The Veterans Party of America has been formed to provide a viable choice for the American people.
It is our goal to place solution oriented leadership into public offices around the nation at all levels of government. The Veterans Party of America is neither left nor right. We are a centrist party dedicated to solving problems intelligently, simply, directly, and constitutionally. We are moderate, inclusive and derive our strength from U.S. citizens, family, friends and veterans of the military as well as all civilian careers.
It is our view that the current state of our political system has drifted away from the ideals our nation was founded upon. “Promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” is in the first paragraph of our Constitution. That Statement serves to remind us and our leadership why this great nation was formed. We have a responsibility to ensure all our Constitutional liberties are maintained and protected for future generations.
As leaders, our elected officials must own the problems of the office they gain from the moment they are elected. We expect and demand solutions, not excuses, from our leadership. They are to be held accountable for the problems they willingly inherit, or create, until the issue is resolved in accordance with, and under, the parameters set forth in the Constitution.
The Veterans Party of America maintains a national focus. It is and remains a national party concerned with matters of Constitutional significance to which all States must adhere. Many issues and topics have already been properly examined and decided upon in the individual States. The VPA presents no firm stance on the various State-specific issues.
This platform is a living document and will be reviewed in accordance with the Party’s Constitution and By Laws in order to meet the ever changing political landscape of today’s world.
The Constitution of The United States of America is, “The Law of the land.” It is not subject to interpretation or indifference by our elected officials, for their own purposes. It provides the basis and supreme authority from which all governance is derived. It is only to be changed by the will of the people by using the ratification process and not by Executive Order or by a particular party in power. The Bill of Rights shall not be infringed upon and shall be defended at all costs. Under no circumstance shall the Veterans Party of America support laws that infringe on the provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America.
II. Separation of Church and State
The Veterans Party of America recognizes that there is no such Statement or provision within the Constitution of the United States. We are fully aware that the Statement was only brought forth in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, in which he made reference to, “A wall of separation between church and State.” We stand with the Constitution and support freedom of religion.
We adhere to the proposition that there shall be no State established church. No single, or group, of peaceful religion(s) shall be placed above another. To ensure this, we, as Americans, must strive to keep religious mandates out of government.
We fully recognize and appreciate that one’s religion guides their sound decision making processes and the basis of their good and noble character. We also believe that those without religious affiliation can be, and are, just as sound and noble of character and are fully capable of making sound decisions in the best interest of our fellow citizens. As such, we will judge our leadership and the content of their character by their words and actions; not by their religious affiliation.
III. Job Creation
America is in a major economic crisis. Jobs are the key to our recovery. Stimulation of small business and the free market being awarded contracts to complete government funded infrastructure repair projects will be key to a successful recovery. These projects will be prioritized over time, by the States, in order to assure proper oversight and avoid governmental fraud, waste and/or abuse.
IV. Border Security
Before Immigration and National Security can be brought into perspective, the borders must be securely sealed, with proper crossing points and transit lanes for legal entrance into America. This is not to hinder legal transit, but to protect our nation. While the federal government is responsible for international borders, airports, and seaports; individual states shall be allowed to also guarantee the security of their borders with foreign countries, international airports, and seaports that have transit with international waters.
V. National Defense and Security
The security and safety of our country and people is the highest priority. This is the responsibility of the Federal government. The strength of our nation is our military. Having a strong, well trained, all volunteer force is essential. The military forces of the United States of America belong to the United States of America and are not to be used for foreign entanglements that do not directly threaten our nation’s security. At no time will the needs of National Security violate the inalienable rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
The Veterans Party of America’s position on immigration is the safety and security of our nation and its citizens. It is the responsibility of the Federal government and should be its highest priority. Any executive actions that undermine the immigration policies and laws of this nation must be addressed by congress without prejudice.
The following is our 10 step plan for immigration:
1. We must secure all borders and international ports of entry to properly protect our nation from potential threats foreign and domestic.
2. We must enforce immigration laws, by supporting legislation that will provide for Border State agencies to coordinate the implementation and enforcement of national immigration laws, including directing resources to the Border States to fund the National Guard or Militia to work with National Border Security Agencies.
3. All illegal and undocumented immigrants must report to a local immigration center and get registered with a firm deadline for compliance.
a. Any illegal or undocumented immigrants that fail to register are subject to immediate and permanent deportation.
b. All registered immigrants with any felony or State level misdemeanor conviction, even if later cleared or expunged by any method, shall immediately face permanent deportation.
c. All illegal or undocumented immigrants found trying to illegally enter the United States after the registration deadline is subject to immediate and permanent deportation.
d. Any illegal immigrant under the age of 18 may be represented by an attorney prior to facing deportation, paid for by country of origin, including withholding funds from foreign aid.
4. The Veterans Party of America supports the hiring of ICE Agents at an accelerated rate to meet the National and Border State demands of at least 60,000 Border Patrol agents. This increase in Border security shall be paid for by exact budget stipulations in the Home Land Security funding.
5. All illegal or undocumented immigrants will be treated humanely, respectfully, with critical medical care as required and then returned to country of origin. The country of origin shall be responsible for all expenses, medical or otherwise. These funds shall be deducted from any foreign aid those countries of origin may receive.
6. Any immigrants properly documented by the end of the registration deadline, but are not prepared for filing for permanent residency status must acquire a sponsor, learn a sufficient level of the English language for public safety, becoming proficient in the common language, and shall be given a grace period to complete the application process, based on each individual applicant’s needs, not to exceed 5 years, without extensions.
7. All documented immigrants between the ages of 6 & 18, depending on State law, must be registered in and regularly attend school.
8. No illegal immigrants under this provision will be eligible for permanent status ahead of legal immigrants already engaged in the application process.
9. All documented immigrants over 18, residing in the United States, seeking permanent status must be employed with a tax identification number, or be a full time student.
10. Any corporations, conducting business in the United States found to hire illegal immigrants, upon conviction shall be fined 1 million dollars or 51% of their business holding, whichever is less. We need to make it easier for businesses to block sponsor immigrant workers (VISA) from countries of origin, through US Embassies and Consulates, provided the corporation can document an insufficient labor source already existing in the particular area.
The Veterans Party of America understands the education of our youth is critical to our future as a nation. Federal mandates are a violation of the Tenth Amendment. The elected officials in the local communities are closest to the people. Federal mandates involving high stakes testing, teacher evaluations, including National Common Core State Standards will be done away with.
Any decisions made with regards to education reform will not be made without input from teachers from across the nation, at the local levels. No one knows what needs to be done better than those in the classroom every day. No Federal monies will be given to “for profit” charter schools or private schools, except in the form of tuition vouchers, allowing parents to have a choice. Furthermore, the Veterans Party of America favors abolishing the federal Department of Education and returning all education matters to the States.
VIII. Foreign Policy
American policies should not stretch to interference with the internal affairs of sovereign nations. As a member of the global community, we all work to make the lives of all world citizens better, but we should not mandate the affairs of other countries.
IX. Foreign Aid
While it is in the best interest of the United States of America to help build and maintain other nations, it is more imperative to take care of our own people, first. Foreign Aid must be evaluated on a case by case basis with justification as to the benefit it will have on our country, not just another nation. A review should also be made of sending machinery and training in farming and related infrastructure rather than sending cash. Peace and stability is important as is the health and welfare of our own people.
X. Balanced Budget
The spending by government at all levels is out of control. The Veterans Party of America believes it is in the best interest of our Nation to reduce the national debt by reducing the size of government through major spending cuts that will automatically eliminate unconstitutional departments. This will require a Constitutional Amendment to ensure America will remain on a balanced budget.
XI. Earned Benefits
The men and women who have served, and are currently serving, our nation honorably at all levels of government are deserving of our very best. It is the position of the Veterans Party of America, that no cut to any promised and earned benefit shall be done without the prior, or simultaneous, cut to all federal benefits, including Congressional benefits. One group should not be singled out due to our elected official’s inability to manage the nation’s coffers or their making deals that they have no intention of honoring. Any cut to entitlements or benefits must begin with cuts to congressional salaries and retirement benefits first, if only a token amount to serve as a gesture of solidarity to the people they serve and represent.
We view benefits as something earned. Examples of earned benefits include, but are not limited to, Social Security, Federal Employee Retirement Pay, Military Pay and Benefits, Military Retirement Pay, Tri Care, Veterans’ Medical Care, and Medicare. States have the right to place their state level benefits in their platform. We view unearned benefits as something given for simply existing and being a citizen within the borders of our great nation. These include, but are not limited to, welfare, housing assistance, Earned Income Credit, and Medicaid.
XII. Tax Reform
The current tax system is not fair. Some segments of our society pay more than others, in a percentage of income earned to taxes paid.
Here is how it currently works: Let’s say we have two taxpayers A and B. A has a taxable income of 10,000 and B has a taxable income of 20,000. For this example we will set their tax rate at 10 and 15 percent respectively. Taxpayer A owes 1,000 in income tax and B owes 2,500 in income tax. Logically one would think that taxpayer B would owe more than 2,500 because 15 percent of 20,000 is 3,000. Now for the actual math. Taxpayer A’s taxes are calculated at a straight forward 10 percent of his/her taxable income. Taxpayer B has a couple of steps to calculate his/her taxes, this is because of the concept of income tax brackets. For this purpose the bracket upper limit between the two is set at 10,000 and below for the 10 percent bracket and 10,001 and above for the 15 percent bracket. Taxpayer B pays 10 percent of the first part of his/her taxable income and 15 percent for the remainder. So for the first 10,000 a 10 percent rate is levied and for the next 10,000 a 15 percent rate is levied. Therefore 10 percent of the first 10,000 is 1,000 and 15 percent of the next 10,000 is 1,500 and add the two together you get 2,500. This pattern would be repeated for additional tax brackets paying the levied rate only for the amounts over the upper limit of the lower bracket and adding the amounts assessed in the lower brackets.
As you can see, higher earners actually pay less in taxes on their total income. There are also tax exemptions for some sources of income (such as entertainment and sports industries). A national consumption (sales) tax will make it fair based on the spending of people versus their income. Essential life items, such as foods purchased from a store, or any other location that is not a food serving industry (i.e. restaurants), should be exempt. Abolishing income tax will require a Constitutional Amendment prior to initiating a national consumption tax.
XIII. Welfare Reform
A comprehensive overhaul of the welfare and social system must be made to ensure those that truly need it, can receive it, while eliminating the abuses that exist. A workfare program to help Americans get back on their feet, learn a trade or return to school will better our nation. By reducing costs and getting people back to work, helping those that need help and the encouragement of the use of charities will aid in making our nation strong again.
XIV. Election Reform
State election laws should be equitable, and ensure voter fraud does not occur. We support States passing measures to provide armed guards for ballots, voter ID requirements, and the ability to delay official voting results until determination is made that military absentee ballots have been accounted for or will not affect the outcome of an election. Further, we support State laws covering public official convicted of committing voter fraud shall be considered felonies. In States that do not require identification to vote, an affidavit should be signed in the presence of the polling place supervisor and filed. Filing a false affidavit would be treated as a felonious violation of federal election laws.
The Electoral College must be reformed. We support each State awarding their electoral vote proportional (by Congressional District, rather than all electoral votes in a State going to one candidate). Congressional Districts must be drawn using natural or clearly defined boundaries, not based on any other factor.
The Veterans Party of America believes that the constitutional access to the ballot box has been hijacked. We also support the amendment of all State election codes to return the ballot to the people by enforcement of the constitutional right to associate or not to associate with any political party.
Corporations and unions are not individuals; therefore they should not be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. Individuals should be the only contributors to the political process. Contributions will be limited to donating only to candidates for which the individual is able to vote. This will require a Constitutional Amendment.
XV. Congressional Pay and Benefits
We believe that the pay, benefits and the way our elected representatives conduct legislative business has gotten completely out of hand. We will strive for solutions, basing those solutions on more control of these monies by the States.
As the House of Representative and Senate members are elected by their States, to represent their States, their salaries should be paid by the States that elected them. Salaries should also be set by the State.
Federal retirement will not apply to members of Congress. Any benefits will come from the elector’s State and must meet the same criteria as all State employees. This will require a Constitutional Amendment.
Federal legislation has deteriorated into what is essentially a “shell game” with bills being written with one title, while the bulk of the expense for it is in reality one or more “pet projects” that benefit a particular Congress person’s district or a business located there. These additional projects are referred to as “riders” or “pork” and should be eliminated, if a bill cannot stand on the merits of the title project, then it should not be federally funded. Each bill passed through Congress shall have no unrelated projects added, this is part of the reason the national debt is so high, and it only benefits those in power.
Each bill will require the Constitutional authority to be annotated in the bill, before being introduced.
XVI. Term Limits
As the states elect their Representatives and Senators, the states should be allowed to set term limits on their elected officials. These laws are, for the most part, fair and necessary, and we do not contest them. This may require a Constitutional Amendment.
XVII. Resource Sustainability
As a matter of basic survival and national defense, the Veterans Party of America believes sufficient efforts must be made in adopting, implementing, and managing sustainable and reasonable Resource Management Programs. These Resource Management Programs include, but are not limited to: water, soil, timber, fauna, agriculture, fossil fuels, renewable energy sources, and waste management. Resource Management is a state jurisdiction issue. However, the Federal Government must be involved in establishing reasonable minimum guidelines, as well as for assisting with coordinating Resource Management efforts for multi-state resources.
The Veterans Party of America believes reducing our carbon footprint is a noble effort. It is a fact that global temperatures have risen over the last century with the last ten to fifteen years remaining level, and as such, we will not buckle to reactionary legislation introduced by those supporting the alarmist view of, “Global Warming and Climate Change,” nor will we passively sit on the sideline as resources are consumed and damaged with reckless abandon by aggressive industries seeking profits. It is also a fact that mankind has survived two previous eras with much higher temperatures.
Our stance is to be prudent when seeking answers to reducing our carbon footprint and conserving what we have today for future generations. We will support reasonable legislation to do so without overburdening our industrial production and growth. We want clean air, water, and healthy habitats for our wildlife along with jobs and economic development. It is our belief that we can achieve all by working together in a prudent and reasonable manner.
XVIII. Corporate Subsidies
Large, multi-state corporations should not receive any corporate subsidies unless the cause of the corporation’s failing is from direct government pricing mandates. We oppose the government demanding businesses sell products at set prices.
XIX. Official Language
The Veterans Party of America believes the United States should have English as an Official Language. A proposal would be set before the People in order to vote and voice their opinion on this.