The Centrist Project follows a set of common-sense principles that support the continued progress and success of American society. These principles are a coherent set of ideas that draw from the best of the traditional political parties and ditch the rest.
They are rational, understandable and designed to promote action, not contention. After all, we're focused on solving problems... not creating them.
We believe that in order to breakthrough politics Centrist lawmakers must take an approach to governance that involves:
We are committed to putting the nation on a sound fiscal path. We recognize that this will require a combination of revenue increases, spending cuts and reforms to our major entitlement programs.
We need to take full advantage of America’s remarkable economic potential. This includes respect for markets; promote responsible free trade; build and maintain a twenty-first century infrastructure; create a more efficient tax system; restore fiscal sanity by bringing the overall budget back in balance; and rebuild our international institutions to handle modern issues that transcend national borders.
We believe in putting the nation’s long-term interests ahead of the electoral interests of a political party or any narrow interest group.
Government should be pragmatic. Solve problems. Rather than a rigid ideology, governance is a process. We ask: what’s the problem we’re trying to address, why isn’t the market fixing it, and what policy would produce a better outcome? What are the tradeoffs? Then, take appropriate action that makes us collectively better off than we are today.
We believe the role of government is to create an environment in which the private sector can thrive; to provide a meaningful safety net; and to ensure that every American has an opportunity to achieve his or her economic potential.
We have to modernize our programs for the twenty-first century economy. We need to invest in human capital (early childhood education, quality K-12, and modern workforce skills). And, we need a safety net that is finely targeted; benefits should go to those who really need them.
We realize that governing a nation of more than 300 million people is inherently difficult and contentious. Sometimes we must set aside ideological purity if it leads to achieving things that are broadly consistent with our views. Our behavior should be guided by the most important lesson of the United States Constitutional Convention: In a vibrant democracy, compromise is an essential source of strength.
We believe that the federal government should not involve itself in private behavior that does not affect the broader public. We should work to heal America's division on social issues rather than exploiting them for political advantage.
When private behavior does not affect the rest of us, we ought to let individuals decide what to do. In return, we expect individuals to act reasonably and responsibly.
We will act as stewards of the environment for future generations. Climate change represents a real threat to the United States and the international community. We support international efforts to curtail carbon emissions, including policies that raise the cost of polluting behavior.
We believe our government should help our economy thrive, spend our money wisely, and give people a fair shot to achieve the American dream. We believe government should foster a socially tolerant culture where we respect each others differences and treat each other with dignity, even when we disagree on issues. These are the ideas behind our Centrist Principles. We’re passionate about fixing the system. Our country depends on it.
The Centrist Principles are a coherent set of ideas that draws from the best of the traditional political parties and ditches the rest. We're focused on solving problems. Getting things done.
Fighting for these principles allows us to be at the center of important legislation, brokering practical agreements that move our country forward. It’s the roadmap to breakthrough gridlock.
The Centrist Principles are reasonable – based in common sense. There is a lot of powerful stuff buried in the common sense details – things that would disqualify any candidate in today’s Republican or Democratic primary where the extremists dominate the process.
Yes, climate change is real. Try saying that in a Republican primary and winning. Yes, a credible fiscal plan will require reforming Social Security and Medicare. Try winning a Democratic primary with that platform. Yes, every American ought to have the opportunity to achieve his or her economic potential – it’s the only long-term solution for income inequality. Yet neither party has a credible, comprehensive plan for broadening prosperity in a time of profound economic disruption.
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