Because Whigs value differences of opinion and independent thought, we do not necessarily take a position on every particular issue that may be fashionable for the moment. Instead, we propose a program of broad reforms that we believe will strengthen our country as it faces the challenges of the 21st century.
We support job creation and economic development through rebuilding our infrastructure (roads, bridges, ports, airports, light rail, etc.) Building and maintaining a robust infrastructure is important to continue moving our economy forward.
We support renegotiating “free trade” agreements that only result in the outsourcing of jobs to countries with low labor and environmental standards.
Taxes and Income Inequality
We support offering tax incentives for corporations to keep manufacturing jobs in this country. We support closing tax loopholes that some corporations use to hide profits abroad. We support simplifying the tax code and making it more equitable. We need to close the vast majority of loopholes, subsidies, exclusions, exemptions and deferrals. We believe capital gains and other forms of passive income should be taxed at the same rate as earned income. Various state and local sales taxes should be abolished and replaced with a national sales tax distributed to the states.
Education and Science
In order to compete in today’s global economy we must have the best schools and universities in the world. America cannot afford to let other countries take the lead in math, engineering and space exploration while we argue about the merits of teaching creationism in science class. Whigs believe such debates are out of place in the 21stcentury and only distract from the task of fixing our public schools. We favor the ideas of school choice, merit-based pay for teachers and charter schools, as well as a stronger emphasis on science and math in academic curricula. We also favor reforming the onerous practice of funding public schools through property taxes, which effectively condemns the poorest areas to having the worst schools.
Fiscal Responsibility and Financial Reform:
We believe revenues should match or exceed expenditures, excessive debt should be avoided, and some funds should be kept in reserve for future “rainy days”. Deficit spending is acceptable only in times of economic crisis. Practices such as unfunded mandates, pork-barrel spending, or cutting taxes while fighting wars are unacceptable.
Energy Independence and National Security:
Why are energy and national security lumped together? We cannot be secure as long as we are dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Following the 9/11 attacks, it became clear that energy independence is a matter of national security. Regardless of any arguments about global warming or climate change, we believe our country MUST develop alternative sources of energy (wind, solar, nuclear, etc). Otherwise, our security will remain hostage to events in the volatile Middle East and we will be forced to continue supporting corrupt and autocratic regimes whose oil we need to power our economy. This situation is utterly unsustainable.
Foreign Policy and Veterans Affairs
We were founded by American veterans and we Modern Whigs are committed to a strong national defense. America will act to defend its national interests multilaterally whenever possible and unilaterally if necessary. Whigs reject isolationism and favor strong alliances with reliable partners who are willing to share the burden in the fight against common enemies. A vibrant and robust NATO is and will remain the bedrock of America’s security for the foreseeable future. Whigs believe America must honor its war veterans and should provide them with access to the highest possible quality of care and services through a well-funded Veterans Administration.
We support the use of Approval Voting, in which each voter can vote for any number of candidates on the ballot, not just one. The approval voting system is simple to use and eliminates the spoiler effect. We believe approval voting provides fair representation for the people.
We support either making the allocation of electors proportional to the popular vote in each state, or abolishing it altogether.
The Influence of Money in Politics
We support campaign finance reform in the direction of public financing, along with free and equal access to the airwaves.
We support reform aimed at no “special access” to government officials for lobbyists, and a ban on politicians working as lobbyists for five years after leaving office.
We support placing redistricting in the hands of non-partisan citizens committees.
Health insurance should be available, portable and affordable for all citizens, with means-tested government subsidies for those who cannot pay in full. We think that health benefits need to be De-linked from employment. The practice of saddling employers with costly pension and health insurance benefit obligations is hurting the ability of American companies to compete in the global economy. While we support the basic goal of expanding coverage to all Americans, we do not believe recent health insurance reform legislation will reduce health care costs. More research and work needs to be done on this subject, and legislative changes will have to be made in order to bring costs under control.
The USA is and has always been a country of immigrants. The Modern Whig Party understands the dual responsibility of securing our borders while also dealing realistically with those illegal immigrants already in the country. We propose the following: offer illegal immigrants the opportunity for citizenship if they join the military and serve out their initial contractual term honorably. Illegal immigrants will not be entitled to jobs that require security clearances, but will be eligible for the GI Bill, Tricare and all other benefits afforded to US service members who serve honorably. This program also will include a background check and English-language classes if necessary. In this manner, any illegal immigrant ranging in age from 18 to 42 will receive job skills and educational benefits while they earn their citizenship for themselves and their immediate family members in defense of our country. Going forward, we must also revamp our legal immigration process so as to attract those whose skills, education and entrepreneurial spirit will enable them to become productive contributors to the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow. Foreign-born graduates of US colleges and universities should be offered a path to citizenship. Young people trained and educated in our schools should have the opportunity to contribute to our economy instead of being forced to leave the country and become our competitors.
In keeping with their meritocratic philosophy, Modern Whigs oppose all forms of favoritism or discrimination based on arbitrary factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, etc. We reject identity politics and race-based affirmative action. Economic assistance programs should be based on income level, not race, ethnicity or gender.