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AFP-MO Path to Prosperity

AFP-MO Path to Prosperity

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Published by Rich Myslinski
Americans for Prosperity Missouri's Path to Prosperity
Americans for Prosperity Missouri's Path to Prosperity

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Published by: Rich Myslinski on Dec 02, 2013
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01/02/2014

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 A Path to Prosperity for the Show Me State
Policy makers across the country are implementing bold reform measures to make their state more competitive in attracting residents and jobs. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Missouri. Missouri ranked 44
th
 for private sector job growth, 46
th
 for GDP, and 46
th
 for personal income growth over the past decade. Missouri is experiencing a lack of leadership on bold policy objectives. This lack of vision and direction is crippling the economic well-being of Missouri families and businesses. Recognizing this void, Americans for Prosperity
 –
 Missouri is creating a comprehensive policy document called the
Path to Prosperity.
The Path to Prosperity will serve as a long-term, conservative blueprint to guide legislators, engage activists and educate Missourians on issues that can transform our state out of stagnation and into model for economic growth. The Path to Prosperity will tackle key issues in nine legislative areas: 1)
 
Prosperity and Freedom 2)
 
Tax Reform 3)
 
Education 4)
 
Spending and Budget 5)
 
Patient Protections Energy 6)
 
Regulatory Reform 7)
 
Privatization and Municipal Reforms 8)
 
Worker Freedoms Individually, these policy initiatives are not enough to bring Missouri out of economic stagnation. If these legislative areas are addressed cumulatively and over time, however, these policy goals can
fundamentally transform Missouri’s economic climate to one that is vibrant and
prosperous. AFP-
MO’s Path to Prosperity policy ini
tiative requires constant input and feedback from individuals, groups and policymakers along the way. As ideas are added, legislation is drafted and bills are passed, AFP-MO will update the Path to Prosperity document. Below is the framework for long term reform.
 
 
AFP-MO Path to Prosperity Blueprint 2014
 
1)
 
Prosperity and Freedom
Missouri policymakers must protect and encourage prosperity and freedom, at every level. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers via legislation, rules or regulations. The economic status quo in Missouri is failing all of
the state’s
residents. The ruins from this flawed big-government philosophy are evident throughout our state and municipalities. A renewed effort to protect our individual freedoms and liberties is needed from our elected leaders at all levels of government in order to create long term growth and prosperity. Missourians deserve the opportunity to pursue a path of happiness of their own choosing, relying on their own talents, hard work and self-reliance, free from government intrusion. Fundamental to this initiative is a premium on property rights, fairness and equal access to jobs.
Sample Policy Solution
 
Limit government to its core functions and ensure they are fully funded, managed properly and performed efficiently while at the same time eliminate wasteful, redundant and nonproductive programs.
2)
 
Tax Reform
Creating a climate where all citizens keep more of their hard-earned money to spend on their financial security must be on the top of every Missouri lawmaker
s to-do list. Missourians know how to spend their earnings better than the government, and when they do, economic growth follows.
Missouri’s tax code was primarily written in the ear
ly 1900s; the system is out of date and needs
comprehensive reform. Many scholars predict that Missouri’s economy will remain stagnant without
changes in the tax system. Neighboring states like Kansas and Indiana have taken bold steps to reduce their state income taxes, property taxes and return money back to the taxpayers.
It’s high time Missouri
does the same.
Sample Policy Solution
 
Require two-thirds majority to approve all municipal, county, and state tax hikes by ballot initiative when voter turnout is below 50% or simple majority when voter turnout is greater than 50%.
3)
 
Education Reform
Creating a world class education environment is critical to our future. Policies that demand excellence and reject excuses
will help Missouri’s children prosper
. It must provide equal access, expand individual school choices and promote competition. While districts should receive the necessary funding to provide a quality product, there should be safeguards in place to protect taxpayer dollars. New policies must put a premium on local control and eliminate federal bureaucratic involvement and unnecessary oversight. It is necessary for dollars to be spent on instructional needs and teachers with limits to administration growth. Accountability should be a priority at all levels, and school officials and
 
teachers should be rewarded for high performance. Policies to eliminate underperforming school personnel must also be addressed. Measures should be put in place to address failing schools early to avoid failure. Consequently, if a school district does fail, there are systems in place reduces the negative impact on students, eliminates decision makers after a school becomes unaccredited, and provides for a seamless transition back to accreditation.
Sample Policy Solution
 
Pass education tax credits to encourage individuals and corporations to donate to private schools and nonprofits that provide school choice scholarships.
4)
 
Spending and Budget Reform
Missouri policymakers have taken steps to ensure our state stays on sound fiscal footing. However, t
here is still an opportunity for improvement. Missouri’s budget and spending should not
extend beyond core government functions. Missouri policy makers must make tough decisions to eliminate excessive spending and to protect taxpayers from unnecessary burdens.
Sample Policy Solution
 
Enact a “Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights” constitutional amendment capping spending increases to
inflation plus population growth. Missouri policymakers have done a decent job of curbing state spending to prevent raising taxes. However, more can be done to prevent future policymakers from taking advantage of Missouri taxpayers during strong economic times. A strong Taxpayers Bill of Rights would not only limit increases in state spending to the rate of population growth plus inflation but
also require any annual surpluses to pay down state debts, be saved in a “rainy
day fund,
” or be refunded to the taxpayer.
5)
 
Patient Protections
Missouri policymakers should not relegate
our state’s neediest citizens
to poor health care options by adding more people to an already broken Medicaid system. Policymakers should focus on how to lower costs and keep doctors and patients in charge of health care decisions that work for them instead of state and federal bureaucrats. They must look for way to expand health care choices by partnering with other states when possible and continually seek waivers from federal government health care mandates that negatively impact individual and group insurance policies.
Sample Policy Solutions
 
Reject Obamacare
’s
 Medicaid expansion, embrace cost-sharing reforms to the broken program, and request a block grant from the federal government.
6)
 
Energy Reform
From our beautiful rivers to our breathtaking lakes, from the acres upon acres of corn and soybeans to the vast minerals that lay underneath our soil like coal and natural gas, Missouri is rich in natural resources that put food on our tables and provides energy for our homes. Our lawmakers must take every step tapping these natural resources in a safe and responsible way to ensure affordable

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