Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ohio Governor John Kasich's Action Plan: Reclaiming Our Power, Money & Influence From Washington



A Strategy for Dismantling Washington & Reclaiming Our Power, Money and Influence

America has a big economic problem and it’s called Washington. The weak economic growth of the past several years isn’t because Washington failed to do enough, but because Washington succeeded in doing too much. By making government smaller, less costly and more responsive to our needs we can get our economy going again and have the resources to secure our nation, strengthen our families and communities, and reach our God-given potential.

In his first 100 days as President, John Kasich will send Congress a comprehensive plan that creates the climate for job creation by balancing the budget in eight years, cutting taxes for families and businesses, reining in federal regulations, tearing down barriers to increased energy production, and returning major federal responsibilities back to our states and communities where they can be performed more efficiently and responsively to serve Americans.

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Balance The Budget and Keep it Balanced

John Kasich will work with Congress to balance the budget in eight years. By reining-in spending, reforming our broken entitlement programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, sending federal programs back to our states and communities where they belong, and spurring economic growth, it can be done. It is a big job, but John Kasich is a proven reformer who is unafraid to take-on seemingly impossible challenges. He led the effort to successfully balance the federal budget once before, he did it in Ohio and he can provide the leadership to do it again for our nation.

  • Keep the Budget Balanced:

    Washington will not balance the budget and keep it balanced unless it is forced to do it. John Kasich will work with Congress to pass a resolution amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget and submit it to the states for ratification. If Congress refuses, he will work with the states to call a constitutional convention to craft an amendment that could be submitted to the states for ratification.

  • Reduce and Control Spending:

    John Kasich will set priorities and then make the tough choices to get spending under control and then shrink and dismantle the Washington bureaucracy to keep spending under control for the long term. National security is a priority, however, and he will increase defense spending to restore our military and help keep Americans safe.

  • Reform Entitlement Programs:

    The cost of entitlement programs like Medicaid and Medicare are growing uncontrollably and must be fundamentally reformed to reduce their growth rates and become more efficient while still providing the services that Americans want and need.

  • Revenue Growth:

    Fostering the climate for economic growth creates new opportunities and prosperity for Americans, which in turn generates revenue to help balance the budget. Reducing personal and corporate income taxes, cutting federal red tape, providing access to affordable, reliable energy and getting government out of the way will all help contribute to America’s economic revival.

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The federal government’s high taxes and complex tax code are barriers to economic growth whose negative effects are especially harmful as America’s economic recovery continues to struggle. John Kasich will work with Congress to cut personal and business taxes, simplify the tax code and initiate a top-to-bottom review of our tax system to eliminate barriers to innovation, and root-out bias, arrogance and corruption in the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Tax Cuts for Individuals and Families:

    Lowering income tax rates, reducing the number of brackets, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit will allow all taxpayers, especially low and middle income earners, to keep more of their own money and be better able to save and invest for the future.

  • Tax Cuts for Job Creators:

    Lower taxes and incentives to invest will restore global competitiveness to America’s business tax system to help create new jobs.

  • Tear Down Barriers to Innovation:

    John Kasich will initiate a comprehensive review of federal policies to identify and eliminate barriers to research, innovation, commercialization of new breakthroughs and start-up business success.

  • Reform the Internal Revenue Service to eliminate inefficiency, bias and corruption:

    The Kasich Administration will launch an independent, top-to-bottom review of the Internal Revenue Service and its practices with the goal of improving simplicity, fairness and integrity. No more will the IRS be used to target individuals or groups based on ideology or other irrelevant factors.

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Oftentimes overzealous federal regulators go too far, cause laws to have a different impact than Congress intended, or simply make mistakes. Getting federal regulations under control is essential to making sure Americans have the health and safety protections they need without unnecessary burdens. As president, John Kasich will reform the federal regulatory process with common sense improvements.

  • A One-Year Moratorium:

    A one-year moratorium on all major, new regulations will give businesses a respite from the costs of Obama Administration regulations and allow time to overhaul the regulatory process.

  • Mandatory Cost-Benefit Analysis:

    John Kasich will call on Congress to make cost-benefit analyses mandatory for all new regulations to make sure their benefit outweighs their costs.

  • Independent, Common Sense Appeals:

    Today a small business that wants to fight an agency decision can sue in federal court and go bankrupt hiring lawyers, or use an agency’s own appeals process staffed by its own bureaucrats. Only an independent administrative review can ensure businesses get fair, reasonable treatment and John Kasich will create new appointed common sense review panels comprised of real Americans.

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For decades Washington has steadily expanded its role, size and cost, adding to the debt that crowds out private investment and chokes our economic growth, all while creating tentacles of bureaucracy that increasingly seek to weave into our lives, communities and businesses. To fix these problems—and keep them fixed—John Kasich will begin dismantling Washington and taking our power, money and influence back to our states and communities. Not only do states have the ability to execute faster and more efficiently, but because they are on the frontlines they better understand Americans’ needs and can be more responsive to them.

  • Transportation:

    Not since the completion of the interstate highway system over two decades ago has there been a clear vision for the federal government’s role in surface transportation. John Kasich will direct policy authority, funding and responsibilities to the states, which are in the best position to assess infrastructure needs and develop strategies to manage them.

  • Education:

    John Kasich will reduce the power of the U.S. Department of Education and end Washington’s education micromanagement. He will reaffirm the fundamental principle of local control and will give local school districts and states more flexibility to use federal resources to meet the educational needs of their students.

  • Workforce:

    Washington should provide more flexibility from rigid guidelines so states can align programs to the skills and positions for which local job creators are hiring. Issuing block grants to the states while streamlining multiple programs into a few large grants will afford them the opportunity to be innovative and responsive.

  • Medicaid:

    Getting Medicaid’s unsustainable growth rates under control requires giving states more freedom to innovate, improve quality and increase efficiency.

  • Low-Income Public Assistance:

    All real innovations that have been developed to help people move up and out of poverty have come from the states, not Washington. Block granting welfare in the 1990s was a start, but excessive constraints by the federal government have limited its overall success. As president John Kasich will make sure welfare programs actually help Americans move up and out of poverty and give taxpayers the value they deserve.

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Low-cost, reliable energy is the backbone of America’s economy. Too often we have seen America’s energy policies swing wildly between cheap generation and environmental protection, as if those were our only choices. Energy policies that only focus on low costs keep us from seeking technological breakthroughs that can improve efficiency and sustainability. An exclusive focus on unnecessary environmental regulation drives up energy costs and keeps energy independence out of reach. America needs balance.

John Kasich believes that Americans need an energy policy that encourages more energy production from a broad base of sources. At the same time we need environmental regulations that strike the right balance between needed protection and the need for jobs.

  • Keep Energy Affordable And Reliable by Pursuing All Sources of Energy:

    Diversifying our energy supply is the best strategy for economic growth. Government policies that encourage or discourage energy from any single source are economically counterproductive.

  • Achieve Energy Independence:

    Sourcing all our energy from North America and eliminating our reliance on overseas energy makes America safer and stronger. John Kasich will approve the Keystone XL pipeline to help make this happen.

  • Use Common Sense In Energy Regulation:

    Washington assumes authority that does not exist in pursuit of reckless regulations that will kill jobs. John Kasich will bring common sense and science to energy regulation in order to properly balance environmental stewardship and job creation.

  • Encourage Research In New Technologies:

    Both the economy and environment benefit from technological breakthroughs. High-capacity, long-life batteries; fuel cells; the high-efficiency “smart” electricity grid; clean coal and other technologies can help improve the environment, increase efficiency and conserve energy. Unreasonable barriers to their development should be identified and removed to help make them a reality.

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DISMANTLING WASHINGTON: The Commerce Department is a Text Book Example of What Needs to Change

For at least 30 years people have talked about dismantling the 40,000+ employee, $12 billion U.S. Department of Commerce to help shrink the Washington bureaucracy. The reason is simple: the Department has become a cluttered “attic” for the federal government, hiding political pet projects, outdated programs, and agencies without a logical home. The resulting “Franken-agency” simply no longer makes sense. John Kasich will do more than just talk about this monstrosity—as president he will eliminate it, as part of an overall freeze and reduction of the federal workforce. Essential work of Commerce would be transferred to other agencies and unneeded programs, political projects, and expensive bureaucracy—as well as the cabinet position itself—would be eliminated. Highlights include:

  • Consolidate Stewardship of Natural Resources:

    Almost half of the Commerce Department’s budget goes to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service and its satellites, and the National Hurricane Center. These and other efforts align closely with the work of the Department of Interior to preserve and safeguard America’s natural resources and, after a review to eliminate duplication, would be moved there.

  • Strengthen Trade Promotion & Expedite Trade Violation Enforcement:

    The Department’s International Trade Administration ineffectively brings together trade promotion, trade agreement enforcement, and data collection and analysis functions that are not natural fits. The trade promotion work and efforts that prevent sensitive technology from being used against America would go to the State Department. Trade enforcement and compliance work are better suited at the International Trade Commission.

  • Return Economic Power to States and Communities:

    The Economic Development Administration’s grant programs for local communities would be carefully analyzed for duplication and those not eliminated would be transferred to HUD where they would be returned to states and communities in large flexible block grants. Trade adjustment efforts could be transferred to the Department of Labor, where a trade adjustment program already exists.

  • Better Support Minority Business:

    The mission and culture of the Department Minority Business Development Agency align well with that of the Small Business Administration and would be transferred there to better service the needs of these important businesses.

Shutting the Department to eliminate functions and consolidate overhead costs in others would produce significant savings. While closing and moving offices could bring initial cost increases, they would be more than recouped over time. Savings would vary based on how and where offices are moved, but overall savings would be significant: for every one percentage point reduction in spending, approximately $1 billion would be saved over 10 years. The resulting improved services, better management and heightened teamwork will begin the long-overdue rebuilding of American’s confidence that the federal government actually works for them.

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A Strategy for Dismantling Washington & Reclaiming Our Power, Money and Influence
Summary Fact Sheet

America has a big economic problem and it’s called Washington. The weak economic growth of the past several years isn’t because Washington failed to do enough, but because Washington succeeded in doing too much. By making government smaller, less costly and more responsive to our needs we can get our economy going again and have the resources to secure our nation, strengthen our families and communities,and reach our God-given potential.
In his first 100 days as President, John Kasich will send Congress a comprehensive plan that creates the climate for job creation by balancing the budget in eight years, cutting taxes for families and businesses, reining in federal regulations, tearing down barriers to increased energy production, and returning major federal responsibilities back to our states and communities where they can be performed more efficiently and responsively to serve Americans.

Balance the Budget and Keep it Balanced: John Kasich will work with Congress to put Washington on the path to a balanced budget within eight years by reducing spending, reforming entitlements, and encouraging economic growth. To keep the budget balanced he will work with Congress and the states to enact a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and will keep it balanced by dismantling the big barrier holding our economy back: big government.

America must scrap the Washington big government model because it costs too much and delivers too little value. Our states and communities can provide better value and more quickly respond to the unique needs of their citizens. By shrinking and breaking up the big Washington bureaucracies and sending their responsibilities and resources back to the states with fewer strings attached, Americans can have lower-cost government that serves them—not the other way around.
Transportation: With the interstate system long finished and highway design and construction overseen by the states, the costly federal highway bureaucracy and its burdensome oversight of state highway work are barriers to growth. John Kasich will return the federal gas tax to the states, keep just a sliver with the Department of Transportation for truly national priorities, downsize the department and refocus it on safety and research support for states.
Education: End Washington’s education micromanagement, shrink the federal education bureaucracy by consolidating more than 100 programs into four key block grants and funds back to the states, repurpose the Department of Education to support the states with research and suggested innovations—and end its interference.
Job Training: Across its dozens of job training programs, Washington permits very little state flexibility, innovation or true responsiveness to employers’ needs. It is often only geared to help workers if they first lose their jobs. To reduce federal costs and improve help for workers who need it, job training should be consolidated into a handful of block grants administered by the states, provide states the flexibility to align training with the skills employers are seeking and help workers with jobs upgrade their skills so their employers can stay competitive and in business.
Medicaid: Ohio reined-in Medicaid spending growth and is improving health outcomes using private sector health insurance, medical homes and payment reform, but could innovate more if Washington allowed it. Unleashing state innovation across the country is essential to providing better value and higher quality and containing costs.

Cut Taxes & Make The Tax Code Simpler & Fairer: Americans’ taxes are too high. They are a barrier to work, saving, growth and investment, and innovation and must be significantly reduced for individuals and businesses to spark growth.
Cut Individuals’ Taxes: John Kasich will simplify and cut taxes for Americans by reducing the number of brackets from seven to three, cutting the top rate from the current 39.6 percent to 28 percent—the same rate President Reagan used in his 1986 tax cut—and cutting the other rates as well. Kasich also will increase the Earned Income Tax Credit by 10 percent, cut the long-term capital gains rate to 15 percent, eliminate the death tax and preserve the deductions for charitable donations and mortgage interest (consistent with current limits).
Cut Business Taxes: John Kasich will cut the top rate from 35 percent to 25 percent to make America globally competitive, establish a low tax rate to repatriate the estimated $2 trillion in profits held overseas, double the research and development tax credit for businesses under $20 million, allow same-year expensing for new investments, and create a “territorial” system that only taxes U.S.-produced income, like most other major industrialized nations.
Fix the IRS: Additionally, John Kasich will launch a top-to-bottom review of the IRS and tax code to root out the barriers to innovation and small business start-ups, as well as to end the IRS culture of bias, arrogance and political favoritism.

Reduce Regulations and Bureaucratic Red Tape: John Kasich will rein-in unelected agency bureaucrats whose regulations, red tape and enforcement decisions are often extreme and inconsistent with congressional intent. Together these abuses choke economic activity and to reverse them, John Kasich will:
•Impose a one-year freeze on major new regulations to give job creators a respite while the regulatory system is rebuilt.
•Call on Congress to require mandatory cost-benefit analysis in rulemaking so regulations don’t do more harm than good.
•Call on Congress to require congressional approval for any regulation costing the economy more than $100 million.
•Re-establish strong central oversight of all new agency regulations.
•Replace agencies’ internally-staffed administrative appeals processes with appointed, truly independent, common sense reviews. This would allow smaller businesses adversely impacted by regulatory, permitting or enforcement decisions access to fair appeals processes that are quicker and less expensive than federal court.
•Establish a two-year deadline for new major infrastructure permits.

Produce More Energy from All Sources and Achieve Energy Independence: Increasing energy from all sources—oil and gas, nuclear, coal, alternatives and renewables and emerging technologies—will provide the affordable, reliable energy our economy needs, make us independent from overseas oil and allow us to achieve the goal of sourcing all our energy entirely from North America. To do this John Kasich will:
•Approve the Keystone XL pipeline to increase access to oil from Canada and along the pipeline’s route.
•Allow export of U.S.-produced oil and end this artificial, counterproductive market distortion.
•Increase access to oil and gas production on non-sensitive public lands with proper environmental protections.
•Keep fracking regulations at the state level and eliminate efforts by the federal government to impose new ones.
•Repeal regulations on energy production that are counterproductive and extreme such as the Clean Power Plan.
•Encourage research in new technologies that increase efficiency & conservation while reducing costs & environmental impact such as high-capacity, long-life batteries; fuel cells; the high-efficiency “smart” electricity grid; and clean coal.

Open New International Markets, but Get Smart About Unfair Trade: When American products and services are accessible around the world American businesses and workers benefit. Trade also enhances global security and stability. It can’t come at the cost of common sense, however. If other countries want access to the American market they should provide access to their markets, and trade violations must be quickly addressed to prevent significant economic damage to businesses and workers.
•The International Trade Commission and other U.S. trade bodies must be reformed to expedite consideration of complaints from companies that are negatively impacted by unfair trade practices.
•America must seek more favorable terms in trade negotiations including better protection against currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and cyber-attacks.