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Minnesota - 4th Congressional District (2012) Survey

What should the federal government do to stimulate job creation and economic development?

Congress should pass President Obama's jobs proposal, which economists said will put 1.9 million Americans back to work without increasing the deficit. I support investing in rebuilding America's infrastructure, school building modernization, and extending temporary aid to states to keep hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and social workers out of the unemployment line and working in our communities.
To create high-paying jobs and grow the economy, Congress should act to create an environment conducive to healthy business activity and job growth. American businesses compete in a global economy and in many ways U.S. tax structure and regulatory bodies are putting American companies at a disadvantage. There are ways to responsibly reduce burdensome regulations and reform the tax structure and encourage businesses to grow and create jobs in America.
Create a policy environment that encourages investment of private capital in businesses. Government should not compete with private business to create jobs, but but instead get out of the way. Potential workers should have access to education for real, productive knowledge, especially science and technology.

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Where are three specific areas where federal spending should be cut? Are there any specific areas where federal spending should be increased?

Cut tens of billions of dollars from wasteful cold-war era programs that are ineffective, over budget, and outdated. Farm subsidies to corporate agriculture can be reduced. Cut billions in "tax expenditures" that benefit big oil companies. I support increased investments for transportation infrastructure, medical research, and special education.
We should end the war in Afghanistan immediately, reduce vacant and unused federal buildings and end subsidies to big oil and other energy companies.
Federal spending should be cut by transferring power and resources back to the states. In education, cut tuition, federal financial programs and federal mandates. In housing, cut Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and stop propping up a 30-year mortgage that isn't working. In agriculture, cut federal farm subsidies and let prices be set by market forces. We should invest in the water infrastructure so we can defend against deadly drought and price increases. We should have a program to pay homeowners if they provide shelter to the huge homeless population the housing finance bubble has created.

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Do you support extending the Bush-era tax cuts? If so, all of them?

Yes, all of them, but not indefinitely.
No. I oppose borrowing nearly $1 trillion over the next decade to extend extra tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, which only adds to our national debt and burdens the middle class. I do support extending tax cuts for middle class families for an additional year while the economy recovers. This responsible plan would provide 100% of families a tax cut on their first $250,000 of net income.
No. With annual trillion dollar plus deficits, biannual debt ceiling and spending resolution debates, and a stagnant economy teetering on another recession, it is time to put closure on the Bush era. I support permanent tax reform that will increase revenues through growing the tax base and the economy.

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Do you support the farm bill passed by the Senate and awaiting action in the House?

No. The House should pass its own bill, not just adopt the Senate's. Now is not the time for any cuts in food stamps. We should immediately authorize the drought assistance, but we need to rebuild the water infrastructure, to protect against global warming patterns and powerful climate change which brings severe drought.

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What should be done with the Social Security program?

I support lifting the payroll tax cap to allow high-income earners to continue to contribute more to the program. I strongly oppose an effort to privatize Social Security and diverting payroll contributions to Wall Street.
To ensure Social Security is solvent for our seniors and future generations, we should lift the income cap on contributions and Social Security benefits should be means tested.
We need to save it. Significant decreases in births are jeopardizing the long-term viability of the retirement society we are trying to build and we should support marriage and growth in family size to reverse this. For age groups affected by population shifts, we should offer choices to invest for retirement, and also consider tax dollars to maintain the basic promise to those paying in.

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What types of changes should be made in the health care system?

I support President Obama's health care reform law. I also support a greater focus on prevention, early intervention, and public health to combat obesity, smoking, diabetes, mental health, and addiction which cost hundreds of billions of dollars every year and impact tens of millions of Americans. We must reduce health care costs by eliminating the $750 billion America wastes every year on unnecessary services, repeated tests and paperwork, according to the nonpartisan Institute of Medicine.
I am in favor of market-based and state-level reforms that will lower the cost of insurance and give people the health care they need. I would be in favor of decreasing expensive regulations that increase the cost of health care for everyone. At every level we need to remember the goal is to provide quality care for people.
Repeal and replace the president's health care reform law, a massive, ineffective federal bureaucracy. Congress should partner with states and private medical providers and insurers to target killer or catastrophic diseases with preventive education, early detection and standard treatment, to reduce incidence, mortality, and health disparities.

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What changes, if any, would you support in Medicare?

I supported reforms in the new health care law that extended the solvency of Medicare and helped to close the donut hole for seniors, which has already saved Minnesota seniors $65 million. I completely reject the Republican plan to end the Medicare guarantee and give seniors a voucher for care.
I will fight to save Medicare for our seniors, those nearing retirement, and people in my generation. I support responsible and compassionate reforms that will contain cost. Just as in Social Security, I believe Medicare should be means tested and the income cap should be lifted. This will ensure everyone will receive the care they need and the poorest and most vulnerable will be protected.
Medicare faces the same population shifts as Social Security, plus the problem of rising medical costs, but growing families will help build a more stable health care industry and help reduce costs. We should allow private companies to develop innovative health services and allow vouchers for those under 55, but not force them. Tax dollars may have to be used rather than cutting Medicare. Reverse the new health care reform law's raids on Medicare.

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What changes would you make to federal education policy?

The federal government should meet its funding obligations in special education. Move forward with implementation of the Common Core State Standards initiative and establish a nation-wide testing standard for K-12, focused on student growth, to replace 50 vastly divergent state-by-state standards. A far greater focus and investment in early childhood education is needed to prepare all children to succeed in school and help the U.S. remain economically competitive.
The federal government needs to be a strong partner with the state and local government. I would support initiatives that give local school boards, districts, parents, and teachers more power and control to make decisions and investments. I am not in favor of No Child Left Behind or other centralized approaches to education. President Obama is initiating some wonderful reforms to education that I would support as a member of Congress.
Instead of any federal education policy, local communities and states should run education, and states should allow tax credit funding of scholarships to private schools for low-income children. I would slash tuition in higher education and loans. Through its science committees, Congress should promote on-line math and science learning. Public schools should not brainwash students regarding social issues.

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What changes would you make to federal energy policy?

The federal government should not pick winners and losers among alternative energy sources like oil, natural gas, solar, water or wind. The federal government should support the development of conservation by consumers. By supporting basic science and science education, the government will permit development of hybrid cars to drastically expand vehicle mileage.
I support greater federal incentives, along with public-private partnerships, to expand renewable energy production, such as extending the production tax credit for wind energy. Taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks for big oil companies should be ended immediately. Proven energy efficiency technologies such as district energy and combined-heat-and-power should become a priority. Congress must enact legislation to upgrade our transmission grid to meet America's growing electricity demand and ensure that all Americans have reliable access to power.
I am not sure what the official energy policy is of the United States.

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Should the federal government's environmental protection efforts be changed? If so, how?

We need to rebuild the water infrastructure to protect against drought caused by climate change. States and local governments have always been responsible for protecting the environment and should continue, through education and recycling. Rapid progress in energy is needed to drastically reduce our fossil footprint; federal leadership is needed.
I oppose a House Republican plan to cut the Environmental Protection Agency by 30 percent. I am committed to protecting our families by enforcing and modernizing clean air and clean water regulations.
Environmental protection is best left to the states and local units of government and must be balanced by the needs of people and jobs. Congress should act push back against over-regulation from the EPA and other organizations that are making it hard for businesses in Minnesota to create jobs.

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Where do you stand on legalized abortion?

I support it. I will continue to protect women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion services, contraception, and cancer screenings, without interference from politicians.
I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death, therefore I do not support the expansion of the abortion industry through taxpayer funding of abortion.
Abortion is traumatic and destructive of human life, and so should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest or to protect the health and life of the mother. The power to govern this issue should be returned to the states.

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Should same-sex marriage be legal?

Yes. Same-sex marriage should be legal and the Defense of Marriage Act should be repealed.
I think each state should decide this issue for themselves.
No. There is no such thing as "same-sex marriage," and we should not recognize as marriage anything except marriage bonds between men and women. I am against discrimination against homosexuals, but we must resist attempts to re-norm by treating homosexual relations as marriage.

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What are your views concerning immigration?

Securing our borders must continue to be a priority. I support the Dream Act, but that is only a first step. Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform to give a pathway to legal residency for the millions of undocumented people who are living, working and contributing to our economy and communities.
I support legal immigration for those who want to become Americans, raise their family, and work hard. Congress needs to act to solve the problem of illegal immigration and documenting the workers, students, and people that are living here undocumented. I support expanding the availability of temporary working and student visas to non-citizens living in America.
Work shoulder-to-shoulder with Mexicans, Chicanos and immigrants to build up northern Mexico and the southwest U.S. We can build human rights and create massive job growth in the region.

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What would you do to address the income, education and employment gaps for minorities in the 4th District?

I oppose Republican cuts to the social safety net that drive more families into poverty, hurt low-income children, and limit opportunities for people in need who are striving to get ahead. Overcoming outcome or achievement gaps requires cooperation, collaboration, and direct input from affected communities and families.
We need more minorities running and winning public office in the 4th District. Minorities need other minority leaders that demonstrate anything is possible in America. As a member of Congress, I will work with others on policies that will strengthen local control of school boards and districts giving parents of minority students more school choice. I believe that local communities of teachers and parents understand best how to make the most optimal educational decisions and investment.
The American way is the best way, and we need to improve it, and expand access to it. All races need real equal opportunity to be born, to live in a whole family, to get a real education, serve our nation, be economically productive, forge a family of our own with a home, health care and prospects for retirement. I do not count women or homosexuals as minorities.

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