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True Change Takes People Not Just Politicians

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

When Paul Ryan delivered this year's proposed Republican budget, the political response was predictable and divided. Republicans saw it as a sober and necessary response to a president who has put America on a "path to debt and decline." Democrats called it an early "Christmas Gift"--fresh ammunition to fuel their election-year campaign. The political divide will not go away until more Americans demand true change.

In 1975, Milton Friedman observed: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing."

Without public pressure to do the "right thing," politicians will not shrink the size and power of government or free individuals and private companies to reap the benefits of their own dreams. Unfortunately, cutting spending has not been as popular as giving more goodies to those who vote. Any change in November will depend on whether a majority of Americans realize that America's current path is unsustainable and that a return to conservative solutions is the best way to ensure a workable path to sustained prosperity and freedom for all.

The wrong choice could derail the future of our great republic. As you approach this all-important election, do your due diligence, question with boldness, and get beyond the sound bytes and the stream of endless political ads. Vote for the candidate who will fight for the principles you support.

These are the principles I want my candidate to support:

Smaller Government: Government should be limited to critical Constitutional roles that people cannot do for themselves. Work to keep more money in the pockets of hardworking American citizens by reducing the size and scope of government, by ending unnecessary programs, and by avoiding starting new entitlements. Work to keep the power and resources closer to the people though their local governments.

Energy Freedom: Instead of trying to pick and fund specific energy alternatives, promote an all-of the-above energy strategy that unlocks American energy production and opens promising offshore sites and federal lands for drilling. Let competitive forces help lower energy costs, create energy jobs, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

Economic Freedom: unleash America's free-enterprise system to create economic growth, jobs, and personal wealth for its citizens by minimizing government controls and limiting regulations to high-priority concerns. Extensive regulations and paperwork increase costs, make it hard for businesses to compete, and make states less attractive for needed business investment.

Healthcare Options: Empower patients, not businesses or governments, to have control of their healthcare options. Expand open competition between viable healthcare options. Encourage tax-free medical savings accounts and major-medical plans and give citizens the healthcare options that our politicians can exercise.

Self-Reliance Over Entitlements: Measure true caring by how many people no longer need government programs and are self-sufficient instead of by how many are served by government aid. Support a local safety net for those in need run by private charities and local governments while minimizing the dependency trap for those who are capable of working.

Educational Choice: Reward educational excellence by give more accountability and control to local schools, give vouchers a chance to prove themselves where states want to experiment, and support home schooling and more parent choice.

Tax Fairness: Minimize taxes to the lowest appropriate level possible in order to pay for necessary services, maintain work incentives, and stimulate our economy. Tax rates should be flatter, loopholes should be closed, deductions should be limited, and all working Americans should share some of the tax load.

Strong Defense: With rogue countries and terrorist groups still motivated to do America harm, invest adequate resource to remain strong, progressive, and technologically sophisticated. Walk softly in diplomacy but carry a technologically-advanced stick that is capable of responding to any threat.

If this doesn't get your support, what does?

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