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What is the Political Courage Test?

Ohio Congressional Election 2010 Political Courage Test

Pro-lifeCandidate Answera) Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
Nob) Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?
Noc) Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?
d) Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?
Yese) Should federal subsidies be prohibited from being used for abortion procedures?
f) Other or expanded principles

1) Spending

Indicate what federal funding levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Greatly Decreaseb) Arts
Slightly Increasec) Defense
Slightly Increase1) Intelligence operations
Slightly Increase2) Military hardware
Slightly Increase3) National missile defense
Slightly Increase4) Salary and benefits for active duty personnel
Slightly Increase5) Programs to improve troop retention rates
Slightly Increase6) Research and development of new weapons
Maintain Statusd) Education
Maintain Statuse) Environment
Slightly Increasef) Homeland security
Slightly Decreaseg) International aid
Maintain Statush) Medical research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Eliminatek) United Nations
Slightly Decreasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

2) Taxes

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category- you can use a number more than once.

Greatly Decreasea) Alcohol taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Decreasec) Cigarette taxes
Greatly Decreased) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decreasee) Gasoline taxes
Greatly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Decreaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
i) Other or expanded categories
YesCandidate Answer3) Do you support the elimination of the federal estate tax?
Yes4) Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?
NoInferred Answer 5) Do you support using government funds in an effort to stimulate and improve the economy? View Citations
  • Steven Austria. HR 1. 111th Congress. Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Project Vote Smart Summary: Steven Austria voted NO on 13 February 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. Where are the Jobs? 28 July 2009. "Mr. Speaker, the stimulus bill certainly has not yet improved our economy. This chart next to me shows what the administration projected would happen with unemployment numbers as a result of the stimulus. And what's really happening, as you can see, the dark line is what would happen with the stimulus package; the light line without the stimulus package; and most importantly, this dotted line, which is what's really happening and that is skyrocketing unemployment." (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. Op-Ed: Month Of April Marks Debt Day 2009. 30 April 2010. "Last year, Debt Day fell much later in the year on August 5, 2008. This year, Debt Day has broken all prior records by falling on April 26, 2009 and this is due largely to the $700 billion financial bailout; the $791 billion stimulus bill and the $410 billion omnibus bill, with almost 9,000 earmarks -- legislation Congress has passed since January. I am greatly concerned because these bills have caused Congress to spend beyond its means and to take on historic levels of debt, which I fear will only be passed on to our children and grandchildren for years to come. Just like a typical American family must, it is time for government to live within its means and embrace fiscal responsibility." (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. The Concern Of America's Future Direction. 31 March 2009. "As freshmen, we've been in Congress now for less than 100 days, and we have been faced with a $700 billion TARP financial market bailout that has not worked, in my opinion. It has been a disaster because there's been no--there hasn't been the accountability needed, there hasn't been the transparency as to how that money has been in place. There is no plan in place. The Treasury Department did not have a plan in place. We had Secretary Geithner come into the Budget Committee, and we asked him about the financial bailout, the market bailout. And he could not give us specific answers as to how the money that has been spent has been spent and how their plans on the future dollars on how they were going to be spent. And then we had the stimulus package, $791 billion spending package, I call it, $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years of taxpayers' dollars. In that stimulus package was a paragraph in there on a bill that not one Member of Congress had an opportunity to read completely before we voted on that, said, You know what? We can now take your tax dollars, we can use it as a bailout, give it to a company like AIG, and they can pay out $165 million in bonuses, 73 of those being over $1-million bonuses. One lucky guy got a $1.64 million bonus, and twelve of them don't even work for the company." (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. Unprecidented Taxing And Spending. 24 March 2009. "Let me just say, as a new Member of this Congress and having served less than 100 days, we have been faced with tremendous challenges and issues before us. I will start out with the second half of the bailout of the financial markets, the TARP bill, which was $700 billion that I felt did not have enough accountability and not enough transparency. The Treasury did not have a specific plan in place when we voted on that bill, and I had deep concerns with that, and I voted against that bill. The second bill I was asked to vote on was the $791 billion over 10 years, $1.1 trillion stimulus bill that had a tremendous amount of government spending that I felt was not targeted toward where it should be, to small businesses, which are the economic engine of this country. Seventy percent of the businesses across this country are small businesses. We have 900,000 small businesses in the State of Ohio. Yet this plan did not focus on small businesses. It did little to nothing to help small businesses. It was focused on increasing government spending, which I felt was wrong." (votesmart.org)
6) Other or expanded principles
Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support privatizing elements of Social Security? View Citations
  • None
Yesb) Do you support reducing government regulations on the private sector?
Noc) Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
d) Do you support the ability of workers to unionize?
Yese) Do you support federal funding for job-training programs that retrain displaced workers?
f) Other or expanded principles
Yesa) Do you support increasing the amount individuals are permitted to contribute to federal campaigns?
b) Should Congress regulate indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
c) Do you support removing all contribution limits on federal campaigns?
d) Should candidates for federal office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?
Yese) Do you support giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations?
f) Do you support limiting the President's ability to define how legislation is applied through the use of signing statements?
g) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Yesb) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?
c) Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?
d) Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?
Yese) Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support federal education standards and testing requirements for K-12 students? View Citations
  • None
b) Do you support federal funding for universal pre-K programs?
c) Do you support federal funding for charter schools?
d) Do you support federal funding for K-12 school vouchers?
e) Do you support the federal government providing college students with financial aid?
f) Other or expanded principles
Unknown PositionInferred Answer a) Do you support enacting environmental regulations aimed at reducing the effects of climate change? View Citations
  • Environment America. 2009. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. "Steven Austria supported the interests of Environment America 0 percent in 2009." (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. HR 2454. 111th Congress. To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy. Project Vote Smart Summary: Steven Austria voted NO on 26 July 2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. Freshman Republican Hour. 15 December 2009. "Then we moved into the month of June and we took up an energy policy known as the climate change bill or cap-and-trade bill. What we saw was at the very end, a 300-page amendment that was tacked on to a 1,200-page bill, which turned out to be a national energy tax bill at 3 a.m. in the morning that came up for a vote that, again, the Members of Congress didn't have an opportunity to read that amendment and fully understand what was in that bill before we voted on it. That's unacceptable, in my opinion. It was a bill that's not good for Midwest States like Ohio, that I represent, that have a lot of manufacturing in Ohio, and nearly 90 percent of our energy comes from coal. This bill, in my opinion, is going to cause unemployment and raise the cost of energy for Ohioans and Americans across this country. And during a time when we're going through a difficult economic time, that's not a good thing." (votesmart.org)
  • Steven Austria. Speech: The Impact Of Cap-And-Trade On Manufacturers Using Coal-Generated Energy. 19 May 2009. "I also want to point out one other factor for our State, which I know is very diversified from State to State, on the chart that you put up previously. In the State of Ohio, 87 percent of our fuel, of our energy comes from coal. And coal will be hit directly by the cap-and-trade. It is going to put mandates on undeveloped technologies for coal-fired plants. In some cases, coal-fired plants may not even be able to comply with this, and they may have to close down. And that too could cost jobs in the State of Ohio. So when you look at the cap-and-trade and the way this is put together, it should be called a 'cap-and-tax' as many of the other Members had mentioned because, Mr. Speaker, I think clearly this is a cost that is being passed on to every American?.Again, I think the cap-and-trade doesn't make sense for Ohio, and it is going to cost jobs. It is going to put an increase in the cost of energy for all Americans. And I think we can do a better job and have a better alternative out there that we should be pursuing." (votesmart.org)
b) Do you support international emissions targets aimed at reducing the effects of climate change?
Noc) Do you support allowing energy producers to trade carbon credits under a "cap and trade" system?
Yesd) Do you support strengthening fuel efficiency standards on all gasoline and diesel-powered engines, including cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles?
Yese) Do you support domestic oil exploration in federally-protected areas?
Yesf) Do you support federal funding for the development of alternative energy?
Yesg) Do you support the development of nuclear reactors?
h) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Yesb) Do you believe that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of individual citizens to own guns?
Yesc) Do you support allowing individuals to carry concealed guns?
Nod) Do you support a ban on assault rifles?
e) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support a publicly-administered health insurance option?
Yesb) Do you support expanding access to health care through commercial health insurance reform?
Yesc) Should the federal government expand eligibility for tax-free medical savings accounts?
Yesd) Do you support monetary limits on damages that can be collected in malpractice lawsuits?
e) Do you support relaxing regulations on the importation of prescription drugs?
f) Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate Answera) Do you support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants?
Nob) Do you support decreasing the number of legal immigrants allowed into the country?
Yesc) Do you support establishing English as the official national language?
Yesd) Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
e) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Do you support United States military action in Afghanistan?
b) Do you support increasing military assistance for Afghanistan?
c) Do you support increasing economic development assistance for Afghanistan?
Yesd) Should the United States continue to strike suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan?
Yese) Do you support granting aid to countries when it is in the security interests of the United States?
f) Should the United States support the creation of a Palestinian state?
Yesg) Do you support increasing sanctions on Iran if it continues to defy United Nations mandates?
h) Do you support the withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq?
Yesi) Do you support the United States' involvement in free trade agreements?
j) Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate Answera) Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?
b) Do you support allowing openly-gay men and women to serve in the United States military?
Noc) Do you support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?
Yesd) Should the federal government end affirmative action programs?
e) Other or expanded principles
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

1. By creating long-term, sustainable jobs for small businesses in the private sector to increase our economic growth.
2. To cut wasteful Washington spending and reduce our national debt by balancing the budget.
3. Support our military and further strengthen our national defense.