penalties are effective disincentives to criminal actions. Yet these disincentives will only be as strong as our court system's willingness to use them.
We believe that the death penalty serves as an effective deterrent to capital crime and should be applied by the federal government and by states which approve it as an appropriate penalty for certain major crimes.
We believe the right of citizens to keep and bear arms must be preserved. Accordingly, we oppose federal registration of firearms. Mandatory sentences for commission of armed felonies are the most effective means to deter abuse of this right. We therefore support Congressional initiatives to remove those provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that do not significantly impact on crime but serve rather to restrain the law-abiding citizen in his legitimate use of firearms.
In recent years, a murderous epidemic of drug abuse has swept our country. Mr. Carter, through his policies and his personnel, has demonstrated little interest in stopping its ravages. Republicans consider drug abuse an intolerable threat to our society, especially to the young. We pledge a government that will take seriously its responsibility to curb illegal drug traffic. We will first and most urgently restore the ability of the FBI to act effectively in this area. Republican government will work with local law enforcement agencies to apprehend and firmly punish drug pushers and drug smugglers with mandatory sentences where appropriate. We support efforts to crack down on the sale and advertising of drug paraphernalia. Private, nonprofit drug abuse rehabilitation agencies have taken the lead in fighting drug abuse, and they deserve greater cooperation and flexibility from federal, state, and local agencies and grant programs. We pledge the enactment of legislation to ban the utilization of federal funds by grantees of the Legal Services Corporation to render their services in cases involving the pushing or smuggling of drugs as well as in cases of repeat offenders. We commend the religious leaders, community activists, parents, and local officials who are working with fervor and dedication to protect young Americans from the drug plague.
The complex problems of mobility, congestion, and energy resources demand creative solutions if we are to improve the living conditions of our urban areas. Many urban centers of our nation need dependable and affordable mass transit systems. The first line of responsibility must lie with the local governments. They must be given the latitude to design and implement the transportation system best suited to their singular circumstances. Republicans believe we should encourage effective competition among diverse modes of transportation. The role of the federal government should be one of giving financial and technical support to local authorities, through surface transportation block grants. Because of the long planning and construction times inherent in bus, rail, and other mass transit systems, a consistent and dependable source of revenue should be established.
Mass transportation offers the prospect for significant energy conservation. In addition, both management and labor agree that ease of access to the workplace is an important factor in employment decisions and industrial plant location. Lack of adequate access is a major reason why businesses have moved out of crowded urban areas, resulting in lower tax bases for cities. To encourage existing businesses to remain in urban centers and to attract new businesses to urban areas, it is vital that adequate public and private transportation facilities be provided.
Republicans recognize the importance of transportation in the rural areas of America.
Public transit is becoming more significant to rural areas as the costs of energy rise. While public transit will not replace the importance of private vehicles in rural America, it can serve as a vital adjunct to transportation in neighborhoods throughout rural America.
Jobs and the Workplace
We propose to put Americans back to work again by restoring real growth without inflation to the United States economy. Republican programs and initiatives detailed in this platform will create millions of additional new jobs in the American workplace. As a result of Mr. Carter's recession, more than eight million Americans are now out of work.
Sweeping change in America's economic policy is needed. We must replace the Carter Administration's promise of hard times and austerity—one promise which has been kept—with Republican policies that restore economic growth and create more jobs.
The Democratic Congress and the Carter Administration are espousing programs that candidate Carter in 1976 said were inhumane: using recession, unemployment, high interest rates, and high taxes to fight inflation. The Democrats are now trying to stop inflation with a recession, a bankrupt policy which is throwing millions of Americans out of work. They say Americans must tighten their belts, abandon their dreams, and accept higher taxes, less take-home pay, fewer jobs, and no growth in the national economy.
We categorically reject this approach. Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. Shutting down our nation's factories and throwing millions of people out of work leads only to shortages and higher prices.
We believe inflation can only be controlled by monetary and spending restraint, combined with sharp reductions in the tax and regulatory barriers to savings, investment, production, and jobs.
The need for growth and its impact on workers
The Republican Party believes nothing is more important to our nation's defense and social well-being than economic growth.
Since 1973, the U.S. economy has grown in real terms at a rate of only 1.9 percent a year. This is barely half of the 3.7 percent annual growth rate we experienced between 1950 and 1973 and well below the 4.6 percent growth rate we enjoyed between 1961 and 1969. If our economy continues to grow at its current rate of less than two percent a year, our Gross National Product (GNP) will barely reach $3 trillion by 1990.
But if we can regain the growth we experienced during the economic boom of the 1960s, our GNP will reach nearly $4 trillion by the end of the decade, nearly one-third higher.
With this kind of economic growth, incomes would be substantially higher and jobs would be plentiful. Federal revenues would be high enough to provide for a balanced budget, adequate funding of health, education and social spending, and unquestioned military preeminence, with enough left over to reduce payroll and income taxes on American workers and retirees. Economic growth would generate price stability as the expanding economy eliminated budget deficits and avoided pressure on the Federal Reserve to create more money. And the social gains from economic growth would be enormous. Faster growth, higher incomes, and plentiful jobs are exactly what the unemployed, the underprivileged, and minorities have been seeking for many years.
All working men and women of America have much to gain from economic growth and a healthy business environment. It enhances their bargaining position by fostering competition among potential employers to provide more attractive working conditions, better retirement and health benefits, higher wages and salaries, and generally improving job security. A stagnant economy, which Democratic policies have brought about, decreases competition among business for workers, discourages improved employee benefits, reduces income levels, and dramatically increases unemployment.
Savings, productivity, and jobs
Savings and investment are the keys to economic growth. Only that part of national income which goes into savings and which is not consumed by government deficits is available to finance real economic growth.
Americans now save less than any other people in the Western world because inflation and the high rates of taxation imposed by the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress have destroyed their ability and incentive to save and invest. This has strangled economic growth, choked off private initiative, pushed up prices, and retarded productivity and job creation.
The sharp drop in the growth of American productivity is the main reason why Americans' average real weekly earnings are no more than they were 19 years ago. This problem has worsened to the point that workers earn eight percent less in real purchasing power as the Carter term comes to a close than they did when it began.
The 25 years of Democratic domination of the Congress have cost us a generation of lost opportunities. The Carter Administration in particular has opposed every Republican effort to restore the health of the economy through lower taxes on work effort, savings, and the modernization of America's productive machinery.
Republicans are committed to an economic policy based on lower tax rates and a reduced rate of government spending.
Therefore, the Republican Party pledges to:
Reduce tax rates on individuals and businesses to increase incentives for all Americans and to encourage more savings, investment, output and productivity, and more jobs for Americans;
Provide special incentives for saving by lowering the tax rates on savings and investment income;
Revitalize our productive capacities by simplifying and accelerating tax depreciation schedules for facilities, structures, equipment, and vehicles;
Limit government spending to a fixed and smaller percentage of the Gross National Product; and
Balance the budget without tax increases at these lower levels of taxation and spending.
We also oppose Carter proposals to impose withholding on dividend and interest income. They would serve as a disincentive to save and invest and create needless paper-work burdens for government, business, industry, and the private citizen. They would literally rob the saver of the benefits of interest compounding and automatic dividend reinvestment programs.
Unless taxes are reduced and federal spending is restrained, our nation's economy faces continued inflation, recession, and economic stagnation. Tax fate reductions and spending restraint will restore the savings and investment needed to create new jobs, increase living standards, and restore our competitive position in the world.
To those individuals who have lost their jobs because of the Carter recession, we pledge to ensure that they receive their rightfully earned unemployment compensation benefits.
The Republican Party recognizes the need to provide workers who have lost their jobs because of technological obsolescence or imports the opportunity to adjust to changing economic conditions. In particular, we will seek ways to assist workers threatened by foreign competition.
The Democratic Administration's inability to ensure fairness and equity between our nation and some of our trading partners has resulted in massive unemployment in many core industries. As we meet in Detroit, this Party takes special notice that among the hardest hit have been the automotive workers whose jobs are now targeted by aggressive foreign competition. Much of this problem is a result of the present Administration's inability to negotiate foreign trade agreements which do not jeopardize American jobs. We will take steps to ensure competitiveness of our domestic industries to protect American jobs. But for workers who have already lost their jobs, we will provide assistance, incentives for job refraining and placement, and job search and relocation allowances. Toward this end, we will pursue specific tax and regulatory changes to revitalize America's troubled basic industries. We will also seek the aid of private individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations to formulate creative new self-supporting answers to training and placement problems as well as non-governmental sources of temporary financial support.
The Republican Party believes that protectionist tariffs and quotas are detrimental to our economic well-being. Nevertheless, we insist that our trading partners offer our nation the same level of equity, access, and fairness that we have shown them. The mutual benefits of trade require that it be conducted in the spirit of reciprocity. The Republican Party will consider appropriate measures necessary to restore equal and fair competition between ourselves and our trading partners.
The international exchange of goods and services must take place under free and unfettered conditions of market entry.
Training and skills
Unemployment is a growing problem for millions of Americans, but it is an unparalleled disaster for minority Americans. As this country's economic growth has slowed over the past decade, unemployment has become more intractable. The gravity of the crisis is so severe that as we entered the present recession, unemployment was over six percent for the entire labor force but it was 33 percent for minority youth. In addition, the black unemployment rate was 10.8 percent and youth between the ages of 16 and 24 continued to account for about one-half of the total unemployed.
Despite the almost $100 billion spent on well-intended public sector employment and training programs, the structural unemployment problem continues to fester among minorities and young people. In addition to providing a growth climate for job creation, specific and targeted programs must be developed to alleviate these problems.
Since four out of every five jobs are in the private sector, the success of federal employment efforts is dependent on private sector participation. It must be recognized as the ultimate location for unsubsidized jobs, as the provider of means to attain this end, and as an active participant in the formulation of employment and training policies on the local and national level. Throughout America, the private and independent sectors have repeatedly helped in the creation of minority business through donated counseling and consulting services. They have encouraged equal opportunity hiring practices within their own industries and have built nonprofit, self-supporting training centers where the products produced during training are sold to support the programs.
A coordinated approach needs to be developed which maximizes the use of existing community resources, offers adequate incentives to the private sector, focuses on both large and small business, and minimizes red tape.
in recognizing the seriousness of the youth employment problem, Republicans also realize that a job alone will do very little to move a disadvantaged young person beyond the poverty line. Republicans support the creation of comprehensive programs for disadvantaged youth which would offer pre-employment training, education, instruction, and job placement and retention services. Republicans support efforts to establish and maintain programs which seek to match the needs of the private sector and our young people as efficiently and effectively as possible. We also support expansion of proven skill training practices, such as apprenticeship, as well as private schools and trade schools. These methods can provide quality training and point toward the acquisition of specific job skills leading to specific employment goals.
We will encourage and foster the growth of new organizations operated by public-private partnerships to help forge a closer link between the schools and private employers. These institutions can afford in-school and out-of-school disadvantaged youth the opportunity to upgrade basic skills, acquire work habits and orientation to work, and move directly from successful completion of the program to private unsubsidized jobs.
We believe that present laws create additional barriers for unemployed youth. One of the keys to resolving the youth unemployment problem is to reduce the cost to private employers of hiring young people who lack the necessary skills and experience to become immediately productive. Unfortunately, current government policy makes it too expensive for employers to hire unskilled youths. We urge a reduction of payroll tax rates, a youth differential for the minimum wage, and alleviation of other costs of employment until a young person can be a productive employee.
Small business is the backbone of the American economy, with unique strengths and problems which must be recognized and addressed. For more than half of all American workers, the workplace is a small business. Small business is family business both in the sense that many of them are owned and operated by single families, and also because most American families rely not only on the goods and services, but on the jobs produced there for their livelihood and standard of living.
Republicans have demonstrated their sensitivity to the problems of the small business community. The Carter Administration held a conference to learn what Republicans have long known. In the Congress, we have been working to pass legislation to solve small business problems and achieve the very goals later identified by that conference. A 1978 initiative by the late Representative Bill Steiger reduced the capital gains tax rates which were destroying capital formation in America. Under the leadership of Republicans in Congress, efforts to simplify and liberalize the restrictive depreciation schedule are a top priority. Another proposal long advocated by our Party is the drive to encourage the entrepreneur by reform of the regulatory laws which stifle the very life of business through fines, threats, and harassment. Republicans realize the immediate necessity of reducing the regulatory burden to give small business a fighting chance against the federal agencies. We believe that wherever feasible, small business should be exempt from regulations and, where exemption is not feasible, small business should be subject to a less onerous tier of regulation. We have offered legislation to reimburse small businessmen who successfully challenge the federal government in court. Republicans believe the number one priority for small business in America is the achievement of lower business and personal tax rates for small businessmen and women and we intend to work to secure them.
All of these initiatives will receive immediate attention from a Republican Administration and Congress. Without such changes as these, the small entrepreneur, who takes the risks which help make the economy grow and provides over 90 percent of all new jobs annually, will be an endangered species.
By fostering small business growth, we are promoting permanent private sector solutions to the unemployment problem. We will continue to provide for small business needs by enacting a substantial increase in the surtax exemption. The heavy estate tax burden imposed on the American people is threatening the life savings of millions of our families, forcing spouses and children to sell their homes, businesses, and family farms to pay the estate taxes. To encourage continuity of family ownership, we will seek to ease this tax burden on all Americans and abolish excessive inheritance taxes to allow families to retain and pass on their small businesses and family farms.
We will reform the patent laws to facilitate innovation and we will further this goal by encouraging a greater share of federal research and development be done by small businesses. Finally, we will reform those tax laws which make it more profitable to break up a small business or merge it into a conglomerate than to allow it to grow and develop as an independent business.
Fairness to the worker
The Republican Party is committed to full employment without inflation. We will seek to provide more jobs, increase the standard of living, and ensure equitable treatment on the job for all American workers by stimulating economic growth.
We reaffirm our commitment to the fundamental principle of fairness in labor relations, including the legal right of unions to organize workers and to represent them through collective bargaining consistent with state laws and free from unnecessary government involvement. We applaud the mutual efforts of labor and management to improve the quality of work life.
Wage demands today often represent the attempt of working men and women to catch up with government-caused inflation and high tax rates. With the blessing of the Democrats' majority in Congress, the Council on Wage and Price Stability has put a de facto ceiling of seven to eight and one-half percent on workers' wages, while the Administration devalues their paychecks at a rate of 13 to 15 percent. The government, not the worker, is the principal cause of inflation.
We recognize the need for governmental oversight of the health and safety of the workplace, without interfering in the economic well-being of employers or the job security of workers.
The Republican Party reaffirms its long-standing support for the right of states to enact "Right-to-Work" laws under section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act.
The political freedom of every worker must be protected. Therefore, the Republican Party strongly supports protections against the practice of using compulsory dues and fees for partisan political purposes.
Fairness to the consumer
The Republican Party shares the concerns of consumers that there be full disclosure and fairness in the marketplace. We recognize that government regulation and taxes add significantly to costs of goods and services to the consumer, reducing the standard of living for all Americans. For example, safety and environmental standards, some of which are counterproductive, increase the average price of a new car by over $700. Compliance with those regulations alone costs motorists as much as $12 billion a year.
Fairness to the consumer, like fairness to the employer and the worker, requires that government perform certain limited functions and enforce certain safeguards to ensure that equity, free competition, and safety exist in the free market economy. However, government action is not itself the solution to consumer problems; in fact, it has become in large measure a part of the problem. By consistent enforcement of law and enhancement of fair competition, government can and should help the consumer.
An informed consumer making economic choices and decisions in the marketplace is the best regulator of the free enterprise system. Consumers are also taxpayers, workers, investors, shoppers, farmers, and producers. The Republican Party recognizes the need for consumer protection but feels that such protection will not be enhanced by the creation of a new consumer protection bureaucracy. Just as there can be no single monolithic consumer viewpoint, so the Republican Party opposes the funding of special self-proclaimed advocates to represent consumer interests in federal agency proceedings.
Fairness to the employer
The Republican Party declares war on government overregulation. We pledge to cut down on federal paperwork, cut out excessive regulation, and cut back the bloated bureaucracy.
In addressing these problems we recognize that overregulation is particularly harmful to America's small businesses whose survival is often threatened by the excessive costs of complying with government rules and handling federal paperwork.
While we recognize the role of the federal government in establishing certain minimum standards designed to improve the quality of life in America, we reaffirm our conviction that these standards can best be attained through innovative efforts of American business without the federal government mandating the methods of attainment.
The extraordinary growth of government, particularly since the middle 1960s, has brought mounting costs to society which, in turn, have added to inflationary pressures, reduced productivity, discouraged new investment, destroyed jobs, and increased bureaucratic intrusion into everyday life.
Regulatory costs are now running in excess of $100 billion each year, or about $1,800 for every American family. Federal paperwork annually costs businesses from $25 to $32 billion. According to official figures, it takes individuals and business firms over 143 million man-hours to complete 4,400 different federal forms each year. Government regulation produces many indirect immeasurable costs as well and has led to increased bureaucratization of industry. Regulation also restricts personal choices, tends to undermine America's democratic public institutions, and threatens to destroy the private, competitive free market economy it was originally designed to protect.
In the face of a crisis of overregulation, the Carter Administration and the Democrats who control Congress have failed to recognize the problems facing workers, employers, and consumers and seem unable to come to grips with the underlying causes. While belatedly supporting transportation deregulation programs initiated by previous Republican Administrations, they have embarked on ambitious new schemes to tighten Washington's hold on energy and education. They have ignored or sidetracked Republican proposals to eliminate wasteful and outmoded spending programs and regulations. They have combined to push through more legislation and create additional programs which expand the size and power of the federal bureaucracy at the expense of ordinary taxpayers, consumers, and businesses. In contradiction to 1976 Carter campaign promises to cut back on regulation, the number of pages in the Federal Register devoted to new rules and regulations has increased from 57,072 in 1976 to 77,497 in 1979 and will approach 90,000 by the end of 1980.
The result of Democratic rule in both the White House and the Congress is that government power has grown unchecked. Excessive regulation remains a major component of our Nation's spiraling inflation and continues to stifle private initiative, individual freedom, and state and local government autonomy.
The Republican Party pledges itself to a comprehensive program of government reform. We propose to enact a temporary moratorium on all new federal regulations that diminish the supply of goods and services and add significantly to inflation. Such a moratorium will be consistent with the goal of achieving a safe and healthy working environment. We shall work to reduce substantially the regulatory and paperwork burdens on small businesses.
We encourage management and labor to form joint safety and health committees to make the workplace a better place to produce goods and services. At the same time we believe that the arbitrary and high-handed tactics used by OSHA bureaucrats must end. OSHA should concentrate its resources on encouraging voluntary compliance by employers and monitoring situations where close federal supervision is needed and serious hazards are most likely to occur. OSHA should be required to consult with, advise, and assist businesses in coping with the regulatory burden before imposing any penalty for noncompliance. Small businesses and employers with good safety records should be exempt from safety inspections, and penalties should be increased for those with consistently poor performance.
In no American workplace is there to be found greater productivity, cooperation, neighborly concern, creative use of applied science, information and relevant research, honesty, perseverance, hard work, and independence than on the farm and ranch.
The Republican Party takes pride in the ability of American farmers to provide abundant, high quality, and nutritious food and fiber for all our citizens including those most in need and to millions throughout the world, and at the same time to supply the largest single component in our export balance of trade.
Crisis in Agriculture
Four years of the Carter Administration and 25 consecutive years of a Congress controlled by Democrats have brought farmers and ranchers to the brink of disaster and the hardest times they have known since the Great Depression. In the last four years, more than 100,000 family farms have failed as farm income has plummeted. Even the present Administration's own figures show a decrease in real net farm income of some 40 percent in the last year alone—from $33 billion in 1979 to less than $22 billion projected for 1980.
The Democratic Party and the Carter Administration have abused their authority and failed in their responsibility to provide sound agricultural policies. Republicans pledge to make life in rural America prosperous again. We will:
Increase net farm income by supporting and refining programs to bring profitable farm prices with the goal of surpassing parity levels in a market-oriented agricultural economy;
Control inflation by adopting sound fiscal and monetary policies and by eliminating excessive and unnecessary federal regulations;
Expand markets at home by effectively utilizing the advantages of the energy potential for farm, forestry, and other biomass products. We encourage the continued innovative efforts in developing alcohol and other renewable energy sources and equipment for both on-farm and commercial use;
Aggressively expand markets abroad by effectively using the Eisenhower Food for Peace program and revolving credit incentives, working to remove foreign restraints on American products, and encouraging the development of dependable new markets in developing countries;
Assure a priority allocation of fuel for U.S. agriculture, including food and fiber production, transportation, and processing; and
Combine efforts to encourage the renewable resource timber production capability of privately-owned forests and woodlands with a federal program committed to multiple-use (timber, recreation, wildlife, watershed and/or range management) where federal land has not been designated as wilderness.
Attention to the quality of life in our rural areas is a vital necessity because rural Americans impart a special strength to the national character. It is our goal to assure that all rural citizens—whether they are farmers or not—have the same consideration in matters of economic development, in energy, credit and transportation availability, and in employment opportunities which is given to those who live in towns and cities. The opportunity for non-farm jobs enhances the ability of people to live and work in rural America in the decade ahead, and our dedication to a prosperous and energetic rural America is part and parcel of our commitment to make America great again.
Expand Export Markets
Agriculture's contribution to the U.S. trade balance makes it especially fitting that an aggressive market development program to establish dependable new markets for farm exports will be a vital part of the policies to restore profitability to American agriculture. Republicans will ensure that:
International trade is conducted on the basis of fair and effective competition and that all imported agricultural products meet the same standards of quality that are required of American producers;
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade becomes a meaningful vehicle for handling agricultural trade problems and grievances;
An aggressive agricultural market development program and the streamlining of the export marketing system is given top national priority;
Government-to-government sales of agricultural commodities be eliminated, except as specifically provided by law;
The future of U.S. agricultural commodities is protected from the economic evils of predatory dumping by other producing nations and that the domestic production of these commodities, so important to the survival of individuals and small rural communities is preserved; and
The important and productive potential of the commercial seafood industry is given encouragement.
We support farmer-owned grain reserves, should they become necessary, and adamantly oppose government-controlled reserves.
We believe that agricultural embargoes are only symbolic and are ineffective tools of foreign policy. We oppose singling out American farmers to bear the brunt of Carter's ill-conceived, ineffective, and improperly implemented grain embargo. The Carter grain embargo should be terminated immediately.
Excessive Regulation of Agriculture
The crushing burden of excessive federal regulations such as many of those imposed on farmers, ranchers, foresters, and commercial fishermen by OSHA, EPA, the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Justice, Interior, and other government entities are unrealistic and unnecessary.
We pledge a sensible approach to reduce excessive federal regulation that is draining the profitability from farming, ranching, and commercial fishing. Especially high on the agenda for changes in policy under Republican leadership are such regulatory issues as the Interior Department's ineffective predator control policies, EPA and FDA's excessive adherence to "zero risk" policies relative to the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, food additives, preservatives, and the like.
Soil and Water Conservation
We believe the strong soil and water conservation stewardship to which farmers, ranchers, watermen, and rural Americans are devoted is exemplary, and encourage appropriate local, state, and federal programs to give conservation practices vitality. Voluntary participation with adequate incentives is essential to the effective conservation of our soil and water resources.
The conservation and development of the nation's water resources are vital requisites for rebuilding America's national strength. The natural abundance of water can no longer be taken for granted. The impending crisis in water could be far more serious than our energy problems unless we act now. A dynamic water policy, which addresses our national diversity in climate, geography, and patterns of land ownership, and includes all requirements across the spectrum of water use, including Reclamation policy, will be a priority of the Republican Administration working with the advice and counsel of state and local interests. We must develop a partnership between the federal and state governments which will not destroy traditional state supremacy in water law. Further, there must be cooperation between the Executive Branch and Congress in developing and implementing that policy. Lack of such partnership has resulted in four years of bitter confrontation between the states and the obstructive policies of the Democratic Administration. The Congress has been frustrated in its efforts to conserve and develop our water resources. Working together, the states and the federal government can meet the impending water crisis through innovative and alternative approaches to such problems as cleaning our lakes and rivers, reducing toxic pollution, developing multiple-use projects, and achieving a workable balance between the many competing demands on our water resources.
Comprehensive labor legislation, which will be fair to American workers and encourage better relations with our neighbors in Mexico and Canada with whom we wish to establish a working North American Accord, is an essential endeavor. We deplore disruptive work stoppages which interrupt the supply of food to consumers.
Federal estate and gift taxes have a particularly pernicious effect on family farms. Young farmers who inherit farm property are often forced to sell off part of the family farm to pay taxes. Once these taxes are paid, young farmers often must begin their careers deeply in debt. Our tax laws must be reformed to encourage rather than discourage family farming and ranching.
We deplore the imposition of present excessive estate and gift taxes on family farms. We support the use of lower, productivity-based valuation when farms are transferred within the family. Further, we believe that no spouse should pay estate taxes on farm property inherited from a husband or wife. We support the Republican tax cut proposal which provides accelerated depreciation and expanded investment tax credits to farm vehicles, equipment, and structures. Finally, we support legislation which would remove tax advantages foreign investors realize on the sale of U.S. forests, farmland, and other real estate.
It is essential to the well-being and security of our nation that an adequate rural transportation system be restored as a vital link between rural areas and their markets, both domestic and export. Overall, we pledge to eliminate those rules and regulations which restrict the free flow of commerce and trade of agricultural products and encourage an environment that will enhance the private development and improvement of all modes of transportation to move agricultural production swiftly, safely, and economically. Recognizing the inherent advantages of each mode of transportation, the Republican Party will work to encourage and allow those advantages to be utilized on a balanced and equitable basis.
We believe the federal 55 miles per hour speed limit is counterproductive and contributes to higher costs of goods and services to all communities, particularly in rural America. The most effective, no-cost federal assistance program available would be for each state to set its own speed limit.
A Strong USDA
We pledge an Administration dedicated to restoring profitability to agriculture. A top priority will be the selection of a qualified and effective Secretary and policy staff who will speak up for American farmers—and a President who will listen.
America's preeminence in agriculture is rooted in a system of agricultural research, extension, and teaching—unique and unequalled in the world. Land Grant Universities focus on problems of national, regional, and local concern. Cooperative extension, operating in every county of the United States and its territories, brings the results of USDA and Land Grant University research to farmers and ranchers, rural women, consumers, agribusiness, and to youth through 4-H programs.
The Republican Party favors a legislative effort to revise and modernize our food safety laws, providing guidelines for risk assessment, benefit assessment, peer review, and regulatory flexibility which are consistent with other government health and safety policies.
We believe farmer cooperatives and rural electric and telephone cooperatives provide essential benefits to farmers and the rural Americans they serve, and we support exclusive jurisdiction of USDA in the effective administration of the Capper-Volstead Act.
We Republicans pledge ourselves to work with farmers, ranchers, and our friends and neighbors to make America great again.
Though a relatively young nation among those of western civilization, we are possessed of one of the oldest institutions of government extant. Steeped in the Judeo-Christian ethic and in Anglo-Saxon theories of law and right, our legal and political institutions have evolved over many generations to form a stable system that serves free men and women well. It governs a people of multifarious heritage dispersed across a great continent of marked geographical contrasts. It presides over a diverse economy that in its collective whole is the largest, most powerful, and most resilient in the world. In the two centuries of its life, though it has from time to time been sorely tested by constitutional, economic, and social crises, it has stood and not been found wanting. Its timeless strength, coupled with and reinforced by the faith and good will, the wisdom and confidence of the people from whom it derives its powers, has preserved us as a nation of enormous vitality.
The intent of the Founders, embraced and reflected by succeeding generations of Americans, was that the Central government should perform only those functions which are necessary concomitants of nationality, preserve order, and do for people only those things which they cannot do for themselves. The durability of our system lies in its flexibility and its accommodation to diversity and changing circumstance. It is notable as much for what it permits as for what it proscribes. Government must ever be the servant of the nation, not its master.
Under the guise of providing for the common good, Democratic Party domination of the body politic over the last 47 years has produced a central government of vastly expanded size, scope, and rigidity. Confidence in government, especially big government, has been the chief casualty of too many promises made and broken, too many commitments unkept. It is time for change— time to de-emphasize big bureaucracies—time to shift the focus of national politics from expanding government's power to that of restoring the strength of smaller communities such as the family, the neighborhood, and the workplace.
Government's power to take and tax, to regulate and require, has already reached extravagant proportions. As government's power continues to grow, the "consent of the governed" will diminish. Republicans support an end to the growth of the federal government and pledge to return the decisionmaking process to the smaller communities of society.
The emergence of policies and programs which will revitalize the free enterprise system and reverse the trend toward regulation is essential. To sustain the implementation of such policy, it is necessary to raise the public awareness and understanding that our free enterprise system is the source of all income, government and private, and raise the individual's awareness of his or her vested interest in its growth and vitality.
The Republican Party believes that it is important to develop a growing constituency which recognizes its direct relationship to the health and success of free enterprise, and realizes the negative impact of excessive regulation. Education and involvement in the system are the best means to accomplish this. To this end, we will actively pursue new and expanding opportunities for all Americans to become more directly involved in our free enterprise system.
The Republican Party reaffirms its belief in the decentralization of the federal government and in the traditional American principle that the best government is the one closest to the people. There, it is less costly, more accountable, and more responsive to people's needs. Against the prevailing trend toward increased Centralization of government under the Democrats, Republicans succeeded in the 1970s in initiating large scale revenue sharing and block grant programs to disperse the power of the federal government and share it with the states and localities.
Our states and localities have the talent, wisdom, and determination to respond to the variety of demands made upon them. Block grants and revenue sharing provide local government with the means and the flexibility to solve their own problems in ways most appropriate for each locale. Unlike categorical grants, they do not lock states and localities into priorities and needs perceived by Washington. They are also more efficient because block grants and revenue sharing relieve both local government and the federal government from the costly and complicated process of program application, implementation, and review associated with the categorical grant system.
We pledge to continue and redouble our efforts to return power to the state and local governments. The regionalization of government encouraged by federal policies diminishes the responsiveness of state and local governments and impairs the power of the people to control their destiny.
While Republican efforts have been focused on sharing revenue and the power that goes with it, the Carter Administration has been preoccupied with the reorganization and consolidation of central authority. As a result, we have the Departments of Energy and Education, for example, but no more oil and gas, or learning, to show for it.
When we mistakenly rely on government to solve all our problems we ignore the abilities of people to solve their own problems. We pledge to renew the dispersion of power from the federal government to the states and localities. But this will not be enough. We pledge to extend the process so that power can be transferred as well to non-governmental institutions.
We favor the establishment or a commission of distinguished citizens to recommend ways of reorganizing and reducing the size and scope of the Executive Branch. Federal departments, agencies, and bureaus should be consolidated where possible to end waste and improve the delivery of essential services. Republicans pledge to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and reduce government paperwork. Agencies should be made to justify every official form and filing requirement. Where possible, we favor deregulation, especially in the energy, transportation, and communications industries. We believe that the marketplace, rather than the bureaucrats, should regulate management decisions.
The unremitting delegation of authority to the rule-makers by successive Democratic Congresses and the abuse of that authority have led to our current crisis of overregulation. For that reason, we support use of the Congressional veto, sunset laws, and strict budgetary control of the bureaucracies as a means of eliminating unnecessary spending and regulations. Agencies should be required to review existing regulations and eliminate those that are outmoded, duplicative, or contradictory. They must conduct cost-benefit analyses of major proposed regulations to determine their impact on the economy, on public health and safety, on state and local government, and on competition. We recommend legislation which would eliminate the present presumption of validity in favor of federal regulations. We also support legislation to require the federal government to provide restitution to those who have been wrongfully injured by agency actions. We oppose the use of tax monies by any federal agency to pay the expenses of intervenors in the rule-making process.
We recognize that there are dangers inherent in the rapid growth of the federal bureaucracy, especially the arbitrary nature of its discretionary power and the abuses of procedural safeguards. Accordingly, we pledge to work for fundamental changes in the federal Administrative Procedures Act in order to give citizens the same constitutional protections before a government agency that they have in a courtroom. Among these reforms are requirements that agencies publish in the Federal Register all rules and statements of policy before they are adopted, that a person be guaranteed written notice and the opportunity to submit facts and arguments in any adjudicatory proceeding, that an agency decision be consistent with prior decisions unless otherwise provided by law, and that a person may seek judicial review without first exhausting his or her administrative remedies. At the same time we urge the Congress to strengthen its oversight to ensure that the agencies comply with the deadlines, report filing, and other requirements mandated by law.
We propose to repeal federal restrictions and rewrite federal standards which hinder minorities from finding employment, starting their own businesses, gaining valuable work experience, or enjoying the fruits of their own labors.
Because there are too many federal employees in comparison to private sector employees, there should be no further increase in the number of civilian federal employees if that would increase the ratio of federal employees to private sector employees over the present ratio.
The Republican Party has consistently encouraged full participation in our electoral processes and is disturbed by the steady decline in voter participation in the United States in recent years. We believe that the increased voter turnout during the past year in Republican campaigns is due to dissatisfaction with Democratic officials and their failure to heed popular demands to cut taxes, restrain spending, curb inflation, and drastically reduce regulation.
Republicans support public policies that will promote electoral participation without compromising ballot-box security. We strongly oppose national postcard voter registration schemes because they are an open invitation to fraud.
Republicans support public policies that encourage political activity by individual citizens. We support the repeal of those restrictive campaign spending limitations that tend to create obstacles to local grass roots participation in federal elections. We also oppose the proposed financing of Congressional campaigns with taxpayers' dollars as an effort by the Democratic Party to protect its incumbent Members of Congress with a tax subsidy. We prefer the present system of having the states and party rules determine the presidential nominating process to the concept of a uniform national primary which would only add to the already high costs of, and excessive federal intrusion into, presidential campaigns.
We support the critical roles of competitive political parties in the recruitment of candidates, the conduct of campaigns, and the development of broad-based public policy responsive to the people. We urge Congress and state legislatures to frame their regulations of campaign finance, their nominating systems, and other election laws to strengthen rather than weaken parties.
Arts and Humanities
Recent Republican Administrations led the way in bringing together private support and governmental encouragement to effect a tremendous expansion of artistic and scholarly endeavor. The Carter Administration has crudely politicized these programs, lowering their standards of excellence and increasing federal control over them.
The Republican Party will restore the sound economy which is absolutely necessary for the arts and humanities to flourish. We will restore, as well, the integrity of federal programs in this area. Most important, to ensure the continued primacy of private funding for the arts, we reiterate our support of broader tax incentives for contributions to charitable and cultural organizations.
America's transportation system must be designed to meet the requirements of the people, not to dictate what those requirements should be. Essential to any industrialized country is a transportation system which provides efficient and reliable service for both the movement of people and freight, urban and rural, domestic and foreign. Our nation has one of the finest transportation systems in the world but there is a danger that it will be unable to meet the future needs of a growing America.
Present levels of public and private investment will not preserve the existing system. For example, highways are deteriorating twice as fast as they are being rebuilt and inadequate rehabilitation will soon cost users more in reduced service levels than the cost of adequate rehabilitation.
The demand for transportation will grow dramatically in the next two decades with people-miles travelled increasing by over 50 percent and freight ton-miles more than doubling.
Government overregulation is inhibiting the return on investment necessary to attract capital for future growth and jobs creation.
A maze of federal agencies, Congressional committees, and conflicting policies is driving up costs and retarding innovation.
A lackluster energy policy, impeding production of oil, coal, and other forms of energy is endangering transportation's ability to keep up with demand.
Consequently, the role of government in transportation must he redefined. The forces of the free market must he brought to bear to promote competition, reduce costs, and improve the return on investment to stimulate capital formation in the private sector. The role of government must change from one of overbearing regulation to one of providing incentives for technological and innovative developments, while assuring through anti-trust enforcement that neither predatory competitive pricing nor price gouging of captive customers will occur.
Increased emphasis must he placed on the importance of having a well-balanced national transportation system where highways, passenger vehicles, buses, trucks, pipe-lines, and rail, water, and air transportation each provide those services which it does best, while offering the widest range of reasonable choices for both passenger and freight movement. A sound transportation system is a prerequisite for the vision of America that Republicans embrace—a prosperous, growing nation where dreams can still come true.
Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. Without adequate energy supplies now and in the future, the jobs of American men and women, the security of their lives, and their ability to provide for their families will be threatened and their standard of living will he lowered. Every American is painfully aware that our national energy situation has deteriorated badly over the past four years of Democratic control. Gasoline prices have more than doubled. Our oil import bill has risen 96 percent. Our energy supplies have become increasingly vulnerable because U.S. oil production outside of Alaska is now 28 percent below 1973 levels. The threat of sudden shortages, curtailments, and gas lines has become a recurring reality.
This steady deterioration has not only compounded our economic problems of inflation, recession, and dollar weakness, but even more importantly, it has infected our confidence as a nation. Energy shortages, spiralling costs, and increasing insecurity are beginning to darken our basic hopes and expectations for the future.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has very accurately focused on the effects that a no-growth energy policy will have on the opportunities of America's black people and other minorities. The NAACP said that "a pessimistic attitude toward energy supplies for the future...cannot satisfy the fundamental requirement of a society of expanding economic opportunity."
In commenting on the Carter energy proposals, the Association said, "We cannot accept the notion that our people are best served by a policy based upon the inevitability of energy shortage and the need for government to allocate an ever diminishing supply among competing interests... (The plan) reflects the absence of a black perspective in its development."
Three and one-half years ago, President Carter declared energy the "moral equivalent of war" and sent Congress 109 recommendations for action, including the creation of a new Department of Energy. Since then, the federal budget for government's energy bureaucracy has grown to about $10 billion per year and more then 20,000 pages of new energy regulations and guidelines have been issued. But these have not fostered the production of a single extra unit of energy.
The Democratic Congress has joined in the stampede, taking action on 304 energy bills since 1977. As a result, the federal bureaucracy is busy from coast to coast allocating gasoline, setting building temperatures, printing rationing coupons, and readying standby plans to ban weekend boating, close factories, and pass out "no drive day" stickers to American motorists—all the time saying, "We must make do with less." Never before in the history of American government has so much been done at such great expense with such dismal results.
Republicans believe this disappointing cycle of shrinking energy prospects and expanding government regulation and meddling is wholly unnecessary. We believe that the proven American values of individual enterprise can solve our energy problems. This optimism stands in stark contrast to the grim predictions of the Democrats who have controlled Congress for the last 25 years.
They seem to believe not only that we are a nation without resources, but also that we have lost our resourcefulness. Republicans believe in the common sense of the American people rather than a complex web of government controls and interventions that threaten America's ability to grow. We are committed to an alternative strategy of aggressively boosting the nation's energy supplies; stimulating new energy technology and more efficient energy use; restoring maximum feasible choice and freedom in the marketplace for energy consumers and producers alike; and eliminating energy shortages and disruptions, which are a roadblock to renewed national economic growth, rising living standards, and a reawakening of the hopes and dreams of the American people for a better and more abundant future.
We believe the United States must proceed on a steady and orderly path toward energy self-sufficiency. But in the interim, our pressing need for insurance against supply disruption should not be made hostage to the whims of foreign governments, as is presently the case under the Carter Administration. We believe it is necessary to resume rapid filling of strategic oil reserves to planned levels of 500 million barrels in the short-term and ultimately to the one billion barrel level and to ensure that non-contiguous ares of the United States have their fair share of emergency oil reserves stored within their respective boundaries, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975.
In order to increase domestic production of energy, Republicans advocate the decontrol of the price at the well head of oil and gas. We believe that the so-called windfall profits tax (which is unrelated to profit) should be repealed as it applies to small volume royalty owners, new oil, stripper wells, tertiary-recovery, and heavy crude oil, and that the phase-out of the tax on old oil should be accelerated. This tax legislation should be amended to include a plowback provision. We will seek decontrol of prices on all oil products and an end to government authority to allocate petroleum supplies except in national emergency. We also believe that market restrictions on the use of natural gas should be eliminated.
Coal, our most abundant energy resource, can bridge the gap between our other present energy sources and the renewable energy sources of the future. The coal industry has been virtually ignored by the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress. In 1977, President Carter promised to double coal production by 1985. Instead, because of obstructionist actions of the Administration, coal production has increased by only 11 percent to date and future prospects are dim. Today, thousands of coal miners are out of work and without hope for the future.
Republicans support a comprehensive program of regulatory reform, improved incentives, and revision of cumbersome and overly stringent Clean Air Act regulations. This program will speed conversion of utility, industrial, and large commercial oil-burning boilers to coal to the greatest extent feasible, thus substantially cutting our dependence on foreign oil. This program must begin immediately on a priority basis and be completed at the earliest date possible.
To effectively utilize this vast resource, our coal transportation systems must be up-graded and the government controls on them relaxed. Government regulation regarding the mining and use of coal must be simplified. We will propose a policy which will assure that governmental restraints, other then necessary and reasonable environmental controls, do not prevent the use of coal. We also reaffirm that mined lands must be returned to beneficial use and that states, in accordance with past Congressional mandate, have the primary responsibility to implement rules concerning the mining of coal which are adapted to the states' unique characteristics.
Coal, gas, and nuclear fission offer the best intermediate solutions to America's energy needs. We support accelerated use of nuclear energy through technologies that have been proven efficient and safe. The safe operation, as well as design, of nuclear generating plants will have our highest priority to assure the continued availability of this important energy source. The design and operation of these plants can be guaranteed in less than the 10 to 12 year lead time now required to license and build them. We believe that the licensing process can and should be streamlined through consolidation of the present process and the use of standardized reactor designs.
The Three Mile Island incident suggests the need for certain reforms, such as in the area of operator training, but illustrates that properly designed and operated nuclear plants do not endanger public health or safety. We further encourage the research, development, and demonstration of the breeder reactor, with its potential for safely contributing to our nation's future energy supplies.
Nuclear power development requires sound plans for nuclear waste disposal and storage and reprocessing of spent fuel. Technical solutions to these problems exist, and decisive federal action to choose and implement solutions is essential. The Democratic-controlled Congress and Administration have failed to address the spent fuel problem. A Republican Congress and Administration will immediately begin to implement plans for regional away-from-reactor storage of spent fuel with the goal of implementation of a program no later than 1984.
Republicans are committed to the rapid development of permanent storage facilities for nuclear wastes. Since waste disposal is a national responsibility, no state should bear an unacceptable share of this responsibility.
Republicans will also move toward reprocessing of spent fuel.
Republicans will continue to support the development of new technologies to develop liquid, gaseous, and solid hydrocarbons which can be derived from coal, oil shale, and tar sands. The decontrol of oil and gas prices will eliminate any necessity for government support for a synthetic fuel industry except possibly for limited demonstration projects. Clean air, water, waste disposal, mine reclamation, and leasing rules must be made rational and final to accelerate private investment.
Gasohol is an important, immediately available source of energy that is helping to extend our petroleum reserves. We encourage development of a domestic gasohol industry.
We also believe the government must continue supporting productive research to speed the development of renewable energy technologies, including solar energy, geothermal, wind, nuclear fusion, alcohol synthesis, and biomass, to provide the next generation of energy sources.
Conservation clearly plays a vital role in the consideration and formulation of national energy policy. Republicans reject, however, the position of the Democrats which is to conserve through government fiat, Republicans understand that free markets based on the collective priorities and judgments of individual consumers will efficiently allocate the energy supplies to their most highly valued uses. We also believe that the role of government is best performed by structuring creative cost-effective incentives to achieve energy efficiency and conservation.
We reject unequivocally punitive gasoline and other energy taxes designed to artificially suppress energy consumption.
Much inefficient energy use results from government subsidization of imported oil and holding the price of natural gas substantially below its market value. When the price of energy is held artificially low, there is no incentive for conservation. This kind of energy consumption stems not from the excesses of the public, but the foolish policy distortions of government. Every BTU of genuine energy "waste" in our economy would rapidly disappear if we immediately and completely dismantle all remaining energy price controls and subsidies.
A Republican policy of decontrol, development of our domestic energy resources, and incentives for new supply and conservation technologies will substantially reduce our dependence on imported oil. We reject the Carter Administration's incessant excuse that the high price of imported oil and OPEC are the primary cause of inflation and recession at home and a weak dollar and declining balance of payments abroad. The fastest way to bring international oil prices under control is to stop printing so recklessly the dollars in which those prices are denominated. Fully 60 percent of the world oil price increase since 1973 represents the depreciation of our dollars rather than an increase in the real price of oil.
Virtually all major environmental legislation in the past decade reflected a bipartisan concern over the need to maintain a clean and healthful environment. While the new environmental policies have resulted in improving air quality, cleaner waters, and more careful analysis of toxic chemicals, the price paid has far exceeded the direct and necessary cost of designing and installing new control technology. In the energy area, the increased complexity of regulations, together with continual changes in the standards imposed, have brought about tremendous delays in the planning and construction of new facilities ranging from electric power plants to oil refineries, pipelines, and synthetic fuel plants.
Republicans believe that an effective balance between energy and environmental goals can be achieved. We can ensure that government requirements are firmly grounded on the best scientific evidence available, that they are enforced evenhandedly and predictably, and that the process of their development and enforcement has finality.
Republicans condemn the Democrats' withdrawal of a massive amount of the most promising federal lands from prospective energy development, including the rich potential of our Outer Continental shelf. It has been estimated that by the end of the 1980s resources from government-controlled acreage could yield over two million barrels of oil per day and four trillion cubic feet of gas per year, the equivalent of nearly all of our imports from OPEC countries. It is clear that restrictive leasing policies have driven us further to depend on OPEC by severely impairing the exploration for, and development of, domestic oil, gas, and coal resources, thereby aggravating our balance of trade deficit and making our country less secure. Republicans will move toward making available all suitable federal lands for multiple use purposes including exploration and production of energy resources.
Republicans believe that in order to address our energy problem we must maximize our domestic energy production capability. In the short term, therefore, the nation must move forward on all fronts simultaneously, including oil and gas, coal, and nuclear. In the longer term, renewable resources must be brought significantly on line to replace conventional sources. Finally, in conjunction with this all-out production initiative, we must strive to maximize conservation and the efficient use of energy.
The return to the traditions that gave vitality and strength to this nation is urgent.
The free world—indeed western civilization—needs a strong United States. That strength requires a prospering economy. That economy will be secure with a vigorous domestic energy industry. That vigor can only be achieved in an atmosphere of freedom—one that encourages individual initiatives and personal resourcefulness.
The Republican Party reaffirms its long-standing commitment to the conservation and wise management of America's renewable natural resources.
We believe that a healthy environment is essential to the present and future well-being of our people, and to sustainable national growth.
The nature of environmental pollution is such that a government role is necessary to ensure its control and the proper protection of public health. Much progress has been made in achieving the goals of clean air, clean water, and control of toxic wastes. At the same time, we believe that it is imperative that environmental laws and regulations be reviewed and, where necessary, reformed to ensure that the benefits achieved justify the costs imposed. Too often, current regulations are so rigid and narrow that even individual innovations that improve the environment cannot be implemented. We believe, in particular, that regulatory procedures must be reformed to expedite decisionmaking. Endless delay harms both the environment and the economy.
We strongly affirm that environmental protection must not become a cover for a "no-growth" policy and a shrinking economy. Our economy can continue to grow in an acceptable environment.
We believe that agricultural policy should give emphasis to the stewardship of the nation's soil and water resources. The permanent loss of productive farm land is a growing problem and we encourage states and local communities to adopt policies that help maintain and protect productive agricultural land as a national asset.
Immigration and refugee policy
Residence in the United States is one of the most precious and valued of conditions. The traditional hospitality of the American people has been severely tested by recent events, but it remains the strongest in the world. Republicans are proud that our people have opened their arms and hearts to strangers from abroad and we favor an immigration and refugee policy which is consistent with this tradition. We believe that to the fullest extent possible those immigrants should be admitted who will make a positive contribution to America and who are willing to accept the fundamental American values and way of life. At the same time, United States immigration and refugee policy must reflect the interests of our national security and economic well-being. Immigration into this country must not be determined solely by foreign governments or even by the millions of people around the world who wish to come to America. The federal government has a duty to adopt immigration laws and follow enforcement procedures which will fairly and effectively implement the immigration policy desired by the American people.
The immediate adoption of this policy is essential to an orderly approach to the great problem of oppressed people seeking entry, so that the deserving can be accepted in America without adding to their hardships.
The refugee problem is an international problem and every effort should be made to coordinate plans for absorbing refugee populations with regional bodies, such as the Organization of American States and the Association of South East Asian Nations, on a global basis.
Under Mr. Carter, many, appointments to federal judgeships have been particularly disappointing. By his partisan nominations, he has violated his explicit campaign promise of 1976 and has blatantly disregarded the public interest. We pledge to reverse that deplorable trend, through the appointment of women and men who respect and reflect the values of the American people, and whose judicial philosophy is characterized by the highest regard for protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens, and is consistent with the belief in the decentralization of the federal government and efforts to return decisionmaking power to state and local elected officials.
We will work for the appointment of judges at all levels of the judiciary who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.
Taxes and government spending
Elsewhere in this platform, we have pledged for the sale of individual freedom and economic growth to cut personal income tax rates for all. Republicans believe that these tax rate reductions should be complemented by firm limitations on the growth of federal spending as provided by the Roth-Kemp Bill. The Republican Party, therefore, pledges to place limits on federal spending as a percent of the Gross National Product. It is now over 21 percent. We pledge to reduce it. If federal spending is reduced as tax cuts are phased in, there will be sufficient budget surpluses to fund the tax cuts, and allow for reasonable growth in necessary program spending.
By increasing economic growth, tax rate reduction will reduce the need for government spending on unemployment, welfare, and public jobs programs. However, the Republican Party will also halt excessive government spending by eliminating waste, fraud, and duplication.
We believe that the Congressional budget process has failed to control federal spending. Indeed, because of its big spending bias, the budget process has actually contributed to higher levels of social spending, has prevented necessary growth in defense spending, and has been used to frustrate every Republican attempt to lower tax rates to promote economic growth.
The immediate burden of reducing federal spending rests on the shoulders of the President and the Congress. We believe a Republican President and a Republican Congress can balance the budget and reduce spending through legislative actions, eliminating the necessity for a Constitutional amendment to compel it. However, if necessary, the Republican Party will seek to adopt a Constitutional amendment to limit federal spending and balance the budget, except in time of national emergency as determined by a two-thirds vote of Congress.
Not only has the Democratic Congress failed to control spending, but in the last 10 years federal credit assistance programs have soared out of control.
Many federal loan guarantees and related credit programs are off-budget. As a result, no one knows the nature and extent of our obligations or the effect such practices have on our economy. The best estimate is that outstanding federal credit is now close to $600 billion.
Runaway government lending can be just as dangerous as runaway federal spending.
The Republican Party will establish a workable federal credit policy that will bring order to the reckless lending practices of the past.
We consider inflation and its impact on jobs to be the greatest domestic threat facing our nation today. Mr. Carter must go! For what he has done to the dollar; for what he has done to the life savings of millions of Americans; for what he has done to retirees seeking a secure old age; for what he has done to young families aspiring to a home, an education for their children, and a rising living standard, Mr. Carter must not have another four years in office.
In his three and one-half years in office, Mr. Carter has presented and supported policies which carried inflation from 4.8 percent in 1976 to a peak of 18 percent during 1980.
He has fostered a 50 percent increase in federal spending, an increase of more than $200 billion, boosting spending in an era of scarce resources, and driving up prices.
He has through both inaction and deliberate policy permitted or forced tax increases of more than 70 percent, more than $250 billion, directly increasing the cost of living and the costs of hiring and producing. This has crippled living standards, productivity, and our ability to compete in the world. It has led to reduced output, scarcity, and higher prices.
He has imposed burdensome regulations and controls on production which have reduced the availability of domestic goods and energy resources, increased our dependence on imports, particularly in the energy area, driven down the value of the dollar, and driven up prices.
He has permitted continuing federal budget deficits and increased federal borrowing, forcing higher interest rates and inflationary money creation, increasing prices.
The inflation policies of the Carter Administration have been inconsistent, counterproductive, and tragically inept. Mr. Carter has blamed everyone from OPEC to the American people themselves for this crisis of inflation—everyone, that is, but his own Administration and its policies which have been the true cause of inflation.
Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. Much can be done to increase the growth of real output. But ultimately price stability requires a non-inflationary rate of growth of the money supply in line with the real growth of the economy. If the supply of dollars rapidly outstrips the quantity of goods, year in, year out, inflation is inevitable.
Ultimately, inflation is a decline in the value of the dollar, the monetary standard, in terms of the goods it can buy. Until the decade of the 1970s, monetary policy was automatically linked to the overriding objective of maintaining a stable dollar value. The severing of the dollar's link with real commodities in the 1960s and 1970s, in order to pursue economic goals other than dollar stability, has unleashed hyper-inflationary forces at home and monetary disorder abroad, without bringing any of the desired economic benefits. One of the most urgent tasks in the period ahead will be the restoration of a dependable monetary standard—that is, an end to inflation.
Lower tax rates, less spending, and a balanced budget are the keys to maintaining real growth and full employment as we end inflation by putting our monetary policy back on track. Monetary and fiscal policy must each play its part if we are to achieve our joint goals of full employment and price stability.
Unfortunately, Mr. Carter and the Democratic Congress seek to derail our nation's money creation policies by taking away the independence of the Federal Reserve Board. The same people who have so massively expanded government spending should not be allowed politically to dominate our monetary policy. The independence of the Federal Reserve System must be preserved.
The Republican Party believes inflation can be controlled only by fiscal and monetary restraint, combined with sharp reductions in the tax and regulatory disincentives for savings, investment, and productivity. Therefore, the Republican Party opposes the imposition of wage and price controls and credit controls.
Controls will not stop inflation, as past experience has shown. Wage and price controls will only result in shortages, inequities, black markets, and ultimately higher prices. We reject this short-sighted and misguided approach.
Peace and Freedom
At the start of the 1980s, the United States faces the most serious challenge to its survival in the two centuries of its existence. Our ability to meet this challenge demands a foreign policy firmly rooted in principle. Our economic and social welfare in the 1980s may depend as much on our foreign and defense policy as it does on domestic policy. The Republican Party reasserts that it is the solemn purpose of our foreign policy to secure the people and free institutions of our nation against every peril; to hearten and fortify the love of freedom everywhere in the world; and to achieve a secure environment in the world in which freedom, democracy, and justice may flourish.
For three and one-half years, the Carter Administration has been without a coherent strategic concept to guide foreign policy, oblivious to the scope and magnitude of the threat posed to our security, and devoid of competence to provide leadership and direction to the free world. The Administration's conduct of foreign policy has undermined our friends abroad, and led our meet dangerous adversaries to miscalculate the willingness of the American people to resist aggression. Republicans support a policy of peace through strength; weakness provokes aggression.
For three and one-half years the Carter Administration has given us a foreign policy not of constancy and credibility, but of chaos, confusion, and failure. It has produced an image of our country as a vacillating and reactive nation, unable to define its place in the world, the goals it seeks, or the means to pursue them. Despite the Administration's rhetoric, the most flagrant offenders of human rights including the Soviet Union, Vietnam, and Cuba have been the beneficiaries of Administration good will, while nations friendly to the United States have suffered the loss of U.S. commercial access and economic and military assistance.
The threat to the United States and its allies is not only a military one. We face a threat from international terrorism. Our access to energy and raw material resources is challenged by civil unrest, Soviet-sponsored subversion, and economic combinations in restraint of free trade. Our first line of defense, our network of friendly nations and alliances, has been undermined by the inept conduct of foreign affairs.
American policy since World War II has rested upon the pillars of collective security, military and technological superiority, and economic strength, and upon the perception by our adversaries that the United States possesses the will to use its power where necessary to protect its freedom. These tenets have enabled a commonwealth of free and independent nations to enjoy the benefits and confidence that come from expanding economic interchange in peace and bilateral and multilateral support in time of war. The entire structure of peace was guaranteed by American and allied military power sufficient to deter conflict, or to prevail in conflict if deterrence should fail.
The Administration's neglect of America's defense posture in the face of overwhelming evidence of a threatening military buildup is without parallel since the 1930s. The scope and magnitude of the growth of Soviet military power threatens American interest at every level, from the nuclear threat to our survival, to our ability to protect the lives and property of American citizens abroad.
Despite clear danger signals indicating that Soviet nuclear power would overtake that of the United States by the early 1980s, threatening the survival of the United States and making possible, for the first time in post-war history, political coercion and defeat, the Administration reduced the size and capability of our nuclear forces.
Despite clear danger signals indicating that the Soviet Union was using Cuban, East German, and now Nicaraguan, as well as its own, military forces to extend its power to Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere, the Administration often undermined the very governments under attack. As a result, a clear and present danger threatens the energy and raw material lifelines of the Western world.
Despite clear danger signals indicating that the Soviet Union was augmenting its military threat to the nations of Western Europe, American defense programs such as the enhanced radiation warhead and cruise missiles, which could have offset that buildup, were cancelled or delayed—to the dismay of allies who depend upon American military power for their security.
The evidence of the Soviet threat to American security has never been more stark and unambiguous, nor has any President ever been more oblivious to this threat and its potential consequences.
The entire Western world faces complex and multi-dimensional threats to its access to energy and raw material resources. The growth of Soviet military power poses a direct threat to the petroleum resources of the Persian Gulf now that its military forces deployed in Afghanistan are less than 300 miles from the Straits of Hormuz, through which half the free world's energy supplies flow.
Soviet efforts to gain bases in areas astride the major sea lanes of the world have been successful due to their use of military power, either directly or indirectly or through Cuban and other Soviet bloc forces. Since the Carter Administration took office in 1977, the Soviets or their clients have taken over Afghanistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and South Yemen, and have solidified their grasp on a host of other nations in the developing world. The Soviet noose is now being drawn around southern Africa, the West's more abundant single source of critical raw materials.
The failure of the United States to respond to direct threats to its security has left American citizens vulnerable to terrorist assaults as well. American diplomatic personnel have been subject to seizure and assault by terrorists throughout the world without drawing a meaningful Administration response.
No failure of the Administration has been so catastrophic as its failure of leadership. Mired in incompetence, bereft of strategic vision and purpose, the President's failure to shoulder the burden of leadership in the Western alliance has placed America in danger without parallel since December 7, 1941. The United States cannot abdicate that role without inducing a diplomatic and eventually a military catastrophe.
Republicans realize that if the challenges of the 1980s are not met, we will continue to lose the respect of the world, our honor, and in the end, our freedom. Republicans pledge to meet these challenges with confidence and strength. We pledge to restore to the United States and its people a government with conviction in our cause, a government that will restore to our great nation its self-respect, its self-confidence, and its national pride.
Defense budget trends
In the late 1960s, the Republicans returned to the White House, inheriting a war in Southeast Asia. Because of this war, they also inherited a Fiscal Year (FY) 1968 defense budget which, if calculated in constant 1981 dollars to account for inflation, had risen to over $194 billion from $148 billion in FY 1961, the last Eisenhower year. By the beginning of the second Nixon Administration, U.S. forces were totally disengaged from Southeast Asia. The FY 1974 defense budget had dropped back to $139 billion, and the country had reaped its desired "peace dividend" of an over $50 billion reduction in annual defense spending. During this period, between 1969 and 1973, the Democrats who controlled Congress, led by Senators Mondale and Muskie, cut almost $45 billion from Nixon defense requests. Until 1975, Congress continued to ignore long-range defense needs, and made severe cuts in Republican defense proposals. The Ford Administration, however, succeeded in reversing this trend. From a low point of $134 billion in FY 1975, the FY 1976 defense budget rose, in response to President Ford's request, to $139 billion; and in FY 1977 it rose again to $147 billion.
Despite the growing sentiment for a stronger defense, candidate Carter ran on a promise of massive cuts in U.S. defense spending, one promise he has kept. In his first three years in the White House, Mr. Carter reduced defense spending by over $38 billion from President Ford's last Five Year Defense Plan. Now, in his last year in office, faced with the total collapse of his foreign policy, and with his policy advisers and their assumptions disgraced, he has finally proposed an increase beyond the rate of inflation in defense spending. But this growth for 1981 will be less than one percent.
We deplore Mr. Carter's personal attempts to rewrite history on defense budgets. His tough speeches before military audiences cannot hide his continuing opposition to Congressional defense increases. The four chiefs of the armed services have each characterized the Carter defense program as "inadequate" to meet the military threat posed to the United States. We associate ourselves with the characterization by Democratic Congressional leaders of the President's behavior on defense as "hypocritical." We would go further; it is disgraceful.
Mr. Carter cut back, cancelled, or delayed every strategic initiative proposed by President Ford. He cancelled production of the Minuteman missile and the B-1 bomber. He delayed all cruise missiles, the MX missile, the Trident submarine and the Trident II missile. He did this while the Soviet Union deployed the Backfire bomber and designed two additional bombers equal in capability to the B-1, and while it deployed four new large ICBMs and developed four others.
Mr. Carter postponed production and deployment of enhanced radiation (neutron) warheads while the Soviet Union deployed the SS-20 mobile missile and the Backfire bomber against Western Europe. He cut President Ford's proposed shipbuilding plan in half. He vetoed a nuclear aircraft carrier. He did this while the Soviet Union pursued an aggressive shipbuilding program capable of giving them worldwide naval supremacy in the 1980s unless current trends are reversed immediately. Mr. Carter opposed efforts to correct the terribly inadequate pay rates for our military personnel and stood by as the alarming exodus of trained and skilled personnel from the services quickened. At the same time, the Soviet Union increased its military manpower to a level of 4.8 million, more than double that of the United States.
Recovery from the Carter Administration's neglect will require effort, but Americans know that effort is the unavoidable precondition to peace and economic prosperity. The Soviet Union is now devoting over $50 billion more to defense annually than the United States, achieving military superiority as a result. We have depleted our capital and must now devote the resources essential to catching up. The Secretary of Defense has stated that even if we were to maintain a constant increase in our spending of five percent in real terms, it would require 40 years for us to catch up.
Republicans commit themselves to an immediate increase in defense spending to be applied judiciously to critically needed programs. We will build toward a sustained defense expenditure sufficient to close the gap with the Soviets, and ultimately reach the position of military superiority that the American people demand.
More is required than reversing our military decline alone. We have seen in recent years how an Administration, possessed of dwindling but still substantial strength, has stood paralyzed in the face of an inexorable march of Soviet or Soviet-sponsored aggression. To be effective in preserving our interests, we must pursue a comprehensive military strategy which guides both the design and employment of our forces. Such a strategy must proceed from a sober analysis of the diverse threats before us.
Republicans approve and endorse a national strategy of peace through strength as set forth in House Concurrent Resolution 306. We urge speedy approval of this legislation by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as a means of making clear to the world that the United States has not forgotten that the price of peace is eternal vigilance against tyranny. Therefore we commend to all Americans the text of House Concurrent Resolution 306 which reads as follows:
The foreign policy of the United States should reflect a national strategy of peace through strength. The general principles and goals of this strategy would be:
To inspire, focus, and unite the national will and determination to achieve peace and freedom;
To achieve overall military and technological superiority over the Soviet Union;
To create a strategic and civil defense which would protect the American people against nuclear war at least as well as the Soviet population is protected;
To accept no arms control agreement which in any way jeopardizes the security of the United States or its allies, or which locks the United States into a position of military inferiority;
To reestablish effective security and intelligence capabilities;
To pursue positive non-military means to roll back the growth of communism;
To help our allies and other non-Communist countries defend themselves against Communist aggression; and
To maintain a strong economy and protect our overseas sources of energy and other vital raw materials.
Our strategy must encompass the levels of force required to deter each level of foresee-able attack and to prevail in conflict in the event deterrence fails. The detailed analysis that must form the intellectual basis for elaboration of such a strategy will be the first priority of a Republican Administration. It must be based upon the following principles.
Nuclear weapons are the ultimate military guarantor of American security and that of our allies. Yet since 1977, the United States has moved from essential equivalence to inferiority in strategic nuclear forces with the Soviet Union. This decline has resulted from Mr. Carter's cancellation or delay of strategic initiatives like the B-1 bomber, the MX missile, and the Trident II submarine missile programs and from his decisions to close the Minuteman production line and forego production of enhanced radiation weapons.
As the disparity between American and Soviet strategic nuclear forces grows over the next three years, most U.S. land-based missiles, heavy bombers, and submarines in port will become vulnerable to a Soviet first-strike. Such a situation invites diplomatic blackmail and coercion of the United States by the Soviet Union during the coming decade.
An administration that can defend its interest only by threatening the mass extermination of civilians, as Mr. Carter implied in 1979, dooms itself to strategic, and eventually geo-political, paralysis. Such a strategy is simply not credible and, therefore is ineffectual. Yet the declining survivability of the U.S. ICBM force in the early 1980s will make this condition unavoidable unless prompt measures are taken. Our objective must be to assure the survivability of U.S. forces possessing an unquestioned, prompt, hard-target counterforce capability sufficient to disarm Soviet military targets in a second strike. We reject the mutual-assured-destruction (MAD) strategy of the Carter Administration which limits the President during crises to a Hobson's choice between mass mutual suicide and surrender. We propose, instead, a credible strategy which will deter a Soviet attack by the clear capability of our forces to survive and ultimately to destroy Soviet military targets.
In order to counter the problem of ICBM vulnerability, we will propose a number of initiatives to provide the necessary survivability of the ICBM force in as timely and effective a manner as possible. In addition, we will proceed with:
The earliest possible deployment of the MX missile in a prudent survivable configuration;
Accelerated development and deployment of a new manned strategic penetrating bomber that will exploit the $5.5 billion already invested in the B-1, while employing the most advanced technology available;
Deployment of an air defense system comprised of dedicated modern interceptor aircraft and early warning support systems;
Acceleration of development and deployment of strategic cruise missiles deployed on aircraft, on land, and on ships and submarines
Modernization of the military command and control system to assure the responsiveness of U.S. strategic nuclear forces to presidential command in peace or war; and
Vigorous research and development of an effective anti-ballistic missile system, such as is already at hand in the Soviet Union, as well as more modern ABM technologies.
For more than 20 years, commencing in the mid-1950s, the United States has maintained tactical nuclear weapons in Europe for the purpose of assuring against deep penetrations into the West by the Soviet forces. Since 1977, however, the Administration has allowed our former superiority to erode to the point where we now face a more than three-to-one disadvantage.
A Republican Administration will strive for early modernization of our theater nuclear forces so that a seamless web of deterrence can be maintained against all levels of attack, and our credibility with our European allies is restored. In consultation with them we will proceed with deployments in Europe of medium-range cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, enhanced radiation war-heads, and the modernization of nuclear artillery.
The greatest single result of our loss of nuclear parity has been the manifest increase in the willingness of the Soviet Union to take risks at the conventional level. Emboldened by the Carter Administration's failure to challenge their use of surrogate Cuban forces in Africa and the later Soviet presence in Angola, Ethiopia, and South Yemen, the Soviets, for the first time in postwar history, employed their own army units outside of the Soviet bloc in a brutal invasion of Afghanistan. The invasion presents chilling evidence of the mounting threat and raises fundamental questions with respect to United States strategy.
We believe it is not feasible at this time, and in the long term would be unworkable, to deploy massive U.S. ground forces to such areas as the Persian Gulf on a permanent basis as we do in Europe and elsewhere. A more effective strategy must be built on the dual pillars of maintaining a limited full-time presence in the area as a credible interdiction force, combined with the clear capability to reinforce this presence rapidly with the forces necessary to prevail in battle. In addition, the strategy must envision military action elsewhere at points of Soviet vulnerability—an expression of the classic doctrine of global maneuver.
The forces essential to the support of such a strategy must include a much-improved Navy, the force most suitable for maintaining U.S. presence in threatened areas and protecting sea lines of communication. In addition, we will require a substantial improvement in the air and sea mobility forces and improved access to regional installations. A Republican Administration will propose their substantial improvement, to include the establishment of a permanent fleet in the Indian Ocean. We will also improve contingency planning for the use and expansion of our commercial maritime fleet and a new rational approach to emergency use of our civil aircraft fleet.
The budget cuts imposed by Mr. Carter on the Army and his restoration of the supremacy of systems analysis in the Pentagon have resulted in slowdowns, deferrals, and cost increases in nine vitally needed Army procurement programs in armor, firepower, air defense, and helicopters. These critical and long-delayed modernization programs must be restored to economical production rates and must be speeded into the field. Of equal importance is the need to bring our stocks of ammunition, spare parts, and supplies—now at woefully inadequate levels—to a standard that will enable us to sustain our forces in conflict.
In addition to the strategic programs needed for our Air Force, we pledge to restore tactical aircraft development and procurement to economical levels and to speed the achievement of 26 modernized wings of aircraft able to conduct missions at night, in all weather conditions, and against the most sophisticated adversary.
We pledge to increase substantially our intra- and inter-theater airlift capability and to increase our aerial tanker fleet through procurement and speedy modernization. Of all of the services, the Navy and Marines have suffered most from Mr. Carter's cuts. Their share of the defense budget has shrunk from 40 to 33 percent during the Carter Administration. Mr. Carter slashed President Ford's 157 ship, five-year construction program to 83. He has slowed the Trident submarine and requested only one attack submarine each year in spite of a Soviet three-to-one advantage. He vetoed the Fiscal Year 1979 Defense Authorization Bill because it included an aircraft carrier which a year later Congress forced him to accept. For the fourth straight year he has requested fewer than half of the 325 aircraft needed annually to stay even with peacetime attrition and modernization requirements. He has requested fewer than one-third of the amphibious ships needed just to keep the current level of capability for the Marines, and he has opposed Marine tactical aircraft and helicopter modernization.
The current Chief of Naval Operations has testified that, "We are trying to meet a three ocean requirement with a one-and-a-half ocean Navy." Republicans pledge to reverse Mr. Carter's dismantling of U.S. naval and Marine forces. We will restore our fleet to 600 ships at a rate equal to or exceeding that planned by President Ford. We will build more aircraft carriers, submarines, and amphibious ships. We will restore naval and Marine aircraft procurement to economical rates enabling rapid modernization of the current forces, and expansion to meet the requirements of additional aircraft carriers.
Defense manpower and the draft
The Republican Party is not prepared to accept a peacetime draft at this time. Under Mr. Carter, the all-volunteer force has not been given a fair chance to succeed. The unconscionable mismanagement and neglect of personnel policy by the Carter Administration has made a shambles of the all-volunteer force concept.
Perhaps the most compelling vulnerability of our forces results from the dramatic exodus of the core of highly skilled men and women who form the backbone of our military strength. This loss is the direct result of neglect by the Commander-in-Chief.
The sustained malign neglect of our military manpower is nothing short of a national scandal. This Administration's active assault on military benefits and military retirement has been accompanied by an enforced pay-cap set at half the inflation rate. The average military family has lost between 14 percent and 25 percent in purchasing power over the past seven years. Officers and skilled enlisted personnel are leaving in droves, and 250,000 of our servicemen qualify for public assistance. Many of our career people earn less than the minimum wage. The services are currently short 70,000 senior enlisted personnel. This scandal is the direct result of Mr. Carter's willful downgrading of the military and inept mismanagement of personnel policy. As a top priority, the Republican Party pledges to end this national disgrace.
We pledge to restore a national attitude of pride and gratitude for the service of our men and women in the armed forces. We will act immediately to correct the great inequities in pay and benefits of career military personnel. Specifically, we support immediate action to:
Provide for an increase in military pay targeted in particular toward the career grades now experiencing the greatest attrition;
Increase enlistment and reenlistment bonuses;
Improve continuation bonuses for aviators;
Increase per diem travel allowances;
Increase the allowance for moving mobile homes;
Provide family separation allowances for Junior personnel; and
Expand benefit entitlement under the CHAMPUS program.
A Republican Administration will index military pay and allowances to protect military personnel from absorbing the burden of inflation. We pledge that the profession of arms will be restored to its rightful place as a prominent expression of patriotism in America.
In order to attract recruits of high ability, a Republican Administration will act to re-introduce G.I. Bill benefits for those completing two years active service. We will press for enactment of legislation denying federal funds to any educational institution that impedes access of military recruiters to their students. We regard as a serious loss the decision of many of our finest institutions of higher learning to discontinue their military officer training programs. The leadership of our armed forces must include the best trained minds in our nation. Republicans call upon our colleges and universities to shoulder their responsibilities in the defense of freedom. We will investigate legislative inducements toward this end. We will not consider a peacetime draft unless a well-managed, Congressionally-funded, full-scale effort to improve the all-volunteer force does not meet expectations.
The armed forces of the U.S. are today critically dependent upon our nation's Reserve components for both combat arms and combat support. The Army Reserve and National Guard provide one-third of the Army's combat divisions, 80 percent of its independent combat brigades, one-half of its artillery battalions, and one-third of its special forces groups. The Navy Reserve provides 90 percent of the Navy's ocean mine sweeping and two-thirds of its mobile construction battalions. The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard provide all of our strategic interceptors, 60 percent of our tactical airlift, and one-third of our tactical fighters. Reserve and National Guard units may be mobilized for even the smallest of conflicts and many such units today are expected to deploy immediately with the active duty units they support.
Today, however, the reserves are ill-equipped, underpaid, and undermanned by several hundred thousand personnel. Proper equipment, realistic, challenging training, and greater full-time support must be made available. We must ensure that all Americans take note of the proud and vital role played by the Reserve and National Guard components of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Readiness and industrial preparedness
History records that readiness for war is the surest means of preventing it. Lack of preparedness is the most dangerously provocative course we can take. Yet funding requests for sufficient fuel, spare parts, ammunition, and supplies for U.S. war reserves have been cut each year for the past four years from the minimum quantities the armed services have stated they need. This has left the U.S. Armed Forces at their lowest state of preparedness since 1950, seriously compromising their ability to sustain a military conflict.
Crippling shortages of spare parts, fuel, and ammunition compromise the ability of the armed forces to sustain a major military conflict. Some critical types of ammunition could not support combat operations for more than a week although we are committed to holding a 90-day inventory of major ammunition types. In addition, critical facilities such as airfields, ammunition depots, maintenance installations, and living quarters for our troops are in serious disrepair. The backlog of deferred maintenance and the underfunded purchase of vital combat consumables is so vast that years of effort will be required to rebuild U.S. forces to the required level of readiness.
The problem of maintaining the day-to-day combat readiness of the U.S. Armed Forces is compounded by the reduced ability of American industry to respond to wartime contingencies. Reduced acquisition of equipment for the modernization of the armed forces and the Carter Administration's failure to maintain combat readiness have eroded the incentive of American industry to maintain capacity adequate to potential defense requirements.
Republicans pledge to make the combat readiness of U.S. Armed Forces and the preparedness of the industrial base to a top priority.
Research and development
Research and Development (R & D) provides a critical means by which our nation can cope with threats to our security. In the past, the United States' qualitative and technological superiority provided a foundation for our military superiority. Yet we are now on the verge of losing this advantage to the Soviet Union because of Mr. Carter's opposition to real increases in the R & D effort. Delays imposed on the R & D process now allow seven to 10 years or more to elapse between the time when a new weapon system is proposed and when it becomes available.
The Soviet Union now invests nearly twice as much in military research and development as does the United States. This disparity in effort threatens American technological superiority in the mid-1980s and could result in Soviet breakthroughs in advanced weapon systems.
Republicans pledge to revitalize America's military research and development efforts, from basic research through the deployment of weapons and support systems, to assure that our vital security needs will be met for the balance of the century. We will seek increased funding to guarantee American superiority in this critical area and to enable us to deal with possible breakthroughs in anti-missile defense, anti-satellite killers, directed energy systems, and the military and civilian exploitation of space.
America's technological advantage has always depended upon its interaction with our civilian science and technology sector. The economic policy of the Carter Administration has severely encumbered private research and development efforts, thereby depriving both our civil and military sectors of the fruits of scientific innovation.
Underfunding of beneficial government-sponsored research efforts in basic and applied scientific research has disrupted the benefits of years of effective effort. In particular, America's preeminence in the exploration of space is threatened by the failure of the Carter Administration to fund fully the Space Shuttle program (with its acknowledged benefits for both the civil and military applications) as well as advanced exploration programs. Republicans pledge to support a vigorous space research program.
Management and organization
The Republican Party pledges to reform the defense programming and budgeting management system established by the Carter Administration. The ill-informed, capricious intrusions of the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation have brought defense planning full circle to the worst faults of the McNamara years. Orderly planning by the military services has become impossible. Waste, inefficiency, and paralysis have been the hallmarks of Carter Administration defense planning and budgeting. This has resulted in huge cost overruns and in protracted delays in placing advanced systems in the field.
At a time of increasing danger, the U.S. intelligence community has lost much of its ability to supply the President, senior U.S. officials, and the Congress with accurate and timely analyses concerning fundamental threats to our nation's security. Morale and public confidence have been eroded and American citizens and friendly foreign intelligence services have become increasingly reluctant to cooperate with U.S. agencies. As a result of such problems, the U.S. Intelligence community has incorrectly assessed critical foreign developments, as in Iran, and has, above all, underestimated the size and purpose of the Soviet Union's military efforts.
We believe that a strong national consensus has emerged on the need to make our intelligence community a reliable and productive instrument of national policy once again. In pursuing its objectives, the Soviet Union and its surrogates operate by a far different set of rules than does the United States. We do not favor countering their efforts by mirroring their tactics. However, the United States requires a realistic assessment of the threats it faces, and it must have the best intelligence capability in the world. Republicans pledge this for the United States.
A Republican Administration will seek to improve U.S. Intelligence capabilities for technical and clandestine collection, cogent analysis, coordinated counterintelligence, and covert action.
We will reestablish the President's Foreign intelligence Advisory Board, abolished by the Carter Administration, as a permanent nonpartisan body of distinguished Americans to perform a constant audit of national intelligence research and performance. We will propose methods of providing alternative intelligence estimates in order to improve the quality of the estimates by constructive competition.
Republicans will undertake an urgent effort to rebuild the intelligence agencies, and to give full support to their knowledgeable and dedicated staffs. We will propose legislation to enable intelligence officers and their agents to operate safely and efficiently abroad.
We will support legislation to invoke criminal sanctions against anyone who discloses the identities of U.S. intelligence officers abroad or who makes unauthorized disclosures of U.S. intelligence sources and methods.
We will support amendments to the Freedom of information Act and the Privacy Act to permit meaningful background checks on individuals being considered for sensitive positions and to reduce costly and capricious requests to the intelligence agencies.
We will provide our government with the capability to help influence international events vital to our national security interests, a capability which only the United States among the major powers has denied itself.
A Republican Administration will seek adequate safeguards to ensure that past abuses will not recur, but we will seek the repeal of ill-considered restrictions sponsored by Democrats, which have debilitated U.S. intelligence capabilities while easing the intelligence collection and subversion efforts of our adversaries.
In the decade of the seventies, all civilized nations were shaken by a wave of widespread, international terrorist attacks. Time and again, nations and individuals have been subjected to extortion and murder at the hands of extremists who reject the rule of law, civil order, and the sanctity of individual human rights. Terrorism has been elevated to the level of overt national policy as authorities in Iran, encouraged by the Soviet Union, have held 53 Americans captive for more than eight months. Comprehensive support of international terrorist organizations has been a central, though generally covert, element of Soviet foreign policy.
Republicans believe that this tragic history contains lessons that must serve as the basis for a determined international effort to end this era of terrorism. We believe that certain principles have emerged from incidents in which states have defeated terrorist attacks, and we believe the United States should take the lead in a multilateral drive to eliminate the terrorist threat. A first requirement is the establishment of a military capability to deal promptly and effectively with any terrorist acts. We cannot afford, as in the abortive Iranian rescue mission, to allow months to pass while we prepare responses.
The United States must provide the leadership to forge an international consensus that firmness and refusal to concede are ultimately the only effective deterrents to terrorism. The United States should take the lead in combating international terrorism. We must recognize and be prepared to deal with the reality of expanded Soviet sponsorship of international terrorist movements. Development of an effective antiterrorist military capability and establishment of a Congressional and Executive capability to oversee our internal security efforts will no longer be neglected.
The role of arms control in defense policy
The Republican approach to arms control has been markedly different from that of the Democratic Party. It has been based on three fundamental premises:
First, before arms control negotiations may be undertaken, the security of the United States must be assured by the funding and deployment of strong military forces sufficient to deter conflict at any level or to prevail in battle should aggression occur;
Second, negotiations must be conducted on the basis of strict reciprocity of benefits—unilateral restraint by the U.S. has failed to bring reductions by the Soviet Union; and
Third, arms control negotiations, once entered, represent an important political and military undertaking that cannot be divorced from the broader political and military behavior of the parties.
A Republican Administration will pursue arms control solely on the principles outlined above.
During the past three and one-half years, the Carter Administration's policy has been diametrically opposed to these principles. First, by its willful cancellation or delay of essential strategic military programs such as the B-1, the MX missile, and the Trident submarine, it has seriously damaged the credibility and effectiveness of the U.S. deterrent force. Second, by not insisting upon corresponding concessions from the Soviet Union it has, in effect, practiced unilateral disarmament and removed any incentives for the Soviets to negotiate for what they could obviously achieve by waiting. The Republican Party rejects the fundamentally flawed SALT II treaty negotiated by the Carter Administration.
The Republican Party deplores the attempts of the Carter Administration to cover up Soviet non-compliance with arms control agreements including the now overwhelming evidence of blatant Soviet violation of the Biological Warfare Convention by secret production of biological agents at Sverdlovsk.
In our platform four years ago, we stated that, "The growth of civilian nuclear technology and the rising demand for nuclear power as an alternative to increasingly costly fossil fuel resources, combine to require our recognition of the potential dangers associated with such development." We called for the formation of new multilateral arrangements to control the export of sensitive nuclear technologies. Unfortunately, the Carter Administration has failed to provide the leadership and creative diplomacy essential to forging effective international safeguards and cooperation in this vital area. In particular we oppose and deplore the pending delivery to India of nuclear material which can be directed to the manufacture of weapons.
The Republican Party reaffirms its commitment to the early establishment of effective multilateral arrangements for the safe management and monitoring of all transfers and uses of nuclear materials in the international market.
The premier challenge facing the United States, its allies, and the entire globe is to check the Soviet Union's global ambitions. This challenge must be met, for the present danger is greater than ever before in the 200-year history of the United States. The Soviet Union is still accelerating its drive for military superiority and is intensifying its military pressure and its ideological combat against the industrial democracies and the vulnerable developing nations of the world.
Republicans believe that the United States can only negotiate with the Soviet Union from a position of unquestioned principle and unquestioned strength. Unlike Mr. Carter, we see nothing "inordinate" in our nation's historic judgment about the goals, tactics, and dangers of Soviet communism. Unlike the Carter Administration, we are not surprised by the brutal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or by other Soviet violations of major international agreements regulating international behavior, human rights, and the use of military force. And, unlike the Carter Administration, we will not base our policies toward the Soviet Union on naive expectations, unilateral concessions, futile rhetoric, and insignificant maneuvers.
As the Soviet Union continues in its expansionist course, the potential for dangerous confrontations has increased. Republicans will strive to resolve critical issues through peaceful negotiations, but we recognize that negotiations conducted from a position of military weakness can result only in further damage to American interests.
A Republican Administration will continue to seek to negotiate arms reductions in Soviet strategic weapons, in Soviet bloc force levels in Central Europe, and in other areas that may be amenable to reductions or limitations. We will pursue hard bargaining for equitable, verifiable, and enforceable agreements. We will accept no agreement for the sake of having an agreement, and will accept no agreements that do not fundamentally enhance our national security.
Republicans oppose the transfer of high technology to the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites, such as has been done in the past, permitting development of sophisticated military hardware which threatens the United States and our allies. The Carter Administration has encouraged the most extensive raid on American technology by the Soviet bloc since World War II. The Soviet Union has gained invaluable scientific expertise in electronics, computer sciences, manufacturing techniques, mining, transportation, aviation, agriculture, and a host of other disciplines. This has contributed to the ability of the Soviet Union to divert investment and manpower from their civilian economy to their armed forces. The fruits of Soviet access to American technology will improve the performance of the Soviet military establishment for years to come. The matter is compounded by the practice of subsidized financing of much of the Soviet bloc's acquisition of American technology through U.S. financial institutions.
Republicans pledge to stop the flow of technology to the Soviet Union that could contribute, directly or indirectly, to the growth of their military power. This objective will be pursued by a Republican Administration with our allies and other friendly nations as well. We will ensure that the Soviet Union fully understands that it will be expected to fulfill all of the commercial and diplomatic obligations it has undertaken in its international agreements.
We oppose Mr. Carter's singling out the American farmer to bear the brunt of his failed foreign policy by imposition of a partial and incompetently managed grain embargo. Because of his failure to obtain cooperation from other grain exporting countries, the embargo has been a travesty and a substitute for policy. We call for the immediate lifting of this embargo.
We reaffirm our commitment to press the Soviet Union to implement the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the Helsinki Agreements which guarantee rights such as the free interchange of information and the right to emigrate. A Republican Administration will press the Soviet Union to end its harassment and imprisonment of those who speak in opposition to official policy, who seek to worship according to their religious beliefs, or who represent diverse ethnic minorities and nationalities.
Republicans deplore growing anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and the mistreatment of "refuseniks" by Soviet authorities. The decline in exit visas to Soviet Jews and others seeking religious freedom and the promulgation of ever more rigorous conditions inhibiting their emigration are a fundamental affront to human rights and the U.N. Charter. Republicans will make the subject of emigration from the Soviet Union a central issue in Soviet-American relations. Human rights in the Soviet Union will not be ignored as it has been during the Carter Administration. As a party to the Helsinki Conference Final Act, a Republican Administration will insist on full Soviet compliance with the humanitarian provisions of the agreement.
Republicans pledge our continued support for the people of Cuba and the captive nations of Central and Eastern Europe in their hope to achieve self-determination. We stand firmly for the independence of Yugoslavia. We support self-determination and genuine independence for new captive nations of Africa and Latin America threatened by the growing domination of Soviet power.
A Republican Administration will end the sustained Carter policy of misleading the American people about Soviet policies and behavior. We will spare no efforts to publicize to the world the fundamental differences in the two systems and will strengthen such means as the international Communications Agency, the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty actively to articulate U.S. values and policies, and to highlight the weaknesses of totalitarianism.
We pledge to end the Carter cover-up of Soviet violations of SALT I and II, to end the cover-up of Soviet violation of the Biological Warfare Convention, and to end the cover-up of Soviet use of gas and chemical weapons in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
NATO and Western Europe
Since its inception three decades ago, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has expressed the collective will of free nations to resist totalitarian aggression. As a cornerstone of the Western Alliance, NATO has stood on the firm foundations of American strategic strength, joint Allied defense efforts, and cooperative diplomacy based on shared interest and close consultations. The Republican Party recognizes that NATO serves the vital interest of the entire Western world and over the years we have continued to give the Alliance our undiminished and bipartisan support.
Republicans deplore the current drifts toward neutralism in Western Europe. We recognize that NATO and our Western Allies today face the greatest array of threats in their history, both from within and from without. Through its inept policies, the Carter Administration has substantially contributed to the evident erosion of Alliance security and confidence in the U.S. A Republican Administration, as one of its highest priorities and in close concert with our NATO partners, will therefore ensure that the United States leads a concerted effort to rebuild a strong, confident Alliance fully prepared to meet the threats and the challenges of the 1980s.
The chief external threat to NATO is that of developing Soviet military superiority. In a period of supposed "detente," the NATO nations have too often cut back or delayed essential defense programs and too often placed excessive hopes in arms control negotiations, while the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact has been transformed into the world's most powerful offensive military force.
Three-and-a-half years of Carter Administration policies have resulted in an increased threat to vital Alliance security interests. Mr. Carter's unilateral cancellations, reductions, and long delays in the B-1, Trident, MX, cruise-missile, and ship-building programs have increased the vulnerability of the U.S. strategic triad and have contributed to a developing strategic imbalance which undermines the foundation of Western deterrent and defense capabilities. His fundamentally flawed SALT II treaty would have codified Western inferiority. His reversals on the development and deployment of the "enhanced radiation" or neutron weapon, his treatment of future theater nuclear force modernization negotiations, and his manner of dealing with terrorist actions directed against Americans abroad, further undermined Alliance solidarity and security.
These Carter Administration inconsistencies have caused disunity in the Alliance. We have seen confusion in the fields of trade, fiscal, and energy policies. The lack of close coordination regarding Iran, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Olympic boycott, nuclear proliferation, East-West trade, human rights, North-South issues, and a host of other international issues affecting Alliance interests, has reinforced Allied concerns. Republicans are concerned that these Carter Administration actions have increased Allied temptation to conduct independent diplomacy and to seek accommodation in the face of pressure from the Soviet Union. In this regard, we categorically reject unilateral moratoria on the deployment by the U.S. and NATO of theater nuclear weapons. Further, Republicans will oppose arms control agreements that interfere with the transfer of military technology to our allies.
In pledging renewed United States leadership, cooperation, and consultation, Republicans assert their expectation that each of the allies will bear a fair share of the common defense effort and that they will work closely together in support of common Alliance goals. Defense budgets, weapons acquisition, force readiness, and diplomatic coordination need to be substantially increased and improved. Within Europe as well as in areas beyond Europe which affect the shared vital interests of the Alliance, we will seek to increase our cooperative efforts, including increased planning for joint actions to meet common threats.
The Republican Party recognizes the vital importance of countries defending the regions of NATO. We will search for an early resolution of problems that currently inhibit the effective participation of all the nations of NATO's southern region and we call for the integration of Spain into the North Atlantic Alliance.
Middle East, Persian Gulf
In the past three years, the nations of the Middle East and Persian Gulf have suffered an unprecedented level of political, economic, and military turmoil. The Soviet Union has been prompt in turning these sources of instability to its advantage and is now in an excellent position to exploit the chaos in Iran and to foment similar upheavals in other countries in the region. Today, the countries of the Middle East and Persian Gulf are encircled as never before by Soviet advisers and troops based in the Horn of Africa, South Yemen, and Afghanistan. Moreover, the Soviets have close political and military ties with other states in the region.
The Soviet goal is clear—to use subversion and the threat of military intervention to establish a controlling influence over the region's resource-rich states, and thereby to gain decisive political and economic leverage over Western and Third World nations vulnerable to economic coercion. The first signs of Soviet success in this undertaking are already evidenced in the recent proposal by European countries to associate the Palestinian Liberation Organization in the West Bank autonomy talks.
Republicans believe that the restoration of order and stability to the region must be premised upon an understanding of the interrelationship between Soviet and radical Palestinian goals, the fundamental requirements of stable economic development and marketing of the area's resources, and the growing ferment among Islamic radical groups. Republicans believe that a wise and credible United States policy must make clear that our foremost concern is for the long-term peaceful development of all states in the region, not purely a self-serving exploitation of its resources. Our goal is to bring a just and lasting peace to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
With respect to an ultimate peace settlement, Republicans reject any call for involvement of the PLO as not in keeping with the long-term interests of either Israel or the Palestinian Arabs. The imputation of legitimacy to organizations not yet willing to acknowledge the fundamental right to existence of the State of Israel is wrong. Repeated indications, even when subsequently denied, of the Carter Administration's involvement with the PLO has done serious harm to the credibility of U.S. policy in the Middle East and has encouraged the PLO's position of intransigence. We believe the establishment of a Palestinian State on the West Bank would be destabilizing and harmful to the peace process.
Our long- and short-term policies for the area must be developed in consultation with our NATO allies, Israel, Egypt, and other friends in the area, and we will spare no effort in seeking their consultation throughout the policy process, not merely demand their acquiescence to our plans.
The sovereignty, security, and integrity of the State of Israel is a moral imperative and serves the strategic interests of the United States. Republicans reaffirm our fundamental and enduring commitment to this principle. We will continue to honor our nation's commitment through political, economic, diplomatic, and military aid. We fully recognize the strategic importance of Israel and the deterrent role of its armed forces in the Middle East and East-West military equations.
Republicans recognize that a just and durable peace for all nations of the region is the best guarantee of continued stability and is vital to deterring further Soviet inroads. Peace between Israel and its neighbors requires direct negotiations among the states involved. Accordingly, a Republican Administration will encourage the peace process now in progress between Egypt and Israel, will seek to broaden it, and will welcome those Arab nations willing to live in peace with Israel. We are encouraged by the support given to the Middle East peace process by Sudan and Groan and the progress brought about by the strong and effective leadership of their governments.
We applaud the vision and courage of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and we pledge to build our relationship with Egypt in cultural affairs, economic development, and military cooperation.
Republicans recognize that the Carter Administration's vacillations have left friend and foe alike unsure as to United States' policies. While reemphasizing our commitment to Israel, a Republican Administration will pursue close ties and friendship with moderate Arab states. We will initiate the economic and military framework for assuring long-term stability in the internal development of regional states and an orderly marketplace for the area's resources. We will make clear that any reimposition of an oil embargo would be viewed as a hostile act. We will oppose discriminatory practices, including boycotts, and we will discourage arms sales which contribute to regional instability.
Republicans believe that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city with continued free and unimpeded access to all holy places by people of all faiths.
Latin America is an area of primary interest for the United States. Yet, the Carter Administration's policies have encouraged a precipitous decline in United States relations with virtually every country in the region. The nations of South and Central America have been battered by the Carter Administration's economic and diplomatic sanctions linked to its undifferentiated charges of human rights violations.
In the Caribbean and Central America, the Carter Administration stands by while Castro's totalitarian Cuba, financed, directed, and supplied by the Soviet Union, aggressively trains, arms, and supports forces of warfare and revolution throughout the Western hemisphere. Yet the Carter Administration has steadily denied these threats and in many cases has actively worked to undermine governments and parties opposed to the expansion of Soviet power. This must end.
We deplore the Marxist Sandinista take-over of Nicaragua and the Marxist attempts to destabilize El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. We do not support United States assistance to any Marxist government in this hemisphere and we oppose the Carter Administration aid program for the government of Nicaragua. However, we will support the efforts of the Nicaraguan people to establish a free and independent government.
Republicans deplore the dangerous and incomprehensible Carter Administration policies toward Cuba. The Administration has done nothing about the Soviet combat brigade stationed there, or about the transfer of new Soviet offensive weapons to Cuba in the form of modern MIG aircraft and submarines. It has done nothing about the Soviet pilots flying air defense missions in Cuba or about the extensive improvements to Soviet military bases, particularly the submarine facilities in Cienfuegos, and the expanded Soviet intelligence facilities near Havana.
Republicans recognize the importance of our relations within this hemisphere and pledge a strong new United States policy in the Americas. We will stand firm with countries seeking to develop their societies while combating the subversion and violence exported by Cuba and Moscow. We will return to the fundamental principle of treating a friend as a friend and self-proclaimed enemies as enemies, without apology. We will make it clear to the Soviet Union and Cuba that their subversion and their build-up of offensive military forces is unacceptable.
Republicans recognize the special importance of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in the defense of freedom in the Caribbean. We believe that Puerto Rico's admission to the Union would demonstrate our common purpose in the face of growing Soviet and Cuban pressure in that area.
Republicans recognize the fundamental importance of Mexico and restoration of good working relations with that country will be of highest priority. A new Republican Administration will immediately begin high-level, comprehensive negotiations, seeking solutions to common problems on the basis of mutual interest and recognizing that each country has unique contributions to make in resolving practical problems.
Republicans pledge to reestablish close and cooperative relations with the nations of Central and South America and repair the diplomatic damage done by the Carter Administration. We pledge understanding and assistance in the efforts of these nations, and their neighbors, to deal seriously with serious domestic problems.
We pledge to ensure that the Panama Canal remains open, secure, and free of hostile control.
The reservations and understandings to the Panama Canal treaties, including those assuring the United States of primary responsibility of protecting and defending the Canal, are an integral part of those treaties and we will hold Panama to strict interpretation of the language of the treaties, clearly established by the legislative history of Senate adoption of amendments, reservations, and understandings at the time of Senate approval of the treaties.
We would remind the American taxpayers that President Carter gave repeated assurances that the Panama Canal treaties would not cost the American taxpayers "one thin dime," and we emphasize the fact that implementing the Panama Canal treaties will cost them $4.2 billion.
We will work closely with Canada as our most important trading partner in the hemisphere. We will foster the deep affinity that exists between our two nations and our policies will be based on mutual understanding and complete equality.
We will seek a North America Accord designed to foster close cooperation and mutual benefit between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
A new Republican Administration will, in close cooperation with its neighbors, seek to work together to build prosperity and to strengthen common efforts to combat externally produced revolution and violence.
Asia and the Pacific
The United States is and must remain a Pacific power. It is our vital interest to maintain U.S. guaranteed stability in the area. Republicans recognize the dangerous shifts in power that have accelerated under the current Democratic Administration. The balance on the Korean peninsula has shifted dangerously toward the North. Soviet naval forces in Asia and the Pacific have steadily increased and are now at least equal to U.S. naval forces there. Unilateral cancellation by the United States of the mutual defense pact with Taiwan and the abrupt announcement of withdrawal of U.S. ground forces from Korea, have led countries throughout the region to question the value of alliance with the United States.
A new Republican Administration will restore a strong American role in Asia and the Pacific. We will make it clear that any military action which threatens the independence of America's allies and friends will bring a response sufficient to make its cost prohibitive to potential adversaries.
Japan will continue to be a pillar of American policy in Asia. Republicans recognize the mutual interests and special relationships that exist between the two countries in their commitment to democracy and in trade, defense, and cultural matters. A new Republican Administration will work closely with the Japans government to resolve outstanding trade and energy problems on an equitable basis. We strongly support a substantially increased Japanese national defense effort and reaffirm that our long-range objectives of military security and a balancing of the expanded Soviet military presence in the region are of mutual interest.
Republicans recognize the unique danger presented to our ally, South Korea. We will encourage continued efforts to expand political participation and individual liberties within the country, but will recognize the special problems brought on by subversion and potential aggression from the North. We will maintain American ground and air forces in South Korea, and will not reduce our presence further. Our treaty commitments to South Korea will be restated in unequivocal terms and we will reestablish the process of close consultations between our governments.
We reaffirm our special and historic relationships with the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia. Republicans will recognize the long friendship with these countries and will cultivate and strengthen our diplomatic and trade relationships.
We deplore the brutal acts of Communist Vietnam against the people of Cambodia and Laos. We recognize that the suffering of refugees from these ravaged countries represents a major moral challenge to the world and one of the great human tragedies of modern times. A Republican Administration will work actively to bring relief to these suffering people, especially those who have sought refuge in Thailand. We value the special contribution the people of Thailand have made to the refugees by opening their borders and saving hundreds of thousands of them from death, and we pledge to provide full economic aid and military material to assist Thailand in repelling Vietnamese aggression.
We believe that no expanded relations with Communist Vietnam should be pursued while it continues its course of brutal expansionism and genocide. We pledge that a Republican Administration will press for full accounting of Americans still listed as missing in action.
Recognizing the growing importance of the People's Republic of China in world affairs, Republicans—who took the historic initiative in opening the lines of communication with that nation—will continue the process of building a working relationship with the PRC. Growing contacts between the United States and the People's Republic of China reflect the interests of both nations, as well as some common perceptions of recent changes in the global military balance. We will not ignore the profound differences in our respective philosophies, governmental institutions, policies, and concepts of individual liberty.
We will strive for the creation of conditions that will foster the peaceful elaboration of our relationship with the People's Republic of China. We will exercise due caution and prudence with respect to our own vital interests, especially in the field of expanding trade, including the transfer of sophisticated technology with potential offensive military applications. The relationship between the two countries must be based on mutual respect and reciprocity, with due regard for the need to maintain peace and stability in Asia.
At the same time, we deplore the Carter Administration's treatment of Taiwan, our long-time ally and friend. We pledge that our concern for the safety and security of the 17 million people of Taiwan will be constant. We would regard any attempt to alter Taiwan's status by force as a threat to peace in the region. We declare that the Republican Administration, in strengthening relations with Taiwan, will create conditions leading to the expansion of trade, and will give priority consideration to Taiwan's defense requirements.
The Republican Party supports the principle and process of self-determination in Africa. We reaffirm our commitment to this principle and pledge our strong opposition to the effort of the Soviet Union and its militant allies to subvert this process. Soviet bases, tens of thousands of Cuban troops, and Soviet-bloc subversion are unacceptable.
We recognize that much is at stake in Africa and that the United States and the industrial West have vital interests there—economically, strategically, and politically. Working closely with our allies, a Republican Administration will seek to assist the countries of Africa with our presence, our markets, our know-how, and our investment. We will work to create a climate of economic and political development and confidence. We will encourage and assist business to play a major role in support of regional industrial development programs, mineral complexes, and agricultural self-sufficiency.
Republicans believe that African nations, if given a choice, will reject the Marxist, totalitarian model being forcibly imposed by the Soviet Union and its surrogates including Cuban and Nicaraguan troops as well as East German secret police. We believe that they know the Communist powers have relatively little to offer them and that, for the most part, the African peoples are convinced that the West is central to world stability and economic growth on which their own fortunes ultimately depend.
A Republican Administration will adhere to policies that reflect the complex origins of African conflicts, demonstrate that we know what U.S. interests are, and back those interests in meaningful ways. We will recognize the important role of economic and military assistance programs and will devote major resources to assisting African development and stability when such aid is given on a bilateral basis and contributes directly to American interests on the continent.
In Southern Africa, American policies must be guided by commonsense and by our own humanitarian principles. Republicans believe that our history has meaning for Africa in demonstrating that a multiracial society with guarantees of individual rights is possible and can work. We must remain open and helpful to all parties, whether in the new Zimbabwe, in Namibia, or in the Republic of South Africa. A Republican Administration will not endorse situations or constitutions, in whatever society, which are racist in purpose or in effect. It will not expect miracles, but will press for genuine progress in achieving goals consistent with American ideals.
Foreign assistance and regional security
The United States has included foreign assistance and regional security as a major element of its foreign policy for four decades. Properly administered and focused, foreign assistance can be an effective means of promoting United States foreign policy objectives, and serve to enhance American security by assisting friendly nations to become stronger and more capable of defending themselves and their regions against foreign subversion and attack.
The threat posed to individual Third World nations is beyond the means of any one of them to counter alone. A Republican Administration will seek to strengthen and assist regional security arrangements among nations prepared to assume the burden of their defense.
No longer should American foreign assistance programs seek to force acceptance of American governmental forms. The principal consideration should be whether or not extending assistance to a nation or group of nations will advance America's interests and objectives. The single-minded attempt to force acceptance of U.S. values and standards of democracy has undermined several friendly nations, and has made possible the advance of Soviet interests in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and in the Western Hemisphere in the past four years.
American foreign economic assistance is not a charitable venture; charity is most effectively carried out by private entities. Only by private economic development by the people of the nations involved has poverty ever been overcome. U.S. foreign economic assistance should have a catalytic effect on indigenous economic development, and should only be extended when it is consistent with America's foreign policy interest. America's foreign assistance programs should be a vehicle for exporting the American idea.
A Republican Administration will emphasize bilateral assistance programs whenever possible. Bilateral programs provide the best assurance that aid programs will be fully accountable to the American taxpayer, and wholly consistent with our foreign policy interests.
The effort of the Carter Administration to diminish the role of American military assistance and foreign military sales in our foreign policy has had several negative effects:
It has resulted in the export of many thousands of American jobs as the Soviet Union, Britain, and France have taken sales prohibited to American manufacturers;
It has reduced the ability of friendly nations to defend their independence against Soviet-sponsored subversion, resulting in several cases in abject takeovers by overtly pro-Soviet regimes; and
It has weakened the fabric of the U.S. alliance structure by making the U.S. appear to be an unreliable ally, a trend which can only lead to the undesirable attempt by nations fearful of their security to seek to acquire their own nuclear weapons.
Decisions to provide military assistance should be made on the basis of U.S. foreign policy objectives. Such assistance to any nation need not imply complete approval of a regime's domestic policy. Republicans pledge to strengthen America's presence abroad by well-constructed programs of military assistance to promote national and regional security.
The manipulation of foreign arms sales has been one of the most seriously abused policy initiatives of the Carter Administration. The establishment of arbitrary ceilings on foreign sales, and the complex procedural and policy guidelines governing such sales have impeded the support of U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad. Friendly and allied nations alike have had to turn elsewhere for arms. This has stimulated the growth of a new arms industry in developing nations. Republicans pledge to reform and rebuild U.S. military assistance and foreign arms sales policies so that they will serve American interests in promoting regional security arrangements and the individual defense needs of friendly nations.
International Economic Policy
International trade and economic policy
The American economy has an abundance of human and material resources, but nevertheless, it is part of a larger global economy. Our domestic prosperity and international competitiveness depend upon our participation in the international economy. Moreover, our security interests are in part determined by international economic factors. Yet the Carter Administration has largely ignored the role of international economics in relations between the United States and friendly nations throughout the world. The Administration has conducted its international economic policy at cross-purposes with other dimensions of its foreign policy, resulting in strains within the Western alliance and a general decline in the domestic prosperity. Under a Republican Administration, our international economic policy will be harmonized with our foreign and defense policies to leave no doubt as to the strategy and purpose of American policy.
The economic policy of the Carter Administration has led to the most serious decline in the value of the dollar in history. The ability of Americans to purchase goods and services or to invest abroad has been diminished by Carter Administration policies devaluing the dollar. Republicans will conduct international economic policy in a manner that will stabilize the value of the dollar at home and abroad.
The Republican Party believes the United States must adopt an aggressive export policy. For too long, our trade policy has been geared toward helping our foreign trading partners. Now, we have to put the United States back on the world export map. We helped pull other countries out of the post-World War II economic chaos: it is time to remedy our own crisis. Trade, especially exporting, must be high on our list of national priorities. The Republicans will put it there and will promote trade to ensure the long-term health of the U.S. economy.
Exports can play a key role in strengthening the U.S. economy, creating jobs and improving our standard of living. A $15 billion increase in exports can increase employment by 1,000,000, the Gross National Product by $37 billion per year, and private investment by $4 billion per year. Nevertheless, the Carter Administration has placed exporting at the bottom of its priority list. The present Administration's trade policies lack coordination, cohesiveness, and true commitment to improving our export performance. Rather than helping to create strong exporters in the United States and thereby create more Jobs for Americans, the Carter Administration's trade policies have discouraged traders. At best, the Administration has adopted a passive approach to trade, merely reacting to changing world economies, rather than actively seeking to promote a global structure that best addresses America's needs. As a result, we lag seriously behind our foreign competitors in trade performance and economic strength. Export promotion will be a central objective of international economic policy in a Republican Administration.
A Republican Administration will emphasize a policy of free trade, but will expect our trading partners to do so as well. The failure of the Carter Administration energetically to pursue negotiations designed to improve the access of American exports to foreign markets has contributed, in part, to protectionist sentiment.
Domestic problems—over-burdensome government regulations, excessive taxation, inflationary monetary policy, and an unstable economy—have contributed to the protectionist sentiments as well. We realize that protectionist legislation has engendered retaliation by America's trading partners in the past resulting in "beggar thy neighbor" policies that had such disastrous consequences in the 1930s.
Republicans are committed to protect American Jobs and American workers first and foremost. The Republican Party believes in free trade, and we will insist that our trade policy be based on the principles of reciprocity and equity. We oppose subsidies, tariff and non-tariff barriers that unfairly restrict access of American products to foreign markets. We will not stand idly by as the jobs of millions of Americans in domestic industries, such as automobiles, textiles, steel, and electronics are jeopardized and lost. We pledge to strengthen trade agreements and to change the Carter economic policies that have undermined the capability of American agriculture and industry to compete abroad.
Republicans believe that this nation's international trade balance can be improved through the elimination of disincentives for exporters. Statutory and regulatory requirements that inhibit exports should be reviewed and, where practical, eliminated. We further recognize that government can play a role in promoting international trade by establishing incentives for exports, especially those for small and medium size business. We pledge also to work with our trading partners to eliminate subsidies to exports and dumping.
The ability of the United States to compete in foreign markets is hampered by the excessive taxation of Americans working abroad who contribute to our domestic well-being by promoting international trade. Increased exports to our trading partners result in jobs and a rising standard of living at home. Carter Administration policy has the effect of discouraging the presence of American businessmen abroad due to the unfairly high level of taxation levied against them. A Republican Administration will support legislation designed to eliminate this inequity so that American citizens can fully participate in international commerce without fear of discriminatory taxation.
Our nation must have a strong, competitive, and efficient merchant marine to meet the needs of our international commerce and our national security. We must arrest the significant decline of recent years in the ability of American-flag shipping to compete effectively for the carriage of world commerce. A Republican Administration will revitalize our merchant marine through a responsive and sustained policy. We will encourage the development and maintenance of an American-flag ocean transportation system, staffed with trained American personnel and capable of carrying a substantial portion of our international trade in a competitive and efficient manner. We will promote the development and support of a domestic shipbuilding and ship-repair mobilization base adequate to both the commercial and the national security requirements of the United States.
The security of energy and raw materials access
The security of America's foreign sources of energy and raw material supply can no longer be ignored. The United States imports 50 percent of it domestic petroleum requirements, and depends upon foreign sources for 22 of the 74 non-fuel raw materials essential to a modern industrial economy, Nine of the most critical raw materials are almost entirely (i.e., more than 90 percent) located abroad. In contrast, the Soviet Union imports only two critical minerals at a level in excess of 50 percent of domestic consumption.
Reducing reliance on uncertain foreign sources and assuring access to foreign energy and raw materials require the harmonization of economic policy with our defense and foreign policy. Domestic economic and regulatory policy must be adjusted to remove impediments to greater development of our own energy and raw materials resources. Democratic policies for federal land management, taxation, monetary policy, and economic regulation have served to increase America's dependence on foreign sources of energy and raw materials. Republicans pledge to work to eliminate domestic disincentives to the exploitation of these resources.
Multilateral negotiations have thus far insufficiently focused attention on U.S. long-term security requirements. A pertinent example of this phenomenon is the Law of the Sea Conference, where negotiations have served to inhibit U.S. exploration of the sea-bed for its abundant mineral resources. Too much concern has been lavished on nations unable to carry out sea-bed mining, with insufficient attention paid to gaining early American access to it. A Republican Administration will conduct multilateral negotiations in a manner that reflects America's abilities and long-term interest in access to raw material and energy resources.
Resource access will assume an important place in defense and economic planning under a Republican Administration. Since America's allies are, in most cases, more dependent than the U.S. on foreign sources of energy and raw materials, they too have a vital interest in the defense of their access to these critical resources. Republicans pledge to promote allied defense cooperation to assure protection from military threats to overseas resources.
Republican Party Platforms, Republican Party Platform of 1980 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273420