2016-2018 VERMONT REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
We, Vermont Republicans, believe in the principles laid out in our nation’s Declaration of Independence that “all men [and women] are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights and that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men [and Women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.
The Vermont Republican Party embraces the principles of the United States and Vermont Constitutions. Our platform is built on the foundations of those documents.
1. Personal Liberty and Responsibility
Vermont Republicans are committed, without reservation, to the following constitutional precepts and tenets of personal liberty and responsibility:
a. Freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
b. The right to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.
c. The right to acquire and maintain private property.
d. Free elections, without corruption.
e. The right to keep and bear arms.
f. Due process and equal protection of the law.
2. Economic Freedom and Opportunity
Vermont Republicans believe that citizens can best thrive when they are free to pursue economic and personal opportunities without unreasonable constraints. For example:
a.Taxation: Government should tax equitably, with transparency, and at rates never higher than necessary to provide essential services cost-effectively.
b. Employment: Government’s role is not to create jobs but to promote the conditions that make it possible for private enterprise to create jobs.
c. Regulation: Government should avoid excessive regulatory burdens, bureaucracy, and unfunded mandates because they stifle economic growth and opportunity. When regulations are necessary, they should be administered efficiently and predictably.
d. Infrastructure: A solid infrastructure for transportation and communications is essential for economic growth and opportunity.
e. Energy: Vermont’s energy prices are among the highest in the nation, discouraging economic growth and burdening its citizens. We support environmentally and economically responsible efforts to lower the cost of energy. Sound energy policy demands a careful balance between the economy and the environment.
3. Responsible and Responsive Government
Vermont Republicans believe that government should do only those things that individuals cannot do for themselves. As Abraham Lincoln said, “In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.” In all cases, government must be honestly, competently, and responsibly administered. To these ends, we believe the following to be necessary:
a. Adopting budgets that are honestly and truly balanced and that do not overspend available resources.
b. Minimizing long-term liabilities, including bonded debt, and restoring full-funding of pension obligations.
c. Maintaining adequate financial reserves.
d. Eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.
e. Providing sound oversight to reduce cost overruns and ensure funds are wisely spent.
f. Adopting and enforcing strict ethical guidelines for those entrusted with the powers of government.
g. Respecting the Vermont tradition of local control.
4. Safe, Healthy Communities and Environment
Vermont Republicans cherish our proud history of fighting for our environment, as well as keeping our communities free from crime. We promote and support:
a. Strong and healthy families.
b. Safe neighborhoods.
c. Wise stewardship of our air, land, and waterways, recognizing that we hold our natural resource in trust for future generations.
d. Care for vulnerable children, the elderly, the sick, and the poor.
e. Respect for the inherent value of all human life regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or religion.
Vermont Republicans support efforts to achieve accessible and affordable healthcare without rationing or making drastic cuts to programs that provide care to the most vulnerable Vermonters. We support:
a. Choice and competition.
b. Respecting the primacy of the patient/physician relationship.
c. Allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines.
d. Enacting tort reform measures.
e. Supporting innovative measures without sacrificing quality of care.
f. Assuring that payment reforms preserve as inviolable the Medicare benefits that have been earned by our senior citizens.
6. A Well-Educated Citizenry
Vermont Republicans believe that citizens thrive when they have ready access to high quality education. Government should respect the role of students, parents, and legal guardians, who have a critical and vested interest in the educational process. We support:
a. Expanding choices for parents of K-12 students through vouchers, tax credits, or other means.
b. Enabling affordable higher education opportunities for all citizens.
c. Providing Vermonters alternatives to regain local control over the funding and operation of their schools.
Vermont Republicans believe in one nation under God, individual liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, compassion for the needy, low taxes, a free market economy, and local control. The principles set forth in this platform reflect the beliefs and values that characterize the Vermont Republican Party. While individual Republicans may hold diverse opinions in some areas, such differences should not deflect from advancing the principles that unite us as a party.