Explainer: What You Should Know About the Republican Party Platform (Part II)
Religion & Liberty Online

Explainer: What You Should Know About the Republican Party Platform (Part II)

Note: This second article in a two-part series on the Republican Party Platform. Part I can be found here.

In the previous article we looked at summary outline of the Republican platform as it relates to several non-economic issues covered by the Acton Institute. Today, we’ll look at the GOP’s economic agenda as laid out in the platform. Because the document is long (66 pages) and covers an extensive variety of economic-related areas (agriculture, energy) this list won’t be exhaustive. But it does cover the primary economic positions that are being supported or opposed by the Republican Party.

(Next week, after the Democratic National Convention, we’ll examine their platform’s stance on the same and related issues.)

Federal Budget and Debt

Supports a constitutional requirement for a federal balanced budget.

Supports the reduction and ultimately elimination of the system of conditioned grants to states so that “state and local taxpayers can decide for themselves what is best for their own communities.”

Supports imposing firm caps on future debt and accelerate the repayment of current debt.

The Federal Reserve

Supports an annual audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities.
Supports a commission to investigate ways to set a fixed value for the dollar.

Financial Markets

Supports establishing transparent, efficient markets where “consumers can obtain loans they need at reasonable rates based on market conditions.”

Supports “removing roadblocks and regulations” that prevent access to capital for community banks.

Supports abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or, if that cannot be done, subjecting it to congressional appropriation.

Supports a requirement that settlements arising from statutory violations by financial institutions must be used to make whole the harmed consumers, with any remaining proceeds given to the general Treasury.

Supports legislation to ensure that the problems of any financial institution can be resolved through the Bankruptcy Code

Supports “prudent regulation of the banking system” to ensure that FDIC-regulated banks are “properly capitalized and taxpayers are protected against bailouts.”

Opposes the use of disparate impact theory in enforcing anti-discrimination laws with regard to lending.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Supports the reduction of occupational licensing laws.


Supports allowing all workers, including union members, to be free to accept raises and rewards without veto power from union officials.

Supports the right of states to enact Right-to-Work laws and calls for a national law to “protect the economic liberty of the modern workforce.”

Endorses employee stock ownership plans.

Says, “minimum wage is an issue that should be handled at the state and local level.”

Private Property and Intellectual Property Rights

Calls on any state legislatures that have not already done so to nullify the impact of the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision within their jurisdiction by legislation or state constitutional amendments declaring that private property may be taken only for true public use.

Supports the Private Property Rights Protection Act.

Supports a requirement that any money for the takings of private property for public use come from the budget of the agency performing the taking.

Calls on Congress and state legislatures to enact reforms to protect law-abiding citizens against abusive asset forfeiture tactics.
Calls for strong action by Congress and a new Republican president to enforce intellectual property laws against all infringers, whether foreign or domestic.


Supports requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect.

Opposes allowing executive agencies to “rewrite those laws to suit administration priorities.”

Supports revisiting existing laws that “delegate too much authority to regulatory agencies” and reviewing all current regulations for possible reform or repeal.

Supports requiring approval by both houses of Congress for any rule or regulation that would impose significant costs on the American people


Considers the establishment of a “pro-growth tax code a moral imperative.”

Supports lowering tax rates that penalize thrift, discourage investment, or prove to be a disincentive for economic growth.

Supports elimination of special interest provisions and loopholes.

Supports curbing corporate welfare.

Supports simplicity and clarity in the tax code so that “every taxpayer can understand how much of their income is consumed by the federal government.”

Opposes retroactive taxation.

Opposes allowing “activist judges at any level of government to seize the power of the purse from the people’s elected representatives.”

Opposes tax policies that “deliberately divide Americans or promote class warfare.”

Opposes taxation of religious organizations, charities, and fraternal benevolent societies.

Opposes any value added tax or national sales tax unless be tied to the “simultaneous repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, which established the federal income tax.”

Supports lowering the corporate tax rate to be on a par with, or below, the rates of other industrial nations.

Supports switching to a territorial system of taxation so that “profits earned and taxed abroad may be repatriated for job-creating investment here at home.”

Supports reducing tax barriers so that American companies are headquartered in America.

Technology and Electricity

Supports public-private partnerships to “provide predictable support for connecting rural areas so that every American can fully participate in the global economy.”

Supports increased scientific missions in space.

Supports expedited siting processes and the expansion of the electric grid.


Trade Policy

[The section on trade is rather vague and appears to adopt the anti-free trade approach of the party’s nominee, Donald Trump. We’ll look at this issue more in a future article.]



Supports removing from the Highway Trust Fund programs that “should not be the business of the federal government.”

Supports the phase out the federal transit program and reform provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Supports the repeal of the Davis-Bacon law, which “limits employment and drives up construction and maintenance costs for the benefit of unions.”

Opposes further increases in the federal gas tax.

Opposes unionization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Opposes Amtrak and “federal support for boondoggles like California’s high-speed train to nowhere.”

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).