Tompkins County Republican Party
Basic Principles – Adopted May 2011
Regarding Government Itself:
Ø We believe that people should enjoy the fruits of their labor:
· Government should keep taxes low and affordable;
· Government should generally avoid providing services for the few at the cost of the many.
Ø We believe that the primary mission of Town, County, and Local Governments is to provide for our safety and security, roads and highways, and our local environment in accord with the public’s wishes, not by engaging in social engineering.
Ø We believe that government is best which governs least, only where required, and at the lowest level closest to the people:
· Government regulations should be simple, make sense, and not be onerous or intrusive;
· Government can be active and useful to facilitate the private sector, but should not be used to supplant it or to compete with private, tax paying entities.
Ø Government should work for us; we should not work for government.
Ø We believe taxes should be kept sustainable and that government finance should be sound, pay as you go:
· Cost should not be transferred through debt to future generations;
· Government financial management should be prudent and free of “one time fixes” or accounting “solutions”.
Ø We believe there is no such thing as “government money”:
· It is all our money, all derived from the private sector and individuals;
· It is the total tax burden that counts.
Ø We believe that it is not the role of our local officials to speak for us or to legislate on matters over which they have no control and which are assigned to higher levels of government, that to do so is usurpation of power.
On Individuals and the Private Sector
Ø We believe in an ownership society:
· One in which all people may participate;
· One where people are judged on their individual merits, not as group members or collectively.
Ø We believe that the minority, not just the majority, has rights and those rights must be respected.
Ø We believe in the following values: individual responsibility, strong families, tolerance of the views of others, and decision making based on principles, not expediency.
Ø We believe that our personal lives ought to be our own, beyond the reach of government when we are not hurting others:
· Our choices and priorities should be honored whenever possible;
· We must be responsible for our mistakes; we must not be “bailed out” if we make bad choices.
Ø We believe that citizens should actively participate in their government:
· Offices should be sought for their burdens and responsibilities, not for power;
· Office holders should spend time in the private sector living under the laws they pass;
· Therefore, we favor term limits.
Ø We believe that capitalism, regulated to prevent excess, is the best system for human prosperity, so we oppose government operation, participation in, or control of, businesses.
Ø We believe that when representatives fail to represent, then citizens should be allowed direct democracy, the initiative, referendum, and recall.
Ø We believe that in the marketplace of ideas, our ideas will usually prevail:
· We support free speech;
· We support open, secret ballot elections, with honest voting and vote counting.