From the outset of our campaign we wanted to build an agenda that served the people, NOT special interests and the status quo. We identified five simple ideas to express our vision for America and make up our platform:
- Revive the Economy
- Reform the Taxcode
- Rebuild the Family
- Reduce the Government
- Restore the Dream
We believe that the principles of limited government, individual liberty and free-enterprise can unleash the full potential of the American people.
Mark On The Issues
I am a committed, unapologetic conservative, and I strive to apply these principles in all areas.
We must work to get government out of the way of our economy. Heavy-handed regulations – like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank – are smothering American businesses. The complexity and severity of the tax code limits job creation and expansion.
Additionally, we have to put an end to wasteful spending and get the national debt back under control. Our ballooning debt is hazardous to our economy and to our national security. The seven years of the Obama Administration have been a spending spree; it has to stop. I will support a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
Government is more responsive, effective and efficient at the local level. Nowhere is that better exemplified than in education.
The federal government does not belong in our classrooms. Common Core is a Trojan horse for more federal control of education and I am leading the fight to stop that invasion.
I have introduced the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act that would allow states to opt-out of all federal programs and mandates while keeping their federal education dollars. This preserves local control of education and empower teachers and parents. I am proud to partner with the Heritage Foundation and other leading think tanks on this legislation.
Family and Values
The family is the building block of civilization. Erosion of family is the erosion of our American foundation.
I will continue to be a tireless advocate for the unborn and vulnerable. I will continue to lead on issues of religious liberty and preserving America’s commitment to charity and philanthropy. As a vocational pastor, I know that everyone will not share my religious convictions; but my oath is to the Constitution, and that oath demands that I protect life and speech, and that rights of conscience are never threatened.
As a member of the NRA, I will fight any attempt to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. The right to keep and bear arms must not be infringed – I think the founders were clear and I intend to preserve this basic, constitutional liberty.
The greatest barrier to healthcare in America is cost. By making healthcare more affordable, we can expand access and coverage.
Competition is the way we control costs, not mandates. That is a lesson some in Washington refuse to learn. Repealing the harmful regulations and taxes in Obamacare is one of my top priorities.
Instead of mandating health insurance, we should focus on market-based solutions – including tort reform and enabling plans to be sold across state lines – which will help bring the cost of healthcare down without creating additional bureaucracy or increasing the national debt.
“Speak soft and carry a big stick”. True at the turn of the last century and true today. America is a force for good in the world and, as a result, we are a target for the for the forces of evil.
The continued downsizing of our military should be frightening to all of us. I will make sure our government invests in defense and gives our soldiers the tools to keep our nation safe from those who wish us harm.
We owe a debt of thanks to those that have served our country in the armed forces. We will never be able to fully repay the debt, but it is our duty to try. I am committed to fixing the problems that plague our Veterans Affairs system and to bring veterans benefits into the 21st century.
All Americans should be concerned about the environment. Climate change has become a political football and the Left has used it to drive through restricting regulations that have damaged our economy.
We can be green without being extreme. Personal and social responsibility are powerful tools if applied to conservation. I believe that God provided the earth to us and we have a responsibility to conserve and respect the environment.
America is undergoing an energy revolution. New technology has made us an energy exporter again. We need to harness this progress and use energy production as a way to jumpstart our economy.
I am opposed to all forms of immigration amnesty. Our immigration system is broken, and we must fix it. Our first priority must be to secure our porous borders; without secure borders, reforms will have no effect.
Once we have made progress on border security, we can implement reforms to the current citizenship process and guest worker programs to ensure that individuals patiently waiting in line and following the law are able to enter legally and serve as productive members of our society.