Ryan Hecker

$1,200 Per Family In New Taxes

On Wednesday the Associated Press reported that over 6 million uninsured people will get hit by a tax penalty as a result of Obamacare. This tax penalty works out to about an average of about $1,200 per family in 2016. Even more concerning is that this tax will hit mostly middle class households.

Obamacare is flawed legislation based on a flawed premise. Although it was well documented that the main complaint about health care was the cost and addressing the problem, the government instead got involved and created a massive federal entitlement program that is hurting those it should be helping.

Citizens all over the country have spoken out for the repeal of Obamacare by voting to include it as a main pillar of the Contract From America. Wednesday’s findings simply add more evidence to the core argument that Obamacare is financially unsustainable, does not address the main problem of private healthcare, and makes more people dependent of the government.

If we want to return to fiscal responsible governing we must repeal Obamacare and replace it with a plan that works and we can afford so our children don’t spend their whole lives paying for it.

CONGRESS.ORG: Tea Partier to GOP… “Copy Away”

Republicans seem to be borrowing from the tea party playbook.

By Ambreen Ali

If imitation is a form of flattery, then the GOP just paid tea partyer Ryan Hecker the ultimate compliment.

As Hecker and the Tea Party Patriots unveiled the final version of their Contract From America , House Republicans announced a very similar initiative called the Commitment to America.

Like the tea party’s 10-point manifesto , the Republicans’ mission statement will be generated by collecting online surveys from conservative Americans.

Hecker collected more than 500,000 surveys over the past six months and recently unveiled his web-savvy strategy for incorporating the grassroots.

“I’m honored that they’re looking at the process we used,” Hecker said Thursday as he set up for a Tax Day rally on the National Mall.

“At the end of the day, if the Republicans come up with their own document and it’s a strong document, that’s good,” he added. “But I hope that our agenda is still a central part of what they’re doing.”

Hecker said the growing popularity of the tea parties is a big reason why the Republican Party is opening up their document to grassroots input.

“I think they recognize that they’ve lost some legitimacy,” he said.

The Republican initiative appears to be coming from the offices of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has tried to court the tea parties without undermining their independence. He asked Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to lead the effort.

“In ’94 there wasn’t the Internet, there wasn’t phone apps,” McCarthy told Roll Call . “We are going to make it easy so anybody from across this country from all different walks [can contribute].”

Continue reading at Congress.org

AMERICAN THINKER: Giving People a Voice in Congress

By Daniel P. Crandall

In 1994, Newt Gingrich presented the “Contract with America.” It was a “contract” from Republican politicians to voters concerning what legislative action the new majority would take in its first hundred days. In 2010, the People are preparing a “Contract from America,” which establishes what the voters expect from their legislative representatives. The “Contract from America” is what the “Contract with America” should have been but wasn’t.

The “Contract from America” (CFA) is a grassroots, bottom-up document created by hundreds of thousands of people who are part of the Tea Party protests and Glenn Beck’s 912 Project. It began in September 2009 with TheContract.org, where individuals provided and debated thousands of ideas for this new “contract.”

I had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Hecker, a Houston area Tea Party activist, full-time attorney, and father behind the Contract from America.

Hecker stated that the CFA “has been an idea I’ve had since the November 2008 elections.” He felt that our elected representatives, especially among Republicans, “lost their legitimacy” as fiscal conservatives and proponents of limited government. Hecker believes that this document will be a strong step forward in obtaining “real economic conservative and good governance reform in Congress.”

Hecker noted that what drives the people involved in putting the CFA together is “a desire to push and demand accountability” from our elected representatives.

CFA, at this point, is a work in progress. Online activists pared thousands of ideas down to twenty-one. I asked Hecker about the process by which the CFA came to be. “After narrowing the document down to twenty-one items, through a series of tedious surveys filled out by thousands of mostly tea party local coordinators and grassroots activists, the Tea Party Patriots enlisted sixteen scholars to write two-hundred-word statements in support of one of the twenty-one ideas.” Hecker’s fellow activists “are in the process of posting these statements on the website.”

Currently, visitors to the CFA’s website can debate and vote on these twenty-one ideas. Those behind the CFA are hard at work building a list of solid positions that activists can present at upcoming Tax Day Tea Party rallies across America.

Those familiar with Gingrich’s “Contract with America” will note a significant difference between that document and the Tea Party Patriots’ “Contract from America.” Gingrich’s document listed specific reforms intended to pass “on the first day of the 104th Congress.” In addition, it listed several acts that Republicans brought to the House Floor “within the first 100 days.”

The CFA does not list specific legislative acts, which follows from its grassroots nature. Instead, it is more akin to a list from voters telling their representatives and senators, as Hecker noted in our conversation, that “this is what we expect from you.” Hecker added, however, that it would not be difficult to translate the “Contract from America” into specific legislation. Some, in fact, already exists.

Hecker noted that the first item in the CFA is a call to “begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike.” Senator Jim DeMint and several others issued a statement on February 4, 2010 calling “on their colleagues to support a one-year earmark moratorium and a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment.”

Hecker also pointed out that Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) has endorsed a Spending Limit Amendment to the Constitution. This corresponds with the CFA’s call for “a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending.”

Some of the items listed in the CFA echo elements in Gingrich’s ’94 contract. The “Contract with America,” for example, lists the “Citizen Legislature Act,” which called for term limits, and the “Fiscal Responsibility Act,” which called for a balanced budget amendment and line-item veto. The House of Representatives rejected the former, and the latter got through the Senate only with substantial changes, which were subsequently declared unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York. The CFA includes items calling for term limits and a balanced budget amendment. Should these make it through the CFA vetting process, what is gained by asking federal representatives and senators to sign on to these items today?

“This document,” Hecker stated, “will give representatives and senators a legislative agenda and core set of priorities to follow in 2010. As it’s grassroots-generated and bottom-up, I believe that this time around elected officials will be held to their promises. If they don’t follow through, there will be many unhappy grassroots leaders ready to protest.”

Continue reading at American Thinker

Tea Partiers and FreedomWorks Craft a 2010 Agenda

From the Washington Independent:

Before Ryan Hecker presented the Contract from America to his Sunday night audience — 63 activists huddled inside of a meeting room in the Washington, D.C. office of FreedomWorks — the free-market think tank’s spokesman promised great things.

“You watch,” Adam Brandon told TWI. “This is the idea that’s going to change the election.”

In this room, Hecker, a lawyer and Tea Party activist, had an easy sell. His idea, fleshed out over four months, was to produce an election manifesto along the lines of the Contract with America launched by Republicans shortly before the 1994 elections, or the 1961 Sharon statement drafted by Young Americans for Freedom. First, Tea Party activists — and anyone else who was interested — would submit ideas at the ContractFromAmerica or Spiritof94 websites. Then they’d be whittled down to 50 ideas with an online vote. When he brought the draft contract to this meeting, it was down to 20 user-selected ideas. “I had four ideas,” Hecker chuckled. “None of them made it in here.”

Continue reading at the Washington Independent…