Star Parker

First, let's get the marriage amendment passed. The recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health showing direct correlation between what teenagers are exposed to in all forms of media _ magazines, movies, TV, music _ and the sexual behavior of these teenagers, is just the latest evidence of the influence of environment. It is essential that America provide a legal and cultural environment for healthy families. The traditional family is not a lifestyle. It is the building block that sustains our lives and guarantees our future.

Second, let's have vouchers as a central part of national reform of education. It insults every American to think that in a country that is supposedly free that parents cannot choose where to send their children to school. Certainly, nothing short of bringing education into the marketplace will fix inner city schools.

Third, privatize Social Security. There are 35 million Americans over the age of 65 today. There will be twice this number in 25 years. By then we will have almost two retired Americans for every one working. It is simply impossible to sustain a retirement system based on payroll taxes. However, aside from the fiscal arithmetic, why, again in a country that is free, should every working American not have complete control of their wages and how they choose to invest for retirement?

Fourth, level the playing field regarding the tax treatment of health care and drive this product into the marketplace so that all Americans, whether they are working for big companies are not, are looking at the same realities for purchasing health care.

Americans are looking for clarity and leadership. Despite the complicated situation we're in abroad, we can still get aggressive with our domestic program.

When welfare reform passed 10 years ago, many, particularly those on the left, refused to believe that welfare mothers could change for the better and that the way to do it was to give them more, not less, responsibility. Ten years later, welfare rolls have dropped 60 percent and poverty rates among single women with children have dropped by 20 percent.

Republicans shouldn't be thinking about a replay of 1994 as a threat. They should view it as an opportunity. They just need to remember what made that revolution in 1994 a success.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.