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Patricia Maher's Issue Positions (Political Courage Test)

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Patricia Maher has provided voters with clear stances on key issues by responding to the 2014 Political Courage Test.

What is the Political Courage Test?

New York Congressional Election 2014 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 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.

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

I strongly support pro-choice legislation. Abortion is not an easy decision, and one that some may not agree with due to religious and moral beliefs, but regardless they should be safe, legal, and rare. The law of the land, Roe v. Wade, must be upheld and must not be infringed upon.

NoIn 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

I support middle class tax cuts to stimulate economic demand, while increasing taxes and closing loopholes on the wealthy to increase revenue. Since 2009, 95% of all income has gone to the richest 1%, and this is the first period of economic expansion when the vast majority of people are actually seeing their incomes stagnant or decline.

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

I support a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Citizens United decision. Super PACs and their unlimited expenditures distort democracy, while making money and corporate interests the master of politicians, rather than the people who elect them. Washington is the real problem. Some of our elected officials have become career politicians, never working a real job, but continually living off the taxpayer's dollar.

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

These tax incentives must be specifically targeted in order to provide the greatest benefit to the American people. For example, I support federal grants and tax credits for existing and start-up small businesses on Main Street to revitalize our downtown areas. I also support tax incentives to bring good-paying jobs back home to America, and close tax loopholes on companies that continue to outsource jobs overseas and place their profits in offshore tax havens.

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

It has to be the right type of reform. I oppose Common Core because of the scripted modules that undermine the essential teaching relationship by preventing the individualized exchange between teacher and student. Grants should also be available to low-performing school districts, and create a variety of incentives for teachers to work in these districts. We need a combination of competitive grants and non-competitive funding to states and local school districts to achieve equity among states and populations.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support building the Keystone XL pipeline?
NoDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles

As someone who is running to represent a district on the South Shore of Long Island, I believe that drilling off the coast would be a disaster for the local ecosystem, would ruin the tourism industry, and could potentially result in a catastrophic disaster like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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

I support the U.S. ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, as well as other international agreements on climate change and pollution standards.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?
Other or expanded principles

I support universal background checks, greater access to mental health facilities, closing the gun show loophole, and keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and the mentally ill.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
Other or expanded principles

I support comprehensive immigration reform that increases border security. We need to protect our borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people, while promoting lawful entry and exit. We need to create a pathway to legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants living here. These immigrants are already living here in this country, and as long as they do not have criminal records should be integrated into our society.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
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

We need to use sanctions through our alliances as well as through the UN to contain and eliminate the threat of nuclear proliferation.

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

Private investment accounts are risky and do not guarantee a positive return, as shown by 401(k) plans. Administrative overhead alone can consume up to 30% of private accounts. Retirement security would have been decimated in 2008 if Bush's privatization plan had been passed.

Social Security gives a stable positive return, and is an efficient and effective program. We need to expand Social Security by boosting senior benefits, extending the Student Benefit for children in college and vocational school, and eliminating the payroll tax cap to increase revenue while closing the long-term Trust Fund shortfall.

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.
Maintain Statusa) Agriculture
Greatly Increaseb) Arts
Greatly Increasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Greatly Increasee) Environment
Greatly Increasef) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Greatly Increaseh) Medical Research
Greatly Increasei) Scientific Research
Slightly Increasej) 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.
Maintain Statusa) Capital gains taxes
Slightly Decreaseb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Slightly Increased) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Maintain Statuse) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Greatly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Greatly Decreaseg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Slightly Decreaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Maintain Statusi) Inheritance taxes
Slightly Decreasej) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

I strongly support eliminating the payroll tax cap. Right now, any income earned over $117,000 is not subject to payroll tax. That means a millionaire pays less of his income in payroll tax than the average middle class household. Eliminating the payroll tax cap would provide more revenue for Social Security, closing 80% of the projected long-term Trust Fund shortfall while making the tax code fairer.

Furthermore, I support raising payroll taxes slightly to cover the remainder of the projected gap, which would be offset by a corresponding income tax cut to make it tax-burden neutral for most Americans.

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. Expanding Social Security. Increasing benefits for senior citizens and students. Additional funding for these benefits will come from eliminating the payroll tax cap, (by cutting income taxes, making it tax-burden neutral).

2. Ending free trade and the outsourcing of American jobs. We need fair trade agreements that promote democracy, that contain strong labor and environmental standards, and that put the American people first.

3. Cutting the red tape on Hurricane Sandy relief: allowing people who were misled into taking loans and are now in debt to obtain grants.

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