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Ken Ashby's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Ken Ashby has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2016 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Texas Congressional Election 2016 Political Courage Test


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 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.
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. Vote Smart does not edit for misspelled words, punctuation or grammar.

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

I am pro-choice, because I respect the right of individual conscience. For the same reason, I oppose taxpayer funding of abortions. Taxpayers have rights, too.

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

The budget should be balanced at a much lower level of both spending and taxes. I support reductions in so-called "defense spending" on foreign wars that have nothing to do with our national security.

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

The government cannot be trusted to regulate political campaigns fairly. Look at what the IRS did!

YesDo 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

I support the death penalty as punishment for murder only, and subject to constitutional protections and appeals.

I believe that, whenever possible, criminals should bear the costs of treatment programs.

I believe drug use should be decriminalized, as it is not the government's business to protect people from themselves.

NoCandidate 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?
NoDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
Other or expanded principles

Federal spending hurts the economy, as every dollar spent by government is a dollar taken in taxes from individuals and businesses who would spend it more wisely and efficiently, or else borrowed causing inflation and debt problems.

I support lowering taxes across the board to let people spend and invest their own money, which is the only sound way to grow the economy.

I oppose special-interest "tax incentives" that reward some businesses at the expense of others. Government is terrible at picking winners and losers.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you generally support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
Other or expanded principles

The federal government has no constitutional authority to control state, local or private schools. It should be left to those entities to decide if they want to participate in national standards. Government is terrible at picking winners and losers.

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

The federal government has no constitutional authority to control energy production. The Keystone XL pipeline, and renewable projects, should be funded privately without subsidies. Government is terrible at picking winners and losers.

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

My opinion of climate change is that nearly every part of the alarmist narrative is exaggerated: the degree of warming, the extent that it is man-made, the net harmfulness to humans and life, the reliability of models in predicting the future, the net benefit of carbon limitations, and the trustworthiness of government agencies to manage the issue.

I believe climate science needs to improve before taking drastic measures. The total failure of "scientific consensus" models to predict the warming hiatus since 1998 proves this point.

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

I strongly support the Second Amendment and the individual right to keep and bear arms. I believe in punishing criminals, not gun owners.

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

The federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate health care or to force people to buy insurance. Congress should exercise its power to allow people to buy competitive policies across state lines and lower-price drugs from abroad.

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

We need to DISCRIMINATE among immigrants. Welcome law-abiding workers and entrepreneurs who contribute to America. Cut off the welfare parasites, and lock up criminals and terrorists. Treating everyone the same is STUPID.

I support EARNED (not automatic) citizenship for those who work and pay taxes for 14 years with no crimes, and then pass an English-language civics exam.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles

Government has no business telling people whom they can or cannot marry. Everyone has an equal right to have their marriage legally recognized.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support increased American intervention in Iraq and Syria beyond air support?
NoShould 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

I believe it is bad policy for the U.S. to take sides in religious conflicts and power struggles in the Middle East. These are expensive, unwinnable wars that serve only to make enemies against us.

Diplomacy is a better means to countering threats, and military force should be the last option.

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

I believe Social Security should be completely optional. Private IRAs offer much better deals.

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.
Greatly Decreasea) Agriculture
Greatly Decreaseb) Arts
Greatly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Decreased) Education
Greatly Decreasee) Environment
Greatly Decreasef) Homeland Security
Greatly Decreaseg) International aid
Greatly Decreaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Decreasei) Scientific Research
Greatly Decreasej) Space exploration
Greatly Decreasek) United Nations
Greatly Decreasel) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

There is waste and fraud throughout the government. Make agencies operate within a budget.

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.
Greatly Decreasea) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Decreaseb) Corporate taxes
Greatly Decreasec) Small business taxes
Greatly Decreased) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Greatly Decreasee) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Greatly Decreasef) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseh) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Decreasei) Income taxes (high-income families)
Greatly Decreasej) Inheritance taxes
Greatly Decreasek) Payroll taxes
l) Other or expanded categories

Taxes are too high in every category. Cut them across the board.

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

1. Balance the budget at a much lower level of spending and taxes. Reduce the national debt.
2. Repeal and/or sunset burdensome federal regulations on businesses and consumers.
3. Repeal federal laws against victim-less crimes, i.e., activities which do not harm others.
4. Get the military to defend our own borders, instead of corrupt governments across the globe.

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