On the Issues
How would you balance the federal budget/reduce the federal deficit?
First of all I would talk to the members on the other side of the aisle that have views different from mine. There is not enough of that in Washington today. I would focus on waste in Government like the money that was squandered in the Solyndra scandal. We should also look at the tax code and subsidies for Ethanol production. I would also focus on policies like streamlining regulation to get our economy moving again and encourage the creation of good jobs.
What steps do you support to reform Social Security and Medicare?
First we must be committed to preserve benefits for our seniors. I would encourage a discussion about changing the retirement age for those of us younger than 55. I would also look at the cost drivers in the Medicare system and find ways to reduce cost. I would support block grants to states so they could manage their Medicaid system without Federal restrictions. The existing system encourages expenditures not wellness.
Would you sign a pledge to never raise federal taxes? Why or why not?
I have not signed the pledge. I have a very strong record in my time in the legislature of opposing new taxes and reducing existing ones. This past session I help usher through the largest tax reduction in the history of Maine and also removed 70,000 low income Mainers from the tax rolls. I have been a long time advocate of promoting economic growth by reducing taxes.
How should health care be reformed?
We should expand what we have begun to do here in Maine with market based reforms. We should simplify the process of purchasing health insurance so you can do it on your computer at your kitchen table. We also need to change the way that health care is delivered and how providers are compensated. Providers should be rewarded for "wellness" not how many tests they order.
Do you support a woman’s right to an abortion?
I oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
In Congress, would you support DOMA or legislation to allow civil unions or gay marriage?
I support DOMA and traditional marriage.
Should the federal government have a role in K-12 education?
I believe the Federal Government's role in education should be minimal. However we must find ways keep up with the rest of the world.
What are the benefits of school choice? Vouchers? Should they be available for private and religious schools?
I support school choice and vouchers for private and religious schools. I believe in offering as many options for our children as possible as long as they meet rigorous standards.
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
I don't profess to be an expert of climate change and it appears the experts do not all agree. I plan on talking to the people of Maine this summer and listen to their views. From my experience as chair of the Regulatory Reform committee last year we found that you can have clear, strong environmental regulations and a pro-jobs agenda. You don't have to choose one or the other. That is how we do it in Maine and that is what we should do in Washington.
What should the country’s energy policy look like?
We should look at all forms of energy. In the short term we must produce more energy in North America so we are not dependent on the middle east. We should move forward with the Keystone Pipeline and encourage the expansion of Natural Gas. We must also insist that additional exploration is done in a manner that will protect the environment. We should also promote conservation. For the long term we should continue to promote all forms of alternative energy and encourage them to become competitive in the marketplace.