GOP adopts 11.5 of 12 bold policy proposals chosen by grassroots activists
Washington, DC- August 21, 2012 – FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center serving more than 2 million members of the conservative movement, today announced that the Republican Platform Committee has adopted 11.5 of the 12 proposals outlined in the “Freedom Platform,” the grassroots conservative platform released earlier this month by FreedomWorks-supported activists.
“FreedomWorks applauds the GOP for demonstrating a commitment to conservative philosophy, accountability, and the kind of bold reforms our country needs,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of FreedomWorks. “The 2012 GOP platform isn’t perfect, but the inclusion of 95 percent of the Freedom Platform is sure to create enthusiasm among the limited government conservative base come November.”
The innovative Freedom Platform was developed through crowd sourcing and face-to-face meetings with conservative activists around the United States. In June and July 2012, more than 1.2 million votes were cast at www.my2012platform.com, where voters were asked to choose between randomly selected pairings from an extensive list of policy proposals. The survey’s special technique, combined with input from on-the-ground activists across the country, produced an agenda truly reflective of grassroots opinion.
Most of the Freedom Platform’s 12 planks are being included in the 2012 GOP platform, which will guide the Republican Party for the campaign and the legislative years that follow. The original 12 proposals were:
1) Repeal Obamacare; Pursue Patient-Centered Care
2) Stop the Tax Hikes
3) Reverse Obama’s Spending Increases
4) Scrap the Code; Replace It with a Flat Tax
5) Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment
6) Reject Cap and Trade
7) Rein in the EPA
8) Unleash America’s Vast Energy Potential
9) Eliminate the Department of Education
10) Reduce the Bloated Federal Workforce
11) Curtail Excessive Federal Regulation
12) Audit the Fed
“The Freedom Platform should forever put to rest the ridiculous notion that the Tea Party is incapable of engaging in the political arena without compromising its principles,” said Kibbe. “The Freedom Platform’s concise, articulate and fundamentally conservative proposal was well-received by the RNC’s platform committee, and multiple people very familiar with the process called it ‘a primer for other organizations to follow.’”
Copies of the Freedom Platform were delivered to RNC platform committee members ahead of its meetings, and 12 Freedom Platform commissioners representing a broad cross-section of the conservative grassroots, including members from important swing states such as Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, followed up with platform committee members as they drafted the 2012 Republican Platform. The final document will be unveiled at the RNC Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-30.
The GOP’s official platform includes clear, specific language rejecting Cap and Trade, endorsing a strong Balanced Budget Amendment coupled with a two-thirds majority to raise taxes, and committing to an annual audit of the Federal Reserve as “the first step to achieving transparency.” The platform endorses full repeal of Obamacare and a solid list of patient-centered health care reforms including Health Savings Accounts interstate purchase of health insurance, and equalized tax treatment of group and individual insurance. Major reforms of Medicare and Medicaid are also included.
The platform committee also included support for a “flatter” tax to the tax reform section, softening the Freedom Platform’s language calling for a completely Flat Tax. “Our online survey told us the grassroots want a single-rate tax system,” FreedomWorks Vice President Dean Clancy commented. “With the addition of the word ‘flatter,’ the GOP platform opens the door to a Flat Tax.”
The only element of the Freedom Platform not adopted was the proposal to “Eliminate the Department of Education.” Clancy explained: “We did not secure approval for ‘Eliminate the Department of Education’ – which, to be honest, was always the plank we regarded as most difficult to achieve. But the document’s education section does contain good language on the need for local control and a very strong endorsement of school choice, including vouchers. So we rate this section as a partial victory.”
FreedomWorks is a grassroots service center serving more than 2 million members nationwide, committed to advancing the principles of lower taxes, less government, and more economic freedom. For more information about FreedomWorks, please visit www.FreedomWorks.org.