Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Presidential candidates split on war, economy, health care

**National security**

**Bush:** Signed and supports the Patriot Act as necessary for law enforcement to combat terror at home. Supports a national missile defense shield. Created the cabinet-level position of Homeland Security and has proposed a more powerful, independent national director of intelligence position. Promises not to reinstate the draft.

**Kerry:** Would place the National Guard under the Department of Homeland Security. Opposes a draft and maintains involuntary extended tours of duty amount to a “back door draft.” Voted for the Patriot Act to give the government broader law enforcement powers, but now believes it should be changed. Opposes a national missile defense initiative. Plans to launch and lead a coalition of allies to fight the war on global terror. Proposes modernizing the military to better address the threat of terrorism as well as employ non-military means, such as diplomacy and economic clout, to fight terror.


**Nader:** Believes Patriot Act should be repealed because believes it erodes civil liberties. Opposes excessive military spending, saying majority of funding spent on military should be spent on social programs instead.


**Bush:** Led invasion into Iraq, calling it necessary for U.S. and world security despite later finding no weapons of mass destruction in the country. Led war on Taliban of Afghanistan after Sept. 11. Democratic elections were held in Afghanistan this month. Won congressional approval for $87 million package to sustain military efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

**Kerry:** Supported resolution authorizing war in Iraq, but said he did so based on assumption a broad multi-lateral coalition would be deployed to Middle East. Voted against the $87 billion package for Iraq and Afghanistan, after previously voting for a similar bill funded by repealing tax cuts. Plans to begin pulling troops out of Iraq within six months and complete withdrawal within four years, to be replaced by NATO forces.

**Nader:** Calls for a complete withdrawal from Iraq, saying Muslim and Arab peacekeepers should take over the country. Condemns current U.S. “occupation” of the country as a corporate-takeover of Mideast oil.

**Economy and jobs**

**Bush:** Hopes to make his tax cuts permanent, which he claims are essential for small business and job growth. The tax breaks would include a $1.35 trillion cut over 10 years. Pledges to cut the deficit in half over five years, which is expected to reach a record level of $400 billion this year.

**Kerry:** Proposes cutting taxes for those businesses that keep jobs in America rather than moving overseas. Plans to balance the budget by rolling back Bush’s tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

**Nader:** Advocates increasing tax burden on wealthy Americans and big businesses. Insists on free trade agreements mandating environmental and labor standards.

**Health care**

**Bush:** Signed the first-ever Medicare drug prescription plan for the elderly, allotting $400 billion for the program over 10 years. Plans to expand medical savings accounts and include a $1,000 tax credit to buy health insurance for 4 million uninsured individuals. Advocates combating lawsuits against health plans regulated by the government and advocates capping frivolous medical malpractice awards for patients.

**Kerry:** Plans to extend health care coverage to 95 percent of Americans, including all children, by rolling back Bush’s tax cuts for Americans earning over $200,000 a year. Proposes cutting family premiums up to $1,000.

**Nader:** Wants universal health care coverage for all Americans via non-profit organizations. Advocates abolishing the health insurance industry and all profit-making businesses from the health care sector.


**Bush:** Supports vouchers to attend private secondary education schools. Signed the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, tying federal funding to testing results, and has pledged to increase federal dollars for the legislation by 43 percent. Proposes increasing the value of Pell Grants for higher education by $1,000. Plans to increase funding for dual-enrollment programs, allowing high school students to attend community college while finishing their secondary education, thus finishing college in less time.

**Kerry:** Proposes $27 billion more to fund the No Child Left Behind Act and plans to create a $200 billion education trust fund. Opposes vouchers to attend private or parochial schools. Will create a national service program paying for four years of college tuition after completing two years national service. Plans to add a $4,000 tax credit for each year of college.

**Nader:** Opposes No Child Left Behind for placing too much emphasis on standardized testing. Plans to fund Head Start, guaranteeing pre-school education for all children.


**Bush:** Refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty on global warming, noting it did not limit emissions for developing nations and would hurt the U.S. economy. Opened the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Pushed to eliminate environmental regulations for a number of industrial and military projects. Supports tax incentives to increase energy efficiency. Wants to find more sources of renewable energy.

**Kerry:** Would not sign the Kyoto Treaty on emission standards. Plans to use $20 billion from oil and gas royalties to develop cleaner energy and also pledges to initiate an integrated approach to restore America’s clean water. Opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

**Nader:** Advocates strengthening toxic standards and finding renewable, clean energy resources. Plans to end monetary support for oil, nuclear, and coal industries and argues America must completely end dependence on oil.


**Bush:** Opposes abortion but says he will not simply appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court, although he favors “strict constructionists” who follow the Constitution rather than legislate. Signed a ban on partial-birth abortions into law. Opposes the FDA’s approval of RU-48, commonly referred to as the “morning after” pill.

**Kerry:** Is pro-choice and has said he will appoint only pro-choice justices to the Supreme Court. Opposes the partial-birth abortion ban because law makes no exception for cases in which the life of the mother is threatened. Believes health plans should cover contraceptives.

**Nader:** Is pro-choice and opposes legislation limiting women’s access to abortions.

**Gay marriage**

**Bush:** Opposes gay marriage and supports an amendment to the Constitution banning the practice.

**Kerry:** Is against gay marriage but supports civil unions for same-sex couples. Opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman because believes states should decide.

**Nader:** Supports same-sex marriage and opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

**Stem-cell research**

**Bush:** Signed legislation providing the first-ever federal funding for the research, approximately $35.5 million. Prohibited funding from production of additional stem cells, only allowing money to be used for strains already in existence.

**Kerry:** Would lift current research restrictions and invest at minimum $100 million a year in funding.

**Nader:** Has not taken a formal position on the topic.

**Gun control**

**Bush:** Supported extending the assault weapons ban, but allowed the ban to expire this year without intervening. Supports legislation giving gun manufacturers legal immunity from frivolous lawsuits brought by victims of gun violence.

**Kerry:** Plans to make it mandatory for child safety locks to be included on guns. Would close loopholes exempting individuals who buy handguns at shows from being required to have a background check.

**Nader:** Supports stronger enforcement of gun laws and increased gun licensing regulations. Says certain guns should be banned.

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