American Moderate Party Platform
We're not ideologues, just problem solvers
We know you're not going to agree with every one of our policy positions (and we don't claim to have all of the answers), and we're okay with that. What we want is intelligent and informed debate about the solutions to our country's problems. Sometimes Republicans have good ideas, and sometimes Democrats have good ideas. And sometimes the best path forward is somewhere in the middle. When elected officials honestly and carefully weigh the pros and cons of policy proposals (based on evidence and common sense) we think effective legislative outcomes are possible. What we need are public servants who love their country and constitution over party and person. If that sounds appealing to you, we invite you to read on.
Congressional Term Limits
Career politicians become too powerful and fall out of touch with the average American. Senators should be limited to 12 years of service (2 terms) and members of the House of Representatives should be limited to 10 years (5 terms).
At over $30 trillion, our national debt is out of control and can no longer be ignored. Even with record low interest rates, federal debt payments are $300 billion per year. As interest rates increase, the crushing load of debt payments will be a threat to our economy and our national security. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have had the political will to do what's right - and we get it, this is a political hot potato. But we elect our government officials to do what is best for our country - not what is politically expedient.
During years of economic expansion we should not only have a balanced budget, but we should be paying down the principal. Only during extreme economic downturns or national emergencies should we deficit spend.
Democrats would like to eliminate the Electoral College, while Republicans would prefer the system to remain unchanged. Each of these views benefits the respective parties. We think there is a middle ground which would benefit everyone. All states should adopt the District Method, which grants one electoral vote to the winning presidential candidate at the congressional district level, and two electoral votes to the winner of the state's popular vote. This would increase participation (imagine being a Republican in California, or a Democrat in Kentucky), eliminate the "swing state" focus of election campaigns, and ensure that small states don't get left behind.
Abortion is perhaps the most polarizing issue in our country. Our party invites a broad base of individuals with diverse backgrounds and opinions. When it comes to abortion, we support the following positions that a majority of people actually agree on:
1) Promote policies that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies (with special attention given to women who've had multiple elective abortions).
2) Expand support for women who go down the path of adoption.
3) Allow abortions for cases of rape, incest, the health of the mother, and when the fetus would not survive beyond birth.
4) End the practice of elective late-term abortions (a view supported by 79% of American adults).
1) Universal background checks on all gun purchases.
2) Red flag laws which temporarily remove guns from someone who is a danger to themselves or others (legal due process must be followed with care).
3) Create a system that allows private donations to fund voluntary firearm buyback programs (buyback programs have little impact on homicide rates, but we do know that people with access to guns are several times more likely to commit suicide).
4) Invest more in our country's mental health system.
Minimum wage wasn't meant to support an entire family. However, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (which hasn't changed since 2009) is insufficient. Many have called for a $15 minimum wage, but many economists and the CBO believe it will lead to higher unemployment. What level should it be? In 1968 the minimum wage was $1.60 (its highest level in real terms), which would be equivalent to just under $12 in 2020 dollars. For that reason we believe a $12 federal minimum wage with annual increases pegged to inflation seems fair. States and cities with higher costs of living have the freedom to institute higher wages as needed.
It is the job of Congress to write legislation and the job of the president to either sign or veto that legislation. Unfortunately over the past couple of decades we have seen an increasing trend of "legislation through executive action." Each new president just signs executive orders undoing the actions of the previous president. This leads to uncertainty and chaos, which is not conducive to effective governance. The president's executive powers should be more narrow and clearly defined, primarily reserved for actual emergencies. In turn, Congress should adopt rules to limit obstructionism within its body.
The issues plaguing our health care system are deep and complex. The United States spends more on health care than any other country on earth but has some of the worst medical outcomes among wealthy nations. Additionally, about 29 million Americans are still uninsured. We think this is inexcusable.
The Left would like to have every American participate in a mandatory, single-payer system (aka "Medicare for all"). While well-intentioned, we think this would be a fiscal, logistical and administrative nightmare. The Right appears to be satisfied with the status quo (they failed to replace the ACA during the first two years of the Trump administration, despite having control of both houses of Congress).
While there is no silver bullet, we support the following steps to improve health care for Americans:
1) Offer "Medicare for those who want it" - this keeps the private insurance companies in business, but gives them some added competition from the government. Many uninsured and underinsured would finally have access to needed care.
2) Offer tax incentives for employers (especially small businesses) to offer better health coverage. For example, the majority of Americans are now enrolled in high deductible plans, which causes many people to delay or avoid seeing a doctor, even when a condition might be serious.
3) Require up-front pricing for cost of care. We can't think of another retail market where customers have no idea how much something costs in advance.
Climate change is real (no, it is not a hoax invented by the Chinese). For those who are skeptics, we empathize with you - at times it can seem like a green light for government overreach and runaway spending - we get it. However, the devastating effects of a warming planet are becoming ever more visible and we must do something to address it. Solar, wind and electric vehicles are important components in addressing climate change, but they too have limitations and tradeoffs. Our government should take a more collaborative approach and work with private industry to advance other technologies as well, such as carbon capture and renewable fuels. We should also consider expanding our nuclear power production capabilities.
Immigrants have been the lifeblood of our nation since its founding, with immeasurable contributions to science, technology, business, and culture. We must strike a balance between humanely managing the inflow of immigrants and maintaining a secure border against external threats. We should do the following:
1) Ensure the level of legal immigration meets our economic needs (from agriculture to high-tech industries). Our government should be flexible and raise/lower this number as frequently as needed.
2) Invest more in detection technology and personnel at border checkpoints (where the majority of drugs and human trafficking actually occurs).
3) Increase the number of immigration judges so more individuals and families can be processed quickly, thus reducing the number of people stuck in border detention facilities.
4) Make a serious effort to work with Mexico to improve its northern and southern borders (which would help slow the flow of people heading north, and the flow of U.S. weapons smuggled south to Mexico and Central America - contributing to record levels of violence).
5) Have a fair, yet rigorous process to finally address the status of the millions of illegal immigrants in our country. If you're a violent criminal, you should be deported. If you've peacefully lived and worked here for decades, maybe we should find a way to integrate you into society and not have you live in the shadows.
The role of the federal government is limited as it pertains to K-12 education, since schools are managed locally within their districts. That being said, we think there are some foundational principles for a successful education system:
1) Having good teachers is paramount. We should pay teachers more to attract the best talent, and make it easier to fire the bad ones.
2) We need to modernize our overall approach to learning, which is built after an Industrial Revolution model.
All people should be treated with respect and fairness, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion or sexual orientation. We should continue to look for ways to eliminate the biases that exist in our systems of education, financial services, employment, criminal justice, etc. America should be an example to the rest of the world of what equal opportunity really looks like.
Our government should not spend more than it takes in from taxes. Given the current state of our federal budget, we need to either reduce our federal outlays or increase tax revenue. Any increases in tax revenue should be clearly justified, and we should make eliminating government waste a priority.
In principle we support a progressive tax system, in which wealthier people pay higher rates. In reality, our tax system is not that progressive. The richest Americans actually pay a lower effective tax rate than many working class families. That's because they can afford to hire attorneys and accountants to take advantage of loopholes, shelters, and otherwise game the system. We should close many of these loopholes, and increase our IRS enforcement efforts (which would result in billions in additional revenue).
With regard to corporate taxes, global competitiveness matters, and we think our country's tax rate should be close to the average for developed countries. Just like with personal taxes, we should also close many of the loopholes corporations take advantage of to avoid paying their fair share.
American moderate party