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Pat Buchanan on Government Reform


Term limits and no pensions for congressmen

Congress should recognize the right of the states to impose term limits, and should restrict the Supreme Court so that it cannot overturn state term limit laws. Retired and current members of the House and Senate may keep their pensions, but payments will be frozen, and there will be no future cost of living increases. As of 2000, congressmen will not be allowed into the pension system. They will go on Social Security and can use their personal savings, like everyone else, for their retirement.
Source: Buchanan/Foster web site Aug 6, 2000

Limit corporate, out-of-state, and PAC money for campaigns

House and Senate candidates should raise 50% of their campaign funds from within the district they are seeking to represent. Contributions will be limited to $3000 per contributor for the primary, and $3,000 for the general election. Corporate Political Action Committees will be barred from contributing to candidates for federal office. Corporations will be barred from contributing to the national political party committees.
Source: Buchanan/Foster web site Aug 6, 2000

Reform package: Term limits; ballot access; disclosure

    The Buchanan Reform Package:
  • all contributions come from citizens, not corporations or unions
  • all contributions disclosed within 48 hours
  • all House & Senate members raise 50% of campaign funds within their home district
  • increase limit on individual contributions to $3,000
  • give states the power to impose term limits
  • terminate lavish congressional pensions
  • uniform federal standards for ballot access to facilitate ballot access for third parties
  • same day voter registration
Source: GoPatGo2000.com, “The Buchanan Reform Package” Jun 3, 2000

Establishment wants 2-party elections that change nothing

Q: What do you think is at stake for our country if we shut out of the national debate additional voices such as yourself?

A: What the establishment in Washington has in mind is basically elections that make no difference. One group comes out of the think tanks and universities and goes into government, and the government group goes back into the think tanks and universities. The policy remains the same even though the faces change. That is what presidential elections are all about now, and the great fear of these folks is that a different voice will rally the American people and draw them away from where the establishment wants them to look.

They say trade is off the table; that’s decided. Foreign policy is off the table; immigration is off the table. You can’t talk about that, although people in their living rooms talk about it. All of these issues they say are off the table, but we say we’re gonna put them back on the table.

Source: National Public Radio interview, “Talk of the Nation” May 30, 2000

Will seek non-incumbent Democrat as Vice President

Buchanan will not ask a current member of Congress or governor to be his running mate, hoping instead to sign up somebody who is notable outside of government. Buchanan says that he has discarded a preliminary list of possible running mates drawn up last year. The list was heavy on elected officials.

His vice-presidential candidate would agree with him on opposing abortion, limiting the authority of the WTO and NAFTA, and tightening borders against illegal immigration. Ideally, the candidate would be a woman and a Democrat to broaden his appeal, he says.

“We’re starting to talk about running mates now,” Buchanan says. He said they are “all new names” but would not reveal any. He did say there are women on his list and there “definitely” are men who aren’t white.

The exclusion of sitting office-holders is a sharp departure from a list discussed last year. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, Ohio), who said she would not run with him, led that list. Also on last year’s list were 10 Democratic congressmen.

Source: USA Today, page 8A Apr 13, 2000

15% requirement for debates is designed to exclude Buchanan

Buchanan filed a formal complaint with the FEC charging that the Commission on Presidential Debates has conspired to keep him out the upcoming general election forums. The nonpartisan commission announced new criteria in January for this year’s debates. The commission requires candidates to have an average of at least 15% support in five national polls one week before the first debate in order to participate. “We believe it is deliberately designed and crafted to keep the Reform Party in general, and to keep me in particular, out of these presidential debates,“ said Buchanan. He accused the panel of working in tandem with the Democratic and Republican parties to ”maintain a hammerlock on the presidency. It could have been 13% or 9%, but they set it at the high end of 15%.“ Buchanan said that even if he doesn’t receive 15%, he should be included in the debates because the Reform Party is recognized as a third party by the FEC and has qualified for federal matching funds in the 2000 election.
Source: CNN.com Mar 20, 2000

Ban soft money; end influence peddling

Conceding that John McCain had made campaign reform “the only real issue” in this presidential year, Buchanan accused the two major parties of huge fund-raising abuses in “an incumbents’ protection racket.” Buchanan said, “We get no soft money and we take no PAC money. Neither Beltway party is going to drain this swamp: it’s a protected wetland; they breed in it, they spawn in it.”
He even updated his stump graphics with a giant mock check at his side made out for hundreds of millions of dollars to the major parties and signed by “Influence Peddlers.”
Framing his speech as a detailed cry for reform, Buchanan called for a ban on unlimited contributions to political parties, or soft money, and the creation of a national initiative and referendum process to let voters directly change the system. He also urged the imposition of term limits on Congress, a body he described as so beholden to big-money donors that it had become a “bellhop stand for the business roundtable.”
Source: NyTimes.com Mar 17, 2000

Terms limits and no pensions for members of Congress

Congress should pass a law that recognize the right of the states to impose term limits on members of Congress. [Moreover], Congressional pensions will be eliminated. Retired & current members of the House & Senate may keep their pensions, but payments will be frozen, and there will be no future cost of living increases. As of 2000, congressmen will not be allowed into the pension system. They will go on Social Security and can use their personal savings, like everyone else, for their retirement.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” Dec 1, 1999

Require that 75% of donations come from candidate’s district

House and Senate candidates should raise 75% of their campaign funds from within the district they are seeking to represent. Contributions will be limited to $1000 per contributor for the primary and $1,000 for the general election. Corporate Political Action Committees will be barred from contributing to candidates for federal office and national party committees.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” Dec 1, 1999

Administration staff take oath: never work for foreign gov’t

Americans registering with the Justice Department as foreign agents for foreign corporations, institutions and governments will be required to pay a $10,000 annual licensing fee. The Justice Department will use the money to track and publicly report the activities of these foreign agents of influence in the US. Members of a Buchanan administration will take an oath pledging to never work on behalf of a foreign government.
Source: GoPatGo.com “Issues Library” Dec 1, 1999

Restore constitutional division of federal & state functions

We need to restore the old constitutional division of labor in government: defense and foreign policy are the province of the federal government, but welfare and education are the business of state and local governments. And in children’s education, parents come first, teachers come second, and federal judges, not at all.
Source: Announcement as a Reform Party Candidate, Falls Church, VA Oct 25, 1999

Enforce 10th Amendment; give federal powers to states

Many functions of the federal government are, de facto, unconstitutional, wholesale violations of the Tenth Amendment that reserves such powers to the states. The federal government should be cut, with Cabinet departments abolished, the money they spend returned to citizens, the duties they assumed returned to the states.
Source: www.iac.net/~davcam/pat_issu.html Jul 2, 1999

No new regulations; restrict unfunded mandates

    A Buchanan Administration will:
  • Impose a moratorium on new federal regulation, a sunset provision of five years on all regulation, and a defined annual cutback on paperwork for small business.
  • Review and rollback unfunded mandates of the past and place restrictions on future unfunded mandates.
  • Eliminate all quotas, contract set asides and affirmative action from federal programs and federal law.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Small Business” Jun 12, 1999

Lobbying: Charge foreigners; 5-year ban on officials

    LOBBYING REFORM
  • $100,000 annual fee for lobbying for foreign institutions, to be used to track and publicly report the activities of these foreign agents
  • No foreign agents in a Buchanan Administration, [even after leaving government].
  • 5-Year lobbying-ban on former Congressmen and staff, and on White House staff.
  • Tax exempt institutions must report foreign contributors
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” Jun 12, 1999

Campaign Finance: limit outside $, PAC $, & corporate $

    CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
  • House & Senate Campaigns: limit money from outside the district or state to 25% of their campaign funds.
  • Contributions will be limited to $1000 per contributor for the primary, and $1,000 for the general election.
  • No PAC contributions to candidates for federal office and national party committees.
  • No Corporate contributions to the national political party committees.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” Jun 12, 1999

For Congress: yes term limits; no pensions; no franking

We must end the glorified bribery that passes for fundraising in congressional campaigns, and cleanse our capital city of the buying and selling of political influence.
    CONGRESSIONAL REFORM
  • Reestablish the right of states to impose term limits on members of Congress.
  • Abolish Congressional pensions; congressmen will go on Social Security, like everyone else.
  • Ban franked mass mail; use the frank only to answer mail.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Congressional Reform” Jun 12, 1999

Dismantle DOE, HUD, DOC, NEA, BLM, ATF, etc.

We are an overregulated, overtaxed, and overgoverned society. As President, I will begin to roll back this regulation juggernaut by dismantling the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, & the Dept. of Commerce. I will I will also defund the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment of the Humanities & Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Bureau of Land Management will be eliminated, & I will dissolve the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms into the FBI.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Dismantling Bureaucracy” Jun 5, 1999

Dismantle federal agencies; give funds to taxpayers

Among the great achievements of the recent Congress was the return of welfare to the states. That should be the beginning. The Federal Government still squanders more of our tax dollars than at any point in our nation’s history. A Buchanan Administration will not be adding to federal agencies, but subtracting from them, we will send the dollars saved back to the states and to the people in tax cuts.
Source: www.gopatgo2000.com/000-c-fedbureaucracy.html 5/28/99 May 28, 1999

Judiciary should interpret laws, not rewrite them

The Supreme Court and all federal courts need to get back to the business of interpreting the Constitution and the law, and out of the business of rewriting the Constitution and the law. That is not their role. In a constitutional republic, how we govern ourselves should be decided by elected leaders, not anointed judges.
Source: Presidential Annoucement Speech, Courtyard NH Mar 2, 1999

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
  • Click here for a profile of Pat Buchanan.
  • Click here for IssueMatch responses by Pat Buchanan.
Other candidates on Government Reform: Pat Buchanan on other issues:
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Al Gore
Ralph Nader

Minor Candidates:
Harry Browne
John Hagelin
David McReynolds
Howard Phillips

V.P. Candidates:
Dick Cheney
Ezola Foster
Winona LaDuke
Joe Lieberman

Withdrawn:
Alan Keyes
Bill Bradley
John McCain
Abortion
Budget/Economy
China
Civil Rights
Crime
Defense
Drugs
Education
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Juvenile Crime
Kosovo
Principles
School Choice
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
Welfare/Labor


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