I am making 12 Commitments to the American People. They are intended to lift our vision from the rearview mirror to the road ahead. If I am elected president, I want to be held accountable for the progress we make as a nation.
1) I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.
Winning the terrorists’ war on us is the greatest responsibility of the 9/11 Generation. We need to continue taking the fight to the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists by increasing the size, strength, and support of our military — beginning with ten new Army combat brigades.
2) I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders and identify every non-citizen in our nation.
We can end illegal immigration with tough but realistic laws that put security first. We need to secure the border with a physical fence and a technological fence. We need to require a tamper-proof I.D. card for all non-citizens coming into the United States and tracking their entry and exit. And we need to encourage Americanization by requiring new citizens to read, write, and speak English.
3) I will restore fiscal discipline and cut wasteful Washington spending.
Over the next two presidential terms, 42 percent of the federal civilian workforce is due to retire. We should only hire back half, replacing non-essential workers with technology. I’ll ask agency heads to identify annual budget cuts of 5 to 20 percent. With entitlement costs scheduled to explode, we need fiscal discipline to avoid passing an unsupportable burden on to the next generation.
4) I will cut taxes and reform the tax code.
Pro-growth policies lead to broader prosperity. The next president needs to simplify the tax code and keep taxes low — including the personal income tax, the capital-gains tax and the corporate tax. And we can eliminate double taxation and protect family businesses by giving the Death Tax the death penalty.
5) I will impose accountability on Washington.
We need to restore Americans’ faith that government can work again. That’s why we’ll implement the first constant measurement of government effectiveness, known as “FedStat,” and put the results online so the public can hold agencies accountable.
6) I will lead America towards energy independence.
We must decrease America’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil. We can meet this challenge through diversification of our energy portfolio, innovation, and conservation. We must increase public and private investment in nuclear power, clean coal, and alternative-energy sources across the board. America must lead the world in energy-efficient, environmentally responsible, commercially viable innovation, including wind, solar, geo-thermal, ethanol, and biofuel technologies.
7) I will give Americans more control over their health care with affordable and portable free-market solutions.
We can improve the quality of health care while decreasing costs through increased competition. Solutions can include reforming the tax treatment of health care, expanding portable health-savings accounts, encouraging state-by-state innovations, and reforming the legal system.
8) I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect the quality of life for our children.
We need to take advantage of the common ground in America to reduce abortions by increasing adoptions and assuring that individual choice is well informed. We need to measure our progress toward these goals. We need to reduce the high costs of adoption. And we need to protect our children against sexual predators and online pornography.
9) I will reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges.
America must reform its legal system. We need to eliminate nuisance lawsuits through “loser-pays” provisions. Tort reform can help us reduce costs passed on to the consumer, such as higher insurance premiums. Activist judges threaten to expand the power of the courts beyond the bounds established by the Constitution; we must reassert the proper balance.
10) I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Homeland security and national security are now inseparable. We need to ensure that local first responders are trained to meet natural disasters as well as terrorist attacks. We must improve information-sharing between local, state, and federal authorities. And we need to repair vulnerable infrastructure to minimize the impact of terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
11) I will provide access to a quality education to every child in America by giving real school choice to parents.
Education reform is a civil-rights struggle and the key to improving America’s competitiveness in the global economy. We need to empower parents and children by expanding school choice. We need to promote math and science, while ending the digital divide.
12) I will expand America's involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation around the world.
We need to strengthen our country by engaging aggressively the global economy. The mission of the State Department needs to be focused on acting first and foremost as an advocate for America. Fostering trade and educational and cultural exchange will promote the expansion of freedom.
These 12 Commitments offer an action plan to focus America on the future. Over the course of this campaign, I’m going to present each policy in greater detail. And when we get to Washington, we’re going to put these ideas into action. Guided by these 12 Commitments, we will hand our nation over to the next generation far better than it was handed to us.