Rick Santorum on Technology

Republican Jr Senator (PA); 2012 presidential frontrunner


DoD plays defense on technology; we need to go after them

Q: Should companies like Facebook and Twitter be required by law to be more actively engaged in fighting terror?

SANTORUM: If we were doing a better job within the government, we wouldn't need the private sector to do the things that we're asking them to do. What I've found [is that] layers and layers of bureaucracy is #1, if a lot of people have authority, nobody has authority. And #2, that if you don't do anything, you don't get fired. It's only when you do something and something goes wrong, you get fired. So they do nothing. And that's what is happening in our Defense Department right now. We have a capability that they're trying to develop to play defense. We have a lot of technologists that are very skilled. And they're trying to figure out how to play defense. But we don't have folks who are thinking about offense. We don't have war-fighters. Technologists are not war-fighters. Technologists are thinking, "How do I secure, how do I protect?" We need to have, "How do we go after them?"

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate , Jan 14, 2016

Harden electric grid against electromagnetic pulse attack

Q: How would you protect America's critical infrastructure-like the Internet and electric grid--from a terrorist attack?

SANTORUM: Well, the most devastating attack that could occur is an electromagnetic pulse attack, and that would be triggered by a nuclear explosion in the upper atmosphere. The best way to stop that from happening is to make sure that those who are talking about using it, Iran, doesn't get a nuclear weapon so they can't explode that device. And the president has put Iran on a path to a nuclear weapon. And we have done nothing to do anything to harden our grid. There is actually a bill in Congress that would put money forward to try to put redundancy and harden our electric grid so it could actually survive an EMP. An EMP is a devastating explosion that sends a pulse that knocks out everything that is wired. Cars stop. Planes fall out of the sky. This is a devastating attack. And this president has done nothing to take the most probable country to launch an attack & stop them.

Source: Fox Business 2016 Republican Undercard debate , Jan 14, 2016

Bulk metadata collection doesn't violate privacy

This sort of data collection is not collecting people's phones calls, their voices; they're not collecting information that's personal. There's no names attached to these numbers. They're simply numbers and times and relationships with algorithms. In fact, I would make the argument that the more data we can collect that's anonymous, the less we need to impose on people's privacy.
Source: 2015 CNN/Salem Republican second-tier debate , Dec 15, 2015

Get federal government out of the infrastructure business

Q: Nearly one in four bridges in the National Highway System is structurally deficient, or obsolete. Congress is working on a six year highway bill to try to fix this problem. It only funds it for about three years. Should Americans be asked to pay more in federal gas taxes in order to address this problem?

SANTORUM: We need to get the federal government out of this infrastructure business, other than vital economic highways. It has been said that if we cut the gas tax to 3 to 5 cents and send the rest back to the states, and just take care of the federal infrastructure that's vital for our economy. We don't need the federal government and the road business that it is today.

Source: 2015 Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier GOP debate , Nov 10, 2015

CEO of EchoLight Studios, making faith & family movies

The mass entertainment industry-movies, television and radio, music, books and magazines, and now the internet, everything we commonly call "popular culture"-- promotes with chilling effectiveness behavior, beliefs, and attitudes that are virtually guaranteed to produce unhappiness in individuals and families. That is why I took the position as CEO of EchoLight Studios, a faith and family movie production and distribution company. We need to fight back by producing and promoting high-quality films that present the good, the true, and the beautiful. And if we a
Source: Blue Collar Conservatives, by Rick Santorum, p. 78-9 , Apr 28, 2014

Moon base is fiscal insanity

The Santorum for President campaign released a nationwide radio ad today entitled "Out of This World." It exposes Rep. Gingrich's fiscally insane plan to colonize the moon as just another example of exponentially growing the size of government. This presents a clear contrast with Rick Santorum's fiscally conservative vision to balance the budget, reform entitlements, and revitalize American manufacturing. Script To "Out Of This World":
Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, ricksantorum.com "PR" , Feb 29, 2012

Moon colony is fiscal insanity during debt crisis

The Rick Santorum for President campaign today released a new nationwide radio advertisement today entitled "Out of This World." It exposes Representative Gingrich's fiscally insane plan to colonize the moon. This presents a clear contrast with Rick Santorum's fiscally conservative vision to balance the budget, reform entitlements, and revitalize American manufacturing.
Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, ricksantorum.com , Feb 3, 2012

NASA programs sound good, but we need to cut programs

Q: [to Santorum]: Speaker Gingrich said that by the end of his second term, there would be a permanent base on the moon. Good idea?

SANTORUM: I believe America's a frontier nation and obviously the frontier that we're talking about is the next one, which is space. And that we need to inspire. Space defense is another area which is very, very important. But let's just be honest, we run a $1.2 trillion deficit right now. We're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar. And to go out there and promise new programs and big ideas, that's a great thing to maybe get votes, but it's not a responsible thing when you have to go out and say that we have to start cutting programs, not talking about how to grow them. We're going to cut programs under my administration. Spending will go down for four years until we get a balanced budget. And you can't do that by grand schemes. The space program sounds good, but we've got to be responsible in the way we allocate our resources.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary , Jan 26, 2012

Make R&D tax credit permanent

Q: [to Bachmann]: How to get new jobs in manufacturing?

BACHMANN: Today the US has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. We've got to bring that tax rate down substantially so that we're among the lowest in the industrialized world.

Q: [To Santorum]: Your state of Pennsylvania, a big industrial state, has struggled in recent years.

A: We still make things there. And what I learned from growing up in a steel town is that's how the wealth from those who create the jobs gets down. We've been outsourcing those jobs. So what we need to do is a lot of what was said here. I would add another thing: We need to cut the capital gains tax in half, but for manufacturers we need to give a five-year window where we cut it to zero. We want to encourage people to set up jobs here in America. Take that R&D credit, make it permanent, take that innovation and then invest that money here to create that broad middle of America and have that wealth really trickle down.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Prosecute WikiLeaks on terrorism charges

Sarah Palin asked why the White House had not issued orders to tighten security back in July, when WikiLeaks released thousands of classified military documents on Afghanistan. "What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?"

Palin concluded: "We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task."

The Obama administration has said that it "deeply regrets" the leaking of the embarrassing cables that have disclosed exactly what American diplomats think of foreign leaders and promised to take "aggressive steps" against those who "stole" them.

Source: Martin Beckford in The Telegraph (U.K.), "Hunt WikiLeaks" , Nov 30, 2010

Scale of potential destruction from EMP demands action

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, could be triggered by one or more nuclear warheads exploded more than 100 miles above the US. Imagine a continent-sized, invisible lightning strike, only more devastating. To those not in a car or plane, it would resemble a power outage at first; nothing electrical would work. But according to the Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, it would fry our electrical grid, as well as most devices with electronic components, including motor vehicles and backup generators. It could be months, maybe even years, before power is restored and vehicles are repaired.

So is the government taking the threat seriously? Well, the government has taken steps to "harden" senior leadership communications in Washington against an EMP attack. But the Department of Homeland Security doesn't include it on its list of potential threats. The probability and fallout of such an attack are debatable, but the scale of potential destruction demands action now.

Source: Santorum in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Doomsday Scenario" , Aug 27, 2009

$90M to study effects of media violence on kids

One of the roles that government is uniquely capable of playing is providing parents with research on the pop culture industry. I am a strong advocate of federal investment in research regarding the impact on media content on children in particular. I stood with Sens. Brownback, Lieberman and Clinton to introduce a $90 million federal grant program to support research into the effects of viewing and using all types of media--including TV, computer games, and the Internet--on children's physical and psychological development, The Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act would establish research into the role of media on the development of children from infancy through adolescence.

There have been thousands of studies investigating the impact of media violence on kids, but little in the area of sexually explicit me

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p. 341-342 , Apr 30, 2006

Fund reverse-commuting for distressed suburbs

The Reverse Commuting Program that I authored in 1996 along with Sen. Carol Mosley Braun (D, IL) ensures that people who live in reclamation and distressed areas have opportunity to get where economic opportunity currently resides. Too many mass-transit commuter routes are designed only to bring people from a metropolitan area into the urban business district. But in many cases, jobs for low-skill workers have migrated to the suburban ring around the city. Unlike suburbanites, most of the urban poor do not have cars. Without some means of transportation, these jobs are literally out of reach. Federal reverse-commuting dollars help subsidize routes from reclamation areas to suburban job centers. And slowly, the economic benefits of that neighborhood may begin to seep into that reclamation area next door; if not, then economic incentives will result in residents leaving the reclamation area. Then, building on the base of the transitioning-up neighborhood, you begin to gut and rebuild the worse-off area.
Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.179 , Apr 30, 2006

Good culture tells the truth, even if not G-Rated

It's probably a fair criticism of us conservatives that we know what we don't like in the arts. My family will be quick to tell you that I do not frequent art museums but I do appreciate the influence that the arts have.

I am not going to tell you that good culture is made up only of paintings of pastoral scenes or finely crafted, life-like portraits, G-rated movies, & books without any sex or violence.

GOOD CULTURE tells us about life as it really is--it tells the truth. To uses the title of a great Clint Eastwood film, it tells us about "the good, the bad, and the ugly." It illuminates the truth about the human predicament and our human destiny. And that is not always very pretty. "Braveheart" is a healthy addition to our culture. But for every "Braveheart," Hollywood seems intent on turning out a dozen films featuring an antihero, a tortured soul fighting his own demons and doing hardly anyone any good at all.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.281-283 , Apr 30, 2006

Make "airplane" edited movie versions with advisory labels

The Recording Industry Association of America, prodded by the FTC, now stickers music CDs with "parental advisory" labels if they contain content inappropriate for children. I view such stickers as a red light for my kids. The answer is simple if they were to ask about a CD with that sticker: "No."

There are a number of technical tools available to parents. The industry, however, has responded to these new technological aids with lawsuits and other threats. Rather than trying to take away tools from parents who want to let their kids watch movies (would they rather we just say "No" completely?), the industry should be working with parents to make available to us the "airplane" edited version of their films. A recent poll found that almost three out of four respondents would purchase or rent an airplane-edited version of certain films that they would otherwise choose not to watch at all. Making these films available would be in the economic interest of the industry.

Source: It Takes A Family, by Sen. Rick Santorum, p.327-328 , Apr 30, 2006

Voted YES on restoring $550M in funding for Amtrak for 2007.

An amendment to provide an additional $550,000,000 for Amtrak for fiscal year 2007. Voting YEA would increase Amtrak funding from $900 million to $1.45 billion. Voting NAY would keep Amtrak funding at $900 million.
Reference: Santorum amendment to Transportation funding bill; Bill S.Amdt.3015 to S.Con.Res.83 ; vote number 2006-052 on Mar 15, 2006

Voted NO on disallowing FCC approval of larger media conglomerates.

Vote to pass a joint resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission. The rule would therefore have no force or effect. The rule in question deals with broadcast media ownership and would allow media conglomerates to own more television stations and newspapers.
Reference: FCC Media Ownership bill; Bill S J Res 17/H.J.RES.72 ; vote number 2003-348 on Sep 16, 2003

Voted YES on Internet sales tax moratorium.

Vote against allowing states to require companies who do business in their state solely by phone, mail, or the Internet to collect state sales taxes. [Current law does not require companies to collect sales taxes where the customer is out of state]
Reference: Bill S.442 ; vote number 1998-296 on Oct 2, 1998

Voted YES on telecomm deregulation.

Deregulation of the telecommunications industry.
Status: Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 Y)91; N)5; NV)3
Reference: Conference Report on S. 625, the; Bill S. 652 ; vote number 1996-8 on Feb 1, 1996

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