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Joe Kennedy on the issues

December 18, 2009

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Health care:
Opposes the current health care plans pending before Congress and wants fewer regulations imposed by the federal government, not more. He proposes health care deregulation, replacing government agencies with free-market alternatives, and allowing tax-free personal medical savings accounts.

Afghanistan:
Opposes the troop increase, saying: “We cannot end a war if we continue to escalate it. Moreover, we should not continue to risk American lives with no exit strategy and no end in sight. . . . The role of the American military should be to defend against attack or the imminent threat of attack, not to act as an ongoing police state on foreign soil.’’

Iraq
Wants American forces to withdraw from Iraq and says he has always opposed invading Iraq. “It’s time for Iraq to take care of itself,’’ he says.

Welfare
Wants to gradually decrease benefits that are available in the current welfare program, eventually dismantling the program entirely. “Individuals who have relied on the system for years must learn to support themselves and their families through the job market,’’ he says. “In addition, they may rely on churches, their extended family, community organizations, or private charities for assistance and support.’’

Guns
Does not own a gun, but does not think they should be banned. “Guns are not the problem; people are the problem,’’ he says. “Gun control advocates talk as if guns fire on their own, as if human beings do not control them, so the uncontrollable guns must be banished.’’ Rather than banning guns, he says, there should be more education and training programs.

Same-sex marriage
He supports same-sex marriage and thinks the federal government should overturn the Defense of Marriage Act. He thinks it should be up to private institutions, such as churches and synagogues, to decide whether to recognize those marriages.

Education
Does not support the No Child Left Behind law, saying that it places too much emphasis on a limited number of subjects. If elected, he would also call for the end of the federal government’s involvement in education and would close the federal Department of Education. “State and local governments and, more importantly, our school teachers, will do much more for our children with that money than the federal government ever has,’’ he says.

Marijuana
Believes marijuana regulation should be determined by each state, not by the federal government.