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Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama II's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

Full Name: Barack Hussein Obama II
Office: President, Democratic
First Elected: 11/04/2008
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Michelle; 2 Children: Malia, Sasha
Birth Date: 08/04/1961
Birth Place: Honolulu, HI
Home City: Chicago, IL
Religion: United Church of Christ
Project Vote Smart does not permit the use of its name or programs in any campaign activity, including advertising, debates, and speeches.
Barack Obama II refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Issue Positions

In response to the increasing unwillingness of candidates to answer issue questions, Project Vote Smart has researched Presidential and Congressional candidates' public records to determine candidates' likely responses on certain key issues. These issue positions, from the year 2012, are provided below as a courtesy to voters.

Pro-choice Inferred Answer Abortion: Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. S 403. 109th Congress. Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Barack Obama voted NO on 25 July 2006. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America. 2007. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 14 March 2011. “President Obama supported the interests of the NARAL Pro-Choice America 100 percent in 2007.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the 37th Anniversary of Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade. 22 January 2010. “Today we recognize the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirms every woman's fundamental constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion, as well as each American's right to privacy from government intrusion. I have, and continue to, support these constitutional rights. I also remain committed to working with people of good will to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and families, and strengthen the adoption system. Today and every day, we must strive to ensure that all women have limitless opportunities to fulfill their dreams.” (votesmart.org)
  • Planned Parenthood. 2008. Project Vote Smart: Interest Group Ratings. 14 March 2011. “President Obama supported the interests of Planned Parenthood 100 percent in 2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Backyard Discussion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 28 September 2010. “Now, with respect to the abortion issue, I actually think -- I mean, there are laws both federal, state and constitutional that are in place. And I think that this is an area where I think Bill Clinton had the right formulation a couple of decades ago, which is abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. I think that it's something that all of us should recognize is a difficult, sometimes -- oftentimes tragic situation that families are wrestling with. I think the families and the women involved are the ones who should make the decision, not the government. But I do think actually that there are a whole host of laws on the books that after a certain period, the interests shift such that you can have some restrictions, for example, on late-term abortions, and appropriately so. So there is in fact a set of rules in place.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Prime-Time Press Conference With President Barack Obama. 29 April 2009. “I think abortion is a moral issue and an ethical issue. I think that those who are pro-choice make a mistake when they -- if they suggest -- and I don't want create straw men here, but I think there are some who suggest that this is simply an issue about women's freedom and that there's no other considerations. I think, look, this is an issue that people have to wrestle with, and families and individual women have to wrestle with. The reason I'm pro-choice is because I don't think women take that -- that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day, and I think they are in a better position to make these decisions, ultimately, than members of Congress or -- or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their clergy. So -- so that's -- that's been my consistent position.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Women. 2 March 2011. “Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on Roe v. Wade Anniversary. 22 January 2012. “As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.” (votesmart.org)
  • National Right to Life Committee. 2005-2006. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 28 July 2011. “President Obama supported the interests of the National Right to Life Committee 0 percent in 2005-2006.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. ABC's 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos'. 7 September 2008. “What I do know is that abortion is a moral issue, that it's one that families struggle with all the time, and that in wrestling with those issues, I don't think that the government criminalizing the choices that families make is the best answer for reducing abortions. I think the better answer, and this was reflected in the Democratic platform, is to figure out how do we make sure that young mothers or women who have a pregnancy that's unexpected or difficult have the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Taxes: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event. 28 April 2011. "Yes, we believe in a government that lives within its means. And I just want to remind people that when I walked into office, we had a trillion-dollar deficit. And some of the same folks who are now talking about deficits voted for two wars that weren't paid for, tax cuts that weren't paid for -- a prescription drug policy that was not paid for, but that's somehow all forgotten now. A little amnesia there. But now this is our responsibility. We've got to be serious about cutting spending in Washington. We've got to make cuts in domestic spending, but we also have to make cuts in defense spending." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the Supercommittee. 21 November 2011. “There is no imminent threat to us defaulting on the debt that we owe. There are already $1 trillion worth of spending cuts that are locked in. And part of the law that I signed this summer stated that if Congress could not reach an agreement on the deficit, there would be another $1.2 trillion of automatic cuts in 2013 --- divided equally between domestic spending and defense spending. […] Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts. Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a Town Hall Meeting on the Economy in Racine, Wisconsin. 30 June 2010. “So the job of the Recovery Act was to essentially step in and say, you know what, this is an emergency so we're going to plug that hole in demand in the economy temporarily so that everybody kind of settles down. So we sent -- about $250 billion, about a third of that Recovery Act was in the form of tax cuts to all of you. [...] About a third of it was help to states and local governments so that they could plug their budget holes. [...] And then the last third of it was infrastructure and long-term investments. So, for example, we've got more road projects going on here in Wisconsin and around the country than at any time since -- (applause) -- road projects, sewer projects, a whole bunch of deferred stuff that needed to be done. […] So those were the things that we did through the Recovery Act. Now, every economist who has looked at it has said that the recovery did its job. It put a brake on the collapse of the economy. We avoided a Great Depression. We are now growing again. The problem is, number one, it's hard to argue sometimes, things would have been a lot worse. Right? So people kind of say, yeah, but unemployment is still at 9.6. Yes, but it's not 12 or 13, or 15. People say, well, the stock market didn't fully recover. Yeah, but it's recovered more than people expected last year.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in Twitter Town Hall. 6 July 2011. “The one thing I'll say about military spending -- we've ended the war in Iraq, our combat mission there, and our -- all our troops are slated to be out by the end of this year. We've already removed 100,000. I announced that we were going to begin drawing down troops in Afghanistan and pivot to a transition process where Afghans are taking more responsibility for their defense. But we have to do all of this in a fairly gradual way. We can't simply lop off 25 percent off the defense budget overnight. We have to think about all the obligations we have to our current troops who are in the field, and making sure they're properly equipped and safe. We've got to make sure that we are meeting our commitments for those veterans who are coming home. We've got to make sure that -- in some cases, we've got outdated equipment that needs to be replaced. And so I'm committed to reducing the defense budget, but as Commander-in-Chief, one of the things that we have to do is make sure that we do it in a thoughtful way that's guided by our security and our strategic needs.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement of President Barack Obama on Secretary Gates Reform Agenda. 9 August 2010. "Today, Secretary Gates advanced our effort to invest in the defense capabilities that we need in the 21st century, while being responsible and accountable in spending taxpayer dollars. I have long said that we need to change the way that Washington works so that it works better for the American people. That's why we undertook the Accountable Government Initiative -- to make government more open and responsive to the American public, and to cut waste and inefficiencies that squander the people's hard-earned money. This effort is particularly important when it comes to our national defense, since waste and inefficiency there detracts from our efforts to focus resources on serving our men and women in uniform, and to invest in the future capabilities we need. Today's announcement by Secretary Gates is another step forward in the reform efforts he has undertaken to reduce excess overhead costs, cut waste, and reform the way the Pentagon does business. The funds saved will help us sustain the current force structure and make needed investments in modernization in a fiscally responsible way. Change is never easy, and I applaud Secretary Gates and his team for undertaking this critical effort to support our men and women in uniform and strengthen our national security. These reforms will ensure that our nation is safer, stronger, and more fiscally responsible." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Unveiling of the Budget in Baltimore, Maryland. 14 February 2011. "I'm also looking forward to working with members of both parties to take steps beyond this budget freeze --- because cutting annual domestic spending won't be enough to meet our long-term fiscal challenges. As the bipartisan fiscal commission concluded, the only way to truly tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it --- in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes. So what we've done here is make a down payment, but there's going to be more work that needs to be done, and it's going to require Democrats and Republicans coming together to make it happen." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Fiscal Policy. 13 April 2010. "The second step in our approach is to find additional savings in our defense budget. Now, as Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than protecting our national security, and I will never accept cuts that compromise our ability to defend our homeland or America's interests around the world. But as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mullen, has said, the greatest long-term threat to America's national security is America's debt. So just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense. And we can do that while still keeping ourselves safe. Over the last two years, Secretary Bob Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again. We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but we're going to have to conduct a fundamental review of America's missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it's complete." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at Univision Town Hall. 28 March 2011. "But you're absolutely right that we have a very large defense budget. Some of that is necessitated by the size of our country and the particular special role that we play around the globe. But what is true is that over the last 10 years, the defense budget was going up much more quickly than our education budget. And we are only going to be as strong as we are here at home. If we are not strong here at home, if our economy is not growing, if our people are not getting jobs, if they are not succeeding, then we won't be able to project military strength or any other kind of strength. And that's why in my 2012 budget, even though we have all these obligations -- we're still in Afghanistan; I have ended the war in Iraq, and we've pulled 100,000 troops out -- but we still have some commitments there -- despite all that, my proposed budget still increases education spending by 10 percent, including 4 percent for non-college-related expenses. But we also increased the Pell Grant program drastically so all these outstanding young people are going to have a better chance to go to college. So the larger point you're making I think is right that we have to constantly balance our security needs with understanding that if we're not having a strong economy, a strong workforce and a well-educated workforce, then we're not going to be successful over the long term." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Taxes: In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Americans for Tax Reform. 2007. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "President Obama supported the interests of the Americans for Tax Reform 5 percent in 2007." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: A Unique Opportunity to Secure our Fiscal Future. 16 July 2011. "The truth is, you can't solve our deficit without cutting spending. But you also can't solve it without asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share -- or without taking on loopholes that give special interests and big corporations tax breaks that middle-class Americans don't get. It's pretty simple. […] I don't think hedge fund managers should pay taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries. I don't think it's fair to ask nothing of someone like me when the average family has seen their income decline over the past decade -- and when many of you are just trying to stretch every dollar as far it it'll go. We shouldn't put the burden of deficit reduction on the backs of folks who've already borne the brunt of the recession. It's not reasonable and it's not right. If we're going to ask seniors, or students, or middle-class Americans to sacrifice, then we have to ask corporations and the wealthiest Americans to share in that sacrifice. We have to ask everyone to play their part. Because we are all part of the same country. We are all in this together." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. 19 September 2011. “Now, I'm proposing real, serious cuts in spending. When you include the $1 trillion in cuts I've already signed into law, these would be among the biggest cuts in spending in our history. But they've got to be part of a larger plan that's balanced --- a plan that asks the most fortunate among us to pay their fair share, just like everybody else. And that's why this plan eliminates tax loopholes that primarily go to the wealthiest taxpayers and biggest corporations --- tax breaks that small businesses and middle-class families don't get. And if tax reform doesn't get done, this plan asks the wealthiest Americans to go back to paying the same rates that they paid during the 1990s, before the Bush tax cuts. I promise it's not because anybody looks forward to the prospects of raising taxes or paying more taxes. I don't. In fact, I've cut taxes for the middle class and for small businesses, and through the American Jobs Act, we'd cut taxes again to promote hiring and put more money into the pockets of people. But we can't afford these special lower rates for the wealthy --- rates, by the way, that were meant to be temporary.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner. 24 September 2011. “When you start saying, at a time when the top one-tenth of 1 percent has seen their incomes go up four or five times over the last 20 years, and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline -- and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more? Give me a break. If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that. It's about time. They say it kills jobs -- oh, that's going to kill jobs. We're not proposing anything other than returning to the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans that existed under Bill Clinton.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Taxes. 10 March 2011. “Obama will ask the wealthiest two percent of families to give back a portion of the tax cuts they have received over the past eight years to ensure we are restoring fairness and returning to fiscal responsibility. But no family will pay higher tax rates than they would have paid in the 1990s. The Obama-Biden plan will cut taxes overall, reducing revenues to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan (less than 18.2 percent of GDP). The plan is a net tax cut -- his tax relief for middle class families is larger than the revenue raised by his tax changes for families over $250,000. Coupled with his commitment to cut unnecessary spending, Obama will pay for this tax relief while bringing down the budget deficit.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Economy. 10 March 2011. “The Bush tax cuts give those who earn over $1 million dollars a tax cut nearly 160 times greater than that received by middle-income Americans. At the same time, this administration has refused to tackle health care, education and housing in a manner that benefits the middle class. Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan: Jumpstart the Economy. [...] Obama and Biden will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families to offset the payroll tax they pay. Provide a Tax Cut for Working Families: Obama and Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Austin, Texas. 10 May 2011. "If we want to reduce our deficit, our sacrifice has to be shared. And that means even as we're making spending cuts, we also have to end the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans in this country. It's not because we want to punish success. It's because if we're going to ask Americans to sacrifice a little bit, we can't tell millionaires and billionaires that they don't have to do a thing. I don't want a $200,000 tax cut that's paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay more than $6,000 in extra Medicare costs. I don't want that. I don't want my tax cut paid for by cutting kids out of Head Start or doing away with health insurance for millions of people on Medicaid, seniors in nursing homes and poor children and middle-class families who are raising a child with a disability like autism. That's not a tradeoff I'm willing to make." (votesmart.org)
  • National Tax Limitation Committee. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "President Obama supported the interests of the National Tax Limitation Committee 14 percent in 2007-2008" (votesmart.org)
  • National Taxpayers Union. 2007. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "In 2007 National Taxpayers Union gave President Obama a grade of F." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: 'We Can Live Within Our Means and Live Up to the Values We Share as Americans'. 16 April 2011. "We'll reduce spending in our tax code with tax reform that's fair and simple -- so that the amount of taxes you pay doesn't depend on how clever an accountant you can afford. And we should end the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, too. Because people like me don't need another tax cut." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Taxes: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing Medicaid spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. 19 September 2011. “Finally, this plan includes structural reforms to reduce the cost of health care in programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Keep in mind we've already included a number of reforms in the health care law, which will go a long way towards controlling these costs. But we're going to have to do a little more. This plan reduces wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments while changing some incentives that often lead to excessive health care costs. It makes prescriptions more affordable through faster approval of generic drugs. We'll work with governors to make Medicaid more efficient and more accountable. And we'll change the way we pay for health care. Instead of just paying for procedures, providers will be paid more when they improve results -- and such steps will save money and improve care.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address. 25 January 2011. “Now, most of the cuts and savings I've proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12 percent of our budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won't. […] This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. The health insurance law we passed last year will slow these rising costs, which is part of the reason that nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks By The President In Town Hall Meeting On Health Care. 11 June 2009. “So I just want to repeat the single biggest problem we have in terms of the debt and the deficit is health care, it's Medicare and Medicaid. (Applause.) That is -- when you hear all these projections about all these trillions of dollars and red ink going out as far as the eye can see -- almost all of that is because of the increase in Medicare and Medicaid costs that are going up much, much faster than inflation. [...] The real problem is Medicaid and Medicare. That's the nightmare scenario. If we can bend the curve, the cost-curve down so that health care inflation is no more than ordinary inflation, it's matching up with the amount of increases that you're seeing on your paychecks in your wages and your incomes, then we're going to be okay. And if we don't get a handle on it, we're not going to be okay. It doesn't matter, you know, that we eliminate earmarks or do all that other stuff. That won't make any difference -- we'll still be consumed by huge debt for the next generation.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the Supercommittee. 21 November 2011. “Good afternoon. As you all know, last summer I signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending over the next 10 years. Part of that law also required Congress to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion by the end of this year. In September, I sent them a detailed plan that would have gone above and beyond that goal. It's a plan that would reduce the deficit by an additional $3 trillion, by cutting spending, slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas. 6 December 2011. “If we want a strong middle class, then our tax code must reflect our values. We have to make choices. Today that choice is very clear. To reduce our deficit, I've already signed nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts into law and I've proposed trillions more, including reforms that would lower the cost of Medicare and Medicaid.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Town Hall in Reno, Nevada. 21 April 2011. "I've been incredibly blessed by this country -- son of a single mom, went on scholarships to get through school. And so the fact that I'm now well off, I want to be able to give a little bit something back so that the next generation can achieve that same success. I don't need additional tax cuts, especially when I know that extending those tax cuts may end up meaning that some senior citizens are getting less health care; or thousands of kids on Head Start might not have that opportunity available to them; or people who are on Medicaid, seniors who are in nursing homes, or families who have got a child who's autistic or disabled, that somehow they're left to fend for themselves. That's not a good option, from my perspective. That's not a trade-off I'm willing to make." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Austin, Texas. 10 May 2011. "If we want to reduce our deficit, our sacrifice has to be shared. And that means even as we're making spending cuts, we also have to end the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans in this country. It's not because we want to punish success. It's because if we're going to ask Americans to sacrifice a little bit, we can't tell millionaires and billionaires that they don't have to do a thing. I don't want a $200,000 tax cut that's paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay more than $6,000 in extra Medicare costs. I don't want that. I don't want my tax cut paid for by cutting kids out of Head Start or doing away with health insurance for millions of people on Medicaid, seniors in nursing homes and poor children and middle-class families who are raising a child with a disability like autism. That's not a tradeoff I'm willing to make." (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Budget, Spending, and Taxes: In order to balance the budget, do you support reducing Medicare spending? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Town Hall in Reno, Nevada. 21 April 2011. "Next, we're going to need to reduce health care spending, and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid through some common-sense reforms that build on what we already have done with the health care reform bill -- eliminates wasteful subsidies to insurance companies, for example; actually improves care by making it easier for folks to buy generic drugs; helps providers manage care for the chronically ill." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at GOP House Issues Conference. 29 January 2010. “If we're going to do multi-state insurance so that people can go across state lines, I've got to be able to go to an independent health care expert, Republican or Democrat, who can tell me that this won't result in cherry-picking of the healthiest going to some and the least healthy being worse off. So I am absolutely committed to working with you on these issues, but it can't just be political assertions that aren't substantiated when it comes to the actual details of policy. Because otherwise, we're going to be selling the American people a bill of goods. I mean, the easiest thing for me to do on the health care debate would have been to tell people that what you're going to get is guaranteed health insurance, lower your costs, all the insurance reforms; we're going to lower the costs of Medicare and Medicaid and it won't cost anybody anything. That's great politics, it's just not true. So there's got to be some test of realism in any of these proposals, mine included. I've got to hold myself accountable, and guaranteed the American people will hold themselves -- will hold me accountable if what I'm selling doesn't actually deliver.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas. 6 December 2011. “If we want a strong middle class, then our tax code must reflect our values. We have to make choices. Today that choice is very clear. To reduce our deficit, I've already signed nearly $1 trillion of spending cuts into law and I've proposed trillions more, including reforms that would lower the cost of Medicare and Medicaid.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. News Conference by President Obama. 14 November 2011. “Now, I've put forward a very detailed approach that would achieve $3 trillion-plus in savings. And it's the sort of balanced approach that the American people prefer. It says everything is on the table. We've got to have discretionary spending cuts of the sort we've already put in place. We've got to have non-defense cuts. We've got to have defense cuts. We're going to have to look at entitlement programs. We've got to reduce our health care costs. And we're going to need additional revenue. And when we're talking about revenue, if we've got to raise money, it makes sense for us to start by asking the wealthiest among us to pay a little bit more before we start asking seniors, for example, to pay a lot more for their Medicare.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. 19 September 2011. “Finally, this plan includes structural reforms to reduce the cost of health care in programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Keep in mind we've already included a number of reforms in the health care law, which will go a long way towards controlling these costs. But we're going to have to do a little more. This plan reduces wasteful subsidies and erroneous payments while changing some incentives that often lead to excessive health care costs. It makes prescriptions more affordable through faster approval of generic drugs. We'll work with governors to make Medicaid more efficient and more accountable. And we'll change the way we pay for health care. Instead of just paying for procedures, providers will be paid more when they improve results -- and such steps will save money and improve care.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event, New York. 28 April 2011. "It's not about numbers. We all agree that we have to reduce our deficit and get a hold of our debt. We even agree on roughly the amounts by which the deficit and the debt have to be reduced. This argument is not about numbers; it is about values. Because on one side you have folks who believe that we can slash education funding by 25 percent, or transportation funding by 30 percent, or investments in clean energy by 70 percent, and we can turn the Medicare system into a voucher program so that we're shifting costs onto seniors. It's a vision of a small America, of a shrunken America, where those of us who are lucky do great and don't have to give anything back, and we can pull up the ladder behind us. And then there's another vision that says we can live within our means as a government, we can act responsibly in terms of our budget, but we can make sure that the burden is shared, that the sacrifices are spread around." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Austin, Texas. 10 May 2011. "We now have to get our fiscal situation under control. The debate is not just about numbers. It's about who are we, what do we believe. And the debate that we're having now in Washington is actually very instructive and I'm glad we're having it, because Paul Ryan put forward a budget that is reflective, it is sort of the logical conclusion to the Republican argument that's been going on for a number of years. And essentially what they're talking about is cutting education by 25 percent, cutting transportation spending by 30 percent, cutting clean energy investments by 70 percent, voucherizing Medicare, slashing Medicaid -- fundamentally reworking our social compact. And the consequences are not just that senior citizens would have $6,000 more in Medicare expenses every year. It's not just that a bunch of poor kids or seniors who are in nursing homes or families who have an autistic child would suddenly be without help. Even for those of us who are doing well, the consequences would be that -- let me just take the example of transportation. Think about cutting transportation spending by 30 percent, at a time when the National Association of Engineers gives us a D in infrastructure. We've got China and India and Europe building brand new trains and bridges and ports, and we can barely fill our potholes. And so the prospect would be a diminished, smaller, less compassionate America, and a less competitive America. And that's not the vision I want for our children. I think we're better than that. That's not who we are." (votesmart.org)
Unknown Position Unknown Answer Budget, Spending, and Taxes: Is balancing the budget an administrative priority? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Press Conference by the President. 15 July 2011. "One last point on the balanced budget amendment. I don't know what version they're going to be presenting, but some of the balanced budget amendments that have been floating up there -- this cap -- or cut, cap and balance, for example, when you look at the numbers, what you're looking at is cuts of half-a-trillion dollars below the Ryan budget in any given year. I mean, it would require cutting Social Security or Medicare substantially. And I think it's important for everybody to understand that all of us believe that we need to get to a point where eventually we can balance the budget. We don't need a constitutional amendment to do that; what we need to do is to do our jobs. And we have to do it the same way a family would do it. A family, if they get over-extended and their credit card is too high, they don't just stop paying their bills. What they do is they say, how do we start cutting our monthly costs? We keep on making payments, but we start cutting out the things that aren't necessary. And we do it in a way that maintains our credit rating. We do it in a way that's responsible -- we don't stop sending our kids to college; we don't stop fixing the boiler or the roof that's leaking. We do things in a sensible, responsible way. We can do the same thing when it comes to the federal budget." (votesmart.org)
  • Citizens Against Government Waste. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "President Obama supported the interests of the Citizens Against Government Waste 5 percent in 2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Town Hall in Reno, Nevada. 21 April 2011. "I'm standing here before you because America gave me opportunity. How am I going to pull up the ladder on the next generation of kids who are just as talented, smarter than I am? All they need is a chance. So I think it would be a mistake to balance the budget on the backs of students by cutting their scholarships by more than $1,000 and forcing a whole lot of students to go without them altogether. So that's the bottom line. We need to cut spending. We can't ignore future deficits. But just as ignoring deficits would mortgage our future, failing to invest in our kids, in our infrastructure, in our basic research and clean energy, that would be mortgaging our future as well. And I'm not willing to do it. And that's at the core of the debate that we're having right now." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a Backyard Discussion in Des Moines, Iowa. 29 September 2010. "And so I hope that as you go forward, not just over the next six weeks before the election but over the next two years or next six years or next 10 years, as you're examining what's taking place in Washington, that you just keep in mind that we're not going to be able to solve our big problems unless we honestly address them. And it means that we've got to make choices and we've got to decide what's important. And if we think our kids are important and the next generation is important, then we've got to act like it. We can't pretend that there are shortcuts or that we can cut our taxes, completely have all the benefits that we want, and balance the budget, and not make any tough choices. That's I think more than anything the message that I want to be communicating to the American people in the months and years ahead." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Press Conference by the President. 11 July 2011. "And let me just, Ben, comment on this whole issue of tax increases, because there's been a lot of information floating around there. I want to be crystal clear -- nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increases -- increasing taxes next year. What we have talked about is that starting in 2013, that we have gotten rid of some of these egregious loopholes that are benefiting corporate jet owners or oil companies at a time where they're making billions of dollars of profits. What we have said is as part of a broader package we should have revenues, and the best place to get those revenues are from folks like me who have been extraordinarily fortunate, and that millionaires and billionaires can afford to pay a little bit more -- going back to the Bush tax rates. And what I've also said to Republicans is, if you don't like that formulation, then I'm happy to work with you on tax reform that could potentially lower everybody's rates and broaden the base, as long as that package was sufficiently progressive so that we weren't balancing the budget on the backs of middle-class families and working-class families, and we weren't letting hedge fund managers or authors of best-selling books off the hook." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at the First Meeting of the Fiscal Commission. 27 April 2010. "Now, over the past year, we've had to take emergency measures to prevent the recession from becoming another depression. And at a time when millions of people are out of work, we'll continue to do what it takes to spur job creation while investing in a new foundation for lasting economic growth. But the emergency measures have added about $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. As a result, even as we take these necessary steps in the short term, we have an obligation to future generations to address our long-term, structural deficits, which threaten to hobble our economy and leave our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt. And that's why I asked Congress to restore the 'pay as you go' rule. This rule says that Congress can't spend a dollar on a new tax cut or entitlement program unless it saves a dollar elsewhere. It's what helped lead to the balanced budgets of the 1990s. In fact, it was only by abandoning 'pay as you go' that record surpluses turned into record deficits during the course of a decade. Next, we've been scouring the budget, line by line, identifying more than $20 billion in savings this year alone. We've cut or eliminated scores of outmoded or ineffective programs and begun to reform our bloated contracting system. We've also successfully challenged the custom in Congress of courting favored contractors by approving weapons systems the Pentagon itself said that it doesn't want or need. Because in these hard times we have to save where we can afford so that we can pay for what we need --- the same way families do. Finally, I've proposed a freeze in government spending for three years. This won't affect benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. And it will not affect national security, including benefits for veterans. But it will affect all other discretionary spending. My budget ends loopholes and tax giveaways for oil and gas companies and for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans --- because we just can't afford them. And I kept my promise to pass a health reform bill without adding a dime to the deficit. In fact, by attacking waste and fraud and promoting better care, reform is expected to bring down our deficits by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks By The President On The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act. 30 September 2009. “Now, we know that these investments in research will improve and save countless lives for generations to come. And as I was taking a tour with Dr. Collins and Dr. Fauci and others, just listening to the possibility of a HIV/AIDS vaccine, or hearing the latest treatments of cancer that allow people who previously only had resort to the most violent types of radiation or chemotherapy, now being able to take pills and seeing extraordinary progress, it is something that is entirely inspiring. But we also know that these investments will save jobs, they'll create new jobs -- tens of thousands of jobs -- conducting research, and manufacturing and supplying medical equipment, and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities all across America. And that's also what the Recovery Act is all about. It's not just about creating make-work jobs; it's about creating jobs that will make a lasting difference for our future. From the beginning, our goal has been to rescue the economy at the same time as we're laying a new foundation for lasting economic growth.” (votesmart.org)
  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, The Club for Growth gave President Obama a rating of 9 percent.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks of President Barack Obama at Siemens Wind Turbine Blade Manufacturing Plant in Fort Madison, Iowa. 27 April 2010. “So in the midst of the economic turmoil, the Recovery Act helped make it possible for America to install nearly 10 gigawatts of new wind-generating capacity last year alone -- and that's enough to power more than 2.4 million American homes. So when people ask you what was the Recovery Act about, what was the stimulus about, it was about this -- this plant. And each new wind farm has the potential to create hundreds of construction jobs, and dozens of permanent local jobs in communities just like Fort Madison.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina. 2 April 2010. “But here's what the Recovery Act did: We cut taxes for small businesses and 95 percent of working families to promote spending and hiring -- cut taxes. That's what the Recovery Act did, was cutting people's taxes across America. […] We're also making investments in our infrastructure, from interstate highways to broadband networks. That not only creates private sector jobs, but is also creates the platform, a better environment, in which business can prosper.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a Town Hall Meeting on the Economy in Racine, Wisconsin. 30 June 2010. “So the job of the Recovery Act was to essentially step in and say, you know what, this is an emergency so we're going to plug that hole in demand in the economy temporarily so that everybody kind of settles down. So we sent -- about $250 billion, about a third of that Recovery Act was in the form of tax cuts to all of you. [...] About a third of it was help to states and local governments so that they could plug their budget holes. [...] And then the last third of it was infrastructure and long-term investments.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DCCC Fundraiser in Boston, Massachusetts. 8 March 2011. “We were able to make sure that we had the largest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower. We were able to make sure that we had the largest investment in education. We expanded Pell Grants to provide access to our kids -- for our kids to their college educations. So we didn't just rescue the economy -- we put it on a stronger footing for the future. And along the way, we saved the auto industry and a few other things.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at GOP House Issues Conference. 29 January 2010. “Now, at the same time, as I mentioned, most economists -- Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative -- would say that had it not been for the stimulus package that we passed, things would be much worse. Now, they didn't fill a 7 million hole in the number of people who were unemployed. They probably account for about 2 million, which means we still have 5 million folks in there that we've still got to deal with. That's a lot of people. The package that we put together at the beginning of the year, the truth is, should have reflected -- and I believe reflected what most of you would say are common sense things. This notion that this was a radical package is just not true.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. HR 1424. 111th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Barack Obama voted Yes on 1 October 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. HR 1424. 111th Congress. Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments. To provide authority for the Federal Government to purchase and insure certain types of troubled assets for the purposes of providing stability to and preventing disruption in the economy and financial system and protecting taxpayers, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation, to extend certain expiring provisions, to provide individual income tax relief, and for other purposes. Barack Obama voted Yes on 1 October 2008. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address. 24 January 2012. “Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let's pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. (Applause.) Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas. So put them in a bill, and get it on my desk this year.” (votesmart.org)
  • Club for Growth. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 1 August 2011. "On the votes used to calculate its ratings, The Club for Growth attaches more value to those votes it considers more important. For 2008, The Club for Growth gave President Obama a rating of 9 percent." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut. 3 December 2011. “You see, last year, both parties came together to cut payroll taxes for the typical middle-class family by about $1,000. But that tax cut is set to expire at the end of this month. If that happens, that same family will see its taxes go up by $1,000. We can't let that happen. In fact, I think we should cut taxes on working families and small business owners even more. And we're going to keep pushing Congress to make this happen. They shouldn't go home for the holidays until they get this done. And if you agree with me, I could use your help.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President. 1 December 2011. “Tonight, Senate Republicans chose to raise taxes on nearly 160 million hardworking Americans because they refused to ask a few hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. They voted against a bill that would have not only extended the $1,000 tax cut for a typical family, but expanded that tax cut to put an extra $1,500 in their pockets next year, and given nearly six million small business owners new incentives to expand and hire. That is unacceptable. It makes absolutely no sense to raise taxes on the middle class at a time when so many are still trying to get back on their feet.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: Both Parties Must Come Together on a Budget that Cuts Wasteful Spending Without Sacrificing Investments in the Future. 5 March 2011. “Now, we have a lot more work to do, not just for the Americans who still don't have a job, but for the millions more who still don't have the right job or all the work they need to live out the American Dream. But the progress we're seeing says something about the determination and ingenuity of our people and our businesses. What's also helping to fuel this economic growth are the tax cuts that Democrats and Republicans came together to pass in December and I signed into law -- tax cuts that are already making Americans' paychecks bigger and allowing businesses to write off their investments, freeing up more money for job creation.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the October Jobs Report. 5 November 2010. “Because the fact is an encouraging jobs report doesn't make a difference if you're still one of the millions of people who are looking for work. And I won't be satisfied until everybody who is looking for a job can find one. So we've got to keep fighting for every job, for every new business, for every opportunity to get this economy moving. And just as we passed a small business jobs bill based on ideas from both parties and the private sector, I am open to any idea, any proposal, any way we can get the economy growing faster so that people who need work can find it faster. This includes tax breaks for small businesses, like deferring taxes on new equipment, so that they've got an incentive to expand and hire, as well as tax cuts to make it cheaper for entrepreneurs to start companies. This includes building new infrastructure, from high-speed trains to high-speed Internet, so that our economy can run faster and smarter. It includes promoting research and innovation, and creating incentives in growth sectors like the clean energy economy. And it certainly includes keeping tax rates low for middle-class families and extending unemployment benefits to help those hardest hit by the downturn while generating more demand in the economy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Tax Cuts and CEOs Meeting. 15 December 2010. “Today, the Senate is poised to pass tax cuts and unemployment insurance, putting the House of Representatives in the position to send me this critical economic package so I can sign it into law. I am absolutely convinced that this tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector. It will help lift up middle-class families, who will no longer need to worry about a New Year's Day tax hike. It will offer emergency relief to help tide folks over until they find another job. And it includes tax cuts to make college more affordable; help parents provide for their children; and help businesses, large and small, expand and hire. I know there are different aspects of this plan to which members of Congress on both sides of the aisle object. That's the nature of compromise. But we worked hard to negotiate an agreement that's a win for middle-class families and a win for our economy, and we can't afford to let it fall victim to either delay or defeat. So I urge members of Congress to pass these tax cuts as swiftly as possible. Getting that done is an essential ingredient in spurring economic growth over the short run.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of Union Address. 25 January 2011. “We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again. But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children. That's the project the American people want us to work on. Together. We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans' paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year. But we have to do more. These steps we've taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession, but to win the future, we'll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Address by the President to a Joint Session of Congress. 8 September 2011. “Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin. And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven't. So for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for 'job creators,' this plan is for you. Pass this jobs bill -- pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers' wages. Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year. If you have 50 employees -- if you have 50 employees making an average salary, that's an $80,000 tax cut. And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Taxes. 10 March 2011. “Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses, cut corporate taxes for firms that invest and create jobs in the United States, and provide tax credits to reduce the cost of healthcare and to reward investments in innovation. Dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing tax credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class Americans to do their own taxes in less than five minutes without an accountant.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Economy: Do you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: President Obama Calls on GOP Leadership to Put Aside Partisan Politics and Focus on Strengthening the Economy. 30 October 2010. “Beyond these near-term steps, we should work together to tackle the broader challenges facing our country -- so that we remain competitive and prosperous in a global economy. That means ensuring that our young people have the skills and education to fill the jobs of a new age. That means building new infrastructure -- from high-speed trains to high-speed internet -- so that our economy has room to grow.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Economy. 14 March 2011. “Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that it is critically important for the United States to rebuild its national transportation infrastructure - its highways, bridges, roads, ports, air, and train systems - to strengthen user safety, bolster our long-term competitiveness and ensure our economy continues to grow. […] Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation's most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at DNC Moving America Forward Rally in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 30 October 2010. “We believe in an America that invests in its future and its people, an America that's built to compete in the 21st century. We know the jobs and businesses of tomorrow, they'll end up in the countries that have the best educated workforce, and the best infrastructure, and the strongest commitment to research and technology. I want that nation to be the United States of America. […] We're putting people to work right now in Connecticut and all across the country rebuilding our roads and our railways and our runways, putting people to work building an infrastructure that's adequate for the 21st century. That's the future we see.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a Town Hall Meeting on the Economy in Racine, Wisconsin. 30 June 2010. “So the job of the Recovery Act was to essentially step in and say, you know what, this is an emergency so we're going to plug that hole in demand in the economy temporarily so that everybody kind of settles down. So we sent -- about $250 billion, about a third of that Recovery Act was in the form of tax cuts to all of you. [...] About a third of it was help to states and local governments so that they could plug their budget holes. [...] And then the last third of it was infrastructure and long-term investments. So, for example, we've got more road projects going on here in Wisconsin and around the country than at any time since road projects, sewer projects, a whole bunch of deferred stuff that needed to be done. […] So those were the things that we did through the Recovery Act. Now, every economist who has looked at it has said that the recovery did its job. It put a brake on the collapse of the economy. We avoided a Great Depression. We are now growing again. The problem is, number one, it's hard to argue sometimes, things would have been a lot worse. Right? So people kind of say, yeah, but unemployment is still at 9.6. Yes, but it's not 12 or 13, or 15. People say, well, the stock market didn't fully recover. Yeah, but it's recovered more than people expected last year.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina. 2 April 2010. “But here's what the Recovery Act did: We cut taxes for small businesses and 95 percent of working families to promote spending and hiring -- cut taxes. […] We're also making investments in our infrastructure, from interstate highways to broadband networks. That not only creates private sector jobs, but is also creates the platform, a better environment, in which business can prosper.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act – Cincinnati, OH. 22 September 2011. “Now, we used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We're the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad, the Interstate Highway System. We built the Hoover Dam. We built the Grand Central Station. So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads? And let Europe build the best highways? And have Singapore build a nicer airport? At a time when we've got millions of unemployed construction workers out there just ready to get on the job, ready to do the work to rebuilding America.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. White House Announces Steps to Expedite High Impact Infrastructure Projects to Creat Jobs. 31 August 2011. “Creating jobs is my highest priority as President, and investing in our nation's infrastructure can help create those jobs and grow our economy. That's why I'm asking agencies across the federal government to identify infrastructure projects that will put folks back to work and help make our country stronger, and take immediate steps to push these projects across the finish line." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas. 6 December 2011. “Remember in those years, in 2001 and 2003, Congress passed two of the most expensive tax cuts for the wealthy in history. And what did it get us? The slowest job growth in half a century. Massive deficits that have made it much harder to pay for the investments that built this country and provided the basic security that helped millions of Americans reach and stay in the middle class -- things like education and infrastructure, science and technology, Medicare and Social Security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statements by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper of Canada. 7 December 2011. “Our focus today, however, is on our highest priority, and my top priority as President, and that's creating jobs faster and growing the economy faster. […] So we're going to improve our infrastructure, we're going to introduce new technologies, we're going to improve cargo security and screening -- all designed to make it easier for our companies to do business and create jobs. And that, by the way, includes our small businesses, which create most of the new jobs here in America. And when they look to export, typically, Canada is one of the most likely places they are to start getting a foothold in the global economy. So it's hugely important for our small and medium-sized businesses.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Education: Do you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of Union Address. 25 January 2011. "Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don't meet this test. That's why instead of just pouring money into a system that's not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all 50 states, we said, 'If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we'll show you the money.' Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. And these standards were developed, by the way, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that's more flexible and focused on what's best for our kids." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Head Start in Yeadon, Pennsylvania. 8 November 2011. “Now, this is the first time in history that Head Start programs will be truly held accountable for performance in the classroom, and we know that raising the bar isn't always an easy thing to do. But it's the right thing to do. Children in Head Start deserve the best services we have to offer, and we know that Head Start programs can meet this challenge. So because of this rule, and the other executive actions that we've taken to improve our education system, more children will have the chance to study hard, do well in school, graduate on time, go to college without crushing debt. More Americans will grow up to be scientists and innovators and engineers and entrepreneurs. More businesses will be able to find skilled workers. Of course, there's no substitute for Congress doing its job. And I have to say these two congressmen are doing their job. (Applause.) But they need some help. Congress still needs to fix No Child Left Behind. Congress still needs to put teachers back in the classroom where they belong. (Applause.) So Congress still needs to act. But if Congress continues to stand only for dysfunction and delay, then I'm going to move ahead without them. (Applause.) I told my administration, I want you to keep on looking for actions that we can take without Congress --- steps that can save consumers money, make government more efficient and responsive, help heal the economy, improve our education system, improve our health care system. We want to work with Congress, but we're not going to wait.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Winning the Future in Education in Boston, Massachusetts. 8 March 2011. “Instead of pouring money into a broken system, under Arne's leadership, what we've done is we've launched a competition. […] We call it Race to the Top, and it's basically a challenge to states and school districts, prove to us that you're serious about reform. We've said to all 50 states, if you show us the most innovative plans for improving teacher quality and improving student achievement, then we'll show you the money. And for less than 1 percent of what America spends on education each year, Race to the Top has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning -- standards, by the way, that were developed not in Washington but by Republican and Democratic governors all across the country." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Race to the Top at Graham Road Elementary School. 19 January 2010. "Now, it's clear that doing the same old things will not get the job done for our kids -- or for America, or for our future. So when I took office, I asked Arne Duncan to work with states and local school districts to take on business as usual in our education system, and that's how the Race to the Top competition was born last July. It's a national competition among states to improve our schools. […] Last year, we set aside more than $4 billion to improve our schools -- one of the largest investments in reform in our nation's history. But we didn't just hand this money out to states that wanted it; we challenged them to compete for it. And it's the competitive nature of this initiative that we believe helps make it so effective. […] We'll open up opportunity -- evenly and equitably -- across our education system. We'll develop a culture of innovation and excellence in our public schools. And we'll reward success, and replicate it across the country. These are some of the principles that drive Race to the Top. These are some of the principles that will drive my forthcoming budget. These steps won't transform our education system overnight -- not every school is going to be a Graham immediately. But they will help put us on a path to raise the quality of American education, to prepare our children to succeed in their lives and their careers, and to secure America's success in the 21st century." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event in Washington, DC. 8 August 2011. “We still have a education system that's not educating enough of our kids. And Lord knows we still have a dysfunctional political system in Washington, as we just witnessed over the last couple of weeks. And so for all the progress that we've made over the last two-and-a-half years -- and that progress has been extraordinarily significant, not only health care reform but financial regulatory reform, making sure that we are starting to transform our education system with things like Race to the Top, which says we're going to give more money to schools but we expect reform in exchange for more money; despite the transformations that have taken place in our foreign policy, where we are -- we have now ended the war in Iraq and we are transitioning into a posture where in Afghanistan, Afghans can take responsibility for their own security -- despite all those changes, we've got a lot of unfinished business.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: President Obama to Send Updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act Blueprint To Congress on Monday. 13 March 2010. "Under the leadership of an outstanding Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, we launched a Race to the Top, through which states compete for funding by committing to reform and raising standards, by rewarding good teaching, by supporting the development of better assessments to measure results, and by emphasizing math and science to help prepare children for college and careers. And on Monday, my administration will send to Congress our blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act to overhaul No Child Left Behind. What this plan recognizes is that while the federal government can play a leading role in encouraging the reforms and high standards we need, the impetus for that change will come from states, and from local schools and school districts. So, yes, we set a high bar -- but we also provide educators the flexibility to reach it. Under these guidelines, schools that achieve excellence or show real progress will be rewarded, and local districts will be encouraged to commit to change in schools that are clearly letting their students down. For the majority of schools that fall in between -- schools that do well but could do better -- we will encourage continuous improvement to help keep our young people on track for a bright future: prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. And because the most important factor in a child's success is the person standing at the front of the classroom, we will better prepare teachers, support teachers, and encourage teachers to stay in the field. In short, we'll treat the people who educate our sons and daughters like the professionals they are." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Environment and Energy: Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Energy - Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050. 10 March 2011. “Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. The Obama-Biden cap-and-trade policy will require all pollution credits to be auctioned, and proceeds will go to investments in a clean energy future, habitat protections, and rebates and other transition relief for families.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President at end of the EU-U.S. Summit. 20 November 2010. “Finally, we're coordinating on a series of global issues. With regard to climate change, we directed our U.S.-EU Energy Council to find ways to bring clean energy technologies to market faster, and we're standing by our Copenhagen commitments to reduce emissions as we work towards Cancun.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. PBS 'NewsHour' – Transcript. 23 December 2009. “The science says that we've got to significantly reduce emissions over the next - over the next 40 years. There's nothing in the Copenhagen agreement that ensures that that happens. What did occur was that at a point where there was about to be complete breakdown, and the prime minister of India was heading to the airport and the Chinese representatives were essentially skipping negotiations, and everybody's screaming, what did happen was, cooler heads prevailed. And we were able to at least agree on non-legally binding targets for all countries - not just the United States, not just Europe, but also for China and India, which, projecting forward, are going to be the world's largest emitters. So that - that was an important principle, that everybody's got to do something in order to solve this problem. But I make no claims, and didn't make any claims going in, that somehow that was going to be everything that we needed to do to solve climate change. And - and my main responsibility here is to convince the American people that it is smart economics and it is going to be the engine of our economic growth for us to be a leader in clean energy.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Energy and the Environment. 4 March 2011. “We need to take steps to stop catastrophic, manmade climate change. If we do not act, the consequences will be devastating for future generations, especially for the poorest global populations. Barack Obama believes the U.S. must act decisively and creatively to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Obama is an original cosponsor of legislation to establish limits on greenhouse gas emissions. To remain below these limits, the bill encourages the market to determine how best to reduce greenhouse gases, rewarding cost-effective approaches through a system of tradeable allowances. Revenues generated from this program will be directed to helping industries and individuals most affected by the limits, and also to fund research and development of new, more efficient, energy technologies.” (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Environment and Energy: Do you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event. 29 March 2011. “We still have a lot of work to do on energy. You know, tomorrow I'm going to give an energy speech. The last time gas prices were this high was in 2008 when I was running. And you remember what was going on right back then. The other side kept on talking about 'drill, baby, drill.' That was the slogan. What we were talking about was breaking the pattern of being shocked at high prices and then, as prices go down, being lulled into a trance, but instead let's actually have a plan. Let's, yes, increase domestic oil production, but let's also invest in solar and wind and geothermal and biofuels and let's make our buildings more efficient and our cars more efficient. Not all of that work is done yet, but I'm not finished yet. We've got more work to do.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: President Obama Announces New Plans to Increase Responsible Domestic Oil Production. 14 May 2011. "Last year, America's oil production reached its highest level since 2003. But I believe that we should expand oil production in America -- even as we increase safety and environmental standards. […] We plan to lease new areas in the Gulf of Mexico as well, and work to create new incentives for industry to develop their unused leases both on and offshore. We're also taking steps to give companies time to meet higher safety standards when it comes to exploration and drilling. That's why my Administration is extending drilling leases in areas of the Gulf that were impacted by the temporary moratorium, as well as certain areas off the coast of Alaska. And to streamline that permitting process, I am establishing a new team to coordinate work on Alaska drilling permits." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill. 15 June 2010. “So one of the lessons we've learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards, and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk. After all, oil is a finite resource. We consume more than 20 percent of the world's oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we've talked and talked about the need to end America's century-long addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have failed to act with the sense of urgency that this challenge requires. Time and again, the path forward has been blocked -- not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by a lack of political courage and candor.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Energy - Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years. 10 March 2011. “Obama and Biden will require oil companies to develop the 68 million acres of land (over 40 million of which are offshore) which they have already leased and are not drilling on. […] An Obama-Biden administration will establish a process for early identification of any infrastructure obstacles/shortages or possible federal permitting process delays to drilling in the Bakken Shale formation, the Barnett shale formation, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Foreign Policy: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 1 December 2009. “We must deny al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future. […] America -- we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Gillard of Australia in Joint Press Conference. 16 November 2011. “With respect to Afghanistan, the impact of any loss of life among our troops is heartbreaking. And obviously, as President of the United States, there's no greater responsibility and nothing more difficult than putting our troops in harm's way. I think Prime Minister Gillard feels the same way that I do, which is we would not be sending our young men and women into harm's way unless we thought it was absolutely necessary for the security of our country. What we have established is a transition process that allows Afghans to build up their capacity and take on a greater security role over the next two years. But it's important that we do it right. […] And what I'd say to the Australian people at this point is, given the enormous investment that's been made and the signs that we can, in fact, leave behind a country that's not perfect, but one that is more stable, more secure, and does not provide safe haven for terrorists, it's appropriate for us to finish the job and do it right.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks By President Obama to the Australian Parliament. 17 November 2011. “After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia Pacific region. In just a few weeks, after nearly nine years, the last American troops will leave Iraq and our war there will be over. In Afghanistan, we've begun a transition -- a responsible transition -- so Afghans can take responsibility for their future and so coalition forces can begin to draw down. And with partners like Australia, we've struck major blows against al Qaeda and put that terrorist organization on the path to defeat, including delivering justice to Osama bin Laden.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review. 16 December 2010. “It's important to remember why we remain in Afghanistan. It was Afghanistan where al Qaeda plotted the 9/11 attacks that murdered 3,000 innocent people. [...] In Afghanistan, we remain focused on the three areas of our strategy: our military effort to break the Taliban's momentum and train Afghan forces so they can take the lead; our civilian effort to promote effective governance and development; and regional cooperation, especially with Pakistan, because our strategy has to succeed on both sides of the border. Indeed, for the first time in years, we've put in place the strategy and the resources that our efforts in Afghanistan demand. And because we've ended our combat mission in Iraq, and brought home nearly 100,000 of our troops from Iraq, we're in a better position to give our forces in Afghanistan the support and equipment they need to achieve their missions.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on Ten Years of American Service in Afghanistan. 7 October 2011. “Despite the enormous challenges that remain in Afghanistan, we've pushed the Taliban out of its key strongholds, Afghan security forces are growing stronger, and the Afghan people have a new chance to forge their own future. […] After a difficult decade, we are responsibly ending today's wars from a position of strength. As the rest of our troops come home from Iraq this year, we have begun to draw down our forces in Afghanistan and transition security to the Afghan people, with whom we will forge an enduring partnership. As our sons and daughters come home to their families, we will uphold our sacred trust with our 9/11 Generation veterans and work to provide the care, benefits and opportunities they deserve. And as we reflect on ten years of war and look ahead to a future of peace, Michelle and I call upon all Americans to show our gratitude and support for our fellow citizens who risk their lives so that we can enjoy the blessings of freedom and security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President to the United Nations General Assembly. 23 September 2010. “While drawing down in Iraq, we have refocused on defeating al Qaeda and denying its affiliates a safe haven. In Afghanistan, the United States and our allies are pursuing a strategy to break the Taliban's momentum and build the capacity of Afghanistan's government and security forces, so that a transition to Afghan responsibility can begin next July.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of Union Address. 25 January 2011. “We've also taken the fight to al Qaeda and their allies abroad. In Afghanistan, our troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan security forces. Our purpose is clear: By preventing the Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we will deny al Qaeda the safe haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11. Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home. In Pakistan, al Qaeda's leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe havens are shrinking. And we've sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Foreign Policy. 7 March 2011. “Obama and Biden will refocus American resources on the greatest threat to our security -- the resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They will increase our troop levels in Afghanistan, press our allies in NATO to do the same, and dedicate more resources to revitalize Afghanistan's economic development. Obama and Biden will demand the Afghan government do more, including cracking down on corruption and the illicit opium trade.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a DNC Event. 23 June 2011. "I ran for President because I believed we needed to refocus our efforts in Afghanistan -- and we're doing this, too. We pummeled al Qaeda. We took out bin Laden. And because of our progress and the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops -- because of the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops, we're now fulfilling the commitment I made to start reducing our troops this month so that Afghans can take responsibility for their own security." (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Foreign Policy: Do you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President and the Vice President to the Troops at Fort Campbell, KY. 5 June 2011. “And most of all, we're making progress in our major goal, our central goal in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that is disrupting and dismantling -- and we are going to ultimately defeat al Qaeda. We have cut off their head and we will ultimately defeat them. Even before this week's operation, we've put al Qaeda's leadership under more pressure than at any time since 9/11, on both sides of the border. So the bottom line is this: Our strategy is working, and there's no greater evidence of that than justice finally being delivered to Osama bin Laden.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President and First Lady on the End of the War in Iraq. 14 December 2011. “Because of you, in Afghanistan we've broken the momentum of the Taliban. Because of you, we've begun a transition to the Afghans that will allow us to bring our troops home from there. And around the globe, as we draw down in Iraq, we have gone after al Qaeda so that terrorists who threaten America will have no safe haven, and Osama bin Laden will never again walk the face of this Earth. […] So here's what I want you to know, and here's what I want all our men and women in uniform to know: Because of you, we are ending these wars in a way that will make America stronger and the world more secure. Because of you.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on Osama Bin Laden. 2 May 2011. "Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot. Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. [...] Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. […] For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at the "Change of Office" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ceremony. 30 September 2011. “The death of Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates. […] Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous, but weakened terrorist organization. And going forward, we will remain vigilant against any threats to the United States or our allies and partners. But make no mistake: This is further proof that al-Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world. Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans, and to build a world in which people everywhere can live in greater peace, prosperity and security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Letter from the President to Congressional Leadership on the War Powers Resolution. 15 June 2011. “In furtherance of U.S. efforts against members of al Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces, the United States continues to work with partners around the globe, with a particular focus on the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility. In this context, the United States has deployed U.S. combat equipped forces to assist in enhancing the counterterrorism capabilities of our friends and allies, including special operations and other forces for sensitive operations in various locations around the world. The United States is committed to thwarting the efforts of al Qa'ida and its associated forces to carry out future acts of international terrorism, and we have continued to work with our counterterrorism partners to disrupt and degrade the capabilities of al Qa'ida and its associated forces. As necessary, in response to the terrorist threat, I will direct additional measures against al Qa'ida, the Taliban, and associated forces to protect U.S. citizens and interests.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Guns: Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. S 397. 109th. Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill. Barack Obama voted NO on 29 July 2005. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Sportsmen. 4 March 2011. “Millions of hunters and shooters own and use guns each year. Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Arizona Daily Star - We Must Seek Agreement on Gun Reforms. 13 March 2011. “Now, like the majority of Americans, I believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. And the courts have settled that as the law of the land. In this country, we have a strong tradition of gun ownership that's handed from generation to generation. [...] I'm willing to bet that responsible, law-abiding gun owners agree that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few - dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example - from getting their hands on a gun in the first place. I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas - that we should check someone's criminal record before he can check out at a gun seller; that an unbalanced man shouldn't be able to buy a gun so easily; that there's room for us to have reasonable laws that uphold liberty, ensure citizen safety and are fully compatible with a robust Second Amendment. That's why our focus right now should be on sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Urban Policy. 4 March 2011. “Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. 1998. Project Vote Smart: Illinois National Political Awareness Test. Checked SUPPORT for: “a) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons;” “b) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms;” “g) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.”
No Inferred Answer Health Care: Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Press Conference by the President. 3 November 2010. “With respect to the health care law, generally -- and this may go to some of the questions that Savannah was raising -- you know, when I talk to a woman from New Hampshire who doesn't have to mortgage her house because she got cancer and is seeking treatment but now is able to get health insurance, when I talk to parents who are relieved that their child with a preexisting condition can now stay on their policy until they're 26 years old and give them time to transition to find a job that will give them health insurance, or the small businesses that are now taking advantage of the tax credits that are provided -- then I say to myself, this was the right thing to do.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event. 14 November 2011. “Change is health care reform. (Applause.) After a century of trying, a reform that will finally make sure that nobody goes bankrupt in America just because they get sick. And by the way, change is the 1 million young Americans who are already receiving insurance that weren't getting it before, because they can now stay on their parent's health insurance until they're 26 years old. That's a change that you made. At the same time, it provides everybody protection, so that if you get sick, if you have a preexisting condition, you can still afford to get health insurance -- you'll still have access to quality care. That's the kind of changes that you brought about because of the work you did in 2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act. 18 January 2011. “Today, the American people have greater health security than they did a year ago. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer have to live in fear that insurance companies will drop or cap their coverage if they get sick, or that they'll face double-digit premium increases with no accountability or recourse. Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees, and children suffering from an illness or pre-existing condition can no longer be denied coverage. Parents now can add their adult children up to age 26 to their health plans, and all Americans on new plans can access preventive care to keep them healthy with no additional out of pocket costs. Older Americans are seeing better benefits, lower prescription drug costs, and a stronger Medicare. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that improvements in health care delivery system as a result of this law will reduce federal deficits by over a trillion dollars in the next two decades." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President on the Affordable Care Act and the New Patients' Bill of Rights. 22 June 2010. “The stories of everyday Americans and, more importantly, the courage it took to share those stories is what kept this effort alive and moving forward even when it looked like it was lost. They are why we got this done. They are why I signed this bill into law. It wasn't easy, and it isn't perfect. Change never is in a country as big and busy and diverse as this one. But every time this country has moved forward, it's because ordinary Americans like these summoned what's best in each of us to make life better for all of us. And it's because we as a people find the will to cobble together out of all of our differences that American sense of common interest and common purpose that's always been required to advance the dreams of all of our people. That's why we got this done. And that's what the Affordable Care Act does. And as long as I have the honor of being your President, that's what we're going to keep on doing together.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Backyard Discussion on Health Care Reform and the Patient's Bill of Rights. 22 September 2010. “We're a lot better off if we are making sure that everybody is getting preventive care, we're encouraging wellness programs where people have access to doctors up front. And that's why we feel pretty confident that over the long term, as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise. And that means, by the way, that the deficit is going to be lower than it would be otherwise. Understand -- I want to make sure everybody is clear. The Congressional Budget Office, which is made -- is independent, it's historically bipartisan; this is sort of the scorekeeper in Washington about what things costs -- says that as a consequence of this act, the deficit is going to be over a trillion dollars lower over the course of the next two decades than it would be if this wasn't passed. And the reason this is so important is because right now there's a political debate going on about should we maybe repeal the health care act or -- because this is part of big government.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of Union Address. 25 January 2011. “Now, I have heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about our new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses. What I'm not willing to do -- what I'm not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition. I'm not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I'm not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business man from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their patients' -- parents' coverage. So I say to this chamber tonight, instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and let's move forward.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at DNC "Moving America Forward" Rally in Chicago, Illinois. 31 October 2010. “When we passed health care reform, let me tell you something. We did that because all across this country there were folks, hardworking folks, who paid their insurance premiums and then suddenly found insurance companies dropping them when they got sick; or folks who were working hard and wanted to get insurance but had a preexisting condition and couldn't get it. And so we said, anybody in America, anybody in America who is working hard, who is doing the right thing, they shouldn't go bankrupt when they get sick. And so we passed a law that made sure that insurance companies could no longer drop you when you got sick. We passed a law that said everybody under the age of 26 could stay on their parents' health insurance. We passed a law to make sure that 30 million folks can get affordable, accessible insurance, and we did it in a way that will reduce our deficit by over a trillion dollars. And now the other side says they want to roll that back.” (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Health Care: Should individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Backyard Discussion on Health Care Reform and the Patient's Bill of Rights. 22 September 2010. “I mean, one of the toughest things about this health care debate was -- and sometimes I fault myself for not having been able to make the case more clearly to the country -- we spend, each of us who have health insurance, spend about a thousand dollars of our premiums on somebody else's care. What happens is, you don't have health insurance, you go to the emergency room. You weren't getting a checkup; something that might have been curable with some antibiotics isn't caught. By the time you get to the hospital, it's much more expensive. The hospital cares for you because doctors and nurses, they don't want to just turn somebody away. But they've got to figure out how do they keep their doors open if they're treating all these people coming in the emergency room. Well, what they do is they essentially pass on those costs in the form of higher premiums to the people who do have health insurance. And so we are already providing these subsidies, but it's the most inefficient possible subsidy we could provide. We're a lot better off if we are making sure that everybody is getting preventive care, we're encouraging wellness programs where people have access to doctors up front. And that's why we feel pretty confident that over the long term, as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Town Hall Meeting in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. 15 August 2011. “How many people here have tried to buy health insurance on their own without a company? And you know what happens, right? They will charge you an arm and a leg, because their attitude is you're not part of a big enough pool that we can spread the risk across. So we're setting up these exchanges. Now, where the individual responsibility mandate comes in has to do with the part of the law that says an insurance company can't reject you because you've got a preexisting condition. And -- which I think is the right thing to do. […] So that's why the individual mandate is important. Because the basic theory is, look, everybody here at some point or another is going to need medical care, and you can't be a free-rider on everybody else -- you can't not have health insurance, then go to the emergency room and each of us who've done the responsible thing and have health insurance, suddenly we now have to pay the premiums for you. That's not fair. (Applause.) So if you can afford it, you should get health insurance just like you get car insurance.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. News Conference By The President. 22 July 2009. “Now, the truth is that unless you have a what's called a single-payer system in which everybody is automatically covered, then you're probably not going to reach every single individual, because there's always going to be somebody out there who thinks they're indestructible and doesn't want to get health care, doesn't bother getting health care, and then unfortunately when they get hit by a bus end up in the emergency room and the rest of us have to pay for it. But that's not the overwhelming majority of Americans. The overwhelming majority of Americans want health care, but millions of them can't afford it. So the plan that has been -- that I've put forward and that what we're seeing in Congress would cover -- the estimates are at least 97 to 98 percent of Americans. There might still be people left out there who, even though there's an individual mandate, even though they are required to purchase health insurance, might still not get it, or despite a lot of subsidies are still in such dire straits that it's still hard for them to afford it, and we may end up giving them some sort of hardship exemption. [...] I think that the basic idea should be that in this country, if you want health care, you should be able to get affordable health care.” (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Immigration and the Border. 7 March 2011. “America has always been a nation of immigrants. There are millions of people living in the shadows that would like to fully embrace our values and become full members of our democracy. For the millions here illegally but otherwise playing by the rules, we must encourage them to come out of hiding and get right with the law. Barack Obama supports a system that requires undocumented immigrants that are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English, not commit crimes, go to the back of the line for citizenship, and then after all those conditions are met, they would be granted the opportunity to stay in the United States.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address. 24 January 2012. “I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That's why my administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That's why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office. The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will sign it right away.” (votesmart.org)
  • Numbers USA. 2011. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “As of February 25th, 2011, NumbersUSA - 2012 Presidential Hopefuls gave President Obama a grade of F- based on what President Obama says a President should do about immigration.” (votesmart.org)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association. 2007-2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. “President Obama supported the interests of the American Immigration Lawyers Association 50 percent in 2007-2008.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Statement by the President on the House Voting to Approve the DREAM Act. 8 December 2010. “The DREAM Act corrects one of the most egregious flaws of a badly broken immigration system. A flaw that forces children who have grown up in America, who speak English, who have excelled in our communities as academics, athletes, or volunteers to put their lives and talent on hold at a great cost to themselves and our nation. […] The DREAM Act is not amnesty; it's about accountability, and about tapping into a pool of talent we've already invested in. The DREAM Act is a piece of a larger debate that is needed to restore responsibility and accountability to our broken immigration system broadly. My administration will continue to do everything we can to move forward on immigration reform; today's House vote is an important step in this vital effort.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in an “Open for Questions” Roundtable. 28 September 2011. “And I've been unwavering in my support of changing the laws so that we're strong on border security, we're going after companies that are taking advantage of undocumented workers -- paying them sub-minimum wages and not respecting workplace safety laws -- but also saying that we've got to have a pathway to citizenship and for legal status for those who are already here and have put roots down here and are part of the fabric of our community, because we actually believe that they can contribute to our economy in an effective way.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Backyard Discussion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 28 September 2010. “I think is so important to do is for us to both be a nation of laws and affirm our immigrant traditions. And I think we can do that. So what I've said is, look, yes, let's secure our borders; yes, let's make sure that the legal immigration system is more fair and efficient than it is right now because if the waiting times were lessened then a lot of people would be more prone to go through a legal route than through an illegal route; let's make sure that we're cracking down on employers who are taking advantage of undocumented workers to not pay them overtime or not pay them minimum wage or not give them bathroom breaks; let's make sure that we're cracking down on employers to treat all workers fairly. And let's provide a pathway to citizenship for those who are already here, understanding that they broke the law, so they're going to have to pay a fine and pay back taxes and I think learn English, make sure that they don't have a criminal record. There are some hoops that they're going to have to jump through, but giving them a pathway is the right thing to do.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. S 2611. 109th Congress. Immigration Reform Bill. Barack Obama voted YES on 25 May 2006. Project Vote Smart Summary: (votesmart.org)
Yes Inferred Answer Same-Sex Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Issue Position: Civil Rights. 10 March 2011. “Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights […] Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. ABC "Good Morning America" - Transcript. 9 May 2012. "'Well-- you know, I have to tell you, as I've said, I've-- I've been going through an evolution on this issue. I've always been adamant that-- gay and lesbian-- Americans should be treated fairly and equally. [?] At a certain point, I've just concluded that-- for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that-- I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.' [?] ROBIN ROBERTS: 'So if you were the governor of New York or legislator in North Carolina, you would not be opposed? You would vote for legalizing same-sex marriage?' PRESIDENT OBAMA: 'I would.'" (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. "Marriage". 9 May 2012. "I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. [?] What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens. [?] So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them." (www.barackobama.com)
  • Barack Obama. Twitter: @BarackObama. 9 May 2012. "'Same-sex couples should be able to get married.'-President Obama" (twitter.com)
  • Matt Compton. The White House Blog: President Obama Supports Same-Sex Marriage. 9 May 2012. "Today, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, 'I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.' With that one statement, he made it clear that he believes that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships from getting married." (www.whitehouse.gov)
  • Grant Fuller. BarackObama.com Blog: President Obama supports same-sex marriage. 9 May 2012. "In an interview with ABC News today, President Obama spoke about the evolution of his personal views on same-sex marriage: 'Personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.'" (www.barackobama.com)
  • Family Research Council. 2008. Project Vote Smart Interest Group Ratings. 29 July 2011. "President Obama supported the interests of the Family Research Council 0 percent in 2007-2008." (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President at the Human Rights Campaign's Annual National Dinner. 1 October 2011. “Every single American -- gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender -- every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It's a pretty simple proposition.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks By The President At LGBT Pride Month Reception. 29 June 2009. “I've called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I've made that clear.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. CNN 'Special Events' – Transcript. 10 October 2009. “It is no secret that issues of great concern to gays and lesbians are ones that raise a great deal of emotion in this country. And it's no secret that progress has been incredibly different. We can see that with the time and dedication it took to pass the hate crimes legislation. But these issues all go to the heart of who we are as a people. Are we a nation that can transcend old attitudes and worn divides? Can we embrace our differences and look to the hopes and dreams that we share? Will we uphold the ideals on which this nation was founded, that all of us are equal, that all of us deserve the same opportunity to live our lives freely and pursue our chance of happiness? I believe we can. I believe we will. And that is why -- that's why I support ensuring that committed gay couples have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country. I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples. I required all agencies in the federal government to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families that the current law allows. And I've called on Congress to repeal the so- called Defense of Marriage Act and to pass the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act.” (votesmart.org)
No Inferred Answer Social Security: Do you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts? View Citations

Vote Smart's Research

  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in a Youth Town Hall. 14 October 2010. “What's going to end up happening is, is that if you expected a dollar of benefits, you'll only get about 75 cents, so people won't get the full bargain that they thought they were getting when they paid into Social Security. That's why we've got to strengthen it. And I have said that all options are on the table. I think we've got to look at how we preserve it for the next generation. I do think that the best way to do it would be to look at the fact that right now you only pay Social Security taxes up to about $106,000, and after that, you don't pay any Social Security tax. So that means Warren Buffett, who makes more than $100,000 a year, the vast bulk of his income, he doesn't pay Social Security taxes on it. That could be modified or changed in a way that would help extend the solvency of Social Security.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: President Obama Honors America's Workers; Outlines Steps Taken to Strengthen the Middle Class. 4 September 2010. “We're fighting to build an economy in which middle class families can afford to send their kids to college, buy a home, save for retirement, and achieve some measure of economic security when their working days are done. And over the last two years, that has meant taking on some powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for far too long. That's why we've put an end to the wasteful subsidies to big banks that provide student loans. We're going to use that money to make college more affordable for students instead. That's why we're making it easier for workers to save for retirement, with new ways of saving their tax refunds and a simpler system for enrolling in retirement plans like 401(k)s. And we're going to keep up the fight to protect Social Security for generations to come.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Remarks by the President in State of Union Address. 25 January 2011. “To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. […] We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans' guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.” (votesmart.org)
  • Barack Obama. Weekly Address: President Obama Promises to Protect Social Security from Republican Plans to Privatize It. 14 August 2010. “One thing we can't afford to do though is privatize Social Security - an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market. A few years ago, we had a debate about privatizing Social Security. And I'd have thought that debate would've been put to rest once and for all by the financial crisis we've just experienced. I'd have thought, after being reminded how quickly the stock market can tumble, after seeing the wealth people worked a lifetime to earn wiped out in a matter of days, that no one would want to place bets with Social Security on Wall Street; that everyone would understand why we need to be prudent about investing the retirement money of tens of millions of Americans. But some Republican leaders in Congress don't seem to have learned any lessons from the past few years. They're pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall. It's right up there on their to-do list with repealing some of the Medicare benefits and reforms that are adding at least a dozen years to the fiscal health of Medicare - the single longest extension in history. That agenda is wrong for seniors, it's wrong for America, and I won't let it happen. Not while I'm President. I'll fight with everything I've got to stop those who would gamble your Social Security on Wall Street.” (votesmart.org)

Key

Candidate Answer

Official Position: Candidate had the Political Courage to address this issue directly.

Inferred Answer

Inferred Position: Candidate refused to address this issue directly, but Project Vote Smart inferred this issue position based on the candidate's public statements, voting record, and evaluations from special interest groups.

Unknown Answer

Unknown Position: Candidate refused to address this issue.

Project Vote Smart's Research: Click on this icon to reveal more information about this candidate's position.

Other or Expanded Principles & Legislative Priorities are entered exactly as the candidate has submitted it. Project Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

Illinois State Legislative Election 1998 National Political Awareness Test

This candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test in a previous election. As a continued effort to provide the American public with factual information on candidates running for public office, these archived responses are made available here.

The Political Courage Test asks candidates which items they will support if elected. It does not ask them to indicate which items they will oppose. Through extensive research of public polling data, we discovered that voters are more concerned with what candidates would support when elected to office, not what they oppose. If a candidate does not select a response to any part or all of any question, it does not necessarily indicate that the candidate is opposed to that particular item.
Please indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding abortion.
a) Abortions should always be legally available.
b) Abortions should be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy.
c) Abortions should be legal only when pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered.
d) Abortions should be legal only when the life of the woman is endangered.
e) Abortions should always be illegal.
f) Abortions should be limited by waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
g) Prohibit the late-term abortion procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion.
h) Support "buffer zones" by requiring demonstrators to stay at least 15 feet away from abortion clinic doorways and driveways.
Xi) Other

Abortions should be legally available in accordance with Roe v. Wade.

Undecidedj) Should Illinois government funding be provided to clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services?
Indicate the principles you support (if any) concerning affirmative action. State government agencies should take race and sex into account in the following sectors:
Yesa) College and university admissions
Yesb) Public employment
Yesc) State contracting
d) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) to address crime.
a) Increase state funds for construction of state prisons and for hiring of additional prison staff.
b) Support contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons.
c) End parole for repeat violent felons.
d) Expand the use of the death penalty for additional circumstances relating to murder.
e) Oppose the death penalty.
Xf) Implement penalties other than incarceration for certain non-violent offenders.
g) Inform communities when a convicted sex offender moves into the community.
Xh) Increase state funds for programs which rehabilitate and educate inmates during and after their prison sentences.
i) Decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
j) Strengthen penalties and sentences for drug-related crimes.
k) Strengthen penalties and sentences for sex offenders.
l) Prosecute juveniles who commit murder or other serious violent crimes as adults.
Xm) Provide funding for military-style "boot camps" for first-time juvenile felons.
n) Require "impact incarceration" (23 hours per day lockdown) for the first six months of each prisoner's sentence.
o) Support laws requiring restitution to crime victims at the personal expense of the criminal.
p) Require HIV testing for all incoming prison inmates.
q) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning the economy and employment.
Xa) Provide low interest loans and tax credits for starting, expanding, or relocating businesses.
Xb) Reduce state government regulations on the private sector in order to encourage investment and economic expansion.
c) Support limits on cash damages in lawsuits against businesses and professionals for product liability or malpractice.
Xd) Increase funding for state job-training programs that re-train displaced workers or teach skills needed in today's job market.
e) License additional riverboat casinos.
f) Fund construction of a new major airport to serve the Chicago metropolitan area.
g) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding education.
Xa) Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators.
Xb) Encourage private or corporate investment in public school programs.
c) Provide parents with state-funded vouchers to send their children to any participating school (public, private, religious).
Xd) Favor charter schools where independent groups receive state authorization and funding to establish new schools.
e) Support sex education programs which stress abstinence.
f) Support sex education programs which stress safe sexual practices.
Xg) Increase state funds for school construction and facility maintenance.
h) Increase state funds for hiring of additional teachers.
i) Endorse teacher-led voluntary prayer in public schools.
Xj) Fund public school education in Illinois by increasing certain state taxes and decreasing local property taxes.
k) Support a constitutional amendment eliminating the Illinois State Board of Education and replacing it with a cabinet-level Department of Education led by the Governor.
Xl) Provide state-funded tuition and fees to any Illinois student who attends a public college or university as long as they maintain a B average.
m) Advocate bilingual education programs in public schools.
n) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding the environment and energy.
Xa) Require the use of cleaner burning fuels in order to prevent pollution.
Xb) Support "self-audit" legislation which creates incentives for industries to audit themselves and clean up pollution.
c) Require a cost/benefit analysis to determine the economic impact of proposed environmental regulations before they are implemented.
d) Require the state to fully compensate citizens when environmental regulations limit uses on privately owned land.
Xe) Provide funding for recycling programs in Illinois.
f) Request added flexibility from the federal government in enforcing and funding federal environmental regulations.
g) Suspend participation in unfunded, federally mandated environmental protection legislation.
h) Restructure the electric utility industry to allow consumers to choose their power company.
Xi) Support state funded efforts to decrease erosion and make other improvements along the Illinois River.
j) Allow local authorities to block construction of large livestock facilities.
Xk) Support "right to know" laws, making information available to communities exposed to hazardous substances.
l) Other
Undecidedm) State environmental regulations should not be stricter than federal law.
Undecidedn) Do you support continuing Illinois' status as a host for low-level radioactive waste disposal?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding government reform.
a) Do you support amending the Illinois Constitution to limit the number of terms of the following officials?
Undecided1) State Senators and Representatives
Undecided2) Governor
b) Do you support current limits on the following types of contributions to state legislative candidates?
1) Individual
2) PAC
3) Corporate
Yesc) Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?
Yesd) Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?
Yese) Do you support partial funding from state taxes for state level political campaigns?
Undecidedf) Would you vote to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring an annual balanced federal budget?
g) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues.
Xa) Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
Xb) Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
c) Maintain state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
d) Ease state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
e) Repeal state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms by law-abiding citizens.
f) Favor allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.
Xg) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
h) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding health issues.
Xa) Provide tax incentives to small businesses who provide health care to their employees.
Xb) Ensure that citizens have access to basic health care, through managed care, insurance reforms, or state funded care where necessary.
Xc) Provide health care to uninsured children by expanding Medicaid.
d) Transfer more existing Medicaid recipients into managed care programs.
Xe) Use state funds to continue some Medicaid coverage for legal immigrants.
f) Limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.
g) Guaranteeing medical care to all citizens is not a responsibility of state government.
Xh) Support a "bill of rights" for managed care patients, allowing them to choose a specialist as their primary care provider, file grievances without fear of penalty from their provider, and receive any emergency care they might need.
i) Require the names of HIV positive people to be reported to local health departments.
j) Other
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding social issues.
Xa) Increase state funding for programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
Xb) Provide tax credits for businesses that provide child care for their employees.
Xc) Increase state funds to provide child care to children in low-income working families.
Xd) Deny or suspend state-issued permits and licenses to parents who are delinquent in paying court-ordered child support.
e) Favor banning smoking in public places.
Xf) Increase state funding for Head Start in order to serve additional children and/or increase services from a half to a full day.
Xg) Increase state funding for community centers and other social agencies in areas with at-risk youth.
Xh) Support state funding of programs for at-risk youth such as guaranteed college loans and job training and placement.
i) Other
Yesj) Do you believe that the Illinois government should include sexual orientation in Illinois' anti-discrimination laws?
Undecidedk) Do you believe that the Illinois government should recognize same-sex marriages?
Indicate the funding levels you will support for the following general categories. Select one level only.
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Greatly Increaseb) Education (K-12)
Maintain Statusc) Education (Higher)
Maintain Statusd) Environment
Greatly Increasee) Health care
Maintain Statusf) Law enforcement
Maintain Statusg) Transportation infrastructure (highways, roads, bridges)
Slightly Increaseh) Welfare
i) Other
Indicate the tax levels you will support. Select one level only.
Slightly Increasea) Alcohol taxes
Maintain Statusb) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increasec) Cigarette taxes
Slightly Increased) Corporate taxes
Slightly Increasee) Gas taxes
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (incomes below $75,000)
Slightly Increaseg) Income taxes (incomes above $75,000)
Slightly Decreaseh) Property taxes
Maintain Statusi) Sales taxes
j) Other
Nok) Do you support a flat tax structure for state income taxes?
Indicate which principles you support (if any) regarding welfare.
Xa) Maintain the 2-year limit on cash assistance.
Xb) Maintain the current work requirements for able-bodied recipients in order to receive benefits.
Xc) Increase employment and job training programs for welfare recipients.
Xd) Provide tax incentives to businesses who hire welfare recipients.
Xe) Support state-funded loans for facilities seeking to provide child care for welfare recipients.
Xf) Increase access to public transportation for welfare recipients who work.
Xg) Allow welfare recipients to remain eligible for benefits while saving money for education, starting a business, or buying a home.
h) Limit benefits given to recipients if they have additional children while on welfare.
i) Eliminate government-funded welfare programs.
Xj) Continue to extend state-funded welfare benefits for legal immigrants.
k) Other
Please explain what your two main legislative priorities will be if elected. Please explain how you would obtain any additional government funding needed to implement these priorities.
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