Larry Elder

I. Sell or lease land. The federal government owns about 700 million acres, more than one-fourth of all land in the U.S. For fiscal year 2007, the government valued its land holdings only at about $1 trillion -- but that includes a zero-dollar valuation for much of the acreage because it was never "purchased." The national debt is approximately $14 trillion. The proceeds from sales/mortgages/leases will fund our current and near-term liabilities and, with other changes, will completely eliminate our debt.

II. Social Security. Workers below the age of 55 shall have the option of placing their retirement contributions in private savings accounts.

III. Medicare. Health care needs of those below the age of 55 shall be addressed with individual, tax-free health savings accounts. From these accounts, people can purchase policies with high deductibles, as we do with auto insurance. Non-emergency matters will be paid for out-of-pocket from the accounts.

IV. Medicaid. Those currently on Medicaid must be grandfathered in, but by a date certain, all federal welfare payments will stop. The needs of the needy will be handled by the states and/or by the unparalleled generosity of the American people.

V. Eliminate, privatize, outsource or sell/lease many federal activities. These include, but are not limited to, Amtrak; the Tennessee Valley Authority; government-operated dams and nuclear power plants; the federal student aid grants and loans; public housing; the Food and Drug Administration; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the departments of Energy, Education, and Housing and Urban Development; the Environmental Protection Agency; Freddie Mac; Fannie Mae; the National Institutes of Health; and the Federal Housing Administration.

VI. Repeal laws that violate the principle of federalism, such as wage and hour laws; federal minimum wage; the Clean Air Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act; equal pay laws; the Davis-Bacon Act (mandating prevailing union wages for those working under federal contracts); and all federal anti-discrimination laws that apply to the private sector.

VII. Taxes. Eliminate income, corporate, capital gains, dividend and estate taxes. Given the reduced size of government, the limited duties of the federal government as described in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution will be funded, as the Founding Fathers envisioned, with duties and tariffs.


The Contract extricates the taxpayers from this unsustainable burden of spending and mortgaging our future. To do so without drastically reducing the size of government is like burning the living room furniture to keep warm. There is no "solution," only trade-offs.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit