2016 Republican National Committee Platform
Lisa Noël Babbage
Author, Teacher, Philanthropist
Oct. 7, 2018
“With this platform, we the Republican Party reaffirm the principles that unite us in a common purpose. We believe in American exceptionalism.”
Although the Republicans took a completely different approach in drafting their 2016 platform than their counterpart did, they did follow an example the American public is familiar with. They began the outline of their plan for the government, to be the framework for the offices they are able to win, with a Preamble. Just as the constitutional writers did when they founded this nation, they used an introduction called the Preamble to form the structure by which their plan would unfold.
But in an effort to try and paint a parallel to the Democratic proposal, the section entitled ‘Government Reform’ was analyzed as it contained topics such as (1)balanced budgets, (2) preserving medicare and medicaid, (3) saving social security, (4) protecting internet freedoms, (5) immigration, (6) the IRS, (7) reforming the treaty system, (8) auditing the Pentagon, (9) advancing term limits, (10) improving federal workforce, (11) relationships with American Indians, (12) Corporate Welfare, (13) the American territories, Washington, DC., and Puerto Rico, that are similarly indicative of as a way to strengthen the middle class.
These thirteen proposals serve the same purpose as the eight ways in which the Democratic National Committee (DNC) planned to “break down barriers and restore the basic bargain that built America’s mighty middle class.” A comparative analysis of these proposals is designed to help readers understand the differences in the two platforms as a way of informing voters.
(1) Balanced budgets
Republicans noted, in their response to balancing the nation’s budget, that under the previous administration the nation’s debt grew to $17 trillion; and was forecast to reach $30 trillion by 2026 if it continued in the same pattern.
The Republican National Committee (RBC) platform included this paragraph:
“The Republican path to fiscal sanity and economic expansion begins with a constitutional requirement for a federal balanced budget. We will fight for Congress to adopt, and for the states to ratify, a Balanced Budget Amendment which imposes a cap limiting spending to the appropriate historical average percentage of our nation’s gross domestic product while requiring a super-majority for any tax increase, with exceptions only for war or legitimate emergencies. Only a constitutional safeguard such as this can prevent deficits from mounting to government default.”
The requirement for a super-majority means that Congress would have overwhelmingly agree to a tax increase. Republican’s charged Democratic spending through bailouts and government shutdowns, among other things, as a way the nation’s debt increased. Requiring a super-majority would decrease the unnecessary tax increases they felt the prior administration put in place.
(2) Preserving Medicare and Medicaid
While both parties recognize the need for social services like Medicaid and Medicare (the platform noted over 100 million Americans relying on these services for healthcare), Republicans seek to reform ObamaCare (Affordable Healthcare Plan) by modernizing the current (Medicaid/Medicare) plan, to remain as a medicine granting entity which is a return to the initial 1965 design. Noted was the long-term debt Medicare accrues because the recipients outnumber the people paying into the program.
Aside from a few congratulatory remarks toward various Governors, the remaining portion of the Medicaid/Medicare reform addresses the need for mental health components of the federal program. The Republican plan for mental health services through Medicaid is secured through Block granting which is a system-wide medical model for addressing mental health.
(3) Saving social security
In line with the common consensus of the longevity of Social Security benefits on the current trajectory have young working people rejecting the entity as a program they will be able to ‘count on’ in their golden years, the RNC platform gave no specifics as to how to reform Social Security. They did, however, make a commitment to have it available for the 20% of the population that falls into that category as Baby Boomers; and to reform the remainder of the program as a moral responsibility to the American people as a whole.
(4) Protecting internet freedoms
Pointing to the Obama-ordered application of a 1930’s independent Federal Communications Commission rule for telephone monopolies to apply toward Internet Service Providers (ISP), the Republican platform has banded behind the Information Freedom Highway as a means of reducing government’s control over taxation or regulation of the Internet. The idea is, according to the Republican platform, competitive private enterprise rule internet policies especially in light of US losing control of root zones of web names and addresses to Russia, China, Iran, and others during the Obama administration.
From the RNC platform report:
“The internet’s independence is its power. It has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. We will therefore resist any effort to shift control toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations.”
Immigration had been a difficult discussion to be had by all especially when we consider the fact that America has welcomed immigrants from its onset. Both parties recognize the contributions of immigrants throughout the history of the country, as well as the need for US intervention into the world crisis many economic and social refugees face. Since the Democrats did not address immigration as it pertains to the strengthening the middle, class one can only assume that a direct correlation between the economic success of the middle class and immigration has not been identified by that party (it was addressed under the subheading “Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Opportunities” in a section called Fixing Our Broken Immigration System but no correlation has been analyzed).
The majority of the Republican focus has been on legal immigration and the benefit this American tradition has on both the local economy but the national economy as well. However, when illegal immigration was addressed overturning the (Obama Executive Orders) executive amnesties of 2012 and 2014 as “a direct violation of federal law and usurp the powers of Congress as outlined in Article I of the Constitution.”
Additionally, the wall marking America’s southern national border was also promoted as a way of discouraging illegal immigration through Mexico. ‘The Wall’ became a source on constant criticism by Democrats even though E-Verify, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE program), and the Department of Homeland Security reported continued illegal infiltration of our borders through Mexico by criminal and undocumented immigrants forming ‘sanctuary cities’ which are a violation of federal law.
(6) Reforming the IRS
The Republican section on reforming the IRS begins, “Many good civil servants work at the IRS, but the agency itself is toxic.” Further information detailing how the party plans to reform the “toxicity” found within this Department of the Treasury sub-agency includes oversight into their hiring practices, a ban on targeting conservative evangelicals and other non-profits, and simplifying the federal tax code.
(7) Reforming the treaty system and (8) Auditing the Pentagon
Republicans reveal that no major part of the Department of Defense has ever passed an audit therefore, beginning with the Pentagon, and audit of the fiscal and operating practices was recommended. The treaty system specified in the Constitution, which follows a set of checks and balances outlined within the governing document, it viewed by the RNC as too restrictive for the current size and scope of our nation, requiring a reform of that system.
(9) Advancing term limits
Proposed to make advanced in progress by limiting the terms of Senators and Congress in both chambers- meaning that elected Senators and Representatives would limited in the number of times they can run for public office in the same position.
(10) Improving federal workforce
Citing the federal regulatory’s (government administrative tasks, processes, and policies) burden as a major cause of the Great Recession, the RNC platform recommends separating federal input into super-legislature agencies such as the EPA (regarding climate change), DHHS (regarding the Affordable Care Act), DOL and National Labor Board (regarding the Dodd-Frank law), the FCC (regarding the Internet as a public utility), and reinstating the Glasss-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits banks from engaging in high-risk investment practices.
(11) Relationships with American Indians
The RNC platform points out that the government-to-government relationship that the US has with Indian Tribal governments, Alaskan natives, and American Indians has not been sufficiently honored and therefore necessitates reversal in negative economic and social trends.
(12) Corporate Welfare
Distortion and disruption to the free market system that occurred when the government bailouts misdirected federal funds to the private sector resulted in eroding public trust and multiple opportunities for corruption and favoritism according to the RNC platform. A commitment to balance financial regulation at the federal level as well as an applause to those who fight ‘crony capitalism’ ended their remarks.
and (13) the American territories, Washington, DC., and Puerto Rico
The Republican National Committee ended this section on stabilizing the middle class by addressing specific territories of the United States. Generally speaking, to address the concerns of these various municipalities, the platform is recommending the creation of a commonwealth and territories advisory committee. In addition, an appointment of a Special Assistant to the President responsible for the day-to-day interaction with the territories whom, as the document asserts, have participated in our economy and military for decades.
Specifically for Washington, DC., the platform recognizes the need for Congress to enforce the ‘spirit of the Home Rule Act,’ which assure minority representation in the City Council. Additionally, there included a reference to enact legislation, as needed, to ensure the protection of the Second Amendment.
For complete information on the 2016 Republican National Committee Platform, visit