The Twelve Points are a statement of conservative principles, objectives, philosophy, and additional guiding considerations, composed by Karl Born, a young Indianapolis writer and attorney, beginning in early 2008, completed on July 2, 2009. The idea for the Twelve Points, along with several of the points, came from the "Seven Points," an older statement of conservative principles, created by a group of young conservatives at Indiana University, in 2003: Grand Old Cause. 

The purpose of the Twelve Points is to serve as a delivery mechanism for distilled, concentrated conservative thinking, offered in order to return completeness and clarity to popular conservatism, to spread knowledge of the true principles of conservatism throughout the conservative community, and to focus and promote agreement among conservatives. 

Over the past two decades, the conservative movement has lost its uniting sense of direction, which has rendered it confused, frustrated, and impotent. Certain crucial conservative principles and concepts have faded from our common memory and lost their rightful influence and, consequently, our fellow conservatives (including conservative leaders) too often can no longer be relied upon to understand them, to be committed to them, or to apply and advance them in a coherent way. No conservative should be satisfied with the results that this has produced in American public policy. 

The Twelve Points will help to solve this problem, this statement of conservative principles being an instrument by which we may frequently recur to these fundamental principles and keep points of conservative thought freshly in our minds, teach conservative thought to the newer and younger conservatives, and provide all conservatives with a means of together affirming that, yes, we still care about these conservative principles, and conservative principles still define this movement.

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One of many questions

This question is among the many that will remain open and unresolved so long as the Twelve Points (or some close substitute) are not widely affirmed and adopted:

What kind of Republican Party will the GOP of the 112th Congress be: the kind of Republican Party that has made a principle of opposing budget deficits, or some other kind?

At the present, I have no idea whether to expect the Republicans of the 112th Congress to be reliably opposed to budget deficits.  I would prefer to have a party that stands both for low taxes and for little or no borrowing, but to do so, the party will need to be willing to stand for reducing or eliminating spending on particular items of the budget.  (The Laffer curve is correct, but it does not guarantee higher revenue as a result of every tax cut.  We should also keep in mind that we will accomplish less than we might think by eliminating "waste" alone, unless we define "waste" to include expenditures that do indeed have beneficiaries and political supporters who will angrily defend the expenditures from any threatened cuts.)  Does the party know, now, what it will attempt to cut from the budget?  Does it know how it will deal with the political consequences and avoid the outcome of the budget battle of late 1995 and early 1996?

It would be a mistake to consider these questions for the first time in the fall of 2011.  To cause these questions to be answered sooner than that, however, was one of my reasons for writing the Twelve Points.