On the Issues
How would you balance the federal budget/reduce the federal deficit?
Our skyrocketing national debt puts our sovereignty and solvency in the hands of the foreign powers that are financing our trillion dollar annual deficits.
Our inability to control spending also puts critical national priorities like defense and social security at risk, and makes it harder to keep capital in the job-creating private sector.
We need a balanced budget amendment to the constitution, real health care reform that gives consumers price and quality-based incentives, and serious changes to our entitlement programs. Giving block grants to states for Medicaid would be an important first step.
What steps do you support to reform Social Security and Medicare?
We must keep our promises to retired Americans and those nearing retirement. But for younger workers with time to plan, we must adjust benefits, eligibility, and expectations. Social Security and Medicare should be part of a sound retirement plan along with savings and investments.
While I do not think current workers can afford additional withholdings, I do think we should consider means testing for wealthy retirees.
Would you sign a pledge to never raise federal taxes? Why or why not?
We need fiscal discipline in Washington, not more tax dollars. That being said, I will not sign political pledges or contracts. As a candidate and Senator, I will only swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution and to be a great champion for Maine. The best predictor of future behavior is past performance -- during my legislative service, I never voted to raise taxes.
How should health care be reformed?
We need to repeal ObamaCare because it is built on an unconstitutional foundation that requires individuals to buy a private product. That's why one of my first acts upon becoming Attorney General was to find an affordable way for Maine to sign onto the multistate suit against the law. We have made our arguments before the Supreme Court and I expect the court to strike down the law in June.
ObamaCare is also a multi-trillion dollar federalization of the health care industry that we simply cannot afford. If the Supreme Court does not vacate the law, I will be a strong vote for its repeal in the U.S. Senate.
We cannot regulate or ration our way to a health care solution because of the complexity of the system and the individual needs of consumers. We need price and quality-based incentives that lead consumers to make informed and sensible health care decisions, and give consumers a stake in cost savings and preventive care.
Do you support a woman’s right to an abortion?
Yes. The question whether to end a pregnancy is not one in which the federal government should interfere. It should be left to the woman, her partner, her doctor, and her spiritual advisor.
In Congress, would you support DOMA or legislation to allow civil unions or gay marriage?
I oppose gay marriage, support civil unions, and believe the federal government should stay out of state decisions.
Should the federal government have a role in K-12 education?
National standards have their place, but local leadership and flexibility are critical to achieving excellence. The federalization of education must be scaled back. I would support reforms that would eliminate the Department of Education as a cabinet-level office.
What are the benefits of school choice? Vouchers? Should they be available for private and religious schools?
In some parts of the country, school choice and vouchers can be powerful tools to improve failing schools or help families find better opportunities. Education funding, by way of a voucher, should follow the student.
Do you believe climate change is happening? Do humans contribute to it? What should Congress do to address the problem?
It is critical that we be good stewards of our environment. But climate change has been occurring since Earth's earliest days and attempting to end the process through regulation would be a costly and pointless overreach. Free market approaches to address climate change issues should be encouraged.
What should the country’s energy policy look like?
The price of gas has doubled under the Obama Administration because the environmental lobby would rather see $4.00 gas than expand domestic exploration and supply. We need a comprehensive energy policy that develops domestic supply, invests in our energy infrastructure, and relies on the market to pick winners and losers.