US Taxpayers Party of Michigan

Platform

Preamble



The U.S. Taxpayers Party of Michigan (hereinafter referred to as USTPM), Michigan's Affiliate of the Constitution Party, gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States. 


The USTPM is dedicated to the concept that this country is a Constitutionally Limited Republic, and not a democracy. The powers of the government are to be bound by the chains of the Constitution. 

The members of the USTPM pledge to work to return, the government of this great country, to the limits established by the founding fathers of this great country. 
We, the members of the USTPM, pledge to protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan State Constitution. Among these rights are the Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, the Freedom of Association, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. 

This platform represents the position of the U.S. Taxpayers Party of Michigan.· Other platform positions at the national level are presented at the website of our affiliate, the Constitution Party, at http://www.constitutionparty.com.


Overview



1.   Abortion / Sanctity of Life:  Life begins at conception and ends at natural death.
2.   Taxes and Spending:  Reduce all Federal, State and local taxes in Michigan. 
3.   Restitution instead of Incarceration.
4.   Ballot Access:  Simplify the requirements for a party to get on the ballot.
5.   Re-establish a part-time legislature in Michigan.
6.   Restore the Republic:  Review the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
7.   Michigan Government Investments must be transparent.
8.   Do not encumber the right of individuals to keep and bear arms: restore the constitutional Militia to the state of Michigan.
9.   Environment, particularly Michigan’s Great Lakes:  We have a particular equity in the protection of our water and other natural resources.
10.  Drinking Water Treatment: Eliminate fluoride and chlorine used to treat drinking water in Michigan and convert to oxygenation.
11.  Eliminate school Tax for Private/Home Schoolers:  to reduce the burden on families who do not use the public schools.
12.  Property Rights:  Property rights must be upheld by all legitimate government.
13.  Farming and Farm Markets:  We affirm the value of family farming.
14.  State Rights:  We object to the federalization of issues that belong in the purview of the individual states.
15.  Immigration:  Michigan needs to step up to its own security responsibilities.
16.  Usury Laws:  Banks and Credit Card companies in Michigan must comply with Michigan’s usury and consumer protection laws. 
17.  Tort Reform:  Make any attorney involved in filing a frivolous law suit jointly liable for the cost of defending against the suit.
18.  Make English the official language of the state of Michigan. 
19.  Social Security:  Revise the existing Social Security System, with the intention to transform it to a true privately managed retirement trust fund.




USTPM Party Platform



1. Abortion / Sanctity of Life:  Life begins at conception and ends at natural death.

The pre-born child, whose life begins at fertilization, is a human being created in God’s image.  The first duty of the law is to prevent the shedding of innocent blood.  It is, therefore, the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of all, including the pre-born.  We oppose abortion and the distribution and use of all abortifacients.

We affirm the God-given legal personhood of all unborn human beings, without exception.  As to matters of rape and incest, it is unconscionable to take the life of an innocent child for the crimes of his natural parents.

The USTPM will resist the passage of any act, such as the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).  Under this act, any and all state-level restrictions and requirements that are now in place on abortion would be eliminated.  This includes such items as parental notification of minors undergoing abortions, mandatory waiting periods, informed consent procedures such as showing mothers the ultra-sound view of their baby, and more.

Any USTPM Party candidate for the federal Senate or the House of Representatives, when elected, will propose legislation stripping the Appellate Jurisdiction from the federal courts on the issue of abortion.

Finally, we also oppose all government “legalization” of euthanasia, infanticide and suicide.  In accordance with the provisions of the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, we oppose any deliberate taking of human life without full, legal due process.  We also oppose the harvesting of human fetal stem cells for purposes of commerce or research.


2. Taxes and Spending:  Reduce all Federal, State and local taxes in Michigan.


The USTPM and the Constitution Party opposes any taxes in excess of the minimum needed to fund the enumerated functions of government.


3: Restitution instead of Incarceration


The Courts should be required to impose restitution where possible for crimes against property perpetrated by first-time offenders. There should be no incarceration except in cases of crimes committed against persons. Incarceration should not be imposed in cases of procedural violations except in cases of repeat offenders.

Every year, the Michigan Prison population rises and victims are doubly harmed by having to pay for incarceration. The primary form of punishment for vandalism, and crimes against property, should be restitution to the victims of the crime where possible. This will educate youthful offenders about the cost of their actions. The requirement of restitution is already in Article I, Section 24 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan and the Courts should be required to mandate the following items. Restitution should be mandatory.  

Restitution should be to the aggrieved party. 

The state should not be allowed to step in and claim to be the aggrieved party. 

The state should assist the victim in collecting or receiving restitution and not claim the restitution.

The perpetrator should not be allowed to profit from their crime.  Any profit gained by the offense should be granted to the victim.


4. Ballot access:  Simplify the requirements for a party to get on the ballot.


Current requirements for a party to gain ballot access are prohibitively expensive which creates restrictive unreasonable mandates, hindering the voice of the people and the free flow of political ideas.  There should be a 5,000 signature maximum to gain ballot access for a minimum of four years.  Also, all third parties who field candidates should be included in all publically funded debates.


5. Re-establish a part-time legislature in Michigan.


Improve the quality of Michigan laws by replacing the professional politicians in our legislature with citizen legislators.

While Michigan’s state legislature is listed as a full time legislature, its members currently receive almost $80.000 a year not including benefits, expense accounts and paid professional staff.  Our legislature is the second highest paid in the country, second only to California.  The Michigan State Officers Compensation Commission should be abolished.  See the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at http://www.ncsl.org for a complete comparative description of all State legislatures.

A.  We propose elimination of the $80,000 annual legislative salaries and all fringe benefits to Legislators.  We propose adoption of a New Hampshire style legislature. 

B.  We propose that the luxury office suites and paid professional staff of each legislator be eliminated.  Legislative staffs need to be downsized and consolidated into a central legislative staff.

C.  We propose that legislative sessions be limited to not more that 85 days over a period of 4 months (from January 2nd through April 30th) once every other year as in the state of Texas.


6. Restore the Republic:  Review the ratification of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


The 17th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, when “ratified”, was the amendment that transformed our form of government from the Republic it was intended to be by the framers and founders, to the “democracy” we have today.  The states are no longer represented in Washington, D. C.: only the people are.

Any USTPM person elected to office in Lansing or in Washington D. C. will use his or her office to review the archives regarding the alleged ratification of the 17th Amendment.  The review of the archives should determine if the language ratified was in fact the actual language of the Amendment passed by Michigan Congress and that the amendment actually received the required votes for ratification.  If the Amendment was not properly ratified, our representatives to the U. S. Congress must be required to take action to rescind the 17th amendment, so that the election of our U.S. Senators will be returned to the Michigan State Legislature, as was originally intended.


7. Michigan Government Investments must be transparent.


Transition all investment funds of Michigan governments (state, county, city, village, township, etc.) to public trusts, and allow full transparency of investments.  Ensure that taxpayers are empowered to discover how invested funds are being handled.  Establish a means by which the taxpayers can force compliance with disclosure requirements, and ensure profits from investment funds are used to reduce taxes in the state.

The investment funds of all Michigan governments (state, county, city, village, township, etc.) should be in public trusts which allow citizens to know what assets the governments hold and how the assets are being invested and used. The public trusts must be required to make periodic public reports of holdings of the trusts and the identity of the trustees and any brokers handling the funds.  This action is needed to insure that taxpayer provided funds are being properly used and are not being diverted to enrich directly, or indirectly, the elected and appointed officials of the various governmental units.


8. Do not encumber the right of individuals to keep and bear arms: restore the constitutional Militia to the state of Michigan.


Article I. Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution both establish that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms for the security of the State and for their own persons, persons having no prior record of crimes against persons or property involving the use of a firearm should be permitted to own and carry arms, in any fashion they so choose, unencumbered by the State or the Federal government.  We affirm that all laws, which support the prosecution of persons using firearms in the commission of crimes against real persons or property, should be strictly enforced.

Also, consistent with the original intent of the Founders and Framers of this nation, we affirm that a constitutional Militia must be re-established and returned to the State of Michigan and to the several states.  The current Michigan National Guard has been gradually transformed and “federalized” into a standing army reserve.  State and local police agencies have been “federalized” and thus threaten state, local and individual sovereignty.  Control must be returned to the State of Michigan.  Until a constitutional militia is restored to the State of Michigan, federal assistance and encumbrances upon State and Local police must be eliminated, returning accountability only to the State of Michigan, and the local municipalities.

Also, the USTPM rejects the use of federal troops or police for the use of civilian population command and control.  That would be the responsibility of the properly constituted and regulated constitutional militia.


9. Environment, particularly Michigan’s Great Lakes:


It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive, and efficient stewards of God's natural resources. Michigan, being the only state (or province) in North America surrounded by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, the 2nd largest supply of fresh groundwater on the planet, has a particular equity in the protection of that water and our other natural resources.

The USTPM wholeheartedly supports realistic efforts to preserve the environment and reduce air, water, and land pollution. We reject, however, the argument that this objective ought to be pursued by costly federal governmental interference, accompanied by multitudes of regulations and the heavy hand of arrogant bureaucrats spurred on by self-serving and irresponsible commercial and NGO pressure groups.

The Great Lakes water should not be diverted.  The USTPM stands against the diversion or sale of Great Lakes or Michigan ground water for bottled drinking water.

We oppose any attempt to tax the use of water from the wells or watersheds of individual homeowners or farmers.

The USTPM also rejects all efforts to “globalize” or “Internationalize” our environmental laws pursuant to U.N.’s Agenda 21, or otherwise “harmonize” Michigan’s laws with non-U.S.laws.


10. Drinking Water Treatment:  Eliminate fluoride and chlorine used to treat drinking water inMichigan and convert to oxygenation.


A majority of Europe nations have stopped using chlorinated or fluoridated water.  Other purification methodologies are available, notably ozone-charged water. Recent medical and safety opinion supports the fact that the use of chlorine is a public health and safety hazard: in fact it is classified by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a hazardous substance.  Dental health in Europe and Japan is on a par with the United States, without the use of chlorine and fluoride.


11. Eliminate school Tax for Private/Home Schoolers.


The USTPM, its national affiliate the Constitution Party, and our fore fathers believe that all teaching is related to the basic assumptions about God and Man.  Education as a whole therefore cannot be separated from religious faith.  The law of our Creator assigns the primary authority and responsibility of educating children to their parents.

We support the unimpeded right of parents to provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home, private or religious.   We oppose all legislation from any level of government that would interfere with or restrict that liberty.  We support equitable tax relief for families whose children do not attend public schools.

So that parents need not defy the law by refusing to send their children to schools of which they disapprove, compulsory attendance should be repealed.

All federal laws, such as the No Child Left Behind Act, or Common Core which require action and expenditure by the state, should be repealed.  These acts are tacitly unfunded mandates since the government provides no funding for the required actions.  The Attorney General of the state should file suit to have it declared to be in violation of the tenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


12. Property Rights:  Property rights must be upheld by all legitimate government.


The right to own and acquire property has historically been understood to be an implicit part of the constitutionally guaranteed right to pursue happiness.  It was clarified in the Fifth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.  As property rights are to be upheld by any legitimate government, it will be vigorously pursued in all of the legislation put forth by any USTPM member elected to office.  Any and all laws, policies or judicial decisions to the contrary will be repealed, rescinded or reversed.  We oppose the use of asset forfeiture laws against any person who has not been convicted of a crime.


13. Farming and Farm Markets:  We affirm the value of family farming.


There should be no federal control of intrastate farming, farm markets or husbandry.  The USTPM recognizes the importance of agriculture to our state and to the independence of our Republic.  We believe that it is beneficial to the independence of our country, and our state that the health of our people and the environment to have many small, independent, family-owned farms. 

In order to promote such agriculture, we seek to lift the unfair regulations that prevent small farmers from being able to market their food, produce and livestock directly to the public if they so choose, instead of being forced to market their goods through the multi-national corporations.  

The USTPM will discourage any attempt to federally control any aspects of intrastate farming, processing, transportation or commerce.  While having ways to track herds and animals is very important for interstate food producers, processors or transporters in order to have confidence in their ability to be able to serve safe and wholesome food to consumers, implementation of the NAIS (National Animal Identification System) is an extreme method of tracking and can be abused, since it can be easily correlated to private ownership.  The NAIS is a federal tracking program and must never be allowed to become an unfunded mandate.  If or when it is allowed, it should be restricted only to producers conducting interstate commerce.  Farmers raising stock for intrastate commerce must not be burdened with the requirement to implement the NAIS. Also federal agricultural subsidies should be curtailed to encourage growth of independent, family farming enterprises.  Family farmers must be allowed to deal directly with all domestic (intrastate) channels of distribution, farm markets and large retailers. We believe that the doctrine of interposition mandates that all branches of the State Government have a specific responsibility to hold any acts of the federal government, which are beyond the scope of its jurisdiction as specified by the United States Constitution, as illegal, invalid and unenforceable.


14.State’s Rights: We object to the federalization of issues that belong in the purview of the individual states.


The USTPM strongly supports proposed “States’ Sovereignty” resolutions, such as HR004 and SCR004, formerly in the Michigan Congress.  The USTPM will promote the passage of legislation to give these resolutions the force of law.


15. Immigration:  Michigan needs to step up to its own security responsibilities.


While Michigan has three major gateway cities, and large immigrant populations, any and all law enforcement and security issues have been “outsourced” to the federal government.  The Michigan State Police refer all such cases to DHS/ICE.  Additionally four major Interstate highways move through these gateway cities and are planned to be an integral part of the NAFTA superhighway system.  Also, the USTPM does not support any form of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, a codeword for Amnesty. However, legal immigrants contribute greatly to Michigan’s economy and culture and are more than welcome.


16. Usury Laws:  Banks and Credit Card companies in Michigan must comply with Michigan’s usury and consumer protection laws.


Banks and credit card companies are locating credit card and loan operations in states, such as South Dakota, which allow exorbitant interest rates as high as a 32% annual rate, as well as abusive penalty provisions.  The full faith and credit provisions of the U.S. Constitution then require the other states to honour these contracts.  This action is an abuse of the commerce provisions of the U.S. Constitution. 

The state currently imposes sales tax on items sold through the mail or over the internet on companies who have an office, store or other physical location in Michigan.  This same legal concept must be applied to make any bank, credit card company, or other providers of credit, who have a physical presence in this state, to comply with the usury and consumer protection laws of this state.


17. Tort Reform:  Make any attorney involved in filing frivolous law suits jointly liable for the cost of defending against the suit.


Currently there is an abundance of frivolous lawsuits filed by individuals, and unscrupulous attorneys, in an effort to extort money from businesses and individuals who are perceived to have deep pockets. 

Attorneys who represent clients in these lawsuits are typically compensated on a contingency basis, where the attorney receives a cut of the award granted as a result of the lawsuit. These attorneys are not subject to prosecution because they are acting as agents of the court system. The people who bring these suits are usually individuals who have no assets, and any judgment issued against them, for the cost of defending against these suits is not collectible. The result of these suits is that businesses frequently pay to settle the suit, because the settlement is cheaper than the cost of prosecuting the case.

State legislation must be enacted that makes any attorney, who is involved in bringing a frivolous lawsuit, jointly liable with the individual who brings the suit. The attorney, and the attorney’s law firm, must be made liable for the expenses they force others to incur.


18. Make English the official language of the state of Michigan.


Eliminate the use of multiple languages on state documents, forms and ballots. Use only English-speaking teachers in public schools. Parents should provide for their children’s training in languages other than English from their own resources.


19. Social Security:  Revise the existing Social Security System, with the intention to transform it to a true privately managed retirement trust fund.


USTPM supports a movement to eventually eliminate the current SS System.  However, citizens currently dependent upon social security as a complete or partial source of income during their retirement will continue to receive benefits while citizens newly entering the workforce will be encouraged to provide for their own retirement and medical savings.  This would be launched with the transference of title of all federalized lands and properties (mineral, oil and gas rights) which lay outside of constitutionally authorized holdings such as federal buildings and military bases, to a public/private pension trust fund.  A plan must be implemented, transitioning over a generation or two to the new plan.