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Candidate positions: Brian Barnes

The following positions reflect those used for Brian Barnes in the Select A Candidate survey. Read the full responses from candidates below. “Answer option” is the choice given in the quiz, and “Candidate’s position” shows the candidate’s response to MPR News.


Issue Question Candidate Position
Jobs and economy What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development? ANSWER OPTION
Be a strong partner, like during the Space Race of the 1960s. The government set a goal, provided a little investment, and then government and private business spawned new industries that not only got us to the moon, but changed life as we know it.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Federal deficit Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased? ANSWER OPTION
Enforce stricter rules on defense spending, work to get Minnesota a better return on federal taxes paid, and look to curb fraud from health insurance companies. More spending shouldn't be sought until the federal budget it balanced.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes provided the following response to MPR News: We need to make sure our spending on defense is limited to what our generals and admirals are asking for, not what a defense contractor in a select congressional district wants to get paid for. Minnesota gets back about 75 cents per dollar paid in federal taxes. Mississippi is getting better than $2 per dollar. We need to look at discrepancies like that. Is the state of Mississippi free-loading in the name of "no new taxes" at home? And we need to be mindful as health care reform is phased in on the results we're getting from insurance companies that are cashing voucher checks from those who couldn't afford to buy coverage on their own. More spending? We can't even talk about that until we come to grips on the deficit. Wish we could, but we can't. Back to top
Bush-era tax cuts Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them? ANSWER OPTION
Yes, but not all of them -- under one condition: I would allow the tax cuts for individuals making more than $1 million to expire if every single dime of that revenue goes to paying down the deficit.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Farm Bill Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"We have a lot of farmers in our district, as well as other large and small businesses that depend on farm products, that need Congress to finally take action on this bill. Congress needs to stop blocking this bill from being heard on the house floor," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Social Security What should be done with the Social Security program? ANSWER OPTION
We need to replenish the trust fund that both parties have looted over the past 20 years. All ideas need to be on the table, including revising the cap on the Social Security tax.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Social Security keeps seniors living independently, and that is good for them and good for our economy," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Health Care What types of changes should be made in the health care system? ANSWER OPTION
Healthcare reform, modeled after RomneyCare, was a big step forward. We need to watch and learn as it phases in, and focus our efforts now on cost reduction. Repeal the $30 billion excise tax on medical devices.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Barnes told KSTP-TV that the medical device tax should be repealed. (More Info)
Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Medicare What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare? ANSWER OPTION
The program should negotiate for lower drug prices. It should not be turned into a voucher program.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes provided the following statement to MPR News: "Medicare is one of our greatest successes ever in this country. One good change that Congress has continually blocked is to allow negotiation of prescription drug prices. Most important, we need to stop Congress from turning Medicare into a limited voucher program. I am not going to tell our nation's seniors, 'Hey, we changed the rules, try a Groupon. I hope it doesn't expire!' " Back to top
Education What changes would you make to federal education policy? ANSWER OPTION
I will promote and expand pre-K, and work to end the practice of unfunded public school mandates on the states, and address the rising costs of college by capping student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent -- (if banks can borrow at that rate, students should be able to as well) -- and make tuition tax deductible. We want our businesses and institutions to thrive, and that means having a well-educated, well-trained work force.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"American businesses are the customers of our education system," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Energy policy What changes would you make to federal energy policy? ANSWER OPTION
Fuel standards increase is a huge deal. Let's apply the Space Race mindset to getting beyond oil in 25 years.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"By the time my daughter is getting married, the internal combustion engine should be well on its way to the Smithsonian," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Environment Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how? ANSWER OPTION
No. But a comprehensive energy policy focused on clean renewables will go a long way in protecting our environment.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Abortion Where do you stand on legalized abortion? ANSWER OPTION
It should be safe, legal and rare.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
"Abortion, like Bill Clinton said, should be safe, legal and rare," Barnes said in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
Marriage Should same-sex marriage be legal? ANSWER OPTION
Yes.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
My wife and daughter are the best things that ever happened to me. Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. And a gay couple doing so doesn't hurt my marriage. We don't need "defending." That's nonsense. Back to top
Issue Question Candidate Position
Immigration What are your views concerning immigration? ANSWER OPTION
I will support reform that helps us retain the talent produced by our universities, supports job creation, protects our borders and enforces existing laws against exploiting undocumented workers. It must be fair to taxpayers and to legal immigrants. There should be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but one that would require them to pay taxes and go to the back of the line.

CANDIDATE'S POSITION
Barnes said this in response to an MPR News inquiry. Back to top
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