Howard Coble refused to tell citizens where he stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2012 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.
For Presidential and Congressional candidates who refuse to provide voters with their positions, Vote Smart has researched their public records to determine their likely responses. These issue positions are from 2012.
1. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to address the problem of crime?
|Impose a national ban on the public sale of assault weapons.|
|Impose a national ban on the sale of handguns to minors.|
|X||Impose "truth in sentencing" legislation for violent criminals so they serve a full sentence with no chance of parole.|
|X||Create "boot camps" for juvenile and adult first-time offenders.|
|Prosecute as adults youths who are third-time violent felons.|
|Impose the death penalty for certain federal crimes, including civil rights murders, rape and child molestation murders, death resulting from drive-by shootings or car-jacking, and murder of court officers or federal witnesses.|
|Impose mandatory life sentences for third time violent felons.|
|Fund programs to provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related skills.|
|Increase the availability of college loans for youth in crime-ridden urban areas.|
|Fund programs which provide job training and employment opportunities for at-risk urban youth.|
2. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning illegal drugs?
|X||Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs.|
|X||Support mandatory drug testing for federal employees.|
|X||Expand efforts to stop the illegal flow of drugs to the United States from other countries.|
|Expand federal support for education and drug treatment programs.|
|Maintain current federal laws.|
|Decriminalize the possession and private use of certain illegal drugs.|
3. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning the American health care system?
|Implement a government-financed, single-payer national health care system similar to Canada's.|
|Support President Clinton's position for a "comprehensive health care plan for all Americans."|
|Support a managed competition health care plan to contain costs and improve access that does not include mandated health alliances, government cost control powers, or employer/employee mandates.|
|Provide tax incentives for small businesses to help provide health care to their employees.|
|Allow middle and low income families to deduct yearly health care costs from their taxable income.|
|Create a voucher system for the working poor so they can buy into a health care plan.|
|Place limits on the amount of damages awarded in medical malpractice lawsuits.|
|Allow Americans to set up a tax-free medical savings account, which would be taxed if used for any purpose other than medical costs.|
|Deregulate the private health care industry.|
|Privatize Medicare and Medicaid.|
4. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to change America's welfare system?
|X||Strengthen child support collection procedures and increase penalties for parents who do not pay.|
|X||Impose a two-year limit on welfare benefits for recipients who are able to work.|
|Require welfare recipients to accept some form of government-sponsored job after two years if unable to find work in the private sector.|
|Require unwed teenage mothers to live with a parent or guardian (if possible) to receive benefits.|
|Limit the benefits given to single women if they have additional children.|
|Provide child care services to welfare recipients who work or attend school.|
|Increase spending on programs that help homeless people find shelter and employment.|
|Make no substantial changes at this time.|
|Eliminate the current American welfare system.|
5. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to address the problem of unemployment?
|Invest federal dollars in "investment tax credits" for companies who invest in worker training, purchase new equipment, and invest in research and development.|
|Increase funding for federal and state job-training programs.|
|X||Create "enterprise zones" in urban areas with high unemployment by providing tax credits for new and expanding businesses.|
|X||Create "empowerment zones" in urban areas with high unemployment by providing government grants and federal assistance, in addition to tax credits, to new and expanding businesses.|
|Eliminate government regulations to encourage investment and economic expansion of the private sector.|
|Allow the natural cycle of the market economy to create jobs without government intervention.|
|Support an overhaul of the current unemployment system by combining current job-training programs within a new comprehensive "re-employment" system.|
6. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning trade between America and foreign countries?
|The United States should grant "most favored nation" trading status based on the human rights record of each individual nation.|
|The United States should raise tariffs on nations whose trade policies discourage the importation of American products.|
|The United States should eliminate tax breaks for companies who move American jobs to low-wage countries.|
|The United States should expand NAFTA into Latin America.|
|The United States should pursue policies that will help open markets on the Pacific Rim.|
|The United States should stay out of international trade.|
7. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning the environment?
|Tax high-level energy users (businesses and individuals) to discourage excessive energy use and pay for environmental cleanup.|
|Pass stronger clean water and clean air legislation.|
|Phase in a prohibition of pollution causing products such as gas powered autos and lawn mowers.|
|Consider further increasing federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels.|
|Consider further increasing fees charged to mining companies who mine on public lands.|
|Consider further increasing fees charged to livestock owners who graze on federal lands.|
|X||Require the federal government to reimburse citizens who are required to limit the use of their privately owned lands due to environmental regulation.|
|Encourage further market based strategies to clean up the environment such as pollution credits.|
|Amend the Endangered Species Act to allow for increased logging.|
8. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support to change America's public education system?
|Establish a nationwide competency test for teachers and encourage states to adopt it.|
|Establish "National Standards" for K-12 schools and encourage states to adopt them.|
|Advocate school choice programs so that parents receive vouchers that can be used to send their children to participating schools.|
|X||Allow low and middle income families to deduct college costs from their taxable income.|
|Provide communities with increased federal aid and low interest loans for public school improvements.|
|X||Eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.|
|Make no substantial changes at this time.|
9. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning abortion?
|Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of the pregnancy.|
|Abortions should be legal only when the life of the mother is endangered.|
|Abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy results from incest or rape, or when the life of the mother is endangered.|
|X||A woman under the age of 18 should be required to notify a parent or guardian before having an abortion.|
|A woman should be required to notify her spouse before having an abortion.|
|States should be allowed to impose mandatory waiting periods before abortions are performed.|
|Congress should eliminate federal funding for clinics and medical facilities that provide abortion services.|
|Congress should eliminate abortion services from any federally funded health care plan.|
|Congress should leave legislation on this issue to the states.|
10. If elected to Congress, which of the following general principles or specific proposals will you support concerning American military and foreign policy?
|Congress should support defense conversion by funding job-placement and job-training programs for displaced military personnel and defense technology workers.|
|Congress should completely lift the ban on homosexuals in the military.|
|The United States should use military force only in cooperation with the United Nations unless threatened by a foreign power.|
|The United States should lift the trade embargo against Cuba.|
|Congress should increase foreign aid to the former republics of the Soviet Union to help in democratization and economic reform.|
|Congress should impose strict sanctions against any nation selling technology or products that aid in the construction of nuclear weapons.|
|Congress should impose strict sanctions against any new nation attempting to develop nuclear weapons.|
|Congress should invest federal funds in the research and development of new defense technologies.|
|Undecided||1. Should the federal government adopt a policy of limiting or banning Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions to federal candidates?|
|Yes||2. Do you support the principle of limiting the number of terms U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives can serve in Congress?|
|Yes||3. Do you support the principle of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution?|
1. Please indicate the changes you will support (if any) concerning the level of funding for each of the listed issue areas.
|Maintain Status||National Defense|
|Slightly Increase||Law Enforcement|
|Slightly Increase||International Drug Interdiction|
|Maintain Status||Federal Health Care Programs|
|Slightly Decrease||AIDS Research|
|Slightly Decrease||Job Re-training Programs|
|Maintain Status||Infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.)|
|Maintain Status||Public Education|
|Maintain Status||Foreign Aid|
|Maintain Status||Environmental Clean Up and Enforcement|
2. Please indicate the changes you will support (if any) concerning the tax levels for each of the listed categories.
|Eliminate||Capital Gains Taxes|
|Maintain Status||Cigarette Taxes|
|Maintain Status||Alcohol Taxes|
|Taxes on Social Security Benefits Received by Retirees Earning More than $40,000|
|Income Taxes on Families Earning Less than $140,000|
|Income Taxes on Families Earning $140,000 or More|
|Value-Added Taxes on U.S. Businesses|
|Maintain Status||Taxes on Foreign Companies in the United States|
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