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Michael Coblenz's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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What is the Political Courage Test?

Kentucky Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage 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.

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

Making abortion illegal does not make it go away, it just makes it unsafe. Oddly enough, abortion rates are actually higher in countries where it is illegal. To reduce abortion we should have comprehensive sex education, and safe and reliable access to birth control methods. Restricting a woman's right to control her body also limits her ability to contribute to the economy. Successful economies depend on the contribution of every citizen. Successful economies allow women to participate, and to do this they allow them to control their own bodies. Successful economies ensure safe access to abortion.

YesIn order to balance the budget, do you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate AnswerIn order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Other or expanded principles

In general I favor a VAT, which would tax consumption and not savings or income. I would scrap most of the income tax system in favor of a VAT, but would still impose a tax on very high incomes, or those above $250,000. The specific rate of tax would depend on how much revenue was generated by the VAT.

NoDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

I understand very well the problems associated with the Citizens United case, but I believe that speech is a vital component of the political process, and I believe that more speech is better than less speech. We've seen during the current Presidential campaign the impact of money, or more importantly the lack of impact. Jeb Bush raised more money than anyone, and dropped out before most other candidates.

NoDo you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
YesDo you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?
Other or expanded principles

The over-criminalization of drug crimes has had a devastating impact on many communities (particularly minority communities) and on the nation as a whole. We have over criminalized drug related offenses. Judges need to have the discretion in sentencing. Clearly there are some drug crime defendants who are dangerous, and should be behind bars, but just as clearly there are not. Judges need to have the discretion to determine which is which.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support lowering taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

Target tax incentives have proven effective over the years.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

I understand that the states need to have a certain degree of discretion, but over the years states have used this discretion to the disadvantage of certain groups. So there needs to be some level of federal oversight.

NoInferred Answer Do you support building the Keystone XL pipeline? View Citations
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, thermal)?
YesDo you support increased regulations on the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") industry?
Other or expanded principles

Fracking has dramatically brought down the cost of fuel, and has been an overall boon to the American economy. However there are a number of environmental issues related to fracking that need to be regulated.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

Climate change is the most important long term issue facing the world. Rising temperatures are already having an impact on the weather and the environment. If we begin to deal with the issue now it will be easier to make changes, but if we wait to long any remedial activity will need to be far more dramatic. It is, therefore, far better to deal with the issue now.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you generally support gun-control legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I believe that the Second Amendment gives citizens an individual right to own a weapon, but I agree with the Supreme Court in the D.C. v. Heller decision, which held that gun rights, like all rights, are subject to reasonable restrictions and regulations. I support gun control legislation consistent with Justice Antonin Scalia's decision in Heller.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
Other or expanded principles

The ACA, like all legislation, can certainly be improved, but I do not support the total repeal of the act.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

While this might sound like a reasonable idea, it is not workable in practice. There are far too many currently in the nation to make this workable.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
YesShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent governments hostile to the United States from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

Yes, but this needs to be highly restricted and done with the utmost caution.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

I have no problem with individuals diverting a small portion, but only a small portion. I do not support the privatization of Social Security.

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Slightly Decreasec) Defense
Slightly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Slightly Decreasef) Homeland Security
Slightly Decreaseg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Maintain Statusj) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories
Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Slightly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Maintain Statusb) Corporate taxes
Slightly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Slightly Increasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statush) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Increasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Slightly Increasej) Inheritance taxes
Maintain Statusk) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories
Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

My first priority is to rescind the Uniform Districts Act of 1968, and once again allow states to determine how to select Representatives. Partisanship is out of control, and one of the reasons is single seat districts. Allowing states to establish multi-seat districts, or at large voting, will reduce partisanship. My second priority is to rescind the Apportionment Act of 1929, and allow the number of Representatives to increase as the population increases. My third priority is to pass a Constitutional Amendment banning Gerrymandering of state and national legislative districts.

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