***The American Progressive Party Platform***

The original Progressive Party died in 1916.  The American Progressive Party has been resurrected in 2016.  Out of frustration, out of anger, but out of hope, a new way was created; the party of the 99%.  In an effort to bring the fringe parties together in order to affect change, the American Progressive Party was created. Many Americans have been seeking a place to tie them together under the ‘progressive’ banner.

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The Progressive Party of 1912 was formed by the indomitable Theodore Roosevelt. His platform was called “A Contract with the American People”. In it, he asserted, “A great democracy has got to be progressive, or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.”

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Today’s political climate is akin to that of football rivalry. Fundamental differences between the two major parties is lacking and elections have broken down into nothing more than Us vs. Them, tribal politics. It has nothing to do with issues, and unfortunately, is all about money and power. Progressivism is a movement that shines a light on the real divide, the one between the haves and the have-nots, and through political means, seeks to create a path for more social and economic equality. Civil rights and liberties are for all Americans.

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This party will thrive only under a few caveats:

  • 1) We must join together to fight for all marginalized Americans. We must set aside ego and work together for the good of all. If we splinter, we will not be effective.

  • 2) We must fight, we must work and this must be done through footwork, not by sitting in our recliners complaining on social media. It will involve rolling up our sleeves and applying elbow grease. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt,

"To sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men doing."

Following, are the goals of the American Progressive Party…

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GOVERNMENT

The government is us; WE are the government, you and I."

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. *To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics **is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”*

Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive* and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy.*

Our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests.* Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics.”* ― Theodore Roosevelt quotes, all over 100 years old

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Accountability and Transparency

Governments should be both accountable and transparent to the citizens on all levels from the presidency to the clerk in a town office.

  • We recommend that, from this day forward, ALL nepotism in government appointments and contracts be abolished, whether family, friends, or business acquaintances of those who serve in ALL of the three branches of government.

  • Congress.gov is an integral part of keeping Americans informed of legislative proceedings. It is very difficult to find information, and it needs to be redesigned to make it more useful.

  • H.R. 4335 – the One Subject at a Time Act should be reintroduced. This bill would provide more transparency by demanding that there be no more than one subject in each bill and that it should be clearly stated in the title. It would also end the practice of attaching controversial legislation to unrelated, must-pass bills, and would make void general legislation in appropriations bills that does not pertain to the underlying bill, thereby lowering our massive national debt.

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Use of Government Land

  • When publicly-owned land is rented, it should be rented at fair market value.  It is held in trust for the welfare of the citizens of the United States.

  • When an entity uses our resources, it should be without environmental damage and at fair market value.

  • Use of government land or taking its resources, without a contract, should result in jail time. It is stealing from the other citizens.

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The Practice of Congressional Party Dues

The job of Legislators has sunk to being political party fundraisers. Legislators should be working for us, not raising funds so they can run re-election campaigns nor buy committee appointments. Therefore:

  • The ‘Stop Act’, H.R.4443, should be reintroduced.

  • Committee appointments should be based on expertise in a particular field and ability to serve; not political agendas, nor the ability to raise funds.

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Congress

  • Congress should get no extra health insurance other than is outlined under the Health ‘Assurance’ section, and should pay for their own life insurance.

  • Incoming Congress will participate in Social Security only. Legislators should not be able to retire until the age Social Security stipulates.

  • The living expenses deduction for Congress should be abolished.

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Lobbying/Special Interests

  • The practice of lobbyists making contributions to congressional campaigns must be abolished. 

  • Congressional committee budgets need to be raised so staff can thoroughly research issues, rather than relying on biased views of lobbyists.

  • The Congressional Research Service budget for staff should be raised to provide Congress and Committees with adequate research rather than relying on lobbyists.

  • Lobbying activities should be transparent to the American people.

  • Congressional members may not pursue careers as lobbyists until they have been out of office for five years.

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Abolition of the Transportation Security Administration

  • The annual budget for the TSA is over $7.5 billion dollars, while they only have a 5% success rate in the detection of planted explosives and weapons. Considering cost and ineffectiveness, the TSA should be abolished.

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Classified Information

  • Government employees should separate their personal and government business on digital devices.

  • A new system of classifying documents needs to be devised. Neither the Freedom of Information Act nor the Reducing Over-classification Act have worked, and government officials estimate that 50% – 90% of classified documents could safely be released.  Our over-stuffed classification system puts our security at risk by placing employees in the position of becoming nonchalant from handling inordinate amounts of “top secret” documents.

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Intelligence Structures and Policies Reform

Over the past several decades, we have seen our intelligence apparatus repeatedly caught lying, off-guard, and working for hidden agendas.  This doesn't help our country; it places our citizens in greater jeopardy. They have been reduced to trolling public utilities and social media to monitor law-abiding citizens, therefore, the following measures are in order.

  • Convene another Senate Select Committee, like the former Church Committee, to investigate current policies and practices of our intelligence community, and to make recommendations for reforms.   Even former members of the Church Committee encourage this.

  • Prohibit spying on US citizens without a warrant specifying probable cause. Past practices have been unconstitutional, reprehensible and ineffective.

  • Close the statutory loopholes which are being abused to conduct warrantless "data-mining" and "backdoor" searches of communications by American citizens, and purge the data previously collected by these means.

  • Ensure "whistleblower" protection for all reports of waste, fraud and abuse made to authorities with appropriate clearance.

  • Reduce dependence on private intelligence contractors and increase oversight of their activities.

  • Invest more in measures which will develop human sources of intelligence.

  • Improve transparency, accountability and oversight policies, established by Congress, regarding the export and use of armed (“strike-enabled”) drones.

  • Develop international regulations regarding the export and use of armed (“strike-enabled”) drones which ensure transparency and accountability.

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Federal Reserve System Reform

  • It is time for the Federal Reserve System to evolve into a transparent and accountable bank. S.16, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2017, is a good piece of legislation, but it should be amended: any and all recommendations made by the Comptroller General following an annual audit should be made public, including online, and presented in a table format with a proposed timeline for when each item will be fully addressed.

  • The audit of November 2016 demonstrated that not only had the Fed not disseminated stress test protocols to all banks, but said protocols were ineffective. The Federal Reserve was also unprepared to provide needed documentation for the scheduled audit.

  • Financial industry executives should not serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, nor should they serve as president of any of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks.

  • The Federal Reserve System should end the subsidizing of large corporations, and instead direct banks toward loaning more money to small businesses.

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Funding of Federal Finance Agencies

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, our financial market regulators, as well as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau,  should be self-funding. They need to able to function without worrying about budgetary cuts.

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ELECTIONS

“The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. … It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced.” – T. R., New Nationalism Speech, 1910

An Amendment to the United States Constitution should be enacted encompassing the following provisions:

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Campaign Finance Reform

  • A corporation is not a person. Overturn Citizens United v. FEC.

  • Restrict campaign contributions to voluntary donations by "natural-born" and "naturalized" persons as defined in the United States Constitution, and ensure low, standard limits for these donations.

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Universal Voter Registration

  • All states must automatically register their citizens to vote when they interact with the government as an adult.  Six states have already adopted such laws, and 28 are debating the issue.

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Establish Election Day as a National Holiday

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Political Parties

  • American political parties must enact bylaws which provide for legal redress if a party candidate is intentionally disadvantaged or a party election is conducted in a discriminatory &/or fraudulent manner.

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Abolish Gerrymandering/Adopt State Redistricting Reform Criteria

As the United States is the only democracy that includes politicians in the redistricting of voting districts, and as it promotes tribal politics, and as the Apportionment Act of 1842 requires voting districts to be compact and contiguous:

  • Each state should appoint a bipartisan commission plus chairperson to carry out these duties consistent with political boundaries as much as possible, in a transparent manner allowing for public input.

  • Prison gerrymandering will be abolished.

  • Maps will be submitted to the state supreme courts until approved.

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Shorten the Length of Election Cycles

Long campaigns fatigue voter, use inordinate amounts of money and do not increase voter turnout.  They also waste time legislators should be legislating, therefore  we submit that:

  • Primary election campaigns should begin no sooner than May 1st of election year.

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Truth in Campaigning

  • Laws must be enacted to remove all fake or untrue advertisements from the media at the candidates' expense.

  • If a commercial media outlet presents false campaign claims without challenge, both the media outlet and the electoral campaign will be subject to penalties for false advertising.

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Ranked-choice Voting

Ranked-choice voting (instant run-off voting), allows voters to rank up to three candidates, in order of preference, when marking their ballots. It has already been adopted in the State of Maine.

Ranked-choice voting eliminates the need for run-off elections and lessens the likelihood of candidates being elected by less than a majority in a more-than-two party race and increases voter participation.

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Repair Electoral College with Congressional District Apportionment

  • The Electoral College, in its current form, has allowed presidential elections to spiral into not much more than a numbers game. A candidate can win just 11 states by just one vote, get zero votes in every other state, amounting to only 22% of the popular vote and still become President of the U.S.A. Created so candidates needed to only stump in each state, rather than per district, the winner-take-all method of apportioning electoral votes evolved into a system that could elect a president with less than ¼ of the population of the United States. With technology allowing ostensibly all Americans to research candidates, the American Progressive Party would like to propose that we use the method proposed by James Madison in 1820 when he wrote, "The district mode was mostly, if not exclusively in view when the Constitution was framed and adopted”.

  • The Congressional District Method of distributing electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in each Congressional District would more accurately reflect the wishes of those who voted for the President and Vice-President of the United States. Each Congressional District would receive one vote with the balance of the remaining electoral votes which are apportioned to the state going to the winner of the popular vote of said state. This will continue a more even distribution of power between the more and less populous states, but also provide for differences within the more populous states. This method more accurately demonstrates voter preference and ensures that each vote has more accurate representation, since more than 80 electoral votes would not be bound to the popular winner of each state.

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 Return to Paper Ballots/Ballot Counting/Electoral Votes/Result Release

  • After years of repeated voting machine mishaps, possible fraud, and now hacking, it is time to return to the paper ballot.

  • A secure method of counting the ballots should be devised by the Federal Elections Commission. Ballots, including absentee, need to remain secure until the tally is agreed upon by all stakeholders within district. Districts will have as much time, up to a week, as they need to accurately tally the votes. Each citizen deserves to have his or her vote counted.

  • Upon completion of the count of all ballots, the districts will release their results to the State Election Committee.

  • State Election Committees will send the tally of the state’s electoral votes – one for each popular vote winner of each Congressional District with the balance of electoral votes going to the state winner – to the Federal Election Committee and release the rest of the election results.

  • After the Federal Election Committee has tallied all the electoral votes it will announce who has won the office of President and Vice-President of the United States and post the tallies on-line for transparency.

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NATIONAL SECURITY

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. – Theodore Roosevelt

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Our Interests Abroad

  • US  interests abroad should consist of:  working closely with allies to contain expansionist activities by authoritarian regimes; containing rogue states; reducing conflict in areas of high importance to US interests; and promoting world peace and cooperation on a wide variety of global issues.

  • The American Progressive Party does not support economic imperialism.

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Promotion of Peace

  • The American Progressive Party supports a foreign policy that prioritizes peaceful resolution of diplomatic, commercial, geographical, ethnic and cultural conflicts utilizing diplomacy, aid, trade and cultural exchange as opposed to military approaches as much as possible.

  • The Party supports a policy of active engagement with the world to promote a more equitable, rule-bound and transparent international economic and financial system, in recognition of the importance of global trade, investment and services flows to the US economy.

  • The Party supports the utilization of US non-military tools to coordinate and lead international cooperation in a wide range of fields, such as:  environmental protection, species protection and management of international humanitarian crises and/or natural disasters.

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Stewardship of Natural Resources

Stewardship of world resources leads to a more peaceful world; therefore we would like to commend the Armed Forces of the United States for making great strides, despite the climate change deniers, in creating preparative measures for future events, and for being forward-thinkers, in protecting our country.  In keeping with this:

  • We would recommend that they keep on this trajectory, as well as, seek alternative measures to stem the 100 million barrels of oil that is burned annually by US military equipment, releasing millions of tons of pollutants into the atmosphere.

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Military Budget

The US military budget is greater than the next twelve country military budgets COMBINED.  44% of the US budget is military-related, 25% for current military and 19% for expenditures in the past such as veteran’s benefits and debt incurred due to military spending.  The Pentagon is the only government entity which has not complied with the Government Accountability Office in order to be audited/evaluated. Therefore:

  • We maintain that Congress should cease funding all Pentagon requests for future campaigns until they can document their spending for the past ten years.

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Government-sanctioned Torture and Assassination is Unacceptable

The 2014 Senate report found that torture does not make us safer:  1) the preponderance of "intelligence" received is untrue because detainees merely voice what they think their torturers want; 2) what relevant information is received can be appropriated elsewhere; and 3) the consequence is that we antagonize the occupied population and create terrorists.  We have resolved that:

  • The United States should be leading the world fight against barbarism.

  • Torture (‘enhanced interrogation’), as well as ‘extraordinary rendition and detention’ should not be practiced.

Veterans

8.8% of homeless Americans are veterans.  The treatment of our veterans when they return is shameful.  We believe:

  • Veterans should receive assistance until settled, have job training and placement, and free medical care for all injuries, physical or mental, incurred while in the service of our country.

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THE ENVIRONMENT

“The Forest and water problems are perhaps the most vital internal problems of the United States.” ― Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, 1913

No one has the right to harm another's water, health, air, land or food. – S. B.

  • Reintroduce S.332 – Climate Protection Act of 2013 to adopt environmental standards that will lessen the effects climate change is having on the global environment.

  • Ensure funding and create government oversight to prevent harmful chemicals from entering our water, air and food, and which harm our health and land, such as was provided for in the 'Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act'.

  • Ban fracking; it creates earthquakes and pollutes the watershed.

  • Ban mountaintop removal; it pollutes the watershed.

  • Stop subsidizing the fossil fuel Industry, including the millions of dollars provided by government entities to protect corporate pipelines.

  • Promote alternative energy.

  • Promote sustainable environment.

  • Ensure LEED Standards are used for all new construction and remodeling.

  • Require new products and processes to either use Cradle to Cradle, or create a similar government entity that functions in the same way, finding earth-friendly ways of doing or manufacturing processes or products which result in a lower carbon footprint.

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CORPORATIONS

“We have come to a political deification of Mammon.” ― Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, 1913

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Eliminate Jobs Overseas and Repatriate Foreign Profits

  • Stop corporate inversion.

  • Promote the “Outsourcing Prevention Act.”

  • End ‘deferrals’. Corporations should pay taxes on offshore income the year it is earned, rather than indefinitely avoiding paying income taxes.

  • Eliminate repatriation tax holidays. These tax breaks cost Americans approximately a billion dollars a year, and lost jobs.

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Rein in Corporate Subsidies

Corporate welfare proves that the "free market" is a myth.  Corporations trumpet the concept to avoid regulation and responsibility.  These fictional "persons", then, expect government subsidies, tax deductions, and bailouts to ensure their profitability.  In 2015, 8 companies received more money than millions of poverty-stricken Americans.  Nike, Royal Dutch Shell, Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, GM, Intel, Alcoa and Boeing split 35.5 billion dollars in government subsidies, while TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and MOE (Maintenance Of Effort) funds to the states to give needy people welfare AND fund child welfare and early childhood programs equaled 31.7 billion. The American Progressive Party asserts that:

  • Humans are worth more than a corporation’s profit.

  • Tax breaks for 'job creation' should not be given before the workers are employed, nor should they be given for jobs which merely relocated.  Business owners which eliminate positions before 10 years will be indebted to the U.S. Treasury for the amount they received for said job creation.

  • The percentage of advertising write-offs should be capped at 10% after a company’s first year.

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Rein in the Shareholders

  • Modern corporate law does not require for-profit corporations to pursue profit at the expense of everything else. – Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores

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Continue Support of Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice as They Monitor Corporate Mergers

  • The original Progressive himself pioneered the Sherman-Antitrust Act to protect Americans from the heavy hands of the robber barons. If a trust controlled an entire industry but provided good service at reasonable rates, it was a "good" trust and should be left alone. Only "bad" trusts that jacked up rates and exploited consumers would be penalized.

  • Today’s trusts are proposed corporate mergers who claim they are joining forces to help the American people. Like the robber barons of the late 1800s, their profit, not our pocket is the real reason for their marriage. Increased profit margins for the already wealthy, at the expense of the consumer, are not acceptable.

  • Break up corporations and banks considered “too big to fail”.

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Discontinue Subsidizing Banks

If a bank can’t support itself, it should not exist.  Studies estimate the amount saved by America's biggest banks from having a perceived safety net of a government bailout was $120 billion from 2007 to 2010.  Passage of the Dodd–Frank Act—which promised an end to bailouts—did nothing to raise the price of credit (i.e., lower the implicit subsidy) for the "too-big-too-fail" institutions.

  • As long as the subsidy exists, banks will want to take on too much risk.  Research and history suggest that the economy would benefit from capital levels much higher than what regulators have proposed.  Under international accounting standards, the six largest U.S. banks have amassed more than $14 trillion in assets.  Only about 4 percent of that is financed with loss-absorbing equity. A drop in asset value of only about 4 percent could be enough to make them insolvent.

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Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Provision

  • After the stock market crash of 1929, the Glass-Steagall Act was passed to separate commercial and investment banks. It was repealed in the 1990s, due to bank lobbying. Its repeal facilitated the Crash of 2008.

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Regulate Big Pharma

  • Stop price gouging.  Congress needs to step up to the plate, and tell the drug companies that they can sell no pharmaceuticals in the US until the prices have been negotiated. 

  • Ensure drug availability.

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Enact Legislation Preventing Transfer of Non-Truths in the Media

  • Adopt law mandating that broadcasters shall not broadcast any false or misleading news.

  • Enact fines for broadcasters and the media venues who allow the public to be deceived.

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Product Integrity, not Disposable Goods

  • Products should be made to last, not to break.

  • Replacement parts and consumables, like printer ink, should be reasonably priced.  Parts should not cost more than the initial product.

  • Products should be made in America, out of good quality, environmentally-friendly, safe materials.

  • Products should go through a design process to make the least impact with their carbon footprint.  Private companies could be used as long as they don’t cost more than a government entity would.

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Patents

  • Items found in nature may not be patented.

  • Processes that have been used for over 50 years may not be patented.

  • Patents on naturally occurring items and processes which have been used by non-corporate entities for generations should be revoked.

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Data Collection

  • Personal data collection by corporation should be illegal without consent.

  • The selling of personal data should be illegal without consent.

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Agriculture

  • Protect the rights of non-GMO farmers; label GMO products in the market.

  • Rein in farm subsidies to large agri-conglomerates.

  • Abolish the Alcohol Fuel Credit; it takes more energy to process corn into cornahol, than the energy you get from it.

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SOCIAL JUSTICE

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” ― T. Roosevelt

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All Are Created Equal

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  • The American Progressive Party needs to prepare the way for a paradigm shift. We need to be leaders in the fight for all Americans to be treated not only equally (the same), but equitably (fairly). A sample of this would include, education, the work force, and in confrontations with the law.

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Health ‘Assurance’

  • All US citizens should be assured that they have health care.

  • Reintroduce H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act.  The program would be funded by the savings obtained from replacing today’s inefficient, profit-oriented, multiple insurance payers with a single streamlined, nonprofit, public payer, and by modest new taxes based on ability to pay. Premiums would disappear; 95 percent of all households would save money.  Patients could choose their doctors.

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Incarceration

Private correctional facilities do not perform as well as government facilities, nor do they save money.  People incarcerated in prisons operated by for-profit companies have higher rates of recidivism than people incarcerated in publicly-managed prisons.  High incarceration rates not only destabilize disadvantaged communities; they actually increase the incidence of crime, as found by the Department of Justice.  We, therefore, propose that Congress:

  • Reintroduce H.R. 3543, Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2015. This will end privatized incarceration facilities and the building of facilities to house illegal aliens. It also terminates the right of detention facilities to require occupancy quotas which cost taxpayers over $5 million dollars each day.

  • Invest in best practice rehabilitation of offenders. The more effective a correctional facility is, the less need we have of its services. Inmates who are treated well, who receive appropriate services such as education, job training, addiction treatment, anger management, and health care are less likely to reoffend.

  • Invest in societal assimilation of released offenders by offering aid in job placement and ensuring they have adequate housing.

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Improved Background Checks on Firearm Purchases

Americans have the right to keep and bear arms. However, we know that our rights stop where the next person’s start. That’s why we have a long-established system of background checking: to help keep firearms out of the hands of violent criminals. We propose the following so fewer criminals have access to firearms.

  • Require background checks for all firearm purchases, whether made in person, on-line, at a retail facility or gun show.

  • Require firearm retail corporations to offer affordable background checks, and otherwise act to ensure that firearm background checks are readily available.

  • Limit background check results to approval or rejection.

  • Disallow firearm sales until the FBI has had up to 30 business days to complete a background check.

  • Improve background checks by ensuring that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which maintains records of those who are legally prohibited from purchasing guns, be complete and accurate.

  • Strengthen penalties for ‘straw man’ purchasing, and make firearms trafficking a federal crime.

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Overhaul Our Nation’s Law Enforcement

The job of a police officer is to protect and serve. They are responsible for protecting people from themselves, as well as others. There needs to be a return to the concept of being a ‘peace officer’.

  • Neither resisting arrest nor disrespect warrant police brutality.

  • All police forces should undergo, if they haven’t already, situation de-escalation/fear training. Specific training needs to be done so officers understand how to deal with those with mental illness.

  • The use of military equipment and tactics in the US should be abolished. We are not at war with our fellow citizens. The new emphasis on not resisting arrest is a product of military training. Police recruits should be trained by ex-police officers, not ex-soldiers or military police. This will result in police mindset of switching from warrior, to guardian.

  • Sentencing and sentences for non-violent crimes should be re-evaluated.

  • Abolish civil asset forfeiture.

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Rein in the Cost of Higher Education

A modern economy requires a highly educated population.  Unfortunately, the cost of college education in the U.S. has skyrocketed, forcing Americans to borrow more and more to pay for it.  It is estimated that the total amount of student debt in the U.S. is now around $1.3 trillion.  Scholars have attributed the increase to several factors, including student loan interest rates, 'for-profit' colleges, and institutional debt associated with non-instructional services and amenities.  To address this:

  • Tuition subsidies should be tied to institutional cost-control measures.

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ECONOMIC REFORM

“We must abandon definitely the laissez-faire theory of political economy, and fearlessly champion a system of increased Governmental control, paying no heed to the cries of the worthy people who denounce this as Socialistic.” ― Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, 1913

Where We Are – Wealth Disparity

The gap between the very rich and everyone else is wider than at any time since the 1920s.  The top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.  99 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.  America’s 20 wealthiest people own more wealth – $732 billion – than the bottom half of the American population combined, 152 million people. One family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.  The United States now has the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country on earth.  This is not right; this is not just.  We propose the following measures to lessen the wealth disparity.

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Boost the American Economy

  • Levy a value-added tax (VAT) on all incoming goods.

  • Stiffen domestic content requirements and regulation.

  • Enact protective tariffs on critical industries.

  • Design an economic recovery package to put people to work.

  • Promote the creation of an International Financial Authority to regulate international capital transfers and ensure that capitalization requirements are met by international financial institutions.

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Living wage jobs

  • Americans who work 40-hr per week jobs should not receive poverty wages. We propose a $12.50 per hour minimum wage by 2018 and $15.00 by 2020.

  • There is a need to provide public investment in our infrastructure and in alternative energy technologies, both to prepare for the future and to provide higher wage jobs and training.

  • Productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs when workers have a stake in the business they work for, therefore we would like to see investment into assisting businesses start-ups and into establishing worker-owned cooperatives.

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Equal Pay for Equal Work

All laws pertaining to equal pay and nondiscrimination in wages will be fully supported and enforced.

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Abolish "At-Will" Employment and Require "Just Cause" for Employment Termination

  • Too many American workers can be discharged "at will" by their employer. The employer might have a good reason to discharge them, or the employer might have a dumb reason, an illegal reason, or offer no reason at all. The harm to the employee is the same, regardless. Some jurisdictions have carved out exceptions to the rule, but it's still the rule.

  • Laws against discrimination don’t touch every employer, and many common forms of discrimination are still allowed.

  • The requirement of "just cause" for employment termination is already the law in Canada, it's already present in union contracts, and, even now, inability to show that there was just cause to discharge an employee can have expensive consequences for the employer.

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Income Tax Reform

  • Income taxes may not be lowered until the national debt is paid off.

  • Income taxes may not be lowered on until our crumbling infrastructure is up to code. This includes municipal water supplies.

  • The mortgage interest deduction should remain intact, but only for one main residence.

  • The Trickle-Down Theory has never proven to be correct, therefore:  1) all income should be taxed, unless said taxing results places a worker within the poverty level; 2) tax loopholes should be closed, including the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT),as this one loophole has resulted in American citizens loosing over 100 billion dollars since 2000; and 3) higher taxable income brackets should be created.  Today every single filer earning over $415,050 pays 39.6%.  Under Dwight Eisenhower, they would have paid 72% (income adjusted for inflation), and the highest bracket was 91% (for what would be in the millions today).

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Social Security Reform

  • Make Social Security solvent and pass legislation forbidding it to be robbed. When the president left office in 2001, Social Security was in the black.  After 9/11, rather than following the tradition of taxing the American public to fund the war, Congress permitted the funds to be removed from Social Security.  The Social Security fund has never recovered.  It is not best practice to borrow money from the poor to fund a war for the rich.

  • Eliminate the Social Security cap.  All income, including investment income, should be taxed, unless said taxing results in placing a worker within the poverty level.

  • Social Security earnings should be commensurate with current cost of living.

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Pension Deficit Disorder

  • Worker’s pensions are contracts and should be upheld, whether stated or implied.

  • Laws need to be in place to prevent unfunded actuarial liability for public pensions.

  • Bankruptcy laws need to be reviewed and revised to ensure that private pensions are honored before corporate upper management drain the funds and pass on their obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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Affordable Housing and Homeownership

Economists state that a person or family's mortgage/rent should be no more than 25% – 30% of their household income.  Over 45 million American families earn less than $500 a week, necessitating a need for affordable housing.  Homeownership is an economic indicator, and has been on the rise.  Measures need to be in place to make sure this continues.

  • As the minimum wage (at a 40-hr. work week) is not enough to afford a one-bedroom apartment in any state in the Union, we are beholden to these citizens to provide adequate housing for them and their families.

“The right to regulate the use of wealth in the public interest is universally admitted. Let us admit also the right to regulate the terms and conditions of labor, which is the chief element of wealth, directly in the interest of the common good. The fundamental thing to do for every man is to give him a chance to reach a place in which he will make the greatest possible contribution to the public welfare. Understand what I say there. Give him a chance, not push him up if he will not be pushed. Help any man who stumbles; if he lies down, it is a poor job to try to carry him; but if he is a worthy man, try your best to see that he gets a chance to show the worth that is in him. No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so after his day’s work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life by which we surround them.” – T. R., August 31, 1910

Help make the American Progressive Party a reality. Contact Soni Biehl to volunteer:

info@americanprogressiveparty.org

207-733-1095

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