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Founding Principles


Set the highest ethical standards for the White House and Congress:

  • No more gifts.
  • No more trips or junkets paid for by special interests.
  • No more free meals.
  • Pass laws with significant penalties - not rules.
  • Give Congress and the White House the same retirement plans and health care as the average citizen.

Balance the Budget:

  • Develop a detailed blueprint to balance the budget.
  • Eliminate the practice of keeping some programs off-budget.
  • Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment.
  • Create an annual financial report in plain language so the American people will know whether or not we are following the plan to balance the budget.
  • Give the President the Line Item Veto.

Campaign Reform:

  • Reduce the cost of campaigns by shortening the election cycle.
  • Vote on Saturdays and Sundays - not Tuesdays - so working people can get to the polls.
  • Replace the Electoral College process for electing the President with a direct vote from the citizens - so that every vote counts.
  • Prohibit announcements of exit polls until all voting has been completed in Hawaii.
  • Require Members of Congress to raise all money from voters in their districts, and require members of the Senate to raise all money from voters within their States.

Term Limits:

  • Limit Members of Congress to three terms in the House of Representatives and limit Senators to two terms in the Senate.

Create a new tax system:

  • It must be fair.
  • It must raise the money to pay the bills.
  • Require that any future tax increases under this new system be approved by the people in the next federal election, in order to impose discipline on spending.

Carefully putting together plans to deal with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security:

  • Explain these plans in detail to the American people.
  • Get a consensus.
  • Pilot test each of these programs before implementing them nationwide to make sure they produce the anticipated results at the anticipated cost.
  • Keep these programs dynamic, so they can be changed based on experience - don't freeze them with restrictive legislation.

Promoting jobs in the USA:

  • Negotiate trade agreements that promote American jobs, consumer safety, environmental protection, and fair trade.
  • Create a business environment that supports small business, which accounts for roughly 80 percent of jobs held by Americans today. Trade agreements, tax reform, health care reform, and other programs must reflect the needs of small business.

Lobbying Reform:

  • Prohibit former elected and appointed officials from ever taking money from foreign governments or foreign interests.
  • Prohibit any former high level federal employees - including elected officials - from ever working as a foreign lobbyist.
  • Allow foreign governments to provide information to our government through the State and Commerce Departments and the Executive Branch, but prohibit them from giving contributions or gifts of any kind.
  • Allow foreign representatives to visit with Members of Congress, but under no circumstances allow them to give elected officials anything now or later.
  • Prohibit any former high level federal employees - including elected officials - from working as a domestic lobbyist for five years after leaving government service in the area for which they served.
  • Limit domestic lobbying to presenting client's ideas to the Legislative and Executive Branches
  • Prohibit domestic lobbyists from giving money, trips or other incentives to current or former members of the Legislative and Executive Branches.


We, the members of the Reform Party, commit ourselves to reform our political system. Together we will work to re-establish trust in our government by electing ethical officials, dedicated to fiscal responsibility and political accountability. --Adopted November 2, 1997 at the Reform Party Founding Convention, Kansas City, Missouri


The following Constitutional Principles, adopted as part of the Platform Packet in Dearborn, Michigan July 24,1999, are considered an integral part of the Reform Party USA Platform.

  • We shall seek to reform our electoral, lobbying and campaign practices to ensure that our elected government officials and our candidates owe their allegiance and remain accountable to the people whom they are elected to serve rather than other influence-seeking agencies.
  • We shall require ethical conduct by all our government officials with respect to the acceptance of rewards from special interests seeking to influence government during or following their terms of public service.
  • The positions of our Party on all issues will be chosen in accordance with the best interests of our country, its people and its future generations without regard for partisan or personal advantage.
  • The foundation of our Party is the activity of grassroots citizen volunteers. The Reform Party will make our candidates, party officials and elected officials accountable to our grassroots members who are their principal support. Our Party is open to participation by all who wish to join us to work toward our goals.
  • We shall restore integrity, accountability and fiscal responsibility to government and its leadership.
  • We, the members of the Reform Party, celebrate our heritage of individual liberty, recognizing that one of our greatest strengths is our diversity; and we will foster tolerance of the customs, beliefs, and private actions of all persons which do not infringe upon the rights of others.
  • Moreover, we strive to unite all Americans in spirit and in purpose.
  • The Reform Party believes in a Balanced Tailored Trade program that promotes the economic interests and welfare of all our citizens while safeguarding domestic production.
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